Category: Telecom Vendor Management
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
As we discussed in Part One of “Living in the Past”, businesses should strive to keep an eye out for new tools and technology that can make their jobs easier. And I don’t mean easier as in “I get to leave for the golf course half an hour early”, I mean easier like “We saved 30% of our telecom spend over last year, because now we can actually SEE what we’re doing”. Most likely that Excel spreadsheet you’ve been using to manage your telecom expenses and wireless inventory isn’t doing anything more for you now than it was five years ago. Albert would tell you that it’s time to move on…
So you ask me, “If I ditch my spreadsheet, how am I supposed to keep track of all this stuff?”. Remember hearing about SalesForce.com, this great tool that is delivered via the web, and accessible from anywhere? Well, guess what. That technology is available for telecom expense management too. Via TEM software-as-a-service platforms, you can upgrade from spreadsheets to a fully functional, easy-to-learn TEM solution that allows you to view telecom inventory, track telecom invoices, manage telecom vendor relationships, get a handle on order change management and optimize your wireless spend… The options are as deep as you want to go.
Imagine having a customizable dashboard that can display widgets showing exactly the data YOU want to see. You can even pull them out to use when you have to present to your managers or company board, or if you’re a consultant, to your client. Gain efficiency by keeping all your data in one place, and gain flexibility through users with various levels of access, so they only see what they need to see.
Streamlining like this can save a ton of time, and as we all know (Without Einstein even having to tell us!) Time = Money. And that’s really the only equation you need to know.
Want to learn more about telecom expense management software-as-a-solution? Check out Clearview – because, “When you see, you save.”
Companies seek telecommunications management solutions because something hurts. They are losing money, time or control and are seeking a cure. Valicom’s new white paper “Show Me Where it Hurts: Top Telecom Management Pain Points” offers a review of common maladies in today’s market.
“The telecommunications management industry is always in flux,” says Nancy Peckham, CEO and founder of Valicom, “and we wanted to offer a current overview of what problems are top of mind right now. There is a lot of overlap where companies see common issues in need of solving. ”
Recommended for managers and C-level executives wondering if what they are facing is shared by their peers, or wishing to explore other areas of concern they should be addressing, the paper offers a succinct peek into what is ailing modern telecom environments. The need for software tools, the desire to do more with less, the challenge of invoice and contract management among other items are discussed.
Valicom brings expertise in this area, having offered telecom expense management services for over twenty years, including their web-based telecom expense management software Clearview. This new paper adds to a popular industry resource, joining many other white papers covering a variety of telecom management topics, on our white paper library.
“Show Me Where it Hurts: Top Telecom Management Pain Points”
As we discuss pain points of telecom and wireless management, this one will probably be most familiar to readers. Invoice auditing is a long time tactic for reducing telecom expenses. Even if you just do a cursory overview of your bills each month, you can often spot problems that can be corrected to save money. By hiring an outside consultant, or a firm like Valicom, you can get into deeper invoice audits that involve pulling CSR (customer service records) from the various vendors, and verifying that services being billed for actually A) are in use and needed and B) are being charged at contract rates.
Through these deeper dive audits, you can often uncover a host of issues and areas for savings, which then leads to the challenge of credit recovery. There are different rules in different states for how far back you can request credit, and a follow-up audit needs to take place to ensure all those credits are applied. A follow-up audit can also confirm that any requested changes, like getting rates down to contractual levels or addition or deletion of services, are actually done properly, and billed accordingly.
You’d think it would be easy to have a telecom invoice come out clean, but industry stats have shown that up to 35% of telecom invoices have errors on them. That means room for a lot of improvement, and a lot of savings, which makes it one of our top pain points. One thing that has made telecom invoice auditing a lot easier in recent years is the advancement of web-based software tools to track invoices and inventory.
Want more information? Download our White Paper: “Telecom & Wireless Cost Control: What You Need To Know”
New white paper outlining seven best practices in managing telecom and wireless expenses. The white paper is a good primer for setting up a good telecom expense management program. The paper also showcases how modern web-based telecom expense management software tools support the use of these best practices.
Madison, WI (June 26, 2012) – Valicom, a twenty-one year veteran of telecom expense management (TEM), today published a new white paper entitled “Telecom & Wireless Cost Control: What You Need to Know” covering best practices in managing telecom, wireless and mobility costs. The white paper is a good introduction to the elements of a strong telecom and wireless management program. The paper also showcases how modern web-based telecom expense management software tools support the use of these best practices.
As voice and wireless deployments get more complex, it is important to leverage intelligent management tactics to identify and address cost savings opportunities. And with new options being introduced by vendors and carriers as technology changes, it becomes ever more critical to understand your environment.
Jeff Poirior, President and COO at Valicom, says “We find that many companies can’t answer the simple question ‘What is your annual telecom spend?’. It blows my mind. As they say ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’. And with new options like Wireless Data Pooling hitting the market, you need detailed information on your services or you can’t weigh new pricing plans against the old. Will it save you money? If you don’t know what it costs now, how do you make that decision?”
Continuing, Mr. Poirior says “To help, we tried to distill our top ideas into this paper, so telecom, IT or finance pros can quickly understand where they should focus their energy to gain control over their management challenges and costs.”
