The Benefits of a Vendor-Neutral Telecom Partner

Vendor-Neutral Telecom Partner

While you may currently be using a direct-to-carrier model for your telecom needs, there are some drawbacks to this approach. Instead, consider a telecom partner that is vendor-neutral for your organization. Why? There are many benefits to using a telecom partner, most notably significant savings, unlimited options, and not being “pushed” into a partnership you don’t want.

Different Options for Suppliers

Many managed telecom partners are successful today because they’ve built relationships with a multitude of trusted suppliers. A managed telecom partner will always make you their number one priority by opting for a vendor-neutral approach, partnering you only with suppliers they trust and are the most cost-effective for your company.

Using a managed telecom partner will set you up for success because all of the legwork will be cut off from the vetting process. You can trust your suppliers and they’ll ultimately be a better fit for your company in the long run.

They’re Personalized

Managed service providers are not amateurs. Every MSP you work with will be dedicated and focused on catering to your needs above anyone else’s, giving you peace of mind and highly personalized solution planning.

Your needs are placed above your competitors or another client’s, meaning your MSP will strategize and construct the perfect plan for you. The plans will take into account both your specific needs and the optimal budget. In fact, many MSPs today have contact with hundreds of trusted partners, which means that they can easily provide your company multiple quotes from all over the industry.

Eradicate Quotas

Going supplier-direct may seem like the simpler and cheaper option, but supplier salespeople will only be trying to close the deal which works for them, which nets them the most commission possible. A managed service supplier, however, will not have quotas and will not be worried about “closing the deal.”

They’re working with you and for you to provide you the best suppliers in the industry. Far more important to them are your loyalty and repeat business. Rather than focusing on a one-and-done approach, managed service suppliers emphasize customer satisfaction and continued business for years down the road.

Foster Better Relationships

The worst kept secret in the industry is that carrier sales reps tend to jump around from one company to another. They have no loyalty and won’t bring you to a supplier with whom you can trust and foster a long-lasting, mutually beneficial business relationship. However, vendor-neutral suppliers are often more ingrained in the companies they work for.

Your team and company can greatly reduce overhead and costly time expenditure by partnering with a vendor-neutral supplier and nixing the pesky “account representative.” In this path, you’ll become a partner, and your vendors will become an extension of your team, working with you and for you. They know the top trends and have invaluable knowledge of the industry at their disposal, which becomes at your disposal when you hire them.

Save Money

Not only will you combine multiple services, but you’ll also be able to reply to your resources in a more effective and efficient way to fit your organizational strategy. These savings is immense, as wages are rising for people based in technological fields.

In addition, hiring, firing, and rehiring multiple people for the same role is always exasperatingly expensive, but you can skip the hassle and headache by moving straight to a vendor-neutral supplier. This way, you’ll be pushing the ‘easy to outsource’ work to another source while focusing your more expensive resources to focus on what’s most important to your organization!

Get Started With a Vendor-Neutral Telecom Partner

Remove hassle and headaches and save money and time, by partnering with a vendor-neutral service, like ours at BlackFin Square. With over 20 years of experience and being completely vendor-neutral ourselves, we’d love to help you get started! Schedule a free consultation anytime!

How Telecom Invoice Reviews Work and Why They Matter

telecom invoice

Telecom billing is costly, complex, and confusing. It can at times, feel like it is impossible to get a complete grasp on your telecom invoice reviews. However, if you take the proper steps to get a  handle on where your organization’s money is going and why it is going there – you will be able to save yourself and your business a great deal of time and expense.

Why Are Telecom Invoices so Difficult to Process?

Processing a telecom invoice is a labor-intensive task for enterprises. There are lower standards in the billing formats of telecom service providers, so it is challenging for organizations to process bills in electronic format without custom software. Due to the complexity in carrier billing platforms, they are not able to process EDI and other forms of electronic billing media. There are also continual changes in carrier billing platforms that make this task much harder to achieve as time goes on.

