While this may seem the simplest of questions, because of the sheer number of companies offering “auditing” in this arena it will certainly be anything but simple to select a company that is both capable and will truly optimize your entire Telecom and Technology platform. If we start with who can perform the service we quickly see where the complexities arise. So let’s take a look at how to get the most bang for your buck.
Insight Research Corp reported in May 2012 they estimate that all U.S. businesses will spend $154 billion for telecommunications services in 2012 and business spending on wired and wireless calling will grow to $184 billion by the close of 2016. If every company optimized now and saved just 20% the savings could amount to $100 billion over the next three years.
Here are a few terms to look for when you decide it’s time to optimize your Telecom & Technology monthly recurring expenses and begin the search for the best resources.
Totally independent = Takes no fees from any carrier or technology company
100% contingency based = Assumes all the risk of finding savings and only makes money on your savings
Risk Free = Okay free may subjective here but if you have no out of pocket expenses and they minimize your staffs time involvement then we will call it risk free.
This is a great place to look until you recognize you hired your IT guy for his knowledge about things like security, exchange, networks, software compatibility, cabling, disaster recovery and the list goes on and on. IT may order phones but can they identify errors in your bill? Chances are if the carrier codes something wrong or misapplies a discount code your IT person may not be trained to catch it, and if they do, do they know your rights with regard to maximizing recovery? What about accounting? Same here they are not trained in the areas that a telecom billing expert is and thus may well leave money on the table. These resources should be assigned to work with your chosen partner to ensure the project runs smoothly. Your partner should work tirelessly to minimize the amount of time these in house resources spend on the project ensuring the best possible ROI.
Most carrier can certainly look at their own bills and those of competing providers to determine if there are rate plans, discounts, or even other services that might be better able to meet your current needs and this can save you money. But can or will a large landline provider look at your conferencing, cable, internet, 800 or any other of a multitude of services with an eye towards saving you money. Chances are no unless they offer a competing service and you may then only be getting an offer to switch to their particular version in order to save. What about credits from the past carrier will they actually spend time maximizing these?
Third party providers
These guys are fantastic if you are shopping for service and want to get the best rate from all the providers. The question then becomes will they actually optimize your spend across the platform, apply for and obtain maximum credits or do they simply look for a better rate from one of their carrier partners and make you switch. While switching is not always bad it should not be a requirement to optimize your spend but rather part of an overall strategy and only done if your current carrier will not come to the bargaining table. Bottom line…if someone gets paid by the carrier for 10 – 20 – 50 – 100 accounts or more per year are they looking out for your interest or are they protecting their position with the very carriers that have been overcharging you?
Big accounting/consultancy firms
Some of these big companies perform the services you need however you may want to look into their fees as most are not contingency based but rather charge for the engagement and often only recommend but do not actually implement the changes they present. This can leave your staff mired in months of work with the carriers trying to get the implementation and savings in place. If you have a multi million dollars a month spend this could be a good approach but even then why spend money to learn where you can save rather than engaging with someone willing to partner with you to uncover, implement and prove the savings before you see an invoice.
Contingency Based, Billing Optimization companies.
Entering into a agreement with one of these companies can help ensure your interest are best served. After all if they only get paid for the savings they uncover, implement, and prove they are surely going to dig deeper and wider to maximize those savings. When selecting one of these you will of course want to check their references and rates. Assuming the references are to your satisfaction it’s time to look closely at the rates. 30% may seem better than 50% but if you pay 30% of $100,000 per year savings for three years your total is $90,000 vs. paying 50% of the first years savings and retaining the full savings in the 2nd and third year. Remember when working with a contingency fee less is not always LESS!!!
So now you have some data on how to select the right company let’s look at who should have their monthly recurring Telecom & Technology bills optimized. This is an easy answer for everyone. Most Companies would rather put 20, 25 or even 30% of the “over-spend” to their bottom line rather than continuing to overpay… multi-billion dollar carriers.Written by Tom Carrigan, VP of National Sales Limitless Technology ~ Cost Reduction Specialists