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Why it is time to rethink how you manage your telecoms

Too often telecoms estates are seen as a costly necessity rather than a valuable business asset. After all, handsets, landlines, tablets, VPNs – even mobile applications – have hard costs attached to the device or service. Running vast telecoms estates encompasses everything from VoIP and Ethernet to landlines and mobile communications, ultimately anything within a business that can be used to communicate. And given that many multi-nationals today have staff travelling the world who may find themselves surprised by data and voice charges, it is easy to see why costs can be a concern. This is especially true if the company does not have the right measures or roaming packages in place.

When a telecoms estate is managed properly, it becomes far easier to identify all of the assets in an organisation’s possession and to attach a return value to management and shareholders. This path to better management starts with taking a more collaborative, holistic approach to telecoms.

Break the silos

Historically, telecoms management focused on processing bills, payments, and costs of individual items. As companies expanded into new regions, the cost of telecommunications grew with more people communicating with each other and over multiple geographies.

In an effort to control costs, expenses were handled region by region, with targets being set to try and encourage executive officers in charge of individual regions to keep a cap on spending. But this led to a fragmented approach with executives often introducing arbitrary, inconsistent and restrictive usage policies and opting for cheaper, substandard or insecure alternative services to save money.

From a best practices standpoint, the surest way to gain visibility and control across the enterprise is to make sure that the key functional areas with a vested interest in the telecoms estate – procurement, IT and finance – all work together to drive efficiency, predictability and performance.

Procurement, with its mandate to exert influence across inventory and contracts, has to follow best practice and work with trusted partners. With a confident view of the company’s telecoms assets, it possesses the data to ensure it continually negotiates best-in-class contracts while avoiding being dragged into day-to-day billing questions.

Finance, on the other hand, needs to vet and pay invoices correctly and on time to take advantage of the most favourable payment terms. It also needs to understand where the company’s money is going and track progressive expenditures against contracts and budgets – which it often sets in collaboration with IT.

Last, but by no means least, IT is on the hook for both policies and reporting. It has the responsibility to ensure that contracts are adhered to, generate metrics via meaningful analysis of costs and usage, and put those numbers in context by benchmarking the company’s performance against industry standards.

This collaborative approach enables the business to gain visibility and control over the telecoms estate via a best-practices approach – each department learning and sharing knowledge with each other. This method also prevents telecoms estates from sprawling uncontrollably or growing in silos, the business is therefore always able to get the best value from their investments.

Find out how we can help you gain control of your telecoms estate: