3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 16, 2012 12:19 PM by Ceylan Thomson

    Looking at sourcing internet service (Cable/DSL), looking for tips and or experiences...

    Mike Thompson Newbie

      Looking at sourcing internet service (cable/DSL) for my company, I am wondering if any one has tips or experience sourcing this type of service?

        • Re: Looking at sourcing internet service (Cable/DSL), looking for tips and or experiences...
          Mickael LOPES Newbie

          Hi Mike,

           

          I cannot give you more inputs than : launch an RFP and then achieve more savings through Auctions. It works.

           

          Mickael.

          • Re: Looking at sourcing internet service (Cable/DSL), looking for tips and or experiences...
            edelsol Apprentice

            , DTDMike,

             

            A good first step is that you have clarified your need, compared to your previously stated request.  Even before getting to sourcing specific comments, I see that you are focused on Internet service specifically, (cable or DSL.)  As a former telco sales engineer--even if  a bit rusty--it raises the question for me about who decided on your service needs.  One common problem I saw was a need stated by purchasing that was presented to them by a business function or IT, and did not have a holistic perspective in terms of what the OVERALL business required.  I won't delve deeply into that but just ask you to review your internal process at arriving at your need--even if you're in IT.  Ensure that all internal parties who are affected by the purchase decision are aware and have made their inputs. 

             

            As an example, if you need Internet service because you are moving into a more comprehensive IP telephony solution for your business--and away from a mini PBX or Centrex type service, you may care about the quality of service on your Internet line.  So a bread-and-butter DSL or cable service may not be sufficient.  Along the same lines, if you are going with new equipment, you may want to consolidate your provider's on-site Internet termination (data terminating device, DTD) and internal switching (IP switch/router).  As a rule, the simpler your network, the more robust it will be, but the price will notch up a bit.  That will be worth it if you need that network to be up all the time.  It may also change the support responsibilities.  If you do not have the skills in-house, DO NOT take on what you cannot do in the hope that nothing goes wrong.  Something will, usually at the worst possible time and threatening your provider won't work.  You'll more than likely end up with a bad relationship and a substantial break-fix labour charge.  These 'post-sale' issues are some of the most insidious problems that occur and too many people lose sight of them in their quest to 'win' the 'best price' up front.  You want to get a good service at a good price and forget that it's there, to focus on helping your business do whatever you guys do to make money.

             

            So to your request for sourcing help, network providers know all these things I mentioned above, and many more: expect an up-sell.  Don't fight that as many buyers do--as if they don't have the power to say no.  Use that upsell pitch to inform yourself as fully as possible.  Use the questions from one provider to educate you on examining the other and build your "assessment inventory," so that you know intuitively, which is the better deal for you at the time.  It helps if you write down your thoughts and expectations before engaging anyone, and after each meeting.  Our memories are nowhere as good as we think they are, especially when dealing with sales people.

             

            Do this well and you'll know when you are ready.  You'll also overcome the common hesitation to pull the trigger and sign, which many buyers show, always second guessing themselves about whether they are getting the best deal and then 'squeezing' some more just to be sure.  The wasted time and the provider doing its best to scrape back whatever it can to maintain profitability is hardly worth the small concessions--usually a further price reduction.  Most important, be very clear in your expectations for what a service provider means to your business.  Even if you do not have a SLA, that statement of expectations will mean something--to routinely keep them serving you at peak and also responding promptly in case of problems.  So getting that message to a sales manager in addition to your rep--can't tell you which one will be more or less permanent nowadays--may be a useful thing to do.

            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Looking at sourcing internet service (Cable/DSL), looking for tips and or experiences...
              Ceylan Thomson Expert

              Hi Mike,

               

              You may want to check out Ariba Discovery at http://discovery.ariba.com . It only takes a few minutes to create a posting, and you can find over 700,000 suppliers - including thousands in the IT and Telecomm space. Just describe your buying needs, and Discovery will match you to suppliers who can provide the products or services you're looking for. It's quick and easy, and you can get bids delivered to your inbox within a few hours.

               

              Cheers,

              Ceylan