How to: Leverage Your Organization’s Size for Telecom Service Savings

telecom service

Streamlining and being cost-efficient with your telecom service isn’t easy. It’s a complicated, fast-moving field that is absolutely necessary for your company to remain competitive, but usually comes with a significant cost. It’s easy to fall into a situation where your billing and invoicing are decentralized and you have multiple contracts for the same service in different locations. Even if you’re with the same carrier, services and prices may be different depending on the location. 

Enterprise organizations have a unique opportunity when it comes to telecom expense reduction: leveraging their locations and size to lower costs. You are a big organization and you’ve worked hard to achieve that. You use your size and reach to provide a higher level of service to your customers and clients, and you should use that same size and reach to negotiate better prices on the services you need to do business.

The same contract and invoice audits that ensure that you are receiving all relevant services and aren’t overpaying can also be used to ensure that all relevant accounts are rolling under the master contract. By moving all accounts to the master contract, you can realize savings that come from realizing your true purchasing power. 

Telecom service providers are loath to provide any sort of enterprise discount on a contract for just one location. But if you are an enterprise organization with multiple locations, that same service provider will be much more willing to work with you on a reduced price in order to guarantee your business. 

By leveraging your full purchasing power, you may also be able to identify migration opportunities you didn’t think were manageable. One way to realize network cost savings is by upgrading your services as an enterprise. 

Telecom and network services is a field where the technology it provides is growing by leaps and bounds every year, if not every few months. This means that the services you purchased two years ago are probably out of date. 

One way to save money, and provide better service to your employees, clients, and customers, is by upgrading those same systems. It may seem like the more expensive endeavor but, by purchasing as a unified enterprise, you will be able to negotiate even more savings in the short- and long-term. 

BlackFin Square also uses our relationships and global partnerships to secure savings for our clients. As a leader in the field, we’ve worked with service providers around the world for years. We’ve carefully cultivated these relationships so that we can secure the best services at the best prices for our clients. 

If you haven’t consolidated your telecom and network services contracts under one master account, now is the time to consider such a move. It will save your organization money and allow you to provide a higher level of service for all of your stakeholders. 

Learn more about how you could be saving big on your telecom services!

Why You’re Overpaying for Your Telecom Services

Telecom Services

Now that you know how to save money on telecom services through a contract audit, you’re probably wondering why you’ve been overpaying so much for these services. The answer is an easy one.

You’re not reviewing the first invoices. You probably are in the habit of reviewing your monthly credit card statement for fraudulent charges because you know the danger that credit thieves pose. But do you also review your telephone, electric, and other utility bills, especially the first invoice after a change has been requested? Probably not.

The thinking goes that these are contracted services, so I’m just being billed for what I signed up for. This kind of thinking tends to leak over into the professional world as well. And we wish it was as simple as “I signed the contract so that’s what I’m being billed.” But, unfortunately, it’s not.

35% of all telecom invoices have some sort of hidden error and 85% of those errors are in the provider’s favor. An invoice audit that compares contracted costs to your first invoice costs can find these errors so you can ensure that they are corrected.

Some common invoicing errors that we see are:

  • Unprocessed disconnections: When you decide you no longer need a service and inform your provider, it’s common to assume that the service will come off your bill. However, there’s a chance that you’re still being charged for services you’ve asked to be disconnected.
  • Contract compliance: Many times the invoice doesn’t match the contract. 
  • Taxes/Tariffs: As taxes and tariffs change, your invoice may not be up-to-date with the latest taxes and tariffs.
  • Multiplicity: It’s not uncommon for companies to be billed more than once for a service.

Our invoice audit can find these errors so they can be disputed, allowing you to save money. This invoice audit also allows us to track the SLA credits that you are owed, as well as providing additional billing reviews for anomalies. 

At the end of this process, the information collected can be used to create financial reports that outline the amount that your spending on telecom and network services, as well as a breakdown of that, spend, so you can make data-driven decisions about how to cut your telecom costs.

As obvious as it may sound, an invoice audit is the easiest way to find real places where you can realize almost immediate savings.

Learn more about how you could be saving big on your telecom services!

