Request for Information: VoIP Systems

Why should a 200-employee company buy your VoIP system rather than outsourcing its telecom needs?

June 2, 2004

7 Min Read
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Business Overview

HaveNoFear Insurance LLC insures the makers of reality television programs, including everything from Fear Factor to Candid Camera. The growing reality TV media phenomenon requires insurance because of the dangerous, high-risk activities that make these shows so popular. The likelihood of a lawsuit from either a stunt gone wrong or mental abuse and humiliation from another contestant or panelist is high. As a result, insuring the sponsors, producers and staff of these shows has become a high-growth area.

The company is growing quickly, but also faces stiff competition. As a result, actuaries, risk managers, loss control engineers, underwriters and legal counsel must work together to efficiently set premiums for new shows, sometimes on a stunt-by-stunt basis, while keeping the company's costs down. Case managers, customer service reps and claims adjusters have to work together to resolve claims in a timely manner.

HaveNoFear plans to move its staff of 180 employees to larger headquarters and will require a new phone system. Upon occupying the building, HNF IT will install a high-bandwidth, high-quality LAN that will not be part of this RFI. While there are no satellite offices, about 20 employees telecommute from home and 30 additional employees have offices at headquarters but also travel extensively and telecommute from home occasionally.

The company is seeking basic, reliable, cost-effective communications, but it is also interested in improving efficiency of staff interactions and optimizing business processes.Aside from traditional phone service, provided cost-effectively via VoIP, HNF is also interested in applications such as presence and unified messaging. The company hopes this new system will give it a competitive edge against larger, more well-established insurers that are increasingly attracted to the lucrative business of insuring those associated with reality TV.HNF Business Essentials

Total employees: 180

Number working remotely: 50

Existing network infrastructure: The network infrastructure is LAN-based with Layer 2 and Layer 3 QoS enabled. There are 100-Mb connections to desktops with 802.3af PoE support. A gigabit backbone connects to the rest of the network. The network is more than adequate to support VoIP applications.

GoalsThe company hopes to keep costs low and to improve productivity as well as its ability to compete.

Business Objectives

  • Improve internal communications

  • React quickly to new business prospects

  • Provide excellent customer support

  • Control costs

Review Criteria

Proposed solutions have been graded on the following criteria:

  • General Architecture

    Including a diagram of the major hardware and software components and how they are connected.Including the business case for each selection based on HaveNoFear's goals, objectives and business environment. A competitive analysis may be included.

  • Phones

    Including how software images are updated on phones to minimize management costs and disruption to end users.

    Including the business case for your phone selection based on HaveNoFear's goals, objectives and business environment.

    Including basic phones for most employees. (These phones should be as low cost as possible while still containing required features.)

    • Model of phone proposed

    • Pricing per 100 phones, including software licenses

    • Support for the following required features may include:

      • 802.3af

      • Two 100-Mb ports

      • 802.3q/p and either DiffServ- or TOS-based QoS

    • Features tied to hard key may include:

      • Call transfer

      • Call forwarding

      • Call hold

      • Volume control buttons

    • Additional features supported may include:

      • Calling number and name on display

      • Message-waiting indicator

      • Backlit display

      • Tiltable screen

    • Quantity may include:

      • Number of call appearances

      • Number of bridged appearances

      • Number of programmable keys

      • Size of display

    • Codecs available

    • Codecs available with Voice Activity Detection/Silence Suppression

    Including executive phones

    • Model of phone proposed

    • Pricing per 100 phones, including software licenses

    • Support for the following required features may include:

      • 802.3af

      • Two 100-Mb ports

      • 802.3q/p and either DiffServ- or TOS-based QoS

    • Features tied to hard key may include:

      • Call transfer

      • Call forwarding

      • Call hold

      • Volume control buttons

    • Additional features supported may include:

      • Calling number and name on display

      • Message-waiting indicator

      • Backlit display

      • Tiltable screen

    • Quantity may include:

      • Number of call appearances

      • Number of bridged appearances

      • Number of programmable keys

      • Size of display

    • Codecs available

    • Codecs available with Voice Activity Detection/Silence Suppression

    Including attendant consoles

    • Model of phone proposed

    • Pricing two phones, including software licenses

    • Support for the following required features may include:

      • 802.3af

      • Two 100-Mb ports

      • 802.3q/p and either DiffServ- or TOS-based QoS

    • Features tied to hard key may include:

      • Call transfer

      • Call forwarding

      • Call hold

      • Volume control buttons

    • Additional features supported may include:

      • Calling number and name on display

      • Message-waiting indicator

      • Backlit display

      • Tiltable screen

      • Direct trunk selection

      • Incoming trunk display

    • Quantity may include:

      • Number of call appearances

      • Number of bridged appearances

      • Number of programmable keys

      • Size of display

    • Codecs available

    • Codecs available with Voice Activity Detection/Silence Suppression

    Including conference phones

    • Model of phone proposed

    • Pricing for five phones, including software licenses

    • Major features

  • PBX

    Including the business case for your selection based on HaveNoFear's goals, objectives and business environment. A competitive analysis may be included.

