Telco operations, architectures, networks, and customer service have grown notoriously challenging to manage. Traditional telecom carriers are undergoing massive consolidations and reorganizations and disruption, compromising quality customer service and sales support and creating sweeping uncertainty about the future of carrier strategies.
Complex Telecom Services Drive CIOs to Rely on Outsourced Telecom Management.
Many CIOs view telecom costs as a burden with too many choices, contracts, and headaches. Contracts may be left unchecked, and precious technology resources may be spent on commoditized services rather than strategic projects, leaving CIOs unsatisfied.
#3: Wide Array of Telecom Choices
Even with the consolidation among major telecom carriers, there remains an array of providers and services. Naturally, some telcos are stronger in some areas over others and may have varying geographic coverage that can be a huge differentiating factor in providing service to organizations with multiple locations.
CIOs may quickly become overwhelmed when looking to change or supplement telecommunications services in the wake of the pandemic with hybrid work environments, cloud computing, and continued high use of video conferencing. They may overpay for services they don’t need or, worse, find themselves locked into a contract with a provider that doesn’t meet their needs.
Understanding your organization’s structure and work environment, strategic growth plans, infrastructure, and current telecom services will lay the foundation for carrier discussions. Often, understanding an organization’s current telecom lineup can be challenging for an organization’s technology employees. Contracts may have been signed under different leadership, and service add-ons may have occurred at different times for reasons now unknown.
Telecommunications, like many industries, has a high salesperson turnover. Getting in touch with a resource to trace contracts or get updated information can stir up unwanted sales calls and pitches. Some organizations find it helpful to compile information on services by reviewing bills and services paid for and working backward, including evaluating whether all services are used and/or are still needed. This evaluation would also include a review of pain points, customer service interactions, geographic coverage, and responsiveness for all providers.
After you know what you have, what you need, how much you’re paying, and how your current provider is meeting your customer service needs, you will be in a much better position to enter carrier discussions about technologies, upgrades, and preferences to gather competitive bids.
Of course, knowledge of real market rates and actual net fees paid by customers for similar services is immensely helpful. Thus engaging with a telecom consultant with extensive experience negotiating contracts is advantageous.
#2: Complexity of Contracts
Managing service issues and renewals under complex telecom contracts is also a time-consuming but necessary task.
To manage a telecom contract efficiently, an organization must have a solid understanding of the contract terms and language for each vendor, service level agreements (SLAs) as well as the goals of the organization. Contract management should include noting and tracking contract end dates and notification requirements.
One major mistake organizations make is simply looking for the lowest bid for telecom. But ignoring what happens after a contract is signed is shortsighted. Implementation can drain resources and extend timelines without proper support from either the provider or a telecommunication manager. There may be wide variations in pricing depending on whether or not the vendor includes implementation support and how much they provide.
#1: Lack of Internal Telecom Resources and/or Expertise
Telecommunications projects stretch resources within IT teams beyond capacity. Few organizations can afford to dedicate the time and expense required to provide their IT professionals with in-depth telecom knowledge, and technology continues to evolve.
Often telecom projects have specific timelines associated. Projects with critical timelines include fixing issues, renewing contracts, or addressing one component of a larger project like a business move or merger.
Organizations with limited IT resources and knowledge may need help managing tactical engagements and implementations, improving carrier relationships, and balancing telecom among other responsibilities.
As we have covered, organizations are choosing to outsource telecom contract renewals and management for a variety of reasons. Help is readily available.
An experienced third-party telecom management partner will secure the best lineup of carriers and services for the organizations’ specific needs, provide ongoing support and manage contracts. Third-party telecom managers also have more leverage with multiple carriers in negotiating for services and support.
BlueSky Manages Telecom Carrier Relationships and Implementation
With over 160 carriers in our portfolio, BlueSky IT Partners is well-versed in the service offerings, contract language, service fees, service level agreements, and customer service of both major and regional players in the telecom market. We regularly help businesses and organizations who would rather use internal resources for other strategic initiatives, make selections from a narrower list of recommendations, and/or have support throughout implementation or on an ongoing basis. We are carrier agnostic and simply present options based on our depth of experience in the industry and each organization’s specific needs.
We provide telecommunications auditing, procurement, pricing, negotiation, implementation, and support services.
To learn more about our services, see the following use cases: