When Valicom began in 1991, we were founded on the values of carrier independence, ethics, and integrity. Today, there are a small number of IT, finance or sourcing executives who express concern over telecom expense management (TEM) providers who are not carrier agnostic. Most companies seem to have a lack of education and awareness as to why carrier independence is important when working with a telecom expense management provider.
There are several reasons why independence is important when hiring a TEM provider to perform telecom consulting services. Telecom expense control companies who are vendor agnostic will perform more thorough telecom audits because uncovering billing errors and finding other telecom cost reduction opportunities does not create a conflict of interest with the carriers. In addition, the choice of carriers and plans is done in the best interest of the client since there are no financial ties to the telecom suppliers.
Just as you wouldn’t hire a carrier to perform a telecom audit or recommend a telecom vendor it is not in your best interest to hire a TEM provider who represents a telecom carrier to provide cost reduction services or perform telecom contract negotiations. Telecom cost management providers who are not independent will be motivated to switch you to one of their carrier plans whether or not it is in your best interest.
Many telecom expense management providers who are agents or resellers of wireless services receive activation fees for switching companies to the wireless providers they are representing and are not incented by your existing provider to perform wireless optimization services. In some cases, telecom expense management companies who are financially aligned with vendors do not disclose that they are receiving compensation from telecom carriers which becomes a matter of ethics.
About the Author: Nancy Peckham
Nancy began her career in telecommunications in 1983 as an account executive with Republic Telcom, a regional long distance carrier. She was named district sales manager for the Wisconsin region in 1987 when Republic Telcom was acquired by Mid American Communications. She recognized a need for independent, objective telecommunications consulting which led her founding Valicom. Since its launch in 1991, Valicom has been a leader in providing telecom expense management solutions and serves enterprise and mid-market clients in a variety of industries and verticals across the U.S. Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, founded and served as president of the Telecommunications Professionals of Wisconsin (TPW) from 1989-1992, and was executive vice president on the board of directors of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC). Nancy is also a founding member and executive council chair of the Independent Telecommunications Expense Management Association (i-TEM).