The First Step in Creating Cost Savings for Your Telecom Services

telecom services

The first step to creating the cost savings that your organization needs to realize from your telecom services is a full audit of all existing telecom and network contracts on a global basis. This audit allows us to see things that may have been missed or forgotten over the life of the contract. These are things like:

  • Contracted services. When reviewing contracts, one of the first things we note is exactly what services are promised in the contract. An easy way to start identifying telecom cost savings is by figuring out what you are paying for if you need it, and if you are receiving it.
  • Expiration dates. Some service providers include evergreen clauses in their contracts that state if no action is taken, the contract automatically renews. By noting expiration dates, we are able to make sure contracts that need to be canceled are canceled. Identifying evergreen clauses also allows us to bring services to your attention that you may not realize you’re paying for anymore.
  • Out-of-date services. If you contracted for specific services years ago, odds are they are now out-of-date due to the rapid technological progress in the telecom field. Understanding the services you are paying for, and the alternatives now available, can help you streamline them to lower your bottom line.
  • Expired services. There’s a better than a good chance that if your internal IT team discontinued service or product, and the contract associated with that service was never renegotiated, you are still paying for that service. A contract audit can reveal these kinds of issues. 
  • Other contractual obligations, such as SLAs. A contract audit can also reveal ways to save money through SLA credits or other clauses built in to provide restitution for poor service. 

This clear view of your contractual objectives and delivered services allows the creation of an assessment that either:

  • provides a strategy for migration to less expensive and more robust technology or 
  • allows for renegotiation and lowered costs for currently installed services.

Either of these documents will be the foundation of the cost savings process moving forward. 

At BlackFin Square, we have also found that this audit process allows us to create a baseline expense model for telecom spend that can then be used to compare multiple provider solutions and foundational costs. This financial comparison between providers is a great executive tool that easily shows opportunity costs, proposed savings, migration costs, and an install base. It can also be used to establish fiscal year budget baselines.

No matter what your second step is in the process of lowering your telecom spend, a contract audit absolutely has to be the first step. It’s the only guaranteed way to know exactly where your telecom and network dollars are going and whether those places are the best places for those dollars to be spent.

Learn more about how you could be saving big on your telecom services!

Why Telecom Costs Can Be So Complicated

telecom costs

Telecom services are a huge portion of the budget of your enterprise organization. However, it tends to be the part of the budget that no one really has a complete grasp on. Since telecom services are so crucial to your organization’s function, you know that services can be expensive, but sometimes it’s hard to grasp why your telecom costs are so high.

We’ve helped many organizations streamline and lower their overall telecom costs and can help to shed a little light on this problem. 

First, to effectively run an enterprise organization requires network and telecom services that cover multiple locations, usually in different cities, states, or even countries. These services are usually contracted over time, as offices move, or as a business is acquired. When this happens, it can be easy to lose track of these different contracted services leaving your IT organization with contracts for services that are outdated, insufficient, and expensive. 

Secondly, organizations can easily find themselves in situations where they are paying for services that are not installed, services that were disconnected and then never dropped off the invoice, or services they never wanted in the first place. This happens more often than you imagine. Service providers are also notorious for practices where they either bill you for services you didn’t contract for, switch you to a different service with no notice, or both.

Many enterprise organizations can also find themselves overpaying because they are not taking advantage of their purchasing power and leveraged agreements. By consolidating all of your service contracts under one master account, you can realize savings that come from realizing your true purchasing power. 

Finally, most service contracts come with clauses that guarantee a certain level of service and, if that service is not delivered for any reason, they offer a credit for the time of the outage or service impairment. These are called “Service Level Agreements” or SLAs. Many organizations that experience poor service or outages are eligible for credits through their contracted SLA but most organizations that experience these impairments are not submitting for their SLA credits, leaving free money on the table.

Having it laid out in such stark terms can make you wonder how any of this could happen. But there’s a reason that telecom is the most notoriously difficult spend category in organizations. The vast majority of organizations don’t have a grasp on their contractual obligations such as when contracts expire, what exactly are the contracted services, or they can’t find contracts and aren’t even checking to see if their invoices are correct. 

This leads to financial consequences for the entire enterprise. Telecom services are a place where a significant amount of money can be saved if there is an organized approach to auditing, reviewing, and researching the current telecom contracts. It can take a large amount of time, but the results are worth it.

Learn more about how you could be saving big on your telecom services.

Ultimate Guide to Managed Telecom