Monthly Archives: October 2011
Madison, WI (October 24, 2011) - Telecom auditing and expense management firm Valicom is pleased to be involved in the Society for Telecom Consultants (STC) annual conference October 25-28 in Orlando. Valicom founder and CEO Nancy Peckham will be attending and participating in the vendor advisory council networking session. Valicom provides telecom consultants with the telecom expense management software Clearview and a suite of telecom auditing services to help them expand and grow their consulting practice.
Having started as a telecommunications consultant herself, Ms Peckham values the connection with STC she has maintained over the years, since serving as Executive Vice president of their board in the past. “After being a consultant member of the STC for the first 11 years of my business, I always enjoy getting together with the top-notch professionals of the STC I have gotten to know who stand for ethics, independence and integrity in providing telecom consulting for their clients.”
Ms. Peckham continued, “I’m very excited to meet with STC members at the fall conference to address their needs for a consultant-specific tool that can save them time and money, increase their revenues and benefit their clients with our Clearview solution.”
Utilizing Clearview, a web-based telecom expense management (TEM) software, and a unique combination of business intelligence, coaching and training, Valicom has created a consultant-specific solution to increase profits by adding TEM to their portfolios.
Valicom offers a free white paper library and software demos to educate and advise consultant partners on how Clearview fits into their business. To learn more, visit www.valicomcorp.com/C4C to request a demo or download the white papers “Telecom Expense Management Tools for Telecom & IT Consultants” and “To the Point: How TEM Benefits Your Consulting Business”.
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.
On Demand Webinar: “Plugging the Leak” How Software Tools and Strong Tactics Contain Telecom & Wireless Costs
Telecom management has never been easy, and as smart phones, tablets and expanding options make it even more complicated, you need a good plan to get a handle on your expenses. Join us for a webinar that lays out areas to address when building a solid telecom cost control program, then showcases how web-based software tools make these tasks easier.
Watch the webinar to learn tricks to save you time and create a deeper visibility into your inventory and costs, allowing you to make more informed financial decisions. You’ll find that, as your telecom expenses go down, you can use that money to pay for something else or just put it to the bottom line. Either way, it’s smart business!
Register Now and you can stream the webinar immediately.
Thanks and happy viewing!
Those surprise overage charges on your wireless bill will soon be a thing of the past.
The vast majority of America’s wireless carriers came to terms with the Federal Communications Commission on Monday, agreeing to alert consumers when they are approaching their monthly limits for voice, data and text messages, or when they are about to incur international roaming charges. Mobile providers will send a second alert when customers reach those limits.
The news comes after a nearly two-year FCC probe into “bill shock” — the sudden, unexpected increase in monthly wireless charges without a change to a customer’s plan. The regulator estimates about 30 million Americans have experienced some form of bill shock.
CTIA, the wireless industry’s largest trade group, president Steve Largent said at least two of the four notifications for data, voice, texting and international roaming will into effect by Oct. 17, 2012, and all will be in place by April 17, 2013.
Read the full article here
As part of a continuing wave of profit-eating options to regular text messaging plans, Apple is set to release its new free iDevice-to-iDevice texting app called iMessage as part of an update to its mobile operating system. Essentially, it allows Apple doodad owners to send and receive messages with text, photos and video to each other over a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.
Now we’ve reported on this phenomena before, as it was hitting Europe in 2010 and the wireless carriers here were really praying no one in the US would notice. Why do they care? More than two trillion text messages are sent each year in the United States, generating more than $20 billion in revenue for the wireless industry. Verizon Wireless alone generates as much as $7 billion a year in revenue from texting, or about 12 percent of the total, and texting brings in about a third of the operating income. So you can bet that they won’t be happy that Apple is offering customers an easy detour around those fees.
So as part of your company’s wireless expense management plan, this can be a very good thing. Blackberry has offered a similar service for years, keeping their clients happy and loyal. Now the options are expanding, so be sure to watch how that might impact your telecom budget and your options….
The New York Times has a good article on it so you can find out more…
According to recent news reports, in addition to getting the coveted iPhone for the first time, Sprint revealed that it is diving into a high speed data offering for its subscribers by building its own 4G Network.
Sprint’s current lineup of 4G phones, like the Evo and Epic, currently use WiMax technology. It was the only version available when the company first offered 4G in Baltimore in 2008. But Sprint will be joining its larger rivals AT&T and Verizon by basing their new network on the Long Term Evolution, or LTE, technology now available.
“It is going to be rapid. We’re building as we’re speaking,” said Steve Elfman, president of network operations.
BIG NEWS ALERT!!! If you learn nothing else on this blog, know this.
Telecom Contract Negotiation is the #1 way to save money on telecom services!
Ok, now that we have your attention, let’s talk tactics. Remember that the telecom vendors are in business to make money. YOUR money. So they are good at this, and maybe you aren’t. Either get someone to the negotiating table with you that has experience, or at least be aware of these basic tactics….
Telecom Contract Negotiation Tactics
- Develop and utilize a solid RFP template
- Allow appropriate time prior to existing agreement expiration for response and review
- Understand what you can/should get through benchmarking & competitive analysis
- Compare apples-to-apples with a solid response matrix
- Negotiate both prices and terms
- Post contract validation – make sure that “What you negotiated, You got.”
These simple tactics can help you prepare for a telecom contract negotiation. Or feel free to work with a telecom expense management firm like Valicom to access the help you need. We offer flexible services, only stepping in as often, or as much as you want us to during the process. Contact us at 800-467-7226 x233 to discuss the options.
As Valicom’s telecom expense management software Clearview is deployed as a SaaS application (software as a service) we always keep our eyes and ears out for research and trends in that area.
Gartner released some new data yesterday on SaaS adoption. They find that over 95 percent of organizations expect to maintain or increase their investments in software as a service (SaaS) and more than one-third have migration projects under way from on-premises to SaaS, according to their recent survey.
“Respondents cited ease and speed of deployment and cost-effectiveness as the top two reasons for adoption. Leading uses of SaaS were either replacements for on-premises applications or net-new SaaS solutions,” said Sharon Mertz, research director at Gartner.
These are the same reasons we’ve found firms adopting a SaaS application vs traditional installed on-premise software. It is less expensive, designed leaner which makes it more intuitive and easier to learn, and the technical issues vanish when it isn’t in house. Any updates, tech issues, upgrades, etc all get handled remotely. No downtime, no headaches.
First is visibility. Where are your contracts? Stuffed in a folder, in a drawer, in a file cabinet, in a basement, in another building, in another state? You start to envision the problem, especially if you work for a large company. How can you keep track of renewal dates and what you agreed to pay if you can never refer back to the contract!
So we highly recommend you scan those telecom contracts and store them somewhere convenient. You should also associate all the affected services with that contract. Then you know WHAT is under that contract, and WHEN it will come due for renewal. Keep track of the vendor and the term length, and set yourself automatic reminders prior to the expiration date. A good program of telecom vendor management will serve you well in the long run.
And those simple reminders give you the flexibility to review your telecom services, optimize your usage based on your future needs, and have time to plan for your renewal. This also allows you to concentrate on telecom contract negotiation, a no holds barred contact sport that can be a huge pain in the neck, but can also save you a LOT of money. Stay tuned, in our next post we’ll discuss that….