Now more than ever, businesses of every kind, from every industry rely on technology to survive and thrive. To do this, over 77% of companies have strengthened their commitment to digital transformation due to the pandemic. Across voice, data, internet, cloud services and mobility, the technology service landscape is essential to evolve successfully in the new normal.
But what will the increasing reliance on telecom cost? It’s true even before the coronavirus the majority of enterprises overspent by 30% or more on technology expenses, and the reliance on communication service providers (CSPs) — and potential costs — is forecasted to increase.
Question Your Telecom Contract to Empower Savings
To help guide you through the technology services billing maze, below are frequently asked questions and answers to help you save on telecom. Compiled from over 20 years of technology expense management know-how, our GPO-vetted partner SpyGlass provides empowering insight to help you prepare for successful telecom spend in 2021:
Q: What are some signs technology purchasers should review their telecom service contract?
A: The fact that provider plans, pricing, technology and promotions change on a regular basis presents an opportunity to save. This, along with business and telecom needs likely changing since an agreement was signed makes it worthwhile to review the contract – especially if you’re not partnering with a group purchasing organization (GPO) that can guide you on the best resources to proactively review your technology service bills.
SOME SIGNS YOUR TELECOM CONTRACT SHOULD BE QUESTIONEDThe contract has less than one year left in its term
- While most telecom agreements average between 36 to 60 months, proprietary SpyGlass analytics gathered across a wide variety of industries across the U.S. and Canada show the majority of contracts are 36 months in length.
- It’s common for auto-renewals to hit customers with unfavorable or over scaled terms. To avoid automatic rate change charges before the rerate hits, it’s even more important to review your contract.
Your business has changed, including:
- increased or decreased in size
- moved, added or closed offices
- increased in remote staff
- shifted / increased to more cloud services
- increased Zoom / video usage and decreased phone usage
Q: Is it typical for cost changes to occur “under the radar” within the telecom agreement service period?
A: Definitely. While some cost changes may be more obvious than others, there are some common occurrences, including:
- Additional services are added to an account, but are not included under the original contract. On the provider side, these are often added by staff such as customer service representatives, rather than account representatives. On the client side, these are often added by staff who are not the primary contacts on the account.
- Contract terms are never applied to an account. While the contract may have been agreed upon and signed, the rates were never updated in the billing system.
- Fees, surcharges and taxes are improperly calculated due to legislative changes; this can also include incorrectly applied tax-exempt status.
- Overage charges or minimum usage charges are applied.
- A service never has a contract to begin with, and the rates are subject to change at any time.
Q: Will my provider reach out when the contract is about to expire?
A: Maybe. Providers may reach out to extend a contract and offer new services, but might not be successful in reaching the correct contact, or the contact ignores the attempt. And there are times they don’t reach out at all. As a result, the contract expires and renews or out of contract pricing begins.
Overall, it’s important to keep in mind there is no motivation for providers to alert you as to cost increases — and it’s actually more advantageous for providers to not make clients aware of them.
Q: How do I proactively avoid automatic rate change charges?
A: The best financial technology expense move is to proactively avoid rate change charges before your rerate date hits. As ongoing telecom industry changes continue, including industry-changing telecom acquisitions, the case for proactive technology growth through educated spending is stronger than ever.
➡️The Case for Technology Spend in a Pandemic Economy
While acquisitions and brand identity changes promise added technology advancements and benefits, price increases — even if delayed — are certain to be on the horizon. Working with a GPO-vetted partner, like SpyGlass, will help telecom buyers challenge the cost status quo of imposed new contract lengths and increasing prices.
Q: How can I make sure my technology service expense budget is ready for 2021?
A: By providing full visibility of the network communications line item with a SpyGlass SnapShot Audit, you can open opportunities to recover technology expense dollars paid in error and reduce spending to start saving in the New Year and through the future. SpyGlass does all of the work for buyers to create a financial blueprint of the telecom cost center , in addition to providing education to be informed and prepared buyers.
Q: How can already overstretched telecom purchasers streamline contract reviews and still get the most out of their contract?
A: Purchasing teams can avoid a significant internal resource strain on the essential technology services contract review process by partnering with a GPO. Modern GPOs continuously provide personalized assistance by connecting its members to best-in-class resources to help avoid diminishing returns. This is in addition to already connecting members with pre-leveraged contracts that deliver higher savings and better service-level-agreements (SLAs) than purchasers can achieve on their own. Since modern GPOs advocate on behalf of their members, the need to avoid automatic rate change charges and price increases due to technology service contract expiration becomes unnecessary.
➡️Video: How to Future-Proof Your Supply Chain with a GPO
➡️Podcast: How GPOs Add Adaptability & Cost-Savings into Your Supply Chain
In a world where telecom overspending is rampant and reliance has critically increased, saving on not only days, but months of technology service bill reviews – AND expenses — can be a game changer for telecom buyers.