Staying Connected: Managing Your Telecom Spend

by Jamie Burkart, Sr. Project Analyst

When managing suppliers, a company will often re-sign the same contract for services annually without thoroughly reviewing the market place to determine whether or not they are getting the most value for their dollar. For many organizations, this happens consistently in telecommunications.

Voice and data services are the lifeline of any business. For a large manufacturing company, a WAN outage that prevents data from getting from corporate headquarters to the production floor can cost that company a million dollars per minute. A busy call center that has to endure even a brief phone outage means angry customers, which, in the age of social media, can damage a company’s reputation. These problems only add to the disruption of dealing with the telecom provider to isolate the problem and determine when business can resume normally.

It’s easy to understand then why business owners, I.T. managers, and procurement specialists would hold to the mantra “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when determining whether to evaluate and replace their current telecom provider, even if they thought they could lower their monthly spend or improve the services they receive.

Decision makers, take note: as telecom provider networks have grown over the past decade, multiple layers of redundancy have been built in to allow most providers to guarantee 99% system uptime; Additionally, government regulations have forced competitive telecom companies to work together to smoothly provision service from one provider to another; and as many telecom vendors become one-stop shops for voice,data, and internet services, businesses can enjoy the significant savings that come with converging technologies.

Regularly evaluating your telecommunications infrastructure to make sure your organization isn’t losing money paying for services that it no longer uses, like old POTS lines or ISDN, is also important. It is equally critical that an organization’s telecom architecture has capacity to grow incrementally as the business grows.
Technological growth in the telecom space, including the explosion of wireless and mobile bandwidth-dependant applications, is evolving quickly. Businesses that understand their telecom services, stay engaged on industry trends, and evaluate suppliers regularly will realize improved customer service and add to their bottom line.

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