Hosted VoIP quoting in the GeoQuote® tool is, by far, the most complex solution-type we have provided to-date. The plethora of available handsets, packages, features, third-party application integrations, and installation types required some tough design decisions This article walks you through what we feel is the optimal way to use GeoQuote® when quoting Hosted VoIP.
As a general strategy, we recommend you not create a quote that is any more specific than necessary. This allows you to see the broadest range of available carriers. Once you’ve reviewed the larger set of solutions, you can begin eliminating options through the initial questions and the quote line filters.
When first creating a Hosted VoIP quote, you’ll be presented with a series of questions related to what is important to your customer. Some of these will have little effect on vendors as, for example, almost all allow you to sell to government entities. Others can drastically reduce the vendors shown for quotes. Here’s a quick run-down of the items you should give special consideration.
- Total Number of seats: This will have little effect on the number of vendors displayed unless you’re looking specifically for West-IP who only provide services to 200+ seat opportunities.
- Type of Deployment: Choosing Hosted + Premise (Hybrid) will cut the number of vendors to less than half of all available. However, if this is a strict requirement for your customer, that is exactly what you want.
- Applications and Features: This will have a large effect on the vendors returned. If your customer has a deal-breaking requirement, make sure you select these accordingly. If you do not have specific requirements, leaving this blank will allow you to review what each vendor provides once initial quote results are returned.
- Hosted Platform: This is rarely important, unless your customer is looking to reuse handsets and they only run on specific platforms. Vendors are roughly half custom platform and half some other specific platform.
- Term: Term is an interesting filter in that some vendors provide only a single-term type, while others provide every term. Unless the term of the contract is a critical component we recommend you run quotes for month-to-month, two year, and three year, if you want to see options from all vendors within GeoQuote®.
Reviewing Quote Lines
There are a few columns within the Quote Lines to highlight:
Per Seat MRC: This is the monthly cost for the base package from the vendor. It does not include additional charges that may apply for add-on features and/or third-party applications, nor does it include handset lease or rent charges. See the “More Info” section below on how to view those additional charges.
Handset Model: This is the “default” handset for the provider. See the section later about “Selecting a Handset” for guidance on dealing with the nearly-overwhelming handset availability. We display only the “default” handset (cheapest) for each provider and package so the initial quote lines returned are not overwhelming.
Handset NRC/Handset MRC: In the filters, you can switch between purchase and/or lease for handsets. Some providers allow both a lease and purchase option. The NRC is a purchase price; the MRC is a lease or rental price that will be charged monthly. Handset MRC affects the total column in a quote line. Handset NRC affects the installation column in a quote line.
Install: Most vendors provide both a drop ship installation and an on-site installation. You’ll be able to determine which type is being quoted based on the text within this column. Anything noted as “ICB” means costs are done on an individual case basis. Remember, if purchasing handsets, the total NRC for them is included in the install cost.
Total: The total represents the total MRC for a quote line and includes: Package cost, handset cost (if lease or rent) and any MRC for additional features or third-party integrations included. This can be confusing in cases that have additional features and/or third-party integrations as you don’t see all information on the quote line required to calculate the total. See the “More Info” section below to assist with clarification of costs.
With the complex nature of Hosted VoIP, the “more info” section is your best friend. To get to more info, click on the “details” hyperlink that appears within the plan description column for a quote line. The three most important sections are handsets, features, and third-party integrations.
- Handsets: The vast number of available handsets is by far the most challenging part to Hosted VoIP quotes. See the section “Handset Selection” for tips on how to deal with them.
- Features: This section shows all of the features the vendor offers. If you selected any of these for inclusion in your quote, a checkmark will display next to those items. This also allows you to see the detailed pricing for features. Some features come at no additional cost. These will display “Included” instead of a price.
- Third-party applications: This section shows all of the third-party integrations the vendor offers. If you selected any of these for inclusion in your quote, a checkmark will display next to those items. This also allows you to see the detailed pricing for those third-party integrations.
Quote Line Filters—Handsets
Because of the large number of available handsets, it is best to first find the one or two vendor offerings you are interested in before getting to this level of selection.
Once you are displaying just a few quote lines, then change the filter from “show only the default handset per package” to “show all handsets”. You’ll see the number of quote lines displayed immediately expand to show all handset options. Once all handsets are displaying, you can also use the filter to limit the handsets displayed by manufacturer.
At this point, you can select the specific handset/vendor/package option that you want and proceed with the quoting process.
If you haven’t tried hosted UC in GeoQuote®, it’s the first option. Try it today. We recommend you start broadly and then use the filters to become more and more specific. Saving the handset selection as the final part of your selection process will lead to the optimal experience when using GeoQuote® for your hosted VoIP inquiries.