The following is the 2nd part of a multi part series detailing a company’s original voice and data setup and their eventual move to Multi Protocol Label Switching and SIP.
XYZ was purchased by All American Conglomerate and the IT Director has been assigned the task of lowering XYZ’s telecom spend by 35%.
The IT Director adopted the company’s voice and data network and needed to make himself familiar with it. His first step is to complete a comprehensive bill audit. Bills are paid at the company’s regional offices, so the Director requested bill copy from the various accounts payable departments in all the different regional offices. He also identified the contacts from all the phone and internet companies that provided service to the company and requested copies of his company’s contracts.
The first thing he discovered is that there is a preponderance of bills. There are more phone bills than locations; some locations receive three bills just for phone service and then additional bills for long distance. There were fewer bills for the internet but even with a cursory glance, the Director could tell the all the bills were riddled with third party charges, fees for unnecessary services like wire maintenance and calling features, and ISP charges from companies like AOL.
The Director was pretty sure he could realize the company’s savings goals simply by having all the third party and erroneous charges removed, along with consolidating carriers and negotiating more favorable rates.
The Director is a big thinker and has another idea.
This would be a major undertaking, requiring a great deal of time and patience. The Director would want to lean on support staff to do most of the legwork; otherwise the company would be paying the Director’s pay scale for him to perform admin work.
This occurs when there is no official procedure for ordering new services and different people are placing them. Also, the phone company employees that man the phones are compensated for placing new orders. If a larger company calls in to add phone lines, most likely the accounts are “named accounts” and owned by an account manager. To get around that obstacle, a phone company employee might place a new connect order, on a separate account, instead of adding a phone line to an existing account.
Phone companies are billing agents for third party companies. They are required to provide such services and make a good deal of money in the process. It’s another reason to consider Competitive Local Exchange Carriers. CLECs don’t have third party billing arrangements, so you’re immune from the fees, sort of the same way you don’t have to worry about computer viruses when you own an Apple.
ISP charges were from the beginning of internet access being offered by phone companies. The phone companies were required to let customers pick their ISP on services like DSL. So a customer might be paying one charge for the DSL and another for internet access from companies like AOL.
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