Blog #internet


13Jun

One thing I found is that Telecom Providers love service reviews. The Account team gets a clear picture of their performance and can develop plans to improve. As your advocate, they can work through their company's internal organizations and push for improvement, also allows their senior management to what is working

Carrier Management Service Reviews

One thing I found is that Telecom Providers love service reviews. The Account team gets a clear picture of their performance and can develop plans to improve. As your advocate, they can work through their company's internal organizations and push for improvement, also allows their senior management to what is working and what does not.

Many years ago, when I was on the front line in deploying our network backbone. I was extremely critical of our providers. They sold a service, and in my opinion, they were not delivering to expectations. I was chatting with my CTO, and I mentioned that I was under the impression the head of sales of our primary provider was not too fond of me. To my surprise, he said that he appreciated me; because of my demanding nature, I made his company better and paid dividends to other customers.

If you are in a sourcing position, you should spend the time to have reviews and engage all internal parties for their input. Reviews will help in the selection process; sometimes, it is not always about price. It takes time to pull away from your day to day and look at the whole and give an accurate assessment. A bi-annual review works well, provides time to correct identified areas, and also enhances the relationships with the communication between you and your partners.

There is much subjectivity in this review process, but try to make it objective. Comparing providers against one another can be a start, grading them on a curve. You may find all of them require improvement in a specific area (Billing is a common sore point). A point system or grade system is something all parties can understand.

Areas to Evaluate:

1. Product offering. Are they wholesale, enterprise focus, do they meet your companies needs. Maybe they meet requirements in some areas but not all.
2. RFI/RFP response, communication, compliance, and intervals. Communication is critical, let your provider know far in advance that you are putting an RFI/RFP together and what you expect from the providers. The notice allows them time to secure their resources to provide the best response possible

3. Service Implementation. Do they meet the FOC? As part of the awarding service, there is the desired date. Providers are selected based upon their ability to meet this date. Planning is required, revenue and cost projects adjustments are for both parties based upon these estimates. Meeting the targets is essential.
4. Installation. Does the service work upon delivery? Unfortunately, more often than not, the service is delivered and passed to the customer, and it doesn't work. I have my team spending days and sometimes week to get the circuit operational.
5. Performance. Is service working as promised once installed? Are they exceeding the SLA's? Make sure you set limits on planned maintenance in your MSA's. I have seen somewhere the carrier has an 8-hour window every day to perform maintenance with little or no notification. Eight hours a month is sufficient if they have a well designed and robust network.
6. Billing. As mentioned before, this never seems to go smoothly. Look over the invoices carefully. Some providers like to sneak in "Fees" that are unwarranted. In my opinion, all costs associated with delivering the product are in the price of the service order. Credits for SLA violations are also a problem; a customer should not have to fight for what is rightfully yours. Check out my blog on Force Majure, the provider's accounts receivable department like to use that clause all too often.

You can always modify your list and add to it or take away. Evaluations should be a work in progress, ever-evolving. Remember to recognize the good; sometimes, a carrier comes up with something that is so far out of the box and beneficial! A top carrier sent automatic credits based upon outages; we did not have to request them. I would always ask, I am glad somebody listened.

We welcome comments, and at 3 Eagles IT Solutions, we can set up evaluations and ensure your company is getting the service you ordered! Schedule a call now. 

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06Apr

3 Eagles IT Solutions isn't a direct provider. Instead, 3 Eagles IT Solutions assist in selecting the providers that offer the options, features, and services that best suit your business. With 3 Eagles IT Solutions, you can choose the right telecom carrier or cloud solution from an informed position.

IT firms like 3 Eagles IT Solutions, exist to partner their clients with the right provider. 3 Eagles IT Solutions represents more than 100 different carriers offering services ranging from a localized territory and covering regions across the United States. 3 Eagles IT Solutions isn't a direct provider. Instead, 3 Eagles IT Solutions assist in selecting the providers that offer the options, features, and services that best suit your business. With 3 Eagles IT Solutions, you can choose the right telecom carrier or cloud solution from an informed position.