Valicom offers Clearview, its web-based telecom expense, inventory and invoice management software, and delivers an a la carte suite of telecom and wireless management solutions. This supports the best practice of only using the services your business really needs.
To download the white paper, “Telecom & Wireless Cost Control: What You Need to Know” visit http://www.valicomcorp.com/Knowledge/whitepapers.aspx
To learn more about Clearview and Valicom’s services, visit http://www.valicomcorp.com/tool/trial.aspx
TechRepublic had a great article on things to think about when outfitting your sales staff with tablets for the first time.
We would agree on all points, and add one more.
- Develop a standard tablet setup for the sales team
- Create tablet-friendly marketing and sales content
- Make the standard sales team tablet a communications hub
- Test first, then sell
- Don’t forget technology training and documentation
- Account for tablets in sales productivity metrics
- Deploy sales training to the tablet
They key points they address are all important, but nowhere in this list do they discuss cost! If you’re rolling out expensive new toys for your staff, you might want to plan ahead to get the best deal on all the data plans that are going to hit your bottom line. Wireless carriers are not about to roll out the red carpet and offer you a strong package at a great price… at least not if you don’t ask. Or pool your data. Or think about it at all, which – unfortunately – is probably how most things like this get deployed. “We need it. Do it.” And then later, its “Oops – this cost us HOW much?!”
So to try and head that off at the pass, we’d add #8. Think About Costs. Do your homework. See which carrier, which device, and which plans will save you the most money long term. If you need some help, talk to someone with experience in wireless and and data expense management.
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!
AT&T Inc. signaled for the first time last week that its planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA is more likely to fail than to succeed, saying Thursday it would set aside $4 billion in this year’s final quarter to cover the potential cost of the deal falling apart.
The move came after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski said this week he would seek a rare, trial-like hearing on the merger, which would add months of arguments and another big hurdle for the controversial deal.
When conducting telecom contract negotiations, large businesses know and expect to scrutinize all areas of those contracts prior to signing them. They not only review the contracts for pricing negotiation, but also for terms and conditions negotiation. The latter, the so called “T’s and C’s”, are what we often see small and medium size businesses overlook. Whether you feel it’s unimportant, or that the contract value is too small, you still have the opportunity to scrutinize this verbiage, and it can often be in your best interest.
Next time you review a vendor contract, evaluate those terms and conditions, and look for areas that are too far one-sided and benefit only the vendor. Then attempt to request some changes or redline the document. This can be helpful in many areas that can truly affect your business, such as termination penalties, minimum commitment levels, and pricing stabilization for new services down the line. There’s no harm in making an effort to further protect your company by negotiating these areas, and the worst that can happen is they say “No”. But you’ll be surprised at how often they’ll actually work with you on these changes, providing you with an overall more successfully negotiated contract.
Over at IT Manager Daily, a recent post covered ten great ways for IT Managers to trim their IT budget. Number TWO was “Take another look at telecom costs”. We would agree!
In our twenty years of doing telecom expense management and telecom auditing, we’ve found that most firms are wasting anywhere from 10 to 30% of their annual IT budget. Why? By overpaying for telecom services. How? A variety of reasons, but the primary culprits are usually…
- Overcharges and incorrect fees or taxes on telecom invoices. If you don’t have a process in place to review all your invoices, all the time, rest assured that its creating a leak in your IT budget.
- Poorly negotiated telecom contracts. Telecom carriers are in business to take your money and if you don’t have a strong telecom RFP and negotiation plan in place, they will get a lot more of it than they should.
- Contract compliance problems. Once you get that telecom contract signed - did you bother to verify you actually got what you negotiated? And remember that isn’t just pricing, but terms & conditions as well.
- Failure to optimize wireless. With the massive growth in wireless devices and plans, if you aren’t tracking, managing and pooling your usage, you are probably paying too much.
These are just a few of the problems with IT budgets and telecom expenses. If you want a better overview, check out our white paper “7 Strong Tactics to Contain Telecom Costs”
Madison, WI (PRWEB) November 08, 2011
Valicom, a twenty year veteran of telecom auditing, today published a new telecom expense management white paper entitled “Seven Strong Tactics to Contain Telecom Costs” outlining seven best practices in managing telecom and wireless costs. The white paper is a good primer for setting up a good telecom expense management program. The paper also showcases how modern web-based telecom expense management software tools support the use of these best practices.
As voice and wireless environments get more complex, it is even more important to leverage intelligent management tactics to identify and address the best cost savings opportunities. Drawing on its extensive telecom auditing experience, Valicom lays out a framework for building a strong telecom expense management program, and highlights how modern web-based software tools support the use of these best practices.
Mike Krogman, Director of Client Services at Valicom, and a thirteen year veteran of telecom analysis, stated, “We tried to distill our top ideas into this paper, so telecom managers can quickly understand where they should focus their energy when trying to gain control over their environment.”
Krogman continued, “We know that things are getting harder, as new technologies and devices increase the scope of telecom management, but to be honest, no matter what you are managing, the best practices stay the same. If you can create a good foundation, and implement good software tools, you can tackle almost anything.”
Valicom offers Clearview, its web-based telecom expense, inventory and invoice management software, and delivers an a la carte suite of telecom auditing solutions. This supports the best practice of only using the services your business really needs.
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