Author Archives: Sara Demien
Are you in charge of reducing business costs by negotiating your telecom and data contracts? If so, you may be wondering if you are being offered the lowest rates.
The standard for your industry has been set by benchmarking, how else do you know how you stack up against the competition? Why not take the same approach to further help reduce your telecom expenses?
Sure, you’ve sent out a Request For Proposal (RFP) requesting the best rates upfront. Knowing that contract negotiation is a game, you’ve most likely further negotiated the rates. But, how do you know if you are getting trophy rates? Benchmark telecom costs. This process offers you the insight into the carrier’s playbook. You’ll know what the best rates are, and have the power to ask for them delivering you a slam dunk in cost reduction!
If you like further information as to how to conduct the carrier benchmarking process, please look into it and contact us at your earliest convenience. We have 20 years of experience to share with you!
Variable cellular costs can add up quickly. Most of the time you don’t know they are going to happen until they hit your bottom line. Then, OUCH! you certainly feel it. If these costs aren’t being watched and controlled it can happen month after month and really add up. Variable costs include text messaging, downloads, and – with most carriers new data plan changes - data overages.
The traditional way to track and control these expenses would be to look through each carrier’s invoices either by paging through paper or pulling reports from online billing access. It seems like the carriers make this hard to do, which may be strategic as they are big money makers. And since most businesses have more than one cellular carrier, pulling reports can become cumbersome.
Valicom can help with this. As a part of our web-based Clearview software and bill payment services, we house all of this detailed billing information in one place for you. A one stop shop to look for the information you need to control your telecom expenses. This information can be viewed by user (shown below), or pulled via one easy-to-use report. Along with the usage information, the users monthly plans can be stored in the same tool.
There are even further uses for this information. Does your Department head have a question on how many minutes an employee is using? Would your IT team like to cancel unused aircards? This can all be done by using the information stored in the Clearview telecom expense management software tool.
To see more request a customized demo of how Clearview can work for you.
At Valicom we have found that one of the best ways to reduce telecom expenses is by going out to Request For Proposal (RFP) for inactive or soon to be inactive contracts. Even if a Client doesn’t want to change Carriers, they may be surprised to find changes other Carriers have made since they last looked into their services. These could be changes in service, pricing, equipment and more.
Are you ready to negotiate a new contract? Sending the RFP out and waiting for the replies are the easy parts. Writing the RFP and compiling the information are another story. You may be asking yourself a few questions before you get started. How do I know what questions to ask? How do I compile the loads of information I get back from each Carrier? And most importantly, how do I know I am making the best business decision?
Our answers to those questions are to create a decision matrix. Start with criteria which will help make a decision that is right for the needs of your company. For example, if you are sending an RFP for cellular services a few items that may be important to your business are service, contract terms and pricing. Now that you have the main items of importance listed, break them out further. If your Company does business internationally, you may want to add domestic and international coverage under the service category. Once the detailed criteria has been laid out, you will want to give each item a percentage of importance. Not only will this information help you develop your list of questions, it will also help you grade each Carrier. While you are compiling each carrier’s response you can then look for the specified criteria and grade each response accordingly. Add up the grades to see which Carriers best fits your needs.
For your no-charge Decision Matrix template, contact us at Valicom as the first step in reducing business expenses through effective contract negotiation.
With all the telecom carrier changes in the recent years slowing down, there are still a few recent items I’d like to share with you.
- Qwest shareholders are currently discussing a decision on whether to merge their holdings with those from CenturyLink.
- Frontier just bought telephone lines from Verizon in 14 states.
- The Canadian government made a decision to open its telecom market to foreign investors. The Minister’s yet written rules may bring big changes to the industry.
- Windstream will remain in Little Rock, Ark.
We suggest to watch for these types of Carrier changes to impact your billing. Whether it is as simple as a remit address change, or a major billing error due to a billing systems switchover it is always a good idea to do a telecom invoice audit and confirm your telecommunications is billed correctly. If you need help with your telecom invoice processing & payment, give us a call.
To accommodate for the growing need for telephone numbers, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved the addition of a new area code of 534 in the 715 area. This is an area code overlay, which means the 715 area code boundary has not changed.
If you are in that area, effective July 17th, 2010, all calls must be completed by dialing the area code first…