Help, My TEM Vendor Was Just Acquired!
What To Do When Your Telecom Expense Management Vendor Is Acquired? Vendors in the telecom expense management and wireless mobility management space have changed quite a bit over the past decade. Long-time vendors have evolved, new vendors have emerged, and many vendors have been involved in mergers and acquisitions. Over the past 10 years, approximately 50 mergers and acquisitions have influenced the vendor landscape significantly. While ownership changes can be good in the long run for the vendors and customers, customers often express concern over the impact to their business.
How will the change impact my service? Will my account team be affected? Will I be required to change technology platforms? How prepared is my vendor to meet or exceed contractual obligations? These are just a few of the questions that circulate when mergers and acquisitions transpire. All are legitimate questions; and they should be addressed promptly by discussing commitments and confirming results through performance monitoring practices. Plans are essential; but successful execution against plans is what really matters.
If your vendor is acquired, take the lead on clarifying the unknown by establishing an action plan to discuss and evaluate changes with your vendor. Schedule a meeting with the vendor’s account and leadership teams and perform a full account review of all in-life and planned activities. Dig deep into the topics that cause concern, and develop a performance monitoring plan to evaluate successful vendor transition. Treat the situation as if you are implementing a new solution. While your solution may be mature and at steady state, the relationships, procedures and nuanced day-to-day interactions may change. Schedule monthly check-up meetings to evaluate the relationship even if quarterly business reviews are already scheduled.
The reality is that even though every vendor that merges or acquires another tells customers that very little will change in the day-to-day experience, changes do occur. Taking the lead in evaluating changes reduces unwanted surprises and helps to forge a positive business relationship with the new vendor.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.