Blind Telecom Management

This certainly seems like an appropriate post to re-publish in this blog. I will go into greater detail in my next post but here is the short version. I met with a company today that has 6 offices in remote locations. They are having a tough time in this economy and asked me to look over their telephone bills to see what I could do to help. They were quite happy when I told them that I could reduce their monthly bill by $2,200.00 a month. That is over $25,000.00 a year! Needless to say, they were out of their minds with excitement to drop the $25K and also get rid of the horrifying customer service provided by a Northwest (name to follow in a future post…….)CLEC. You can only imagine the mood when they found out that their provider had “Evergreen Claused” them into a……..anyone…….anyone…….YEP, 3 year contract at the same rate. No savings, just an ongoing $25K overpayment for the next 3 years not to mention the fact that they have to deal with the carrier directly.

Let me compare that to how my customers deal with their contracts. Every one of my customers has the ability to log into the Telecom Management tool that we provide and see not only the term length of the contract but the date it was signed and a PDF copy of the original document. We call that VISIBILITY. Each piece of invnetory (T1, PRI, MPLS, DSL, etc.) is tagged with the contract information as well as cost centers and General Ledger coding not to mention the underlying carriner information, the circuit ID numbers, signalling, coding…. you get the point.

It really comes down to one very simple question. Why in the world would a business choose to deal directly with the carrier when there is such a better way to do it?

In Search of a Better Wireless Experience

For those that follow this blog, you know that it is all about total telecom management with the net goal being a lower total telecom spend.

In recent months, the most common question asked here has been: where is the best place to buy my wireless services? The honest answer: I have no idea.

Here is what I do know, along with a plan to find the actual answer to the question. In business (wired) telecom, the days of working directly with the carriers are rapidly coming to an end. This distribution method is archaic and will soon go away completely. Here is analogy that I often use. In the old days, you would go directly to the farmer to buy your eggs. That was a time consuming task with varying results. Today you get higher quality eggs, a much better egg selection, lower egg prices and better overall shopping experience based on the distribution model that the grocery store has created

That distribution model is why our customers love us. The success of our company is based on a few simple business concepts:

  • Our customer service is far superior to the carriers (now granted, that is not hard to do)
  • Our aggregated purchasing power gives us pricing far better than a customer can get from the carrier directly
  • We have over 30 carriers that we manage which gives our customers every option that they would ever need
  • You have better things to do than managing the carriers (plus, we are better at it)
  • Your business matters to us.

It stands to reason that the wireless customer would benefit from this same distribution model. A wireless provider that can offer the same value proposition to their customers would be a gift to everyone from the IT Manager all the way to the individual user.

To find the answer to the question above, I have been conducting an informal survey of my customers, peers and friends to find the wireless provider (not the carrier directly) that offers the same value to its customers that we do to ours. I am not quite ready to let the cat out of the bag, but a few names keep coming up with one of them far outpacing the others. I am waiting to hear back from a few more IT managers that I work with before I post the results.