By automating and converting bills to electronic media, it helps to reduce the costs of manually processing paper bills. This also makes it easier to avoid data entry errors and time to process bills. The savings depend on how many people are processing bills and the roles that are performed after TEM automates this function.

There are many components in telecom expenses, so it’s important to audit them carefully. It is critical to review your invoices often to ensure that you have a good understanding of them. In doing so, you can get rid of services you’re no longer using and renegotiate contracts that aren’t working for your business. There are a couple of reasons as to why the costs are so high and how you can avoid it.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes

  1. Offices move locations, and sometimes services for locations no longer in use can stay on your company’s expense list by mistake.
  2. Service providers can change contracts or service levels without notifying you so that you’re paying for something either you don’t need or didn’t even want in the first place.
  3. Companies often aren’t leveraging the full weight of their purchasing power when negotiating or renegotiating these contracts. There are often loopholes, packages, or deals that can save your company money that service providers would rather keep under wraps.
  4. Service providers usually offer credits in exchange for outages or maintenance disruptions called Service Level Agreements or SLAs. Tracking and following up on these credits will bring in the revenue you previously didn’t have.

Once you have examined your telecom expenses in full, you can unite your services under one account if applicable, end contracts that you don’t want or need anymore, switch to services that better fit your needs, renegotiate contracts that aren’t as economical as they could be, and find the money you didn’t know you had, such as unclaimed SLA credits.

Not only will a telecom invoice audit streamline your accounting and save you money, but it will also allow you to see what you’re truly spending on telecom services. Once you have this number in hand, you can create comparisons between different service providers that include information like proposed savings, opportunity costs, migration costs, and install base.

Comparing these providers with a realistic conception of your telecom budget in mind will allow you to switch to a better service provider if you so choose.

After your audit, consolidate, and streamline your telecom expenses, you will want to convert your paper bills to paperless media and automate your billing procedures. This will cut down on paper, human error in manual data entry, and time spent by staff processing and sending payments to service providers. This step will ensure your company saves even more time and expense on unnecessary analog processes when it comes to telecom bills.

However, due to differences in carrier billing platforms and changing protocols within service providers, it can be difficult to electronically process all of your bills in one place. This is where Telecom Expense Management, or TEMs, comes into play. TEM providers come in all shapes and sizes; some are software-as-a-service, others are firms to which you can outsource every aspect of your telecom billing process. TEM helps to provide new revenue as well as income that is consistent. Curious if a TEM is right for your company? Schedule a free consultation below to learn more.

Why You Should Take a Look at Your Long-Term Telecom Contracts Consistently

telecom contracts

Complacency is the silent killer of even the best companies. While complacency feels great at the moment, there is a myriad of problems that arise from not being proactive in furthering the interests of your business. One of the most important areas to combat complacency is with your service providers and long-term telecom contracts.

It’s possible that your company is using the best providers for the best price there is, but there’s only one way to know for sure – consistent audits. You should take a comprehensive look at your expenses on a frequent basis to ensure changes in your budget, changes in the market, and changes in the economy are all being accounted for. Maybe you don’t need a service you’re still being charged for, but the only way to know for sure is to check your telecom contracts.

Partner Up

When you run your audit, there’s no reason to do it alone. There are many managed telecom suppliers who can help guide you through the best practices and save you money in the long run. There are many different components of any good audit, and you’ll want to secure a well-experienced partner that knows where to look from the beginning of the process to the end: billing errors, missed disconnects, annual price hikes, missed SLA credits, and more. All of these areas can be cleared up and improved in your audit, and your job as CIO will inevitably become easier with someone at your side during the process.

Focus on the Important Areas

As one of the primary leaders of your company, you can’t afford to sweat the small stuff. There are many problems that should be beyond your purview. The audit will help you focus on problem areas while you work on your daily tasks and duties. Once the results come back, you can set up a team to focus on improvements while you continue to address on the priorities of the company first and foremost.

