Are you looking for cost saving ideas for your telecom companies’ bills? Saving on telecom and data networking services doesn’t always mean you need a complete technology overhaul (although that is an option). Even small changes can lead to significant savings over time.
In this article, we share 20 proven telecom cost savings strategies to cut back on your telecom, internet, and data networking costs. Choose one, mix and match a few, or take advantage of as many as possible–it’s up to you and what’s best for your business!
Looking for simple ways to save? Many of the following only require a little extra effort on your part, or a phone call or meeting with your telecom provider.
Because competition in the telecom industry is fierce, phone companies and VoIP providers have made a concerted effort to lower their rates to attract and retain more customers over the past several years.
If you’ve been paying the same price for your business phone lines for quite a while, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re paying far more than you must. Give your provider a call and ask whether discounted line rates are available.
Remember, you have quite a bit of leverage even in the middle of the contract term. It’s much cheaper for your provider to keep you as a customer than it is for them to find a new customer to replace your revenue, so they’re likely to do what they can to keep you around for as long as possible.
In most cases, you’ll be able to enjoy savings on your line rates without making any changes to your technology or services.
Are you paying for phone features that you don’t need or use? Look through your phone bills and evaluate whether or not the functionalities you’re paying for are worth it. You’ll likely find some features that can be eliminated. Alternatively, CarrierBid is happy to provide telecom audit savings free of charge for most small and medium sized businesses.
Alternatively, if you use the phone features you’re paying for, but they’re billed individually, you can save money by asking your provider if the features can be bundled or packaged together. Packages typically come with lower rates.
If you’re purchasing your phone and internet services from two different providers, getting them both from the same provider can help you save through a discounted bundle.
The same goes for a separate phone service provider and long-distance carrier. Working with a single provider and bundling the services for savings is better. (Keep in mind that if your business needs TV services, they can usually be bundled by the local cable provider too.)
Many businesses pay for phone features like anonymous call rejection and call waiting, even though their phone systems come with these functionalities.
Look over your phone bill to see if this applies to you, and if it does, it’s time to call your provider and remove these redundant features. The same goes for internet features that you’re paying for from more than one provider.
Looking closely at your monthly phone bill may reveal that you’re paying third-party billing charges for services you don’t want or need.
Similarly, you may think that paying for inside wire maintenance is worth it, but in reality, it’s extremely rare that anything will go wrong with your wiring after it’s been installed. If something were to happen, you could simply contact your service vendor or building owner and take care of the issue.
There’s no need to pay for wire maintenance every month, and considering it’s usually billed as a flat fee per line, you might be paying quite a bit for it if your business has numerous phone lines.
Do you receive more than one bill from the same provider? You may not realize it, but every bill payment involves processing an invoice, which costs your business $12 to $30 on average. If you can consolidate your bills, it’s possible to rack up significant savings over time.
In addition, switching from manual invoice processing to automated invoice processing can save you quite a bit of money long-term.
Paying for long-distance minutes made sense in the past, but it’s not always necessary anymore. With cell phones, email, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), it’s easy to avoid paying for long-distance.
If you still use long-distance minutes, check your bills from the past several months to determine approximately how many minutes you’re using. You could potentially cut costs by dropping down to a smaller bundle or paying per minute.
If you’re currently working with month-to-month pricing for your telecom services, you’re paying at a much higher rate than you would be if you committed to a longer-term contract.
Most telecom contracts last 24 to 36 months, and when you commit to this contract term, you typically lock in lower rates. Plus, you can always take advantage of midterm negotiations to lower your rates further.
It may sound obvious, but a highly effective way to save on your telecom costs is to review your bills monthly. Regular audits will reveal products or services you’re paying for but don’t need or didn’t ask for.
It will also uncover third-party billing charges and other fees you can eliminate. Usage charges, in particular, are a fantastic opportunity to save as they’re one of the most significant culprits of overspending in telecom.
Check out your customer service records, which are detailed reports explaining the services your company uses, the rates you’re charged, and how these rates are calculated.
However, something to note is that laymen can find customer service records challenging to interpret. They are usually written in a computer-generated code specific to your industry, so you’ll likely need expert input to gain insight from these records.
It’s worth it to hire someone to interpret your customer service records, because they’ll be able to benchmark your rates and identify any abnormally high costs, such as long-distance call rates. They’ll also be able to find any issues with fees and taxes, as well as unused telecom features and phone lines.
Not only should you take a close look at your bills and customer service records, but you should also get familiar with your contract terms and conditions and SLAs, especially concerning disputes and credits.
Looking over all of these documents yourself can be time-consuming and even stressful. Taking advantage of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) and Wireless Expense Management (WEM) services from an experienced, reputable company can help. Through TEM and WEM, you’ll be able to ensure that your bills are accurate and maximize your savings. Wireless Expense Reduction Services are also an excellent avenue to explore for additional savings.
CarrierBid offers TEM and WEM services to help your company save. Learn more by contacting us by phone at 1-888-706-5656, or by completing the form at the bottom of this page.
The following savings strategies involve creating a sense of competition between multiple telecom providers to drive prices downward.
If it’s been three years or more since you’ve last gone through the RFP and procurement process, then chances are you’re paying far too much for your telecom services. Pricing in the telecom industry is highly competitive and has decreased quite a bit in the past several years.
It’s a great idea to compose and send out RFPs, even if you intend to stick with your current provider. They’ll be motivated to offer you a better deal when they hear that you’re checking out other options.
Be sure to consider various types of providers, not just the incumbent ones like AT&T and CenturyLink. Smaller carriers often bring a higher level of customer service and more customizable, innovative solutions.
Look into resellers, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), regional and local carriers, VoIP providers, bandwidth providers, and wireless internet service providers to discover the best options for your company.
When you work with a professional telecom consulting company, you get an entirely new perspective on the industry and the procurement process. These companies typically have specialists with decades of experience and a wealth of knowledge regarding telecom success and savings. Plus, you’ll get individual support that’s perfectly customized to your company’s needs and objectives.
Rather than making your way through the procurement process alone, you’ll have an experienced and knowledgeable partner by your side. You can collaborate with your chosen telecom consulting company to get the most out of your telecom provider and achieve more savings than you could have on your own.
Best of all, consulting companies don’t just focus on cost savings. They also optimize your contract to make it more beneficial for your business and its roadmap for the future.
If you’re ready to jump in and make larger changes to your company’s technology, these upgrades and overhauls are a great way to achieve savings in the long run.
If you have T1 internet, consider switching to cable or DSL. Both of them provide faster speeds and lower costs. For example, cable internet starts at $20 per month, while T1 internet starts at $250 per month. Even if you only add cable or DSL to your existing connection for redundancy, you can still cut back on your internet costs.
Are you still using an old-fashioned fax machine? If the answer is yes, it may be time to explore some other options. Scanning and emailing documents is one way to obtain the functionality of a fax machine without having one.
You could also invest in eFax services, which are cheaper than using a physical fax machine. With eFax, incoming faxes will conveniently arrive in your email inbox, and it’s easy to print them out or save them as needed.
If your business has more than ten phone lines, then SIP voice services can definitely help you save money. Older technologies such as Primary Rate Interface (aka. PRIs) have 23 available call paths and you typically needed to purchase all 23 even if you didn’t need that many lines. SIP can be purchased in whatever quantities you need for your business, and you’ll also get consolidated billing for all of your locations. SIP service is fast, flexible, secure, and reliable–and costs much less than plain old telephone service (POTS) or PRI, but offer you much more bang for your buck.
Renting equipment may seem cheaper in the short term, but it’s more expensive in the long term. This applies to hosted VoIP systems, modems, firewalls, and other routing equipment.
When you’re renting, you never stop paying for these items. When you buy, however, you eventually eliminate the monthly costs that come with your equipment. Once you’ve paid off your purchases, you’ll get to revel in the savings.
If your business has multiple locations spread across a wide geographical area, you likely receive phone bills from multiple providers. If this is the case for you, consider switching to an aggregator, which provides the same service, but with one point of contact, a single bill, and discounted pricing. Aggregators also help with inventory management, and with only one bill, you’ll save on the administrative costs that come with processing multiple bills.
Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) or a Software-Defined Wide-Area Network (SD-WAN) can help larger companies or companies with offices in different areas aggregate their phone lines and internet bandwidth, share software, and eliminate long-distance charges for calls between offices for significant savings.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services are a fantastic alternative to landlines–both because of their low cost and because of their convenience and capabilities. VoIP services are far less expensive, use your existing internet connection, come with tons of features, and don’t typically require any additional hardware.
A final way to save is to integrate your internet and voice. In the past, bandwidth on an integrated circuit was segmented, which led to problems like running out of internet bandwidth or calls that were degraded when the internet was being heavily used.
Nowadays, though, integrated internet circuits come with many more voice options and improved speeds. Service providers really want to keep all of their customer’s voice and data business so they’ve gotten aggressive and have dramatically reduced pricing when a customer bundles the services together.
As mentioned in strategy #9 above, TEM, WEM, and Wireless Expense Management Services are all ways to save more on telecom–-and CarrierBid provides them all.
If you’re interested in saving through effective procurement, as discussed in strategy #10, we also offer IT procurement services, RFP management, telecom contract negotiation, and telecom procurement strategy consulting.
Interested in seeing what kind of savings you can achieve? Get more information by calling us at 1-888-706-5656,or by completing the form at the bottom of this page. We look forward to hearing from you!