A telecom contract controls not only price, but terms and conditions, over a long period of time. Long distance rates, mobile data and minute pooling options, internet package pricing and device purchase costs all affect the bottom line. This means that getting the lowest cost, most flexible agreement possible is one of the very best ways to save money on telecom. Taking the time to put out an RFP, carefully compare the responses and actively negotiate with various vendors is well worth the time and effort expended.
Benefits to IT + Telecom Managers
- Ensure the best terms and conditions in your contract
- Build in flexibility to manage staff size and needs as they change over time
- Consolidate vendors if and when that is advantageous
Benefits to Finance Managers
- Know the contract terms are properly matched to current and future telecom needs
- Ensure best features, at the lowest cost, and with the most flexibility
- Better estimate future expenses for budgeting and forecasting
Risks of Doing Telecom Contract Negotiation Wrong
The first rule of contract negotiation is to remember that telecom carriers are in business to make money. YOUR money, to be more specific. And as most contracts are for several years, they can take more of it than they should, for a very long time, if you’re not fully prepared and educated in the process.
Internal staff may have little to no experience in how to manage such a process. They may negotiate a few contracts a year or perhaps only one every few years. They may not have a comprehensive telecom inventory and/or know how to write an RFP, how to determine what vendors to send it to, and how to collate and compare the responses.
Meanwhile, the telecom vendors do this all day, every day, and no matter how prepared you think you are, they are better at it than you are. Don’t get railroaded. Be better prepared next time you step up to the negotiating table by accessing professional help.
Advantages of Outsourcing Telecom Contract Negotiation
Professional telecom audit teams are very experienced in RFPs and negotiation. They not only know what to look for, they have access to detailed benchmarking data on what prices may be possible, and are aware of what contract terms to request.
They also understand the differences between the wide variety of data, voice, and wireless services, what choices are possible (and advantageous in your specific situation) and are up to date on what specials and promotions the carriers may be offering. The vendors are also less likely to offer substandard prices or terms when the player on the other side of the table knows the game as well as they do.
Additionally, a TEM team can help you develop a complete, accurate inventory of the services to be included in the RFP or contract negotiation. Having that data can be a vital piece in getting the most aggressive rates based on your telecom spend, as well as knowing what service rates will most impact your bottom line.
A TEM partner can be involved in telecom contract negotiation on a variety of levels… some clients prefer to leverage them as a consultant to bounce ideas and information off of, while others turn the entire negotiation over to them. Either way, we can put people in the ring who have years of experience and a working knowledge of what is possible. In other words, we not only know how low the carriers can go, we also know how to fight smart.
Ensure the best contract possible, and the help will more than pay for itself. To learn more, contact us to discuss the options.