Bridlewood Consulting’s 3rd 360 Award!
We are so honored to have once again been chosen this year to receive the Channel Partners 360 award. This award is given to those who have show excellence in their customer support as well as delivery and advancement in network services across the board. This particular award was given to Bridlewood Consulting for a project that reduced our clients fixed service expenses by over $1,000,000 annually. Again we are so proud to have received now our third 360 award in two years running.
Bridlewood Consulting Receives 2nd 360 Award in 2017!!!
I completely forgot to post this back in August. Was just overwhelmed to have been selected to receive my second 360 award in 2017! I flew down to Austin Texas and accepted the award at the Channel Partners fall conference. In this case study I reduced my clients spend by 5.24 million by modernizing and transforming their infrastructure completely at locations across more than 40 countries! They gained visibility, cost reduction, and network control like never before!!! Great to be recognized and receive an award for doing what I love in the first place………..
Bridlewood Consulting Wins CP 360 Award Las Vegas
Thrilled to have been recognized in Las Vegas last week for excellence in delivery to my clients. This particular award was given to me for saving my client over 6 million dollars in Mobility Without Changing Providers! Amazing what is available if you just know what to look for.
How to Look in the Mirror! Self-Assessment in Telecommunications
In my last blog titled “Look in the Mirror: A telecom reality check” I was amazed at the attention it got, the phone calls and notes I received, and how many agreed it was time to self-assess. The thought about looking into the mirror and realizing that some of the issues faced in a Telecom/IT environment are caused by staff on the company’s internal teams can be humbling. The reality is that with a concerted effort to look in the mirror and make changes based on what you find, your environment can improve both operationally and financially.
I explained my 5 step “Telecom Nirvana” which at the end of the day is just straight forward common sense. If you do not follow steps in any endeavor and jump to the end, how can you ever expect success? If you do not use the instructions putting together that multi part whatever you just bought, two things are going to happen. One, it is going to take you far longer to put together because you are not following the right sequence of events. Two, there is a strong likelihood that you will believe you are finished and realize you left something out or did not connect something properly. Either way you have wasted time, effort, and dollars not following tried and true steps.
Scott’s “Telecom Nirvana” 1. Inventory 2. Optimization 3. Process and Procedures 4. Performance Measurement 5. Outsourcing. The questions coming back to me over the past weeks were “How do I look in the mirror, what do I look for, what are the signs that there are problems”? To answer that I offer a series of questions to ask yourself, your staff, your executives, etc. If you find that you come up with more “NO” than “YES” you have some work to do.
Do executives support you in creation of policy, and holding staff accountable to those policies?
Do you keep track of both positive and negative impacts you make in the Telecom/IT arena?
Do you maintain report cards of all your vendors? Do you hold them accountable to SLA’s and Contract Terms?
Do you maintain “accurate” inventory of all services, lines, devices, contracts, and costs related to Telecom/IT for both fixed and mobile?
Do you outsource anything to a third party? If so are you measuring their performance both against verbal and contractual commitments?
Are you part of or involved in the “strategic” discussions and direction in Telecom/IT? If not involved in those discussions are you still responsible for the outcomes?
Are all move, add, and change functions done by the same group, in the same way, with the same follow up?
Are all Telecom/IT invoices managed and processed by the same group, in the same way, with the same follow up?
Do those who deal with the financial side of Telecom/IT also have access to all contracts, are they tied into all move, add, and change activity? Are they consulted before, during, and after any change?
I could post a hundred questions to ask yourselves but I think the few above will suffice. If you say “NO” more than you say yes to these questions there is strong potential for financial and operational loss as well as high risk to your company.
Far too many times I see companies with a False Sense of Reality or better said The Illusion of Control. You must be able to admit that some of the issues and frustrations are being driven by things not being controlled internally by your team. Playing the blame game on vendors, that all wrongs in your company are the vendors fault does not always apply. Having accountability, timelines, and a measuring stick for success are critical today in Telecom/IT departments. Looking both internally and externally before you point the finger creates more solid and productive relationships with your vendors.
Every enterprise wants to “save money” but if you cannot sustain those savings over time then you have wasted time. Fixing over and over the same problem is not fixing anything at all. Find the problem, determine the Root Cause of the problem, fix the problem, build a policy to follow going forward, then measure success of that policy or process. My dream is to see vendors and all the Telecom and IT end users of those services big or small across the globe work more effectively together. There is no need to throw rocks at each other. Vendors, you need to be more agile in reporting and taking responsibility. End users you need to be more proactive than reactive and control more of your own destiny. By better aligning with each other both sides save time, effort, and dollars! My hope is that you will take time to honestly self-assess with a few of the questions I have provided and have a reality check.
If you have questions please feel free to reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org 812-302-4700…………………………
Get a Telecom Reality Check by looking in the mirror!
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.
Is the Corporate Greed Engine Stifling Telecom\IT???
Each year, companies reveal the “new” corporate vision and how THIS year is going to be different. That corporate buzz many times does not translate in the same way to all departments. The executives who swell with enthusiasm as they boast of the grand plan for change often do not consider the departments instrumental in the achievement of those goals. Telecommunications/IT, or simply IT in some companies, is core to growth. Even today, many executives consider telecom/IT nothing more than a necessary evil, a basic business expense. Shame on them and shame on the culture created as a result. The corporate greed engine is constantly looking to reduce the budget. Telecom/IT tends to take the brunt of financial restrictions. I argue that without investment into this business-critical part of every large company, achieving the corporate vision becomes a Vegas long shot at best. Without telecommunications, there is no company, there is no growth, no profit!
Corporations must invest in telecom/IT as a strategic asset, as a business driver, as the difference between profit and loss. Communications professionals generally feel they don’t get the financial or operational support to do what is needed. I spoke with a gentleman the other day who just lost three of his staff due to budget cuts with no plan to rehire those positions. I asked what happened to the duties of the three who are gone. Who on the team is now accountable? The reality, he told me, is that those functions will be picked up “as best as they can.” Bottom line, those functions are left to chance. As long as this one guy or reduced staff can keep any drama to a minimum, the organization’s executives will feel the cut was successful and not realize the risk they created.
The needs of telecom/IT professionals get lost in translation far too much. Let’s face it: The CFO does not understand telecom or IT speak. It is your responsibility to provide information that is clear and easy to understand. Take something complex and translate it into risk avoidance, or profit or loss for the company. How does what you propose impact the bottom line? What are the technical, financial, operational and corporate impacts? If you submit a budget each year with no business case expect it to get shot down. If your business case is technical gibberish that financial folks cannot understand, then again, you wasted your time. Instead of just accepting the corporate vision, become instrumental in creating it. Don’t allow the corporate greed engine to stifle investment in telecommunications and IT.
“The Buyers Advocate”
Welcome to my website
Please stay tuned for updates and posts to my site. Originally I just wanted to get the site up a couple years ago and never worried about it. Now I want to start to provide content that has value for my clients to use as they see fit. Also feel free to connect through LinkedIn with me. I have some posts I have put on there that folks have found helpful. I will be bringing those over to this site in the near future. So have a great day for now and stay tuned for updates and useful content.
Founder and CEO Bridlewood Consulting…………………..