• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in telecom health
Are Your Contracts Healthy?


Here’s three quick questions that will give you a good indication of whether or not your current carrier agreements are “healthy” or need help (HINT- if it takes you more than 5 minutes to answer these then you probably need help):

1.  Do your contracts have an Annual Spending Commitment such as a MARC or AVC?

2.  Is there an absence of specific language protecting you against discontinued services?

        3.  Does any part of the agreement have Auto Renewal language?

If you answered “YES” to any of these questions then your contract is not leading edge and should, at minimum, be revisited and reevaluated. Here’s why:

• Annual Spending Commitments are carrier traps  to lock you into longer Terms and more spending then is necessary and they reduce your negotiation leverage. We routinely negotiate market leading edge rates, terms and conditions in contracts without having Annual Spending commitments

• Carriers want to move customers to IP, Fiber and Wireless technologies to improve profits and are pressuring customers by discontinuing services. Deregulation by the FCC, in most cases, allows this to happen with as little as 25 day notice. This can wreak havoc on networks and applications that have relied on TDM, wireline and related technologies. Unless you have specific and detailed language in your contract BEFORE this happens you are at the mercy of the carriers’ timeline to migrate services.

• When’s the last time you looked at all your carrier agreements to check on the expiration dates and notice provisions? If there’s Auto Renewal language and you’ve missed the requirement for notice you could be locked into another 1,2 or 3 years with no chance to bring rates, Terms and conditions in line with current market or current internal requirements. There should never be Auto Renewal language in your agreements, but if there is, don’t wait- check it now!

One of the most common fallacies out there is that you must wait until you’re nearing expiration in order to revisit or renegotiate these carrier agreements. Not true. In the same way that you don’t wait 15 or 30 years to refinance your mortgage agreement if current interest rates are more advantageous, you shouldn’t wait to take advantage of current/better telecom carrier rates. We regularly are successful in addressing contract deficiencies in contracts that are as recent as 6 months old.

There are many other factors that can also determine whether or not a contract is “healthy”. Certainly, Rates and Pricing are also an importatn component.  Part of our approach at Silver Lining Telecom is to provide a free detailed contract and spend analysis to let you know exactly where you stand relative to the current market. Feel free to reach out to us for this free analysis if you’d like to find out if your contracts are “healthy”.

Hits: 2498
  • Why see a doctor when you’re feeling OK?
  • As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
  • You already have the best diagnostician “in-house” , after all, who knows your body and how you’re doing and feeling better than you? You’re the best “expert” and don’t need anyone poking, prodding, running tests and taking vital signs to tell you what you already know - that you’re OK!

If you agree with the above statements then stop reading right now.

However, if you think these statements are wrong and its best to recognize and treat health problems before they get worse, then my question for you is – “Why not apply the same approach to your business and, specifically, to the “health” of your company’s Telecom spending?” My firm, Silver Lining Telecom will perform a free, no obligation, detailed benchmarking analysis (i.e. a “health check”) of your Telecom (Wireless, Voice/Data Network, Conferencing etc.) activities, contracts and spending. We’ll share the results with you and either give you a “clean bill of health” or suggest areas that could be improved to generate cost savings, recover billing errors and optimize services. Again, at no cost or obligation.

Remember, virtually every client we have also has in-house people managing their Telecom activities. But relying solely on them to spot problems and achieve optimal results is like doing a self-diagnosis instead of seeing a doctor because we have real-time market knowledge and experience that they do not, and cannot have.

Why? The genesis of this article came from a newspaper article I read about why men avoid health care services like going to the doctor or getting health check-ups and it occurred to me that many of the same issues could be applied to why so many of us are reluctant to get help in our business lives.


The article stated that " Sometimes men avoid getting checkups, an annual physical or recommended screeining tests for other reasons.  They fear finding out something is wrong.  they think admitting illness or discomfort makes them weak.  They worry that a problem may cause them to be passed over for job performance."

By the same token, how many of us have avoided asking for help with a problem in our jobs or refused to get outside help for the very same reasons i.e. we fear that admitting there might be something wrong may make us look weak, less knoweledgeable or less competent?  If my own experience is any indication, the answer is that a lot of us (me included) have been in this exact situation.

The article featured a 37 year old man who, despite various persistent symptoms, put off getting a check-up for several years. When he finally did go to the doctor he was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and faced long, painful, expensive and life-threatening treatment. Of course, the irony is that had he gone for a checkup a few years earlier the doctors would have likely found a small benign growth (polyp), removed it and sent him on his way with a clean bill of health.

Think about it - how many problems in our businesses go undetected because we take that same "fear of looking or finding out something bad" approach? Keep in mind, I'm not just talking about negative or crisis situations but also those things that could be made better i.e. process improvements, cost reductions and quality of product or service improvements that could be implemented if they were viewed with an unflinching eye or, better yet, several sets of eyes!




The solution?  Stop trying to "tough it out" and don't be afraid to get a check-up now and then for both yourself and your business.  This could be through the use of independent 3rd party consultants like us  that have expertise and intellectual property that you don't have or it could be as simple as asking a colleague or co-worker for their input and "another set of eyes" on some aspect of your work.

The reward?  Much like medical problems, I've never seen a real business problem or opportunity that gets better by being ignored. So, the payoff for seeking help is a far less painful "treatment" and typically a better overall solution. In the case of our Telecom services, the results not only generate significant savings for our clients but also tend to make “heroes” of our contacts within those clients.  In the end, you'll be viewed not as weak or less competent but as a smart, pro-active problem solver who knows how to ensure a "clean bill of health" for your business.  Why not make an appointment with us for a check-up – what have you got to lose?




Hits: 2135