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    How to Control Telecommunications Expenses

    By: Jeff S. Olson
    August 8, 2019

    Image of people in a board room reviewing statisticsYour company relies on many telecommunication services, from telephones and mobile devices to Internet connectivity and the IT infrastructure. No matter how important telecommunications is to your business, it is important to stay focused on your budget. Otherwise, telecom equipment and infrastructure maintenance costs might increase without you realizing it.

    Far too many businesses leave their telecom services unchecked. The cost of these services begs the question: what are some common areas in which telecom expenses grow exponentially? More importantly, what can you do to control those expenses?

    MRCs

    MRCs, known as monthly recurring charges, are a standard feature of any telecom or connectivity bill. These fees appear on your monthly telecom carrier bill and relate directly to the services you are receiving. These recurring charges are something to seriously note while looking at your expenses. MRCs are fees you are charged for, whether the services are being used or whether you specifically ordered them or not.

    Telecom providers often bundle services together, providing you with services you may or may not need. Regardless, you are billed MRCs for all services in your bundle.

    Receiving a telecom audit can help you identify which specific services you're using and which services you're just getting charged for. Following an audit, you may be able to unbundle those unused services, lowering your MRCs to reasonable levels.

    Overage Charges

    Each time you look at the bill from your telecom provider and see month-to-month differences in the amount billed, it is often a result of overage charges. These can range from minute and data usage to text messaging fees or can represent one-time charges for setup and installation. If your telecom plan does not include set fees for data, minutes and text messages on business mobile phones (for example), you could be wasting thousands of dollars each year in overage charges.

    An audit will help you identify the causes of these fluctuations and select a plan that better covers the activities resulting in overage charges.

    Third-Party Bills

    If you or your employees have signed up for additional services offered outside your primary telecom provider, those third parties might use your telecom provider as a billing agent for those services rendered. This approach is a sneaky tactic that allows that third party to hide fees from you by rolling them into your telecom provider's bill. 

    In many cases, these additional services are seldom, if ever, used by your business. Fortunately, an audit of your telecom services will help you identify unused services and have them removed from your bill.

    Unused and Unnecessary Features

    When you or your IT manager originally began telecom services for your business, the customer service representative likely spent time during the call going through a myriad of add-on services and features. Most providers then encourage customers to try some of these add-on features, which are often free for an introductory period. Once that period ends, however, the full cost of those services and features is automatically billed without a follow-up call to verify your desire to continue these services.

    According to TechTargetan estimated 90 percent of companies are overpaying by roughly 30 percent for telecom services. This problem affects businesses of all sizes:

    • Small companies/startups: Many business responsibilities are handled by a small-business owner who is focused on the overall success of the business, not the minute details of telecom carrier bills.
    • Mid-sized companies: Most companies arrive at this stage through rapid growth, resulting in knee-jerk reactions or oversight due to low prioritization – such as adding or subtracting telecom carrier services, but not reviewing the bill to make sure the changes were applied.
    • Large corporations: The merger of two companies is the most common reason among large corporations. When various services and systems are merged, it is easy for small details to slip through the cracks.

    Fortunately, a telecom audit offers a quick resolution to this problem. Once you identify the features and services you no longer want, you can contact your telecom provider and ask to have those removed from your account, resulting in lower business expenses.

    So, the question remains...

    When Was Your Last Telecom Audit? 

    The bottom line here is the real value of a telecom audit. Individuals and businesses are often guilty of simply receiving a bill and assuming it is accurate. However, by conducting a telecom audit to identify overages, excessive charges and unused carrier services, you may be able to significantly lower your bill and better control your telecom expenses. 

    If you haven’t conducted a telecom audit recently, your company could be overpaying for services that aren’t being used, or that are underutilized. Paying for services that aren’t being used causes some organizations to waste a lot of money. In some cases, old telecom carrier services never get cancelled. In other cases, services were sold to you upfront, and you pay for them monthly without ever taking advantage of them.  

    At the end of the day, telecommunications should evolve as your business evolves. Do the telecom carrier services you initially selected still adequately serve your company today? Whether the issue is billing errors, out-of-term-contracts or a provider that's a poor fit for your needs, any company is susceptible to overspending on telecom carrier services.

    There are many potential areas for waste, but a telecom audit allows your company to stay ahead and better control costs associated with your network.

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    Topics: Consultants, Carrier Services, Telecom, IT infastructure, cost savings
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