When you’re about to make an IT decision it is very important to weigh in the pros and the cons of that decision.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions because the answers you receive will aid you in making informed decisions that can help you achieve your desired goals.  This blog is dedicated to all the curious minds considering whether managed carrier ordering services is right for their organization.

Address the Issue:

First, identify the problem the organization is facing and determine the service that will best fit your organization and rectify the problem. Then identify the carrier that will get the job done. Trying to win a battle without any knowledge of who the enemy is or where it is, is reckless. Get informed about your situation. Understand the problem and you’ve won half the battle.  Choose a solution that best addresses the heart of the issue.

As stated above, start with asking yourself:

What is the problem and which carrier solution can best address the problem?

Then work to answer each of the following questions:

  • Will what we order interfere with other departments of our organization?
  • Does what we are ordering meet all the security requirements of our organization?
  • Do we have to place a new order or can we reuse something that is already available but unused?
  • Will the solution being ordered adequately address the identified problem or request?
  • Are we fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of the solution and how it applies to our business?
  • Are we certain that the solution will positively affect other parts of our organization?
  • Do we know enough about ordering carrier services from carriers that we don’t need third party assistance?
  • How long will it take for the carrier to implement the service
  • What is our timeframe to put the service into production?
  • Who will be the main contact handling the order from the carrier side?

 

The Current State Of Your Telecom Organization:

Secondly, know your environment and your team.  It is of utmost importance to know where your IT capabilities stand before going out to buy new services.  This can prevent you from jumping on the band wagon of services that you don’t have direct experience with yet.  Being aware of the monthly cost and the ongoing management cost is also extremely important as it helps plan for budgeting purposes, and helps set the stage for the ongoing soft costs that will be necessary to support the services long-term.  Questions to ask include:

  • Are we aware of all costs (including hidden costs) that the carrier will be charging?
  • Are we aware of soft costs and the ongoing management costs of the solution?
  • Can our business afford the solution from the carrier over the long term?
  • Ask again, do we really need what we are planning on ordering?
  • What are the pros and cons of ordering that service/product?

 

Prepare for Game Day:

Nobody is good at everything and nobody knows everything.  Everybody knows parts of something and some people  may be specialized in a specific topic.  That being said, it’s very important to evaluate what you know about yourself and your team.  In other words, familiarize yourself with the strengths and weaknesses of your organization.  If you aren’t certain about a topic then you can always find help.  Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • Does our team have experience in ordering services from carriers?
  • Do we have experience negotiating with carriers?
  • How quickly do we need to get the service up and running?
  • Do we need to research all the potential carrier options?
  • Have we had trouble tracking orders in the past?
  • Have we had difficulty with reconciling orders during the invoice review process?
  • Did we have an easy time upgrading devices in our organization in previous instances?
  • Do we have an up to date inventory of all devices ready for upgrade?
  • Do we track and properly handle devices of employees who have been terminated?
  • Are we sure that we have stopped paying for services that aren’t being used?
  • Do we have the time and internal processes to effectively track carrier orders?

 

Game Day:

Next, hone in on potential carrier and service candidates and match them up with your needs.  There are lots of carriers; make sure to choose the one that best suits your needs.  You would never want to just settle when buying a smartphone.  You want the best phone for what you can afford and the same goes for your telecom carrier services.

  • What is the track record of the carrier in question? How much experience do they have?
  • How do competitor prices compare? Are we getting a good deal for what we are getting?
  • Are we aware of all the solutions that can address the problem or request? Are we choosing the best one for our organization?
  • Does the carrier in review have positive/negative reviews from present customers?
  • Does their offering adequately cover our needs?

 

Fact-Check Carrier Ordering Commitments:

Evaluate whether the carrier is adequately meeting expectations. Business is all about communication.  During the negotiation process make sure that everything is understood and interpreted the same way by both parties.  Fully evaluate the contracts and check to make sure that everything that was agreed upon during the quote process is outlined appropriately in the contract itself.

  • Did the price change from what was originally decided?
  • Did we get everything that was promised to us?
  • Is the carrier fulfilling our expectations?
  • Are we happy with the amount of effort that they put in ensuring that we get exactly what we expected to receive?
  • Do we have processes in place to catch any billing errors?
  • Do we know how to effectively dispute an invoice is it is determined to be incorrect?

 

If Necessary Find An Alternative:

Lastly, It’s never a good thing to stay in a bad relationship.  It can cause long term damage and impede future opportunities. If you’re in a bad partnership, then you may need an alternative provider.

If, after you answer all of these questions, you determine that you need a carrier ordering service but are still not sure how to get the best value for the service, ask ICOMM.

ICOMM’s objective is to create a conducive atmosphere for business for both the carrier and the customer.  ICOMM is very experienced in handling disputes and advocating on the rights of the customer, as well as knowing how best to work with the carrier. ICOMM constantly does its homework and adapts to the changes in the telecom industry, so that they can provide information on which carrier is the best fit for you and your organization.  Remember, if you have questions, ICOMM is there to help. They can help you manage carrier ordering services, keep track of documented contracts and so much more.  For more information on how ICOMM could help make your business run smoothly, click here.