    Including pricing for a PBX with any or all of the following capacities and features:

    • 300 IP phones

    • 50 telecommuters

    • 10 analog fax lines

    • 48 Inbound digital trunks with DID support

    • 35 Outbound digital trunks

    Including PBX model.Including PBX price.

    Including high-availability and redundancy features.

    Supported features in the proposed system may include:

    • Authorization codes

    • Automatic callback

    • Add-on conference

    • Call waiting

    • Paging

    • Hoteling

    • Automatic camp-on

    • Automatic alternate routing

    • Trunk callback queuing

    • Uniform dial plan

    • Night service

    • E911 Support

    • Class of service

    • Class of restriction

    • Intercom groups

    • Group paging

    • Directed call pickup

    • Group call pickup

    • Distinctive ring

  • Telecommuting

    Currently, there are 20 employees who live in the area and want to telecommute from home via their broadband connections. The company wants to provide the flexibility for those in the call center to be able to work from home in a seamless manner. There will also be 30 additional telecommuters who have office phones but spend a majority of their time on the road.

    Including the name of telecommuting product.Including the per employee price for telecommuting product.

    Including how you provide this in a secure, functional environment.

  • Presence

    The second set of telecommuters mentioned above will need to be accessed as quickly as possible. There are also numerous other groups of individuals within the company who need to access each other at a moment's notice. The company would like the option of knowing the availability information of individuals, or groups of individuals, who can be quickly consulted or patched into a call to address problems via office phone, telecommuting phone, cell phone, IM or e-mail.

    Including the product name or feature that provides this option.

    Including the price for this feature per 100 users.Including the hardware/software platform and requirements.

    Including the features available.

    Including how a user updates his or her own presence. For example, the application and rules available.

    Including enterprise IM products supported that will display presence information.

    Including phones that will reveal presence information, and the presence information that they will reveal to presence application.Including desktop applications that reveal desktop presence, and how presence is monitored and revealed. For example, keystroke monitoring, application usage monitoring.

    Including groupware/calendaring systems that support user-driven status updates and their level of integration.

    Including the business case for your selection based on HaveNoFear's goals, objectives and business environment. A competitive analysis may be included.

  • Conference Calls

    Currently, the company rents a conference bridge for conference calls. It would like three simultaneous conference bridges with six participants each.

    Including the features and limitations of your system, including additional cost if necessary, that will allow the company to set up calls with one call-in number that will include external participants.Including the product name or feature that provides this option.

    Including the per user price for this feature.

    Including how conference calls are set up and reserved.

  • Voice Mail

    Approximately 50 hours of voicemail for 220 employees is requested. Please indicate the per-user price of the voicemail and the maximum hours allowed.

    Including the product name or feature that provides this option.Including the per user price for this feature plus maximum per user hours.

  • Unified Messaging

    Employees rely on voicemail and e-mail for communications. HNF would like to simplify the process of retrieving voicemail and possibly provide more flexibility in retrieving e-mail. For this reason the company is investigating the possibility of integrating its voicemail system with a future new e-mail system.

    Including the product name or feature that provides this option.

    Including the price for this feature or product per 100 employees.

    Including all the features provided in the quoted product:

    • Read voicemail messages from e-mail

    • Caller ID information provided in header of e-mail

    • Delete voicemail messages on voicemail system from e-mail

    • Listen to e-mail messages from phone

    • Delete e-mail from phone

    • Forward e-mail messages from phone

    • Forward e-mail messages from phone with comments

    Including any IVR or speech recognition capabilities that add value to the product.

    Including the e-mail packages that support the unified messaging feature.

  • Application Integration

    HNF is open to the possibility of realizing gains by integrating its phone system with business applications. The company will be investing upgrades to its business apps in the near future. It is currently interested in exploring the possibilities for integrating these apps with its VoIP system.

    Including the business applications that will integrate with your system.

    Including the software vendors not mentioned above with which you have established partnerships.Including additional comments about the current or planned business value of support for third-party integration.

  • Pricing Summary and Totals

    Including all costs incurred by HNF in incorporating your system.

    Including a pricing summary by section.

    Including all installation costs and maintenance costs.

  • Distribution Channel

    Is the system purchased through direct sale, resellers, channel partners and/or something else?

Vendor Information

  • How long have you been in business?

  • What is the size of your organization by number of employees?

  • How long has the product been shipping?

  • Do you provide on-site support for installation and configuration?

  • In how many cities do you provide on-site support?

  • List three enterprises that are currently using the proposed solution.

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