Improving Your Value as a Telecom Vendor
As a brief follow-up to my last post, which touched on “TEM TAM”, a few people questioned the current market size for TEM (Telecom Expense Management). I assume this is because a quick ‘back of the envelope’ calculation of estimated (and guesstimated) annual revenue for Tangoe, MDSL, Calero, Asentinel, Telesoft, Cass, MTS plus the WMM companies (Wireless and Mobility Management) and including the dozens of providers in the $1 million to $10 million range – when totaled – will come in at less than $500 million. It could be readily accepted, since nearly all companies in the industry are privately held and the estimate is reasonable… or because AOTMP has solid insight into industry revenue.
One area where I received many questions was the market sizing. In particular, it was the TAM (Total Available Market), which I stand behind, and remains open to further discussion. I will touch upon the reasons as to why… but first, these statements:
1. There was not much challenge to the global fixed and mobile services spend.
2. I think most people will agree that you end up in the trillion-and-a-half dollar range when you tally up the annual enterprise telecom services spent with ATT, Verizon, Rogers, Telmex, America Movil, Telefonica, Telecom Italia, British Telecom, Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Rostelecom, MTN, Vodacom, Bharti, Reliance, China Mobile, China Telecom, NTT, Softbank Group and all the other global telecoms.
Related to the ‘available market’ for TEM, based on an average range of 10% to 15% of overall spend attributed to waste, error and/or inefficiency in the fixed and mobile telecom environment, this is regularly supported by AOTMP data gathered from thousands of global enterprise research panels and telecom management vendors. Additionally, I define “telecom”, in this environment, as anything connected that sends or receives data with the portion of these related expenses as part of the available market for TEM.
When advising AOTMP vendor clients, we emphasize the need to expand beyond the traditional focus and are starting to see some clients gain traction and momentum in those who have heeded the advice. Traditional TEM solutions primarily baseline, validate, manage, allocate, report and optimize fixed lines and circuits and mobile data. The TEM provider has contracted for delivering those services, and that contract often resides in the CIO, CTO or IT Finance organizations and, in most instances, requires significant time, effort and expense to get these contracts executed and services implemented. Even if an addendum is needed, it is time to expand the reach and revenue growth under those hard fought for contracts. Go beyond the lines and circuits into asset management and the related lifecycle of every device, where each of those lines/circuits is connected and interconnected (passing data). Additionally, as enterprises continue to accelerate their move to cloud environments move with them – baseline, validate, manage, allocate, report and optimize everything telecom. Increase the value of your delivered solutions and with that, the value of your existing customer and prospective customer relationships. What is the value of your solution or your business? Ultimately, it’s what someone is willing to pay you for it. Increase your solution and business value by broadening your reach and the drivers of cost optimization and efficiency. Take the first step, under those existing contracts, with your existing customers. Put an agenda item on your next Monthly or Quarterly Business Review and have an answer to their “What have you done for me lately?” question and follow with a proposal for solution extension and contract value growth. Enterprises are seeking answers to effective and efficient network asset and cloud management and migration.
What is the value of your solution or your business? Ultimately, it’s what someone is willing to pay you for it. Increase your solution and business value by broadening your reach and the drivers of cost optimization and efficiency. Take the first step, under those existing contracts, with your existing customers. Put an agenda item on your next Monthly or Quarterly Business Review and have an