Walking the Talk of Telecom Negotiations


Because telecom costs represent a significant investment for a global organization, effective negotiation of telco/service/product contracts is imperative.

But it’s not enough to “play hardball” and threaten to terminate a contract and find new partners if your terms aren’t met.  You need to use knowledge of mature and emerging technologies, market-based price and service standards, and contract terms and conditions to define goals and manage vendor performance.

Some do’s and don’ts:

  • Do include contractual provision for annual benchmarks to ensure that rates stay aligned with rapidly evolving market conditions, as well as your changing business requirements.
  • Do enhance flexibility by demanding a low, or no annual commitment.
  • Do be aware of market standards regarding pricing structures for basic product and service elements, as well as for those less obvious “administrative” charges that seem to appear on invoices.
  • Don’t allow published tariffs to be used as the basis of negotiations. They are misleading, since they don’t include the credits, bonuses, and forbearance that typically characterize any large telecom agreement.
  • Don’t allow the contract to include prices for services that you don’t use.  Since you have no incentive to negotiate prices for such services, you’ll be at a disadvantage if you need them in the future.

If you follow these and other guidelines and still don’t get what you need, then you have to be prepared to pull the trigger and issue an RFP for new services.

About the author

John has more than 30 years of experience providing senior leadership with practical, yet strategic vision to drive meaningful change to complex, multi-national enterprises Programs that will extend business value through the effective and efficient use of today’s exploding digital capabilities. John is a critical leader for a diverse portfolio of ISG clients across diversified manufacturing, banking, insurance and retail industries. John leads the global Network Services and Telecommunications competency center and is regarded as a global thought-leader, regularly consulted regarding emerging technologies, cloud and the Internet of Things, Unified Communications and global partner capabilities.