Not all network service contracts are created equal, according to a recent webinar that tackled the topic of reducing an organization’s network service costs.
The webinar, “Stop Overpaying for Network Services in 2012,” was presented by Dieter Thompson and Bill Goddard of Alsbridge Network Services Group and moderated by Stefania Viscusi of TMCNet. The webinar took place June 6 and was sponsored by Alsbridge and TMCNet.
Network services (including voice, data, internet, wireless, local, access, international and managed services), typically account for 3 to 6 percent of overhead and have a significant impact on business operations.
Over the past decade, network services spending has become a top business expense and cause for concern. While network is viewed as a commodity, it's a high-value commodity with thousands of different rate elements and the opportunity to significantly overpay.
The webinar highlighted ways to leverage price trends for contracts set to expire within the next 18 months, as well as how to take advantage of integrating wireline and wireless services together, get market-competitive terms from carriers, determine whether users are on an optimal wireless plan and determine what route to take with network convergence, among other topics.
One of the largest predictions during the webinar was that full-service providers would start ceding ground to the business providers marketplace.
“As you are thinking through your strategy, you should be at least engaged with a business-grade provider today to be prepared to take advantage of what I think will be a seismic shift in the industry as incumbency starts to fail,” said Albridge’s Dieter Thompson.
He noted that some of the areas for cost savings included high-speed data access and international network service costs – “where you should definitely be pushing.”
It also is important to get beyond the accounting team when it comes time to negotiate a new contract; the accounting team is not empowered to give the lowest network services prices. Thompson counseled that “in order to get price point, you have to get behind the curtain into their business development organizations.” Don’t settle for the accounting team.
Other suggestions included employing a dual vendor approach or active secondary strategy to get better deals, choosing service and value over the ease of staying with an incumbent vendor and centralizing ordering and provisioning.
Thompson also noted the need to pay close attention to hidden fees and new charges.
“Carriers are becoming very insidious in adding all types of fees, and they can add up to a significant increase in cost even though you might negotiate a reduction in certain services,” he said.
Those interested in listening to the webinar and hearing the full presentation can download it from the event’s webpage.
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Edited by Braden Becker