Experts help squeeze deals out of carriers

Are you paying $0.02 per minute for on-net voice? If not, maybe it’s time to bring in some expert help. With carrier bills still accounting for a large part of the network budget, it’s hard to ignore the claims of telecom negotiating pros who say they are helping clients chop huge chunks out of their voice, wireless and data bills.

Take G2 Telecom Inc., a 3-year-old, five-person boutique in Pinehurst, N.C. Co-founder and COO Jeffery Carlson says his customers are averaging 35 per cent savings, but the swing is from 20 per cent to 70 per cent.

“The major carriers all price to market average, and unless expertly negotiated, it is likely your company will receive an average telecommunications contract,” G2 argues. “The carriers…give customers the perception they have obtained the best possible rates and terms. Common sense dictates that not every company can…receive the best contract.”

Like competitors Telwares and TechCaliber LLC, G2 is staffed by telecom contract experts, many of them having come from the carrier side, so they know all the inside tricks. “We know how to identify weaknesses in the carriers’ position and leverage that,” Carlson says.

The negotiating firms typically are paid a percentage of the savings generated. Carlson says they get 10 per cent to 25 per cent of the savings, depending on the engagement.

And the savings are not created by pushing clients to fly-by-night carriers.

“Seventy-five per cent of the time the incumbent keeps the business,” Carlson says. “Ninety per cent of the time the business goes to a Tier-1 carrier.”

The network architect of a Fortune 500 company backed that up. His company called in G2 to help negotiate an AT&T contract and ended up with 33 per cent savings. He said that G2 “was easy to work with and knowledgeable about the industry.”

This user’s biggest savings were on the data side, where volume is going up, but he wouldn’t reveal details. On the voice side, however, the company is now paying $0.02 per minute for on-net to on-net calls (where AT&T provides the local T-1 lines into the cloud) and 2.5 to 3 cents per minute for on-net to off-net traffic. “That’s typically a price that much larger companies get,” he says.

He also was pleased that, although his new contract is for three years, escape clauses would let him exit earlier, if needed.

Carlson says customers generally can expect 5 per cent to 10 per cent greater discounts on data than they can generate on the voice side. With wireless, reductions average 50 per cent.

Apply these percentages to bills featuring strings of zeros and you’re suddenly talking real money.

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