Communication is one of those things you truly depend upon to run your business. Telecom, datacom, there are several networks that serve you, and each one has its own rules, its own pricing programs, its own requirements, and more.
It’s one of those things that are so important yet sometimes you just stop thinking about them. They’re working, so you don’t worry about fixing them or making them work better. Until they stop working so well.
More to it Than Meets the Eye
There are plenty of moving parts to consider in a telecom service. The most obvious is the customer premises equipment (CPE) which has changed considerably in recent years. Where once every office had its own “telecom switch” in a closet and landline phones at every desk today’s organization may run completely on mobile phones all connecting to a cloud-based service. This offers greater agility in deploying people and projects, while saving on tolls as internal communications are all conducted over the company’s own dedicated private network.
There are the circuits that connect your facilities to the telephone network, the internet, and other resources. Depending upon the volume of activity, the applications in use, and other factors you may choose from one or more of many different available services. In many cases your costs may vary with consumption commitments or other considerations. It is just as easy to select the best, most cost-effective solution as it is to pick a less desirable alternative.
Bottom line, the fact that your communication services are working doesn’t assure that they are working as efficiently or as cost-effectively as possible.
If You’re Making it Work, Why Not Make it Work Better?
The motivating incident may be a failure or outage. In all too many cases it could just be a whopping big invoice that came in for consumption overruns. Whatever the driver, there will be times when you’re called upon to take a good hard look at how you’re buying communication services and fix it. In a perfect world this would be a proactive initiative, but more often than not it hovers somewhere closer to being a career-threatening event.
Rather than see this as a threat, consider it a great opportunity to significantly contribute to your company’s bottom line by making communications work better. Instead of just letting things go along, you’re going to seek ways to make significant improvements in how well communications work and how much they’re costing.
The one obstacle is simple to identify. It is very likely that you are not thoroughly familiar with all the alternatives and options available to you. Which communication services best serve the needs of your company? Which CPE devices? Which of the many pricing programs from many vendors will serve your size, your configuration, and your needs best? As stated earlier, there are too many moving parts for most managers to keep track of. You’re going to need help from an expert.
The Next Question
You now have a major choice available to you.
You may engage a telecom consultant to come in, examine your telecom invoices, survey your installations and make recommendations regarding what services and CPE you should change. Many of these consultants work on a “contingency” basis in which they are paid a percentage of what they save you. This can be a great low-cost/no-cost approach to getting your problem resolved immediately. But what says the problem will remain resolved? Your business is constantly changing, so are your needs, and telecom services are also changing. It won’t be long before you may have to stop and do this again.
Your other choice is to engage a Telecom Expense Management provider. These are experienced professionals who know telecom and know it thoroughly. In simplest terms, they take on the responsibility for always making sure that your communications are right-sized, correctly configured, using the most cost-effective services and taking advantage of every emerging new program that will save you money.
They also track your inventory of CPE, contracts, service engagements, benefits available, and much more. This is usually fee-based and generally costs less than a contingency fee might.
The Last Question
Do you want to save now, or enjoy ongoing savings from now on? That’s not as simple a question as it appears. The good news is that both alternatives are available to you, often from the same provider.
Click here to learn how MDSL and our Strategic Services can help your communication services work as efficiently as possible.