Telecom Contracts & Vendors: What You Need to Know

Your wireless costs might increase because of COVID-19 – but they won’t if you follow these 3 steps.

telecom contractsMany businesses struggle with out of control telecom expenses. You probably open up your bill every month, are shocked by the high price and have a knee-jerk reaction to switch vendors.  Before you make any major decisions it’s important to understand your contract before you consider switching.

Contractual obligations to spend a minimum amount per year, combined with hidden fees swell the expenses to the point where it can be very costly to maintain operations at an optimal level.

Implementing telecommunication management strategies to tackle cost reduction can be challenging but the savings make it a worthwhile effort. By implementing four simple steps, you can take control of this budget line and your telecommunication services.

If you are still unsatisfied with your TEM after reviewing your contracts, you may want to think about switching vendors.  We tackle that aspect in part II..

Understand Your Telecom Contract

Before you can make any demands of your service provider, you need to know where you stand. How long is your current contract term? What discounts do you already receive? Are you using the most cutting edge technologies? If you use multiple vendors, you need to get pricing and contract information for all of them. The more you know, the more foundation you have to negotiate for price reductions.

Contact Your Telecom Rep

Your sales rep can be a great tool for better telecommunications management. They can give you all of the information you need about current services, new developments and discounts you may be eligible for. Talk to each of your vendors, and find out about package pricing and any other ways to secure a price reduction. Ask about the latest technologies. Sometimes, newer services come with lower prices, as the support on obsolete technologies comes with a higher price tag. Be clear that the cost has exceeded the benefit for your company and see what they can offer.

Shop Around For Telecom Services

You may not want, or need to switch vendors, but collecting proposals from several service providers can give you a lot of negotiating power. If a new vendor can offer a specific discount, show your current provider and ask them to match it. With a variety of estimates, you can pick and choose the service package the best fits your company and present it to your vendor. This gives you the opportunity to take control of telecommunication management directly. Sometimes a casual mention that you are sending out RFPs will bring dramatic results. If you are unfamiliar with RFP’s you can learn more about the RFP process and leverage your negotiating power.

Keep Up with Telecom Trends and Technology

One of the best ways to save money on your telecommunication management is to stay on top of changes to the industry. Introduction of a new technology generally means either a drop in price on the current service, or a cheaper and newer alternative service product. Either way, you have a chance to save some money on that line item.

Building a relationship with a vendor creates distinct advantages. Your vendor learns your needs and can offer packages designed for your company. Your sales rep can gain a better understanding of how you use technology, allowing them to make suggestions for improvements and cost savings. Also, switching providers often comes with a learning curve. These considerations make it crucial for you to find ways to get the most cost effective service from your current vendors.

[hs_action id=”1090, 1088, 1085, 1083, 1081, 1079″]

Part II

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”]

Stay up to date with ways you can save

More from PAG