Don’t waste your or your team’s time by making them comb through your operations; if you do, you’ll be missing out on potential profitability and the flow of your work will suffer as a result. Instead, trust a managed telecom partner to magnify the details and operate on multiple fronts. This leaves you the time and energy needed to focus on broad strokes and make sure your team is in the loop and on track at all times.

Perform First Invoice Reviews Frequently

Although billing can be a hassle at all times, most errors happen at the beginning of this process, while both companies are learning the others’ preferences. It’s imperative for your company to perform frequent and comprehensive first invoice reviews to ensure your clients are sending you everything agreed upon at the outset.

This is especially true when your company is growing rapidly. This growth can lead to multiple errors across several different billing processes and hinder the performance of your company as a whole. When you check your invoices, make sure all services you’re being charged for are being utilized, and all services you’re using are being paid on time and in full.

Start with Long-Term Telecom Contracts

A great rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the longer a contractor has been in place, the more it’s probably costing you. Many contracts today are auto-renewed; this can be fantastically convenient for your business, but horrible for your bottom line, as many new technologies are emerging every day which can do the work of your auto-renewed companies faster and more cost-effectively.

Expensive MPLS networks, for instance, are easily replaced with SD-WAN solutions which can save your company thousands a year. There are countless other examples that can be unearthed with a proper company audit.

Convenience and complacency feel great when you’re in the middle of them, but they can bite you in the long run. Repel them with an audit of your company’s services and practices. Partner with a managed telecom supplier like BlackFin Square to ensure every penny is accounted for and no corners are being cut.

How To: Facilitate Negotiations of Your Telecom Contract

telecom contract

Before you know it, it’s that time again. Time to renegotiate your telecom contract or begin the process of looking for new telecom vendors if you’ve been unhappy with the level of service. It can be a stressful time as you are focused on getting the very best deal.

But, it is also a great opportunity to save money and improve service, if you have the right strategy. With decades of successful negotiations under our belts, we know how to manage telecom contract negotiations to get the best deal for your company. And we want to share our secrets with you as you prepare to sit down at the negotiation table. 


The first step is to determine if the service structure you have in place is correct. You want to make sure you right-size your colocation environment, bandwidth, or voice services to what you actually need to be buying. You don’t want to be paying for services you don’t need, the number of locations, users, or size of spending can also have a big impact on the negotiation. Larger organizations certainly have an advantage when it comes to economies of scale.  Even if the scope of a single project is small, it is to your advantage to bring to the attention of the potential providers the overall scope of the entire organization.


Next, obtain competitive quotes to know the current landscape of service terms and costs. This process should start with an engineer or technical contact who will determine the correct services that need to be procured. Once the request gets handed off to finance, it’s important to search out multiple bids from across the services landscape, not just the companies you’ve worked with previously. When positioned properly, there doesn’t need to be a lot of back and forth during negotiations. Make it competitive, select a small set of acceptable options, and ask for the best and final. If the companies are aware that it is a competitive process, you will get a fair offer quickly.


Finally, once you get all bids in, you’ll want to understand the contractual terms that can be negotiated in your favor such as waived install fees, non-auto-renew clauses, free months of services, extended payment terms, and any others that come up. This will allow you to negotiate the perfect package for the right price for your company. Remember, at the end of the day, a good deal is a favorable total cost. This won’t necessarily be the lowest total cost, especially if security, quality of service, technology, and reliability are important concerns for your organization. Simply put, you want the best technological fit at the best price available, with the most agreeable terms.

We Make Negotiations Easy

Working with our team can save you the headache of telecom contract negotiations altogether. We have the ability to source all available options for a client, even those that are not well known. This exposes the providers to a far more competitive landscape. A competitive solution drives costs down, and responsiveness up. Providers who work with us understand that they must present aggressive pricing and agreeable terms upfront, or run the risk of losing the opportunity to win your business. Learn more about how we can help you by scheduling a free consultation.