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Managing International Vendor Relationships and Negotiating Favorable Agreements

Jan 4, 2021

Technology Expense Management (TEM) starts delivering value to clients far sooner than many might expect.

Most people are familiar with the analytical, payment, and reporting functions of TEM. TEM providers collect all technology-related invoices for a given client, process and analyze them to assure accuracy, then in many cases make payment on behalf of the client. Automation, experience, and expertise combine to create significant value for clients employing TEM providers.

Assuring the Right Tech for Each Region

But the value of a quality TEM provider begins far sooner than that. When organizations are planning for the implementation of communication services, their TEM leverages the same automation, experience and expertise to assure the client they are using the most effective possible technologies for each application at the most preferable rates available in market.

This becomes even more valuable when the client has facilities located in a variety of countries and regions around the world. No one vendor may serve all the geographies the client operates, and even if they do, they may not offer all their services across all regions. The client depends upon their TEM provider to identify the right vendors and services not only to deliver services in each geography, but also to interoperate properly with related services deployed elsewhere. This requires comparison not only between geographies, but also competitively between various vendors.

Right Tech at the Right Rates

As the maturity of a given company’s deployment of technology matures, the cost of operating those technologies becomes a more and more critical component of their most profitable performance.

Every client wants to pay the most preferred customer rate any carrier or other service vendor offers.

This is not simple to assure. Competitive information is often difficult to obtain as no vendor wants to enable competitive analysis. Rates and tariffs change frequently and are based on aggregated volume of utilization as well as any other factor. Accurately benchmarking a service under consideration has become increasingly more challenging.

Here’s where the automation, experience, and expertise of a quality TEM provider combine most powerfully to enable an unparalleled level of accuracy in benchmarking.

Calero-MDSL has recently introduced TrueSense™, a benchmarking solution that allows clients to search and analyze global product and service rates in a powerful, anonymized database. Clients can, for the first time, know they are receiving the most favored rates in market for the services they are considering.

Driving the Negotiations

Calero-MDSL professionals follow through, leveraging this benchmarking data combined with a deep, carefully developed knowledge of the client’s entire telecom estate and needs to enable the most effective possible negotiating position when representing clients. Agreement inception and annual renewals are opportunities to negotiate better rates.

Of course, the most effective negotiations are often conducted between friends, and the friendlier that relationship is the likelier it is to be successful.

When negotiating global service agreements, the best results can often be achieved by involving local resources who are either part of the TEM provider’s company, or frequently engaged by the TEM. It is all too easy to lose traction when negotiations are managed from afar by people unfamiliar with local taxes, customs, and culture. Speaking the local language can be considered minimum table stakes.

When the TEM provider can serve all the required specifications and details to the vendors in preparation for meeting, an element of trust and appreciation is often introduced into the conversation. It can also foreshorten the time required to affect the renewal or new contract.

It’s All in the Data

Ultimately, the most important element is experience. TEM experts with no familiarity or experience negotiating in a particular country are at a decided disadvantage when negotiating telecom and related agreements. That liability can be mitigated when the TEM provider builds and maintains an extensive database of all previous experience within the given country.

Talk to Calero-MDSL to learn more about our global capabilities and how you can use TrueSense™ to compare prices against industry benchmarks to bring clarity to the complexity of regional and carrier-specific fluctuations.

Written by Calero-MDSL