Companies looking to sign virtual network operator contracts in an attempt to slash their communications costs must write tight service level agreements (SLAs) into their contracts to avoid problems, says a major VNO customer.
Vesuvius, a key international supplier of refractory products used in the steel making industry, has just renewed its communications deal with VNO Vanco, but only after some hard bagaining after experiencing a number of service difficulties with the supplier.
Vanco, which is holding its annual press and customer event in Barcelona this week, provides a patchwork of services from more than one communications supplier to customers, to enable them to get the best deals for their communications.
But after experiencing a number of previous service difficulties with Vanco, Vesuvius, which is part of the British publicly quoted Cookson Group, played hard ball when it came to renewing its contract with Vanco.
A previous three year deal saw the firm experience various problems with its global network, including the non-delivery of services in the US and the late shipment of hardware to support its global network.
Vesuvius CIO Pierre Combemale, said, "We previously had issues stemming from the US, where part of the contract was managed from.
"Vanco was still growing over there, and we had to sit down with Vanco to have a serious discussion about SLAs before we decided to renew."
Combemale said any repeated network failures would now allow the firm to tear up the new £3m-plus five-year contract, which is under constant review on issues covering project implementation guarantees, and stringent administrative SLAs covering accurate billing, invoicing and documentation.
Vanco CEO Allen Timpany said of the previous problems experienced by his customer, "Those problems have now been ironed out, and we have already bought a US VNO to extend our presence over there and help grow the business with a better service.
"Vesuvius has renewed which is obviously good for us, but sometimes it is good to have a fight and sort things out."