Operators are more and more concerned these days about their IOT discount deals, abandoning deals because in reality they are not ideal. Although IOT discount deals have been in place for a long time, the industry has lately faced problems in this area and the GSMA have now created a new template to assist Operators in formalising deals so they have a better chance of coming to completion.
But it would seem to me that if an IOT discount deal is done well and has a win-win formula (which it can have in nearly every situation) then there would be no issues with ensuring the deal lasts its lifetime. So what is needed to achieve the win-win formula?
I remember 15 years ago when deal-making didn’t really exist. We simply accepted the Inter Operator Tariff (IOT) we were offered and passed on the costs to our customers.
Cost consolidation due to mergers meant that big operator groups started to appear and those without a group formed alliances to defend themselves against these groups.
Steering capability then came along and the world changed. Every Operator started sending their minutes to the most optimal partner in terms of price, coverage and services and moving the minutes from those partners who either didn’t offer deals, good coverage or good rates.
These days deal making is not so political but more driven by true commercial strategy. IOTs remain the high value factor in the Roaming department – simply because there’s a lot of money to be saved when finding the most optimal win-win deal and because when you have all the roaming you want and your facing the financial squeeze, there are always some savings possible on wholesale rates which may allow for bigger margins in Retail.
It’s not to be underestimated that IOTs between Roaming Partners are only as good as the deals behind them.
Investing in an IOT Optimisation Strategy and a roll out plan for Wholesale deal making is an effort, but one that bears significant savings far outweighing the costs involved.
This is a relationship business and the deals that you make are dependent upon the dealmaker you choose. So what makes a good dealmaker:
- Strong negotiation skills: You will need someone who knows how to bring your Roaming Partner to the table and to get the win-win result you both want.
- Wide network of industry contacts: The better your negotiator is recognized the better your chances are for success.
- Proven track record in deal making: It is said that when you fail, you must try and try again. But wouldn’t it be better to succeed in the first try instead?
- Cultural awareness: This is the tricky part. How do you know when you have succeeded in your negotiation with your partner? Does yes always mean yes? We are all living in a Global community, but with local traditions that must be recognized in order to win the deal.
- Relationship building/ Partnership strategy: Defining a Partnership strategy can be hard, but building the relationship with them that will bring you the results takes time and effort. It is hard work and it requires some people skills as well.
You know when your in-front of a real negotiator that you have to come prepared with all your data and your margin for negotiation.
We’ve all met IOT negotiators who rock. You know who they are.
You feel like you’re going to end up giving away everything or accepting a dry roaming season for traffic. That’s why we say and we know that IOT Optimisation and getting a win-win deal is a fine art.
Rocco now offers a new ROAMING 360 Product called IOT Optimisation. We help you decide on your strategy, in which markets and with which operators. We work out a plan of attack (optimised around BARG meetings to allow for face to face time). We select for you mature and familiar industry names to work with your roaming partners, so from day one you know that we can walk in the door and start working on win-win deals that will bring significant benefits.