We have all heard the term ‘outsourcing’, especially in IT.  Unfortunately, the concept has lost its appeal and value as people tend to associate outsourcing with the elimination of jobs or the replacement of resources with process.  In the world of telecommunications, a function essential to every enterprise in business today, the management of expenses, contracts, and daily tasks has immersed telecom management into chaos.  Without optimized communications and effective telecom services, your employees, customers, partners, and vendors suffer, and your reputation may tarnish due to poor customer service.  Because the very function of managing telecom seems to be a necessary evil, the concept of outsourcing it becomes a bit more viable – appealing even.   Here are 4 common beliefs that can cloud the value of outsourcing:

    1. Telecom is Messy and Chaotic

The industry is full of many different service providers, carriers, agents, consultants, hardware providers, Telecom Expense Management (TEM) companies, mobility management firms, phone providers, and IT management firms.  With so many options to choose from, it becomes difficult to choose the right provider or technology for your business needs.  The result is too many vendors pointing fingers at each other when something goes wrong.

Answer: A strategic, holistic partner who will look out for your organization’s needs.  Telecom outsourcing eliminates the hassle of managing multiple carriers, multiple vendors, and having to navigate through complex technologies and solutions.

    1. Telecom is Not a Core, Strategic Part of Business

While potentially confusing and certainly frustrating, telecom is a necessary aspect of your business, critical to its daily function.  However, the management and optimization of telecom is not a core part of your business. Telecom tends to fall under the umbrella of IT management, but as such does not have the luxury of qualified, devoted resources for effective daily operation.  As with other business functions in the enterprise, such as human resources, accounting, or operations, telecom should be separated out as its own entity within the enterprise.  Impact: IT teams are focusing on the day to day tasks of telecom.

Answer:  Because telecom tends to burden multiple business units with the day to day tasks of supplier and expense management, a telecom outsourcing solution becomes a highly desirable option that will get your complete organization back on track with their own departmental strategic initiatives.

    1. The Amalgamation of IT and Telecom

Although IT and telecom do seem to blend together with the emergence of complex technologies such as MPLS, Ethernet, cloud computing, and disaster recovery, IT needs to focus how enterprise technology can enhance the business from a strategic perspective.  Managing carrier contracts, telecom expenses, mobility devices, and helpdesk support, while crucial to an enterprise, is not a valuable consumption of IT’s time. The result is that both telecom and IT suffer: strategic IT priorities take a back seat to the immediacy of telecom-related problems.

Answer:  Complete telecom outsourcing allows your IT organization to contribute to core aspects of their job, furthering enterprise-wide IT initiatives.

    1. Effective Telecom Management Requires Dedication and Ownership

While IT and telecom go hand in hand, each discipline requires acute time dedication and ownership.  Ineffective management and outcomes result from attempting to meld two distinct businesses into one.  Precious time and budget dollars are spent on the people, processes, and technologies required to effectively manage telecom services internally.

Answer: Telecom outsourcing releases management time and reduces the total cost of telecom (TCT™) ownership and total cost of telecom per employee.

Revisit the concept of Telecom Outsourcing and see if it’s the right answer for your company. Learn more about how you can Measure Telecom in your business and alleviate hard costs, as well as soft costs, that are attached to managing your telecom environment. Re-focus and get back to what’s important to your business.

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A telecommunications enterprise is a complex and multi-faceted organization that is both a strategic necessity and a likely source of economic drain.  Most companies aren’t aware of the cost outflow within their wireless telecom environment, or if they are, managers don’t have the time or resources to identify and correct the source.  The lack of focus on the daily cost management of telecom can continue and snowball into significant losses to the enterprise.

Identifying and managing these areas of loss could most certainly be a full time job.  The problem with continued waste is that most enterprises do not have resources focused on the day to day management of wireless telecom expenses.  Wireless telecom cost drains can be obvious, some can be insidious, and still others need to be drudged up to the surface.   All, however, require time and a tedious level of commitment to overcome.

As the list of unmanaged wireless telecom expenses can be lengthy, a good place to start is with the lowest-hanging fruit – those problems that are the easiest to resolve and which can reap immediate savings.   In review of wireless expenses, immediacy of savings can best be realized by reviewing some key areas of your wireless expenses, move on to dig up the stealthy issues that contribute to cost outflow.

Plan Pooling and Optimization

Own pool optimization by specifying if and when automatic optimizations occur to improve device performance – don’t let this run unmanaged.

Voice/Data/Text Overages

Unless your mobile user base has an unlimited plan for voice, data and texting, monthly overages can voraciously eat away at your budget.  Overages comprise one of the most common problems amongst mid-sized organizations today.  Research and review who your mobile user is, what he/she will be utilizing the mobile device for (cellular telephone, email, presentations, web browsing, etc.) and optimize a monthly plan that will be built around users’ needs.

Excessive Roaming Charges

If your mobile users are racking up roaming charges then it is time to re-evaluate their plan.  Move them to a global plan that will enable them to utilize their device when and where necessary.   Roaming charges nonsensically creep into expenses but can be easily avoided.

Unnecessary Add-on Features and Services

Another source of escape occurs by providing an employee with too much functionality or service that goes unused.  Allowing unnecessary add-ons such as insurance, roadside assistance, or visual voicemail will only ensure that telecom cost creep will continue to erode your bottom line.   Review each mobile user contract to determine which features are absolutely necessary for him or her to perform their duties, and eliminate the rest.

Zero Usage Devices

One of the more common problems, the management of devices that are no longer utilized, such as those that belong to terminated employees or those that have been replaced or upgraded, requires more time and effort to optimize, but can result in modest cost savings.  Having a strictly enforced mobile user policy in place that addresses zero usage device management is essential.

Unused or Underutilized Data and Text Plans

Rectifying what is actually billed with what is used is an arduous task but one that can pay big dividends.  Assess those plans that are underutilized or not used at all to determine what can be eliminated or consolidated.  Get rid of those plans that are unnecessary.  Perform an audit amongst your mobile user base to determine the exact nature of plan usage on an employee by employee basis to ensure the best plan fit.

Mobile App/Subscription Slamming

This happens to be one of the most common areas of cost drain amongst mid-sized businesses with 500-5,000 employees.  In mobile app or subscription ‘slamming’, customers are switched to another telephone provider without their knowledge or permission.  These types of misleading sales practices among mobile service providers can lead to intentional fee increases and can also change the terms of service.  If not carefully monitored and guarded against, slamming practices can unknowingly increase costs and detrimentally alter contracted terms.

Tighter controls and regular audits can make a significant difference to the bottom line of a mid-sized company.  In auditing and assessing wireless expenses in corporate mobile telecom environments, these seven points are quite common among nearly 70% of companies we work with.

Get your Telecom Outsourcing Assessment now to see if any of these items apply to your business, and follow our blog for additional articles relating to Turnkey Telecom Management™ (TTM™) and Telecom Outsourcing.

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