We recently teamed up with UBM's InformationWeek to discuss the (often dreaded) subject of conferencing service comparisons and what to expect when, and if, you decide to make the move from one vendor to another.
Most people are well aware that web and audio conferencing are a mainstay in today's workplace. Whether it's training calls, sales demos, collaboration with remote work forces, marketing webinars - people are using it on a daily basis and fortunately the providers that are available do free up some of the load from IT departments having to develop and deploy and in-house system. Yet, it does not take them off the hook for choosing the right one, making sure security is covered and often times the monotonous administration piece.
Do not fear - we snagged some great tips from the InformationWeek Team on what's out there, what you should consider putting on your checklist, and what to expect should you take the leap to purchase or transition to a new vendor. Check out some of the high level pointers below and then listen to the recording for the full rundown:
What should I be looking for when comparing potential vendors - what's my first priority? Its going to be important initially to work on building the need within your organization. Don't just force a new solution on your workforce. Give them a reason of why the change will benefit them - make sure its something that's going to make their job easier. If you can create a value add then you've made your job a lot easier. The transition won't be successful unless they've bought into it. Also, make sure the vendor is willing to partner with you on the training side.
Look for flexible pricing models as well, but know that the size of the deal may impact that variable. Be wary of vendors that are strictly focused on price - they should be selling value around their product as well. If its just a commodity to them then you may run into issues with quality or support in the future
Who are the stakeholders that should be involved in the decision whether to choose or change current providers?
IT drives the decision for the most part (CIO, etc.) but buy-in from end users is crucial. How do they use it, have their needs changed at all from when you first purchased the tool? What's valuable to them? Don't just purchase what fits the decision maker's checklist in order to mark off boxes. Users being forced into new software certainly won't ease the IT department's administrative duties - it could make their job a lot more difficult. There may be features that simply over complicate the training process on a new tool that will never be used anyway. Interview the people that spend the most time in the platform and then decide whether your existing vendor still meets those needs or moving to another is in your organization's best interest.
Do I need a transition manager when switching from one vendor to another?
Start with a remote training and if someone is available to visit your office to address additional questions you might have then certainly take advantage. If a transition manager is offered, you know you've got a good support team on hand. There may be things that the providing vendor can learn in a live setting of your day to day operations in the platform that help them better understand your particular need and further assist you if future questions arise.
Why should I switch if it's going to be a hassle to re-train my current employees on a new product? Are there on-demand tools that can help with that process? Use the conferencing platform to create on-demand trainings for users. Some integrations are available that allow you to track on-demand recordings to see if employees have listened and even test their knowledge of the new product. ReadyTalk recently launched an integration with SurveyGizmo that allows you to quiz listeners on embedded recordings and then guide them to additional recording based on their answers if they need to learn more and view how long they listened to it.
If you'd like to view the full webinar recording, click here. Are there other questions you've come across when looking to make the switch? Or maybe you have additional tips for our readers - please share with us!