Sunday, May 6
6:00 – 8:30 PM | The Fundamentals of Network Deals
Network deals challenge those new to the field or that deal with telecom and IT on an intermittent basis. Acronyms abound, services have multiple names and – based on who and where the provider is – varied regulatory treatment. If you need a refresh or a stronger grasp of the basics and nuances, come early and attend this session. It covers key telecom concepts, from critical background (such as key services and vendors) to how to structure your contracts and navigate the legal and regulatory framework inherent in the process. Plus, we decode the technical jargon that pervades the industry as well as identify key details to avoid missteps trouble down the road.
Monday, May 7
8:45 – 9:00 AM |Welcome & Introductions
9:00 – 9:50 AM |The Market – Today and Tomorrow
Technology and the never-ending search for better, cheaper, and more secure services drive Enterprises to constantly re-evaluate their path forward. Meanwhile, mergers impact your business, non-traditional providers try to grab market share, and customers face more opportunity (and confusion) as they determine their best strategies for success. Discover the services and vendors that are yesterday’s news or on the rise so you can better plan for your needs and technology evolutions.
9:50 – 10:45 AM | Best Practices For Getting The Deal You Want In an Evolving Market
Seasoned sourcing professionals know the rules to follow to secure the best deal, but are these the best practices in light of the changing market? Hear what still works and what new techniques you must adopt as you plan your next network deal.
10:45 – 11:00 AM | BREAK
11:00 – 11:50 AM | How to Control Your Price and Commitment Terms and Get Best in Class Contract Terms
Providers devote enormous resources trying to “streamline” their contracts. The end result is seldom – really never – customer friendly, and their standard documents are daunting. This session pinpoints the financial and operational pitfalls found in standard provider terms. We reveal the tricks and tips you need to craft a solid network contract and how to structure your agreement (and effectively declaw online terms) to avoid common problems on price, payment, and commitment terms.
11: 50 – 12:50 PM | Keys to Balancing Risk & Flexibility in Your Deal
Find out how to pinpoint critical contract provisions vendors exclude from their standard boilerplate forms, where your current contract needs a tune-up, and how to see through vendor negotiation strategy games. We share real-life examples of “red flag” provisions on everything from limitation of liability to confidentiality provisions and give you tactics to address the vendor’s push to “solutions” that can change the fundamental terms of your deal.
1:00 – 2:00 PM | Special Session: Hot Topics Told Straight
(aka what FCC developments are in play that could impact your bottom line and deals).
GENERAL SESSIONS CONT.
2:30 – 3:20 PM | SDN Technology – Why It Will (Or Should Be) In Your Future WAN Planning
SDNs/SD-WANs redefined how carriers and Enterprise customers manage and source their networks. Learn more about SDN and SD-WAN technologies and what it means for your network and equipment infrastructure, costs, vendor contracts, and operations.
3:20 – 4:10 PM |Manage your Bills and your TEM Provider
Without grit and knowledge, it is next to impossible to manage your invoices. Yet invoices are riddled with errors and providers push more responsibility (and more automation) on customers to order, understand and retrieve invoices. TEM providers can deliver results, if you craft a solid TEM contract and receive solid billing support. This session walks you through how to source, contract and manage your TEM provider, what a TEM can do for you and what they can’t, and how you can improve your processes and lessen your pain.
3:20 – 4:10 PM |Network Security & Security Services
Every Enterprise struggles to find the right balance when it seeks to protect its network and data. Providers offer many security solutions, but resist robust security terms in their contracts. Hear targeted advice on mobile and cloud security, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other obligations you must have to protect your network, and what to include in your contracts and your risk analysis. Leave with a recommended checklist of how to prepare for if – and likely when – you get hacked.
4:10 – 4:25 PM | BREAK
4:25 – 5:15 PM | Cloud Services
Cloud Services (regardless the flavor) are now Enterprise staples. Yet, questions of how best to integrate cloud services with the full range of Enterprise network and IT technologies – like UC and outsourcing – persist. Security, contracting, and implementation present new issues that make it tricky to negotiate with cloud providers. This session looks at the latest cloud best practices, implications for your procurement and contracting strategies, and common contracting hurdles you need to overcome.
