5 Ways to Reduce Cost in Telecom 2021
In 2021, Telecom Expense Management Consulting is the easiest option to reduce monthly costs & increase Wide Area Network (WAN) capability globally. Many organizations are opting for a WAN RFP through consulting engagements solidifying proper Terms, Pricing, and overall Telecom Expense Reduction. If your WAN has been in service 24+ months, you should expect to see a significant reduction in telecom billing if you execute a strategy properly. Telecom expense reduction should equally include your cloud connectivity strategy and any Unified Communications services (removing a Legacy PBX) as part of this executable strategy.
After 20 years of designing, implementing, and governing global telecom networks supporting voice and now cloud applications, we have perfected the expense reduction balance. That balance should include telecom cost reduction but not sacrifice technical functionality. Last year, NoJitter wrote 6 Reasons Companies Still Overspend on Telecom and the #1 issue mentioned was time. Companies simply do not have the time to spend checking on their monthly spend, so we’ve outlined five quick strategies to use. However, if your organization truly does not understand what you bought/contracted and feel the face of Tech Debt staring back at you, start with what you have first. No Telecom Expense Management solution can assist you if the topology in place is not fully understood, utilized, or working at top speed. Sit down and look at the architecture as you would be surprised how many customers we advise to simply “remove” or augment some of their Telecom which is not in use. You can find that in the first suggestion as well when you Audit your bills.
5 Ways to Reduce Telecom Billing
#1. Invoice Audit: Telecom Billing Invoices on average are 20% inaccurate due to missed Discount Codes, duplicate services and forgotten disconnections. Reviewing carrier bills is a fast & easy process if you know what to look for. Be aware, depending on the carrier and service, you could be paying over 20% in added taxes + fees (Not familiar with the USF Tax?) which you should look to avoid. Another reason to audit your invoices is the cost-recovery process can take weeks and sometimes months to receive credits on issues. We strongly advise customers pay close attention to the Maser Services Agreement (MSA) from the carrier ensuring there isn’t a recovery time you must submit a billing ticket within.
#2. Benchmark: If you would love to issue a WAN RFP but simply do not have the time to spend in countless sales presentations, outsource the process. It’s painless & the expense is less than $200. After our collective 5,000+ contracts experience, there are several areas to be aware of during the Benchmark process. First, telecom carriers usually do not remind you of your upcoming contract renewal nor will they provide a proactive write-down. If you find one who does, that’s a sign of a good partner. Second, when we re-negotiate services, on average we see the following (chart below) where we successfully negotiate prices down during our Benchmark process. The months represent the time since you last repriced or installed services.
|Time since Contract Renewal||Expected Write-down Monthly|
Another area to consider in your Benchmark process keeping telecom costs in control:
Cloud Connectivity: Validate if your telecom provider can offer a suitable & flexible elastic SaaS, IaaS, or PaaS connectivity option for your environment(s). Negotiating a co-term rate here will save you more upfront costs. Just be mindful if you plan to keep your Cloud environment as is for that term.
#3. New Installs & your ACH/Portal: Once you narrow in your benchmark pricing, look to install a new circuit even if it’s from the existing carrier. Why? If your existing circuit has been in place 3+ years, it’s time to refresh equipment and possibly the fiber connecting your branch locations. This will prevent future loss & costs associated with downtime which can typically happen with older services.
ACH & Portal Payments: Carriers are trying to improve the payment processing for your finance organization, and they equally do not want to process manual checks any longer. Utilizing the carrier’s on-line portal to pay for Telecom costs which typically allow ACH, Credit Card or PCard options is a huge bonus. Be mindful of your billing account numbers and options to modify your cost centers to keep your ledger less confusing.
#4. Quarterly Billing Review (QBR): Request a Quarterly billing review with your telecom provider even if you have multiple vendors. Putting a regular cadence on the calendar with your carriers will establish a Governance plan and hold you and them accountable. QBR formats we implement you can follow include:
- Current Billing snapshot, tracking increase/decreases
- Service Expiration Dates
- Tickets Opened
- Credit Inquiries
- Product Roadmaps
QBRs should be driven by you as fro a Customer Success perspective in mind.
#5. Telecom Expense Management: Implementing a Telecom Expense Management service which could be a Software platform, or a Customer Success Expense Management Process will keep cost in check. This tip does not suggest your organization can’t manage costs or monthly invoicing from carriers. However, Telecom Expense Management will catch simple billing anomalies faster, real-time vs. manual calculations.
If you spend $50K Monthly or higher in the following services, consider a SaaS solution to manage Telecom Expenses, create billing inquiries and pay one bill vs. individual payments across vendors:
- Network (Internet, Private Lines, SDWAN, MPLS etc.)
- SIP & Unified Communications (UC Voice)
- Mobile Cell Phone billing
- AWS/Cloud Services
If you can’t add a SaaS Telecom Expense Management solution, we recommend building a carrier governance process. Macronet Services has developed several specialized and cost-effective options for customers, generally netting 15% in savings. A robust spreadsheet, Gantt chart and other key items certainly maintains proper workstreams for accurate billing
If you need a brief audit of your monthly invoices, we would be happy to provide a free assessment. It might be that easy to spot an error so you can be on your way to focus on more important tasks in the business. Ask us how we can help, we’ve saved Millions in telecom costs for our clients.