by Mike Wills, Backbone (UK) Ltd
Telecom brokers are relative newcomers to the telecoms market. In essence, like any other type of broker, they identify the best deal for a customer's requirements. The customer signs up with the broker and receives any bills direct from them. Brokers buy millions of minutes of talk-time from various networks, which enables them to take a cut and still provide the customer with substantial savings. In addition, they often provide added value with their package, for example enhanced billing capabilities or security controls.
Before enlisting a broker, consider the following:
- how much are you presently spending on your phone bill?
- how often do telecom cold callers approach you?
- what telephone system do you presently have? Is it outdated?
- what are your long range business plans?
- will you have to change equipment or upgrade your system? Will you be tied to the hardware provided by the alternative telecom provider?
- what are the general trends in the telecom market? (This is a good way to assess the credibility of the potential supplier)
Then follow the next steps:
- determine which companies you are going to review
- make telephone contact
- understand their specific service, possibly during a meeting, including their unique selling points (USPs), their differentiators and their inabilities
- get them to list the loss (or gain) of functionality you might experience against the saving trade-off
- if possible allow them access to your last bill and ask them to assess the savings they can offer
- list the evaluation criteria you will assess the suppliers by
- try some objective and structured scoring system before making a final choice
Reviewed January 2011
last updated : 21/01/2011
See also our UK ICT Directory for supplier lists and links
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