Looking for a new cloud fax solution? Ensure the cloud fax hosting contract works for you.
Are you considering moving your fax environment to a cloud-based solution? Many of our customers are doing just that, to take advantage of the benefits of a cloud service—reduced maintenance costs, lower fax transmission costs, and improved scalability, just to name a few. But, while there are many advantages to a cloud fax service, one of the potential pitfalls is the long-term cloud fax hosting contract.
Long term contracts may be attractive on the surface – with the promise of rate guarantees for a longer period of time – but there are a number of downsides to be aware of, particularly when introducing a new product into your environment. Here are five key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a cloud fax hosting contract:
The “Out” Clause
Many long-term contracts do not provide protection for the end user in the event specific service level agreements (SLAs) are not met. If the product is not meeting required service levels, be sure the contract provides an “out” clause allowing you to replace the service with one that does.
Ability to Downsize
Most contracts allow for increasing your usage, but what if your actual usage goes down? Don’t be locked into a contract that requires you to pay for more than you are actually using.
What happens if the product does not work as promised, or integrate into your environment as expected? A long term contract may lock you into a solution that does not meet your needs with limited opportunity to make a change.
Lack of Innovation
Let’s be honest, fax is not exactly a “cutting edge” technology, but innovative advancements and new features are continually being introduced by market leaders. If you find that your fax service provider is falling behind in delivering the features and enhancements your organization requires, be sure you are not locked into a contract that keeps you trapped in a time warp.
At the end of the day, the cloud fax solution you choose should provide all of the features, functionality and service levels your organization requires. And if it doesn’t, you should have the control and flexibility to make a change. Be sure your hosting contract does not limit your ability to control your fax environment for multiple years to come.
Of course, there are many benefits to a long term contract for a product that you have used successfully and that has been proven to work in your environment. But if you are evaluating a new cloud fax solution, beware of the common sales tactic that pressures you into a long-term contract for a product that has not yet been proven to meet the needs of your organization.
To learn more about how to evaluate a cloud computing contract, you may find these resources* useful:
InformationWeek, 5 Cloud Contract Traps to Avoid
CloudComputingAdmin.com, Managing Contractual Risk in Cloud Contracts
Bank Info Security, Avoiding the Pitfalls of the Cloud Contract
US Department of Defense ESI White paper, Best Practices for Negotiating Cloud-Based Software Contracts
*These resources are the copyrighted material of their respective sources. Instant InfoSystems makes no claim of ownership or authorship of this content.