By Tanya Seda, Chief Strategy Officer, Network Control
The telecommunications landscape is constantly changing, and buyers of these services have more options to from than ever before. We are seeing more and more newcomers and global players aggressively take innovatively-priced solutions to market putting pressure on existing vendors and changing up the competitive landscape.
In spite of this, we continue to see major carriers present challenges to our customers who are looking to update their existing contract commercial terms to current market rates. The behavior exhibited by these carriers offers quite a contrast with industry newcomers who are actually trying to make the process easier. Instead, we are seeing the major carriers lowering the bar in terms of response time on contracting and moving from agreement/award to contract execution, particularly in cases where discounts and price reductions are involved. We are being told that this stems from lack of communications and coordination between the varied departments. While we are not saying this isn’t an ongoing issue, but calling that out as a major problem for a simple renewal of services smacks of excuse-making. This tactic usually signals that the major carriers will stall as long as possible in order to delay savings.
We recently had a client of Verizon who was in week three of a eight-week delay (estimate given by the carrier) to turnaround to a very manageable renewal of an existing services contract. This is where the customer brought us in to finish the renewal process. Once we started we were able to shave off three weeks of the delay and receive adjustment credits to accommodate the delays. The carrier agreed to apply the credits within the first two months of a new term instead of the middle or end of the term.
This is where having sourcing expertise is critical to gain the leverage back that can be so easily taken by the carriers in the early negotiation process. Having a team on your side that understands the current climate of the market and contract commercials to reflect prevailing market conditions rescues your ROI.