Do you know what the key questions and answers to look for when considering a new Mitel (Shoretel) Support partner? Read more to find out how to distinguish the great partners from the rest.
With all your new potential Mitel (Shoretel) support partners having similar organizational backgrounds and set-ups, it can be very challenging in a short interview process to truly get an understanding of who provides a better support experience, as you generally only interface with one or two people who tend to be from the sales side of the organization.
The top partners are going to have similar staffing levels, such as similar levels of Mitel (Shoretel) certifications and similar hours of operation and on-call staffing. They should also all be in a similar price range as the support is two-tier, meaning all partners pay a big chunk of the support dollars to Mitel (Shoretel) directly for access to software, patches, and escalation for issues that require vendor intervention.
Even with the challenges listed above, there are a few key areas to focus on to dig up the truth when it comes to the support experience the potential partner you are interviewing will provide:
- How does the partner address a support call for an issue that relates to the Quality of Service of some of the employee’s phone calls?
- How does the partner escalate a support issue? What is the complete process to resolution and the related SLA’s?
- How will this new partner determine what existing issues your solution might have? How will they address these?
The three questions above can tell you a lot about the potential new Mitel (Shoretel) partner you are interviewing and what you can expect in regard to their support performance. Continue reading to find out the answers to these important questions.
Addressing Quality of Service Issues
Whenever a partner is confronted with an issue related to Quality of Service QoS, they should immediately capture all of the logs and information from the Shoretel solution, at the same time look to engage your carrier who is providing the circuits the call’s sources. Moreover, they should also engage with the customer’s team or their third part MSP who looks after the network to review the LAN and WAN for any issue. A partner who immediately takes these steps is prepared to solve the problem regardless of whether the source is your Shoretel Solution.
Lack of Carrier and Network Expertise
Far too often, partners without the expertise will try to push these issues onto your carrier or network. This is a key sign that they are showing you they do not have the carrier and network expertise to truly solve the issues vs just troubleshooting how the Shoretel fits into the problem.
When it comes to problem resolution, a good Mitel (Shoretel) partner will easily be able to lay out for you their process for escalating an issue, including the timing SLA (Service Level Agreement). They should be able to tell you who is accountable for each step of the escalation and who is accountable for the overall resolution of the issue and the planned timing to resolution. For more advanced issues that require escalation to the provider (Mitel/Shoretel) they should also be able to tell you who will manage the daily activity, provide a weekly status call with a manager and who is the executive accountable on the provider (Mitel) team.
Complete System Reviews
When it comes to understanding your existing environment and challenges most providers will hold a “kick- off” call or schedule a review of your open tickets and other known issues you can share. The great partners will run a complete system review with your staff to highlight all areas within your solution that need some attention or possible change. This real time session helps the customer team understand some items in the solution that could need changes and allows them to share with the partner why some items may be configured the way they are. Following this in-depth system review, a great partner will provide documented detail of the review, which includes a list of the suggested items to be addressed or discussed in more detail. This will also include a list of action items that will be transitioned to open tickets or even projects when transitioned to your new support team.
The key to finding the best Shoretel Support provider is in the details of how their team solves your problems. The question and answers above help you dig past the basics of available hours, expertise, certifications and price. Ask these questions and you will open a window to the partner’s true abilities—not just their marketing prowess.