Today, many companies believe they have a successful and positive relationships with their telecom, network and other technology vendors. The question we always ask regarding vendors, vendor relationship management and vendor performance is, what is REALLY important? What is MOST important to your business and your success?
In both the domestic and global marketplace, AT&T and Verizon are behemoths that currently hold the majority share of the telecom marketplace. Companies flock to them for a mix of reasons, but times are changing. Does being the largest or the longest surviving entity automatically mean they deliver the best value, service, and reliability? Of course not. The level of competition and quality of service delivered by smaller, more nimble organizations, are already available at better value, better service levels, better support, and better delivery.
And, unless your vendor is handing you cash back or you have some mutual barter arrangement that benefits you both, we’d say just take a hard look at defining what is truly mission critical for your business with respect to those vendors, outside of any relationship.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Most Telecom providers claim they can deliver to any given address and install the service you request within a certain timeline at a certain price, and they can. But in reality, they are only doing so with the help of additional access providers. AT&T, Verizon, BT, and the like offer some or all access, but mostly through partnership agreements made with many of those smaller, more nimble organizations.
WHEN DECIDING ON A VENDOR:
the following is critical to any successful vendor relationship no matter whose name appears on the invoice.
- Pricing – all components detailed and defined including estimated taxes/surcharges.
- Availability – the access provider is defined at each install point.
- Timeline to deliver is firm.
- Service Level Agreement (SLA)in place.
- Support services provided and detailed.
- Market intelligence and reviews of vendor delivery provided.
- Commitment levels and any penalties for canceling/moving service early is agreed upon and documented.
- Additional T&C’s are discussed, defined and documented.
These guidelines are used every day to help us to positively impact our client’s bottom line 100% of the time.