Are Your Telecom Carriers Looking Out for You?

Your enterprise has to keep an eye on the bottom line. After all, private companies exist to make a profit. Even non-profits and government entities have to control expenses carefully in order to make the most of limited resources. Good telecommunications management is one of the most important business cost controls today, because telecom expenses are such a large budget item for any 21st century organization.

Telecommunications companies have to look out for their bottom lines, too. In theory, telecom providers turn a profit by serving their customers well at a competitive price. But can your telecom carriers possibly be looking out for you just as much as they are for themselves? The short answer to that question is “No.” Although it may be far too cynical to assert that telecom companies don’t keep their clients’ interests in mind at all, clearly they try to tip the business scales in their favor. A telecommunications audit will invariably show a pattern of practices that pads the telecom company’s bottom line and takes away from the customer’s. For example, despite a recent declaration by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that his agency will begin cracking down on them, junk fees are alive and well in the telecom industry.

One way that telecom and IT services differ from other business supplies and services is the inherent difficulty of switching vendors. Changing such an integral part of your basic business infrastructure is difficult and time-consuming. Not only that, but larger companies are almost always locked into long-term contracts with their telecom providers. Terminating a telecom services contract prematurely incurs significant penalties that must be taken into account when weighing the pros and cons of dumping your current telco provider. Obviously, telecom companies know all of this, which creates a large disincentive for them to provide you with the best service possible, if doing so deals too big a blow to their profit margins.

As for telecom company contracts themselves, they’re typically written to give the telco provider every advantage over the customer. Many incorporate, by reference, a so-called “service guide,” an online document that may be hard to find on the telecom company’s website, and that will likely be full of obscure and onerous provisions that further disadvantage the customer. In fact, the first step to effective telecom cost control is to plan a strategy in advance for your company’s telecom spend, and to negotiate carefully and assertively with telecom company reps before a contract is signed. Hiring an experienced telecom management firm during the sourcing and contracting phase can really pay off big in the long run, by stopping the worst forms of telecom provider malfeasance before they can start. For instance, a competent telecom consulting firm will know to insist on contract terms that mandate technology upgrades at a time of the customer’s choosing, rather than at the convenience of the provider.

Because of all this, choosing a telecommunications consultant who is truly independent is vital. Some telecom consulting firms have relationships with telecom providers, and some even carry quotas with them. Common sense should dictate that a consultant who you’re paying to represent your interests should be making provider recommendations to you with only your interests in mind, and never the sales interests of any telecom provider.

Telanalysis is just such an independent consultant. We are an experienced telecom consulting and telecom audit firm with no affiliation to any telecommunications carrier. We have been serving the interests of our clients – and only their interests – since 1985. Call Telanalysis toll-free today at 866-300-6999 to find out how we can uncover significant telecom savings for your business or organization.

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