The challenge of telecommunications – like many technology-driven markets – is keeping up with the pace of change. Most IT departments have many fish to fry, and nowadays most are increasingly focused on their customers and the end-user experience. A focus on telecom comes and goes with the flow of internal IT priorities.
Often, over the course of time as companies grow, change and evolve, telecom services are bolted on. Services become disparate and outdated. The result: your infrastructure is not optimized and communications costs have escalated. So what should you do now? Here’s a three-step roadmap to get you on your way to a comprehensive telecom strategy:
1) Get a firm understanding of your current services. (Do an audit part 1)
If you have a multi-location network, be sure to inventory all sites for all services. Compare all services with your current invoices and contracts for discrepancies. If you have a relatively complex network, you will likely find services you’re paying for, but don’t have. Get a bandwidth utilization report for each location and conduct a performance and capacity review. Identify any billing mistakes, overlapping services, and over-under used services.
2) Get a firm understanding of your contractual status with all carriers. (Do an audit part 2)
You must understand all existing contracts inside and out. What are your commitments? Do termination fees apply if you switch services? What are the contract end dates for all things telecom whether it be voice, data, mobility, or your VoIP phone system.
3) Develop a formal contract and telecom service strategy.
Now that you understand your current state, what do you want your future state to look like, and what opportunities exist – within fiscal reason – to get you there? Can one provider do it all, or does mix and match serve you better? Within a multi-location network, some sites may have limited carrier options and sub-optimal pricing points. Sometimes mix and match can get you the best price and the most functionality. If one provider can give you what you want and you know you have the proper price point, is one invoice appealing, or is it easier to apply services to the proper cost center and therefore have multiple invoices?
Of course, solution identification and procurement is the next step, but this is a good start to get you on your way to many benefits such as:
- Corrected billing errors
- Streamlined, optimized services and expenses
- Co-terminous contracts and simplified invoices
- Best rates for the necessary services
- A communications infrastructure built for growth
- Cost savings – use it to increase your bandwidth and build the DR plan you know you need.
Value creation within telecom can be elusive in the face of complex technologies and varied choices. Needless to say, it can be frustrating and time consuming. However, significant costs savings are very attainable, productivity gains are certain, and a well-defined business continuity plan will keep you at peace. Interested in learning more? Contact us.