Get a Telecom Reality Check by Looking in the Mirror!

March 27, 2017

I have dedicated over 20 years of my life to promoting and driving Telecom and IT excellence in enterprise environments. Inventory, optimization, auditing, process and workflow improvement, TEM and WMM initiatives, contract negotiations, dispute resolution, network configuration, consolidation, mobility optimization, Cloud services, etc. You name it, for the most part I have had the good fortune to see it. I have seen some of the largest companies in the world from the inside, their staff, their executives, their process, their wishes, and complaints. It has provided some keen insight.

Each company within reason had the same initiatives, to reduce costs, improve workflow, do more with less staff, hold vendors accountable. In nearly 100% of the cases a deliverable should have been huge mirror for the staff to look into. This would have enabled them to see much of their problem! Many times the problems externally are driven by problems internally! Until you fix what is broken internally it is extremely difficult to have successful outsourced relationships. For many years I have spoken about my “Telecom Nirvana”. It is 5 straight forward steps that if deployed properly provide more consistency in the telecommunications arena.

Inventory:  Without visibility into the raw inventory of your services, what you have, where it is at, and what you are paying, it is impossible to manage. Many of you have heard me say “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”. Inventory management may seem elementary but I can tell you from experience that less than 5% of all the companies I have ever worked with had a visible inventory that was under control.

Optimization: Once you can see your inventory you can then clean it up. For example, redundant services that are no longer needed, disconnects that are being paid for post disconnect, inventory for places you no longer own or no longer exist, etc. Simply by trimming the fat will not only reduce the costs but also the carrier counts, number of invoices, devices and lines not needed, etc.

Process and Procedures: Many companies fail miserably with this step. They count on specific individuals to handle a task rather than document the task steps and expected outcomes. If that appointed individual is out or leaves so does the “process” and information in their head. Companies are left scrambling to determine how this person did their job, who they dealt with, where they kept the information, what were the results, etc. This is also where accountability comes into play and the need for executive support. It is very hard to hold somebody to a process if nobody cares or backs you up. Without executive support policy is not considered policy but more of a strong suggestion which few will follow.

Performance Measurement: Without measurement of how processes and procedures are working how could one say that they are being successful? This is also an opportunity with proper measurement for you to “show back” to your organization how what you do effects the business not just the department. Show back to the organization how you reduced time, effort, and dollars. If you do not toot your own horn nobody will toot it for you. This step is your Toot moment!

Outsource: Whatever you don’t want to do internally: TEM or WMM or BPO, is the parsing off to other companies or outsources what you do not want to do internally such as paying bills, MACD, Security, Mobility management, etc. What I see many times is that none of the first 4 steps were completed before Step 5 was deployed. Then everybody looks at each other dumbfounded as to why Step 5 is not working. Most companies enter into Step 5 anticipating that steps 1-4 will be handled by the company hired. That is saying the outsourced company that knows nothing about you, little about your company, has no latitude to make any decisions or force any policy is going to come in and Build Inventory, Optimize your environment, build policies and procedures, hold staff accountable to those process and procedures, and measure performance of those policies and procedures????? NOT LIKELY!!!!!!!

Please do yourself a favor, grab up your peers and look in the mirror. What you will see are good people who I am sure want to make a positive impact where they can. People who with better developed and established policies and procedures would see more consistent outcomes. With established and maintained inventory of fixed and mobile services life and management of services would be much easier. I had spent much of my life blaming carriers and TEMs and WMMs for the issues enterprise clients faced. As I have matured in the industry over the past 20 years I have realized that many times the client has so many internal issues it makes it nearly impossible for the vendor to be successful.

Give this some thought and see for yourself if looking in the mirror or internally assessing how things are really working can have an impact for you. If you have questions or you want to just explore where you and your company are in the curve, feel free to reach out to me directly.


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Bridlewood Consulting

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Bloomington, IN. 47401
United States
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