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Sourcing Advisory for Telecommunications and Network Services

Sourcing advisory for telecommunications involves a multi-faceted approach to achieve the best pricing, contract terms, and service levels for network and Telecom Expense Management (“network services”) contracts. Unlike other suppliers of IT infrastructure, network services suppliers maintain very complex sales and channel organizations and offer highly diverse routes for contracting, billing, and support. This diversity creates inefficiency in terms of pricing and contract quality.

RampRate’s goal is to remove pricing inefficiency and increase contract quality, and in order to navigate these complex sales and service channels, RampRate’s Network Services Group (“RNS”) employs the following methods: billing audits, supplier channel integration, and direct supplier negotiations. These techniques operate as follows:

Billing Audits

Telecom and network bills and service level reports are analyzed for errors and service level issues. Errors and service issues are used for financial recovery and help create points for improved contract terms upon renegotiation. This is performed by RampRate and partners who specialize in billing audits.

Channel Integration

Telecom and network suppliers allow third parties to become full service sales and support organizations that can sell, order, provision, and provide relationship support for optimization of relationship with the suppliers. These channels are funded by commissions earned for managing and supporting the client relationship with the supplier. Channel integration typically reduces pricing significantly.

Direct Negotiations

Some clients are maintained solely on a direct basis by a supplier and aren’t permitted to use a channel partner. In this case, RampRate utilizes its SPY Index database, along with data from partners, to lead direct negotiations with suppliers.

Telecommunication Services Master Contractor

The diverse needs within the telecommunication practice have become highly specialized. While many providers offer a full range of services, RampRate has found that most providers excel in a particular key area, and different providers can be better suited depending on the particular engagement. Moreover, there can be an inherent conflict of interest in these different roles that are best addressed by engaging multiple independent suppliers.

RampRate’s practice is modeled as a Telecommunication Services Master Contractor. Ramprate has no qualm with augmenting its own sourcing expertise with that of specialized telecommunication providers. This approach ensures our clients have the best-of-breed solution for each part of the telecommunication services puzzle and avoid potential issues with a single-source provider. The result gives our clients the best possible outcome in an accelerated timeline while avoiding a length review process for multiple suppliers in multiple different areas of specialization.

Ramprate Network Services and Partners

Channel Integration is the addition of sales, support, and service capability above and beyond the resources of a supplier’s direct solo sales representative. RNS channel partners are volume channels of the telecoms and have faster and deeper access to pricing options, support, and services within a telecom provider due to their size and long history as key channel status at the supplier. RNS has a goal to determine if there is a business case to improve the relationship between the supplier and client.

RNS utilizes various partners, and will inform the client of which partner is involved before they are utilized on a client’s behalf. In all cases, RNS and its partners will have a Letter of Agency, signed by the client, authorizing RNS and its partners to request bills, contracts, service records, and negotiate on behalf of the client.

Since a RNS and its partners are third parties working directly with a client’s suppliers, strict rules of engagement are followed. These rules are enumerated for the client to prepare the client to deal with the fallout of channel conflict that arises from inefficiency and organizational structure problems within the suppliers. Channel conflict occurs when a client has the option to use a channel partner as well as direct sales representatives for ordering and support. When a direct sales representative learns learn that their client has employed a professional sourcing organization and channel partner to optimize the contract, they may attempt to prevent optimization

This attempt often manifests in confused communication to the client. Any reports from direct sales representatives communicating anything outside of what is described in our rules of engagement should be viewed as inaccurate. Attempts by any party within a supplier to derail optimization is proof that optimization will yield a better contract. Clients can always continue to place orders with their direct representations. The addition of a channel partner simply provides more options for the client to attain a better quality contract.