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How to Select the Right Telecom Expense Management Vendor - Part 3
Posted by John Venditti on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 @ 12:16 PM
In today’s economic climate, Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is one of the most important cost-saving functions within an organization. Selecting and implementing the right TEM vendor is critical to maximizing your telecom investments.
In the first two parts of this blog series we discussed:
Part 1 - The challenges that enterprises face when selecting a TEM vendor
Part 2 - How to select a TEM vendor that's right for you
In this article, Part 3, we'll discuss how to effectively rate TEM vendors....
If your company does not already have one, develop a set of statements to objectively evaluate each provider and assign a weight to each statement. An example is below.
1.Domain knowledge, company stability, references (20%)
2.Solution capabilities and how it fits your needs (25%)
3.Reporting and analytical capability (40%)
4.Price & contract terms (15%)
Domain Knowledge/Company Stability/References
Your provider of choice should have expertise within the TEM field, and a track record of successful implementations with organizations similar to yours. The provider will need to possess an expert level of the telecommunication industry as well as an established pattern of working with telecommunication providers such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and Qwest. Look for a TEM provider’s ability to manage the telecommunications lifecycle from beginning to end. Lastly, inquire about the backgrounds of the individuals who would be working on your account. What is their specific background/experience?
A company’s longevity and financial stability should also be considered to ensure that you will have a partner long-term. You want to deal with a company that has a solid financial history and is financially secure. Inquiring into the provider’s customer mix will allow you to ascertain if they rely on audits or are securely entrenched in a managed services environment.
What about customer retention? Once a contract is up are they able to retain customers? Does the provider conduct regular focus groups to gain feedback from their customers on product enhancements and overall functionality?
As part of your reference check, speak to at least three current customers. Ask them their thoughts on working with the implementation and consulting teams, how closely did the project plans mirror what actually took place, were there any unsuspected pricing issues that arose? While it is somewhat subjective, ask if their expectations were met or exceeded and what would they have done differently knowing what they know now.
A TEM provider’s platform should be built on leading edge technology and a single database that addresses the telecommunications lifecycle. Look for a solution that is automated, adaptable, scalable, and intelligent, which will fit your specific business needs/requirements. Ease of use for an end-user is also a key requirement. If the system is hard to navigate, or labor intensive, adaptability will be low.
Before you begin the evaluation process be sure to meet with your telecom, IT, A/P
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