Recently, I have seen so many small businesses purchases the first product or service that solves their immediate problem without exploring multiple options or considering long term plans. The natural response is they don't know the options. Know that there are always options. Ask the person trying to sell you their product what other options are available. If they are honest and want to build trust, they will discuss them with their along with pros and cons. Take that information and contact their competitor or another vendor that makes similar products to discuss their options.
Compare, Compare, Compare
Take the data that includes price, support, features, growth and other important factors to you and compare them side by side. This will give you a clearer picture of what fits your business today and 3 years from now. Hosted Services (Software as a Services / Saas) or Local Installation SaaS is becoming ever popular with Google, ZoHo and Hosted Voice Over IP (VoIP) services.
The main attractions are:
1) Upfront cost is less
2) No hardware or software to implement and
3) Upgrades or feature enhancements are rolled out to all customers.
SaaS does have it's place but there is an on-site local product or service alternative. They have advantages to:
1) You own the product, no one can take it away or shut it down
2) Quicker to implement changes and enhancements and
3) Many 3rd party software integration capabilities that can't be done with a hosted provider.
We all just want our immediate problems to go away. Stop and thing about your companies long term needs, Total Cost of Ownership and compare multiple solutions for your overall needs.
Aaron Magruder NonStop Networks, LLC Cisco Unified Communications Solutions http://www.nonstopnetworks.net (816) 846-0676
Visit our Resource Center and Blog, Join the Kansas City Small Business Technology Community, Meet Us on Facebook, Find Us on LinkedIn and Follow on Twitter.
There is no warranty in the information listed. It is always recommended that your seek the advice of a trusted professional.