Deploying a new cloud-based telephony solution is a huge undertaking. Once the migration is complete, the likelihood your business will need further help with things like additional training, custom APIs, or design is almost guaranteed.
Professional Services is a familiar term in telecommunications, although there's no steadfast rule regarding its components, which can vary depending on your communications partner. Typically, Pro Services encompasses before and after-implementation assistance in designing and supporting your system. However, some partners charge for discovery and consultation services before you even get to that phase, so we recommend you ask upfront what's included in the initial evaluation and what's considered a Professional Service.
Professional Services Agreement Types
Time and Materials: (T&M) contracts spell out only a specified type of service(s) provided and billed for by the hour, anything beyond that scope requires modification of a new agreement;
Block of Hours: (BOH) contracts allow you to buy monthly or annual hours in bulk and use them on a wide variety of professional service offerings. Our professional services block of hours does not expire, allowing you to plan for future projects well in advance and budget appropriately.
Now that we've covered definitions and payment options, let's move on. Below, we've put together our list of some of the most common Professional Services in cloud-based telecommunications and why you'd need them:
Common Post-Implementation Professional Services
Moves, Adds & Changes (MAC): Frequently, you’ll find the need to add new users, change configurations, or make other updates to your deployment. This type of work would be completed by the vendor or a partner under professional services.
Call Flow Changes: Over time, your call routing and interactive voice responses may require updating to reflect customer needs. This is also common when new locations are opened or departments change in size.
Without proper end-user instruction, your investment in a new platform could go right out the window. Formal training is imperative when implementing a communications platform, ensuring leadership and staff have the comfort level needed to use the new tools without disrupting business.
Your communications partner should not only help you plan, select, and deploy your new system but also offer professional training services like those provided by our Technical Account Management team. This training is often very different from what is offered by vendors since everything is customized to your specific needs and uses.
Migration takes careful planning and execution before, during, and after your actual go-live day. Your communications partner should have engineers and installation specialists on board to assist with the move while it's happening and, if nothing else, act as a liaison between you and the vendor.
A few partners (like us) are certified to perform migrations on several Gartner Magic Quadrant solutions on your behalf. Regardless, porting of numbers, system configuration, and all the other tasks that go with implementation are considered part of a Professional Services package.
Chances are the vendor you go with won't have absolutely everything built into their platform that you already use to do business. For instance, your CRM and payment processing software, or Microsoft Teams, can be integrated into the new platform so you can access them with a single sign-on through the vendor app. That's where application programming interface (API) comes in.
APIs typically come in three types:
Your IT team will most likely be able to install no-code and low-code, but custom APIs require a deeper level of programming and customization; therefore, they'll need to be handled by your communication partner's engineering and programming staff.
There are many other types of support that fall under Pro Services, like design, documentation, project management, and user configurations. The point is that every organization is different, and Professional Services vary by partner, so check with yours to see if they can provide the services you require.
To learn more about Professional Service agreements and how we can help support your journey to the cloud, contact us here!
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy: