telecom consulting service providersA vendor will only put its best foot forward if it believes it has a reasonable shot to win your business.  Unless your current voice and data provider believes there is legit chance to lose your business, it won’t offer much.

This is the eighth installment of CarrierBid’s eleven part series on the telecom procurement process.

The only way to manage the two realities described above is to conduct real RFQ’s that offer participants a legitimate possibility to win your business.

It’s best to limit the number of items you bid out and to a certain number of vendors.  Putting numerous services out to bid to a slew of telecom providers will water down your RFQ and you won’t receive the carriers’ best efforts.

Structuring The RFP

Prequalify the telecom companies you’re thinking of inviting to participate in your RFQ.  Create two lists of voice and data providers, one to bid for your primary services and then a second group for secondary services.  Utilizing two groups of carriers keeps them honest and you’ll be able to assess certain providers with less crucial voice and data circuits before you trust them with more crucial ones.

Use competitive local exchange carriers for newer technologies, like SIP trunks.  Incumbent local exchange carriers are slower to adopt new technologies and typically price them above the market average.

The incumbent providers, CenturyuLink, Verizon & AT&T, typically charge more than their competitors – they train their reps to sell on value, not price – and they tend to offer substandard terms.  A preemptive offer from your current voice and data provider is never optimal and always comes with conditions.

In today’s economy, a business needs to do everything possible to control and cut costs, including undergoing a major transition with their voice and data services.  The telecom carriers understand this; they are going through the same process with their vendor services.  Use this knowledge to your advantage.  Push your suppliers to lower prices and better terms.

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