This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Kiki Dikman, CEO of Choice! Energy Management
In 2020, the US managed telecom infrastructure market was estimated to be $80 Billion. With this amount of spend, coordination and integration among company systems is expected. But they usually aren’t. And this makes it impossible for companies to measure the overall costs, value and usage and truly understand what is working and what needs to be improved. In order to protect these investments, as well as build confidence across their workforce and with customers and partners, companies must know what is going on to determine what should be changed, eliminated or expanded for optimal success.
Just like utility management, companies must start seeking ways to streamline efficiency, costs and create sustainability in their telecom procurement and processes. This will require a comprehensive evaluation of telecom systems to see if there are ways to improve efficiency while reducing the spend. When this happens, companies may even find ways to consolidate vendors and enhance the customer experience or reduce the cost of ownership on current hardware. When properly conducted, a complete evaluation will likely determine numerous ways telecom infrastructure systems can be reconfigured to be efficient and cost-effective while actually improving its use.
Usually, the issue isn’t if this should be done but rather how to get started. To achieve success, companies need to seek partners who have the ability to monitor, negotiate and validate services while being able to effectively manage them and be prepared for what is coming next in technology, compliance and new costs. Below are 4 questions to ask when considering a move toward telecom infrastructure management.
- Do they speak your language?
Yes, other types of management companies may have the systems to help with your telecom division too. But finding a partner is more than just finding the right platform. Make sure they know what your terms mean: VOIP, UCaaS, CPaaS, DSL, MLPS, PBX, POTS, SD-WAN, SIP, and other acronyms and language spoken by your telecom professionals. Every successful company-contractor relationship requires sharing the same sensibilities when it comes to pace, process and pivots. Speaking in the same shorthand while communicating the shared vision is essential to success. This also applies to the regulation of other niches, such as casino online in Canada and the United States.
- What types of ways will your current features be measured along with testing new technologies?
If you have a basic system, telecom infrastructure management may be most effective when costs are the only consideration. But if you’re working with multiple teams across multiple departments, even many countries, and have a variety of needs – you will need to work with a company with the ability to fully assess what you have in order to know how it can be improved. It is important they are always thinking ahead with the ability to deliver new ideas that will improve your systems and help you scale. The key is having capabilities to test to know how to customize and add, change, integrate various components to optimize usage and value. More than just having new purchases suggestions, it is important to learn how training, education and customer outreach will be conducted to improve the experience.
- How will risk factors be identified and managed?
Malicious threats and vulnerabilities are real and being proactive is critical. Companies must be armed with advanced solutions that will provide endpoint protections. How will cloud storage be managed and protected? What is the plan for virtual platforms? Keeping up to date on all new threats and staying aware of protocols and current compliance standards is essential in telecom infrastructure management. Protecting the integrity of your data and avoiding risk should be a top priority.
- What process will be used to consolidate and bring in new vendors?
Reducing costs while improving your services to make your internal and external telecom systems operate better should be the only focus. Make sure you learn about how infrastructure processes work and what due diligence and on-the-ground testing is done in research before recommendations are made. It’s important selections in hardware, services, technology, and protections are done based on your specific employee and customer needs. Most importantly, know the approach planned when it comes to integrating your mission critical applications across the organization that will be position your company for the next round of upgrades and advancements to keep your system current and optimal.
Kiki Dikmen is CEO of Choice! Energy Management, providing full-service telecom infrastructure procurement and other utility management services with a nationwide presence.
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