Why Enterprises Should Benchmark Their Telecom Environment
As telecom expenses make up 20-25% of IT spend within an organization, today’s telecom and IT professionals are more focused than ever on identifying and seizing cost-cutting opportunities. Most go straight to the “obvious” Telecom Expense Management (TEM) initiatives, as it yields cost savings. This misnomer, while a step in the right direction toward telecom savings, isn’t a holistic approach to managing the entire telecom environment. A comprehensive approach will not only address financial inefficiency, but also technical and operational inefficiencies within the environment as well. AOTMP research indicates that there is typically another 10-20% in efficiency gains that lie in and between the multiple “cogs” that make up the organization’s entire telecom management practice. But where do you start in the discovery process to find these gains? Your employees? Your vendors? Processes? Starting down the wrong path is time-consuming and costly to undertake. This is where the need for true telecom performance benchmarking comes into play.
Standardized benchmarking provides baseline measurements that can help identify potential opportunities within the telecom environment to save time, manpower, and money. It can help an organization:
- Establish a baseline of overall telecom management performance over and above just measuring the amount of costs savings in bill reconciliation.
- Understand the degree to which telecom management personnel are trained to industry standards and performing efficiently.
- Understand the degree to which vendors are impacting your environment, and areas to explore for better customer service and solution utilization.
- Understand the degree to which the telecom environment is impacting the business and driving initiatives that support overall business objectives
Most importantly, benchmarking an organization’s telecom environment fosters a more holistic, effective approach to managing the telecom environment and starts enterprises down a path toward a telecom management Center of Excellence – where supporting infrastructure and processes are in place and operating at maximum efficiency. This, folks, is where a paradigm shift occurs in which telecom becomes less of a “cost center” and more of a strategic asset that can be leveraged by an organization to support larger corporate goals.
Scott Lawrence is a senior telecom management industry data and research analyst who studies trends and performance in enterprise fixed and mobile telecom environments relative to industry peers. He also serves as subject matter expert and consultant for both enterprises and vendors in the industry.