I just replied to a partner in Africa doing a bid for a large public organization.
Here’s some of the advice I forwarded. Just the way we work to support resellers.
Firstly : YES !
When I first read this, it smelled like ‘Asterisk’
One telling item is this :
Page 9 ; 38. BYO Phones ‘bring your own phones’
Mostly – this helps as it excludes Traditional Vendors. However it risks the price to be very low without functionality counting.
Even the receptionist panel thing is risky as there are some really poor quality panels that will crash.
You need to try to work out who is who in the room on the 25th.
Here are my questions you should voice on 25th July
Aside of the 500 extensions, how many concurrent calls are needed to start & as capacity ?
Why do they want us to supply Digital Phones ? It can be done but it is expensive and a step backwards ? It will cost more to gateway each digital phone than to buy IP phones.
How many digital phones of the 400 are there and which brand ?
Do you want the existing digital phones supported ‘just to dial tone’ or do you want other buttons supported as well ?
What functionality do they want on the phones ? One line ? Two lines ?
With or without a screen ?
How many Manager / Receptionist Phones ?
Operator Consoles : what functionality ? Just to see calls in queues ?
Call Parking ? Or to take messages that can be fed out to other users ?
How many lines open do they want ?
Do they want this by softphone (in which case – headsets – do they want
$15 headsets or $200 ones) or on a supporting hardphone ?
Faxing : T38 … yeah ok – but it is not going to work. So please confirm you want the faxes connected to the PBX by FXS and how many supporting lines do you want the PBX to connect to on the E1 ?
For this contract, how long do you expect the support to be available ?
What weighting of preference do you provide to suppliers that offer upgrade insurance ? That is to say that provide you remain within the support contract that upgrades of hardware and software are provided ?
UPS : how many hours do they want it to stand up ?
Which Law is this to be governed by ?
Does item 38 BYO Phones mean that any provider limited to closed standards is excluded from this bid ? (Avaya, Cisco … eat your heart out !)
With respect to Desktop & Mobile integration. These are increasingly becoming standard items with the collaboration tools they support. Most public bids now require these as options. Were their exclusion deliberate, in which case – why ? or just over looked and options should be necessary so as to ensure the contract has some level of future proofing.