By Deb Boehling and Laura McDonald

By Deb Boehling and Laura McDonald | August 30, 2016 |


Contract Games: How Verizon Rapid Delivery Turns Contracting on its Head

Contract Games: How Verizon Rapid Delivery Turns Contracting on its Head Large business customers need to be well prepared lest they be sucked into the trap Verizon is setting with its "optimized" service-delivery platform.

Large business customers need to be well prepared lest they be sucked into the trap Verizon is setting with its "optimized" service-delivery platform.

Verizon wants enterprise customers to move to its "optimized" Verizon Rapid Delivery (VRD) platform. In fact, it is openly enticing customers to do so by offering (slightly) lower pricing and promotions to get them to move. Verizon suggests that VRD will streamline processes and make ordering and installation quicker. Sounds good -- everyone wants lower prices and quicker delivery.

So should you jump on the VRD bus? No. As your mother always told you, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

The key is that when you sign up for VRD, you allow Verizon's online VRD terms to trump your negotiated contract. If you negotiated two years to contest an improper invoice, you have now agreed that you only have six months to dispute an invoice. If you negotiated service-level agreements (SLAs) and remedies for Verizon's failure to meet them, you have just agreed to allow Verizon to determine whether it has met the SLAs (based solely on its own records) and that your only remedy for any claim relating to poor service is the standard credits. Even the lower rates may be illusory; for voice services, Verizon may change its rates and charges at any time upon seven days' notice. So, if you rely on the VRD rates posted online without adding them to your contract, you are at risk of those changing as well. And our favorite -- under VRD, if you dispute a bill Verizon serves as the judge and jury and decides the dispute.

VRD is not new -- Verizon introduced it a couple of years ago, and we warned business customers about it then (read "Verizon Rapid Delivery – Not So Fast"). As noted above, Verizon claimed the VRD structure would speed the ordering process by relying on "standardized contracts and SLAs" where "customers can order for themselves." Today, Verizon increasingly is using this approach to gut account teams, negotiated terms, and the pricing and ordering structure relied upon by many businesses.

To avoid Verizon's effort to undermine negotiated terms, business customers need to understand the risks presented by VRD, Verizon's strategy, and how to address them. Verizon's "Rapid Delivery PIP & IP Business Bundle Upsell Promotion v2.0") and "Rapid Delivery VSA AVC Promotion v2.0" ) show Verizon's tactics. The "promotions" entice businesses by promising to waive otherwise applicable underutilization and early termination charges if the customer moves to a non-TDM service, such as Verizon MPLS/VoIP. If the term "upsell" doesn't raise red flags, the requirements should give you pause. You must sign "Verizon's form of Replacement Agreement used for Optimized Services" and commit to buy the services for the agreement term at average monthly charges that are equal to or greater than those committed for the legacy services under the customer's existing agreement. We don't see the savings (or logic) to this promotion, although naïve (or desperate) customers may.

What does this mean and how did we get here? In the remainder of this article we look at Verizon's strategy, how VRD has grown into the threat to negotiated deals it is today, and how you can level the field when playing the VRD game.

Click to continue reading:

Page 2 - The Trajectory of VRD Contracts for Business Customers
Page 3 - Three Steps for Resisting -- and Surviving -- VRD
Page 4 - Chart: Verizon's Services Platform


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.