Many businesses overpay for their voice and data services because they don’t have the time, resources or desire to continually audit and analyze their services and invoices. Our consulting services vary from fulfilling a simple quote request to negotiating with providers on your behalf. Fees, if any, will be disclosed in advance.
Invoice and Contract Analysis
We compare your current phone, data, and Internet bills to your contracts. This ensures you are being charged for exactly the services you signed up for, at the rates you agreed to pay. We check to see that no added services, fees, or surcharges magically popped up on your bill.
Before offering you a new service, we check that you are meeting your minimum usage requirements with your current provider. All too many times, inexperienced sales representatives will overlook this. They simply sign you up for new services with their company without noting that you are obligated to your current provider for another 12 months-oops! We review your commitments and address any “early termination fees” before we decide if now is a good time to change. In some cases, a new provider may offer to buy out your old agreement.
Many of our clients come to us with a stack of phone and data bills, often from several different carriers. While focusing on growing their business, they don’t spend much time on telecom bills and this allows their services to get away from them. They need help organizing.
We can build an inventory that outlines all phone numbers, circuit IDs, Internet services and more. This complete blue-print of the internal communications network helps forecast future needs as well as reveal existing services you forgot about.
Service, Equipment and Needs Audit
We determine the services and equipment you now have. Then, we compare the capacity of your network to what is actually used in phone calls and data traffic. Next, we establish your future needs and develop a package of services that addresses those needs. Our goal is to make certain your network is robust enough to function the way you need it to, without any overkill.
This probably won’t come as any great shock; communications providers don’t always bill customers correctly. After reviewing invoices and contracts, we often find mistakes made by the ISP or telecom carrier. These can often be costly and time consuming to resolve. Sagewood Group has many years’ experience and a great track record in procuring refunds for erroneous charges.
Competitive Quotes from Multiple Providers
Once your requirements are established, we contact the various service providers who can deliver the best solutions. We receive multiple competitive quotes from companies who want to earn your business.
We provide you a side-by-side total cost analysis of your alternatives. Any differences in “soft” issues like reliability and customer service will be noted. We provide you with several choices on how you can reduce expenses, upgrade your system, or obtain better efficiency.
Once you decide which choice will work best, we obtain the contracts for you. We help you understand carrier-lingo and what you are signing. Since we deal with providers every day, we also know which contract clauses are negotiable and where the pitfalls lay.
Once the agreement is made, Sagewood Group interfaces with your existing vendors and carriers. We’ll coordinate time frames and relay important information to all parties involved. This mean you don’t have to waste your time managing the process.
Post-Installation Bill Review
30-45 days after the installation of services, we verify that you are receiving the services you ordered at the contracted rates. We’ll interface with your carrier to assist with correcting mistakes. We also offer continued support through any moves, additions, or other changes.
Ongoing Monthly or Quarterly Management
Since we value long term business relationships with all of our clients, we provide a variety of account management services. We can be a single point of contact for anything related to your telecommunication services.
Oftentimes, when there are services issues, there is finger- pointing between carriers, the equipment providers, and software vendors. By working directly with all involved parties, we can resolve issues as quickly as possible. Our day by day experience in the industry allows us to resolve most outstanding issues much faster than the clients themselves.
Cellular Phone Rate and Pooling Plan Review
Each telecom contract is analyzed to determine the best mobility plan to meet your business needs. Usages are examined to ensure the plan reflects your carrier agreement. Wireless rate plans and pooling plans are reviewed and buckets of usage are examined and compared across your entire company. Each rate plan is studied and the usage inspected. These include pooling plans, roaming usage, text, SMS, Data Cards, and International usage. Our goal is to present accurate findings to our clients that maximize service and decrease monthly spend.
Government Compliance (HIPPA, PCI, SOX, GLBA)
Depending on the industry you are in, you may have to comply with increasing government regulations. Failure to do you can result in opening yourself up to fines and/or lawsuits. Sagewood Group can arrange for a Security Consultation to discuss compliance with these regulations by ensuring you have documented security controls in place.
HIPAA: Acronym that stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, a US law designed to provide privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information. This law covers health plan providers, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, these new standards provide patients with access to their medical records and more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed. They represent a uniform, federal floor of privacy protections for consumers across the country. State laws providing additional protections to consumers are not affected by this new rule. HIPAA took effect on April 14, 2003.
PCI DSS: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements designed to ensure that all companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Essentially, it applies to any merchant that has a Merchant ID (MID). PCI DSS took effect on September 7, 2006.
SOX: Sarbanes-Oxley Act is designed to oversee the financial reporting landscape for finance professionals. Its purpose is to protect investors by improving the accuracy and the reliability of corporate disclosures. It also mandates that companies should maintain corporate-wide information security policies. Information security policies should govern network security, access controls, authentication, encryption, logging, monitoring and alerting, pre-planned coordinated incident response, and forensics. SOX took effect in 2002.
GLBA: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act mandates privacy and the protection of customer records maintained by financial institutions. These security requirements include access controls on customer information systems, encryption of electronic customer information, procedures to ensure that system modifications do not affect security, and monitoring systems to detect actual attacks or intrusions. GLBA took effect in 1999.
Sagewood Group will help you prepare a Request for Quote (RFQ) or a Request for Proposal (RFP) for submission to multiple carriers. We will present you all of the options and discuss the strengths and weakness of each. Each carrier offers unique solutions and Sagewood Group will help you determine what will be best for your business.