Organizations spend $1.5 trillion dollars a year, globally, on fixed and mobile telecom services.
To support a business’s goals of reducing costs, enhancing efficiency, and boosting profitability in 2019, we are offering a five-part series exploring best practices based on transparency and modernization for evaluating your communications spend and practical ways to reduce costs. When implemented across the board, organizations can regain visibility and control for all of their telecom assets across the enterprise, enabling them instead to direct their efforts towards driving business transformation and growth initiatives.
Best Practice #2: Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) Consolidation
Despite the move to VoIP and IP, many businesses still run on traditional telephone service. Sometimes businesses are locked in by contract, and some simply like the familiarity of analog. Whatever the reason, different carriers may serve different offices for multi-location enterprises, and even for smaller companies. The footprints may be redundant or over-provisioned. Because of this, some low-hanging fruit when it comes to reducing spend is taking an inventory of one’s POTS lines. Businesses can gain control over their POTS collection and save hundreds or thousands of dollars monthly by consolidating traditional phone lines from different carriers, on to one bill.
This allows visibility into what’s being used and paid for, resulting in better telecom expense management. Also, rather than dealing with multiple phone companies when adding, moving or changing a phone line (not to mention dealing with all of the separate account numbers and authorizations required), organizations can eliminate operational headaches and achieve a single point of contact for everything POTS-related.
The telecom audit will be an important key to doing this—a quick look at the spreadsheet should make apparent what POTS lines are provisioned where, and from which providers. For those lines not under a long-term contract, businesses can then identify a carrier to shift their billing to, keeping in mind the relative merits of footprint availability, SLAs, company reputation and of course cost. Most of the time, switching carriers will bring with it significantly discounted rates, particularly for those POTS lines that have been in place and unchanged with regards to contract terms for a long time.
Because of the organic growth of most business telecom environments, having contracts that are out of sync is the norm. With staggered contract end dates, many businesses are locked into a position where it is difficult to move all of their services at the same time. Often, some negotiation will allow these organizations to update their contract terms and achieve better flexibility.
To review your POTS situation, consult with an expert. An agnostic technology agent or consultant can ask the right questions to determine what you’re trying to accomplish and what you need. In addition to assisting you with procurement, they can also handle ongoing care and issue resolution with the selected provider.
Comtel Communications, a telecom/technology consulting agency based in Richmond, Virginia since 1991, provides best-in-class solutions and unbiased counsel to a diverse group of small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses, totaling more than $18.2M in annual billings. Leveraging unique access to 350+ national and international providers, Comtel benefits its clients through competitive quotes from multiple sources, to ensure their business goals are met with current and dynamic telecom and technology services. Acting as a partner, long after contracts are signed and services are deployed, Comtel offers superb back-office support to manage upgrades, track orders, and provide training to clients.
Author: Peter Kraehmer