5:15 – 5:30 PM | Daily News, Wrap-Up and Q& A
5:30 – 6:30 PM | Networking Reception
TUESDAY, May 8
8:15 – 9:00 AM | BREAKFAST
Last year produced a significant number of merger and acquisition announcements in the enterprise market across a wide variety of industry sectors. Experts predict even more M&A activity in 2018. How prepared is your organization to effectively manage the disruption these corporate reorganizations can impose on your network and IT sourcing and contract management? Come to this newly added bonus session to learn how to best plan and respond, whether you are the acquiring entity or the acquired entity.
This session will target, from a technology and telecom perspective, what you can do now to prepare for potential merger and spin-off activity, how to minimize costs and disruption to your organization when integrating a newly acquired entity, and how to assess key contract and transition risks associated with mergers and acquisitions.
9:00 – 10:00 AM | Wireless in 2018
Wireless technology and business models are more complex and dynamic than ever, and today wireless spend is a significant portion of Enterprise customers telecom budget (and a key focus for providers). Hear about the current and future wireless market and how you can reap big savings and efficiency benefits right now from your existing providers and optimize your process for what lies ahead.
10:00 – 10:15 AM | BREAK
10:15 – 11:10 AM | Controlling Surcharges
Network contracts are riddled with “surcharges” that add as much as 25% to your charges for a service. By vendor design, they are hard to identify – and even harder to eliminate. Learn how to identify them, which ones are truly driven by federal or state requirements, and how you can mitigate their impact.
10:15 – 11:10 AM | Service Level Agreements
Every contract should have them, but few have truly meaningful SLAs. How do you identify, obtain and maintain cutting edge SLAs and how do the providers sidestep these efforts? We show you how to maneuver through this jungle of standards and ASLAs (almost SLAs).
11:10 – 11:20 | BREAK
11:20 – 12: 15 PM | Software and Equipment: Effective agreements with OEMs and VARs
More and more, Enterprises enter into agreements for equipment and software, either as part of their network deals or through value-added channel partners (“VARs”). For years, these agreements played in the background; now, it is imperative that Enterprises not overlook the importance of software and equipment in their deals. Learn how this rapidly evolving marketplace impacts your deals as well the best practices to deploy – and the pitfalls to avoid – when you negotiate deals directly with OEMs and VARs.
11:20 – 12: 15 PM | SIP Trunking – 2nd Gen
SIP is now a bedrock Enterprise technology, but are you ready for coming changes in the market and SIP’s increasing role in your network? Discover opportunities to improve your SIP contracts, how to migrate your SIP service to another vendor (and improve your prices), methods to better manage “forced” migrations from TDM to SIP, and how you can take advantage of new savings and features.
12: 15 – 1: 45 PM | LUNCH
Eat and network with the speakers and fellow attendees
1:45 – 2:45 PM | VOIP, UC, UCAAS – Understanding the differences and creating the voice and “smart” network you need
The growth in options creates confusion about the differences and roles of UC or UCaaS vs. traditional premises-based alternatives and how to best implement these solutions in your Enterprise. We help you understand the features and challenges of each solution, how they integrate with other applications, and who is offering what. Get a firm grasp on the fundamentals and gain understanding of the glitches, security concerns, and cost drivers that impact your decision and what you must include in your contracts to reflect the different solutions.
2:45 – 3:00 PM | BREAK
3:00 – 3:50 PM | Negotiation Strategies and Lessons Learned
Before you leave, see how the advice of the conference works in real life. Every procurement or negotiation has its share of wrong turns, and spectacular saves. Our team of experienced speakers takes you through several real-world procurement examples to reveal what worked and what flopped. Learn from other Enterprises’ pain and get tips on what to do (and what not to do) to land a top-notch deal, with a special focus on negotiation tactics and options – what are standard provider lines and how to combat them.
3:50 – 4:30 PM | Closing and Lightning Round