  1. Consultants Work For You!     

Carrier Direct Sale Reps work for their respected companies. They may present themselves as acting in your best interest. But in reality, it is in the best interest of their company and the products they have available. A consultant, working for you, can recommend all providers and different products. These providers compete to win the business. A consultant can truly represent your best interest.

  1. Consultants have experience with multiple providers.     

Many people are familiar with Verizon, AT&T, Centurylink. These are the Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILEC) across the US. They also offer business and wholesale products. Each can provide you with a high-speed transport service from NYC to LA. Are they the right choice? Are their better, more efficient options such as Zayo, Airespring, or Windstream? 3 Eagles IT Solutions has relationships with them all and will present available opportunities. A consultant will put forth the due diligence and provide accurate assessments recommending what they believe are the best options available.

  1. Consultants can provide you with visibility.     

Carriers, such as CenturyLink, AT&T, Airespring, allow consultants to channel integrate with direct reps allowing your consultant to attend meetings related to your account. This approach offers a level of visibility you wouldn't receive if you dealt directly with the carrier's account team.

  1. You get more expertise, but you don't pay more.     

With A consultant, you receive expertise, customer service, product support, and project management, but you don't pay for those extras, the carrier does.

  1. A Consultant can help you through the Cloud

Should you be on the Cloud? Should it be a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid? In the Cloud arena, the top players are AWS, Azure, Google, IBM. Interestingly enough, the top telecoms are not on the list though they do offer cloud services. The Telecoms carry the traffic to the cloud provider, the cloud provider stores, and manages your data in their data centers. A consultant can sort through this maze and find the right solution for your business needs. They work with cloud aggregators such as RackSpace and Synoptek and others to put a complete package together, allowing you time to focus on your core business.

  1. Consultants allow you to focus on your core business.      

Consultants represent you to various providers; they can manage the entire process for you, from sourcing to implementation. This saves countless resources and brings the stress level way down. consultants are available after installation to ensure the services are at the right price and meets operational expectations.

3 Eagles IT Solutions is the trusted consultant that your company needs. Schedule a call now.

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31Mar

Sourcing a Telecom Provider: A few of my clients have asked what my process is for making carrier recommendations.

How To Source a Telecom Provider for Internet, Phone, and Cloud Services

A few of my clients have asked what my process is for making carrier recommendations.  First, we must understand the requirement. Establish the specification, we can then stack rank the product offers by prioritizing some of the various factors: price, reliability and performance, account management, post-sales support, contract terms, and Service Level Agreement (SLA).  I will go over these in greater detail on future blogs, here is a brief synopsis:

Price

One would think this is straight forward, but that is not true. There are ways some carriers pad the cost, more on that in contract terms. 

Reliability and Performance

Is the service linear or protected?  Does the customer have a specific expectation? The protected service standard is 99.999% uptime, linear we strive for at least 99.5% availability.  Does the provider have customer testimonials they can share on their performance?

Account Management  

Account management is an essential element. The account team is your door to the provider.  They need to be your advocate, a client's employee that works for the provider.  They need to have the authority to correct faults. 

Post-Sales Support

Post-sales covers a wide area, service order processing, provisioning, testing and acceptance, NOC/Customer Care support, billing, dispute resolution, and many more.

Contract Terms and SLA 

We must be in total agreement with the contract terms. Areas that to monitor:  start billing date, fees and taxes applied, term length, mean time to repair, credit schedule for SLA violations, force majeure, right to cancel, liabilities, planned maintenance, emergency maintenance, and more.  These all need close attention. Some fees added should be considered as part of the product, schedule maintenance should have a not exceed 8 hours a month, the billing start date should be when the client accepts the service after thorough testing. 

At 3 Eagles IT Solutions, we analyze all areas and make concise recommendations.  We will review all offerings and put the best network at the best cost with uncompromising results.  

Save yourself all the hassle and schedule a call now.

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