Switching telecom vendors may be in the best interest of your business, but this is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Changing telecom vendors can be both overwhelming and time consuming. Are you ready to the take the plunge?
The following steps will provide you a clear image of what your company will need to prepare for, as well as points of interest to explore before you change telecom vendors.
Define Your Telecom Needs
What is the main goal of your telecom vendor change? What telecom services is your company currently lacking? Does your company wish to upgrade to new telecom technology? Once you define the core reasons you’re seeking a telecom vendor change, you’ll be able to pinpoint the best vendors to suit your specific company goals.
Create an Inventory of Current Services & Identify Use
Once your goals are defined, take note of all the services that your company currently uses. A telecom vendor change is the perfect opportunity to determine what services are of true benefit to your company, and what services can be easily eliminated. This is especially useful to determine bundling possibilities with a new telecom provider.
Identify Future Needs
Incorporate your long-term goals into your telecom planning with prospective vendors. Not only can they assist in future planning, they may have valuable insight into services that can be incorporated into your growth plan.
Understand & Outline Your Responsibility
As you switch telecom vendors, there will be checklists that your company will have to complete. Gather your internal team and delegate responsibilities to ease the on-boarding process. Proper planning will keep your team active in the process, preventing interruptions during the transition in your services.
Solicit Many Telecom Vendors
Once you’re ready for the selection process , engage with a wide range of vendors. At this stage there is no reason to worry about things like company size, service specializations or niche capabilities. Open mindedness will give you the best options and will challenge vendors to provide proposals that are cost efficient and customer-centric.
Clarify Upfront Costs & Establish “Soft” Costs
Nothing is more frustrating than hidden, unexpected costs during a large vendor transition. Make it clear to potential vendors that all costs must be properly disclosed.
During a telecom transition you should also expect to experience some “soft costs” as there is usually an increase in your internal team’s hours and expenses. Plan and budget accordingly to avoid a cost crunch in the home stretch.
Review Your Current Vendor Contract
Telecom vendors love to make it difficult for you to change carriers. Read the fine print of your current contract and take every applicable step to ensure all obligations are satisfied to avoid early termination fees and penalties.
Identify Potential Service Interruptions
With any major move a lapse in service may be experienced. Keep strong communication lines with your past and future telecom vendors to minimize the impact on your business. Keeping the progression on a hard timeline is crucial to minimizing business interruptions.
Implementing Telecom Change
Overlapping telecom services can bring about a smoother transition. Cancel services with your prior vendor once the switch is completely finalized and service is running smoothly with your new vendor.
Switching telecom vendors is not easy. There are several important factors to consider before determining if switching vendors is right for you. Carefully consider the factors above before deciding to change your vendor.
If you need further insight into the process of switching telecom carriers, please download our “Corporate Guide to Understanding & Reducing Your Telecom Expense,” and “The Art of the RFP: How to Achieve Dramatic Results Through the RFP Process.”
[author_bio username=”Ken” name=”yes”]