One of the main factors preventing organizations from changing telecom expense management (TEM) vendors is the fear that it will be a costly, ineffective, and lengthy process, that won't noticeably improve their current situation.
This leads to enterprises being locked into a partnership that isn’t delivering value, and rather than look for another vendor, they settle for a less than adequate service.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Partnering with the right TEM provider can eliminate the procurement roadblocks and support your team in the transition to a new provider.
The Real Cost of Changing TEM Partners
Changing TEM partners is surrounded by misconceptions that it will be expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive – in addition to taking time to see returns.
In reality, changing TEM partners doesn't have to be a difficult process. For example, once a contract is signed, our implementation process guides customers from contract signing to go-live in under 90 days, so the time-to-value is extremely short.
An experienced TEM provider can also help avoid any additional costs of service interruptions by working with carriers and closely monitoring the transition period so there is minimal disruption. Plus, cost-reductions can be found quickly and any inefficiencies carried over from a previous provider can be rectified, for fast ROI.
But before you negotiate a contract, drafting a well-designed Request for Proposal (RFP) puts your enterprise in the driver's seat, helping you set out exactly what you need to get the most out of your time with a TEM provider.
Submitting a Request for Proposal (RFP)
An RFP is a formal request in which the issuer asks vendors to submit proposals demonstrating how their services address key business requirements and individual service needs. A detailed RFP helps enterprises steer the ship and negotiate a TEM contract that best fits their business.
TEM is a process that covers numerous users, systems, and processes. Every enterprise has its own specific, multifaceted requirements, so a careful, considered approach is important. The RFP process is essential for making successful investments and building long-lasting relationships with potential TEM vendors. Without one, key details can be easily missed.
An effective RFP will typically contain:
- An outline of specific challenges and areas you want to improve.
- The level of service you need (software or full-service TEM partnership).
- Requests for evidence of a vendor’s financial stability and long-term strategy.
An open-ended RFP may leave some areas up for interpretation, so it’s best to be as detailed and accurate as possible. You can find more information about creating your own RFP in our blog ‘How to Put Together a Global TEM RFP’.
The Cost of an RFP
One of the biggest mistakes with issuing RFPs is that organizations often use them at the wrong time, and this can be costly.
Issuing an RFP is a formal process and it requires a great deal of effort from vendors to craft their proposals in response. Before you send your RFPs, you should know exactly what you’re trying to solve and be ready to consider offers from your chosen TEM vendors.
Trawling through emails, spreadsheets, and documents for the required responses can put increased pressure on teams that are already under strict deadlines.
So, it's important to think about the time and internal resources it takes to:
- Organize responses for stakeholders to review.
- Consolidate vendors for comparison.
- Negotiate terms, conditions, and costs with prospective partners
You need stick to reasonable timelines, respond to offers in a timely manner and with detailed information, and gather the information in a consistent and consolidated way for your internal resources.
Timing is Crucial
When changing TEM vendors, timing is crucial.
To prevent costs associated with service disruptions, it's important to notify your telecom and IT vendors and make them aware of your intentions before the transition process begins.
Starting your RFP process with ample time left on your current TEM contract is essential, so you have time to transition and avoid the high month-to-month cost that might be incurred if you go past your current contract.
Although service cutoffs are rare, they do occasionally occur, so ensure you're supported and leave plenty of time for procurement. This will help ensure nothing falls through the cracks while you transition to a new TEM vendor.
Make the Change with Confidence
Don’t let fears surrounding a TEM migration keep you locked into a partnership that isn’t delivering consistent value for your enterprise.
By asking the right questions, you can make the transition with confidence and find the TEM provider that's right for you. For organizations looking to better support their teams during the procurement process, securing the services of a TEM procurement partner is essential.
Partnering with an experienced TEM provider will not only remove many common obstacles and difficulties from the procurement process, they'll also be able to support your in-house team at every stage, from RFP creation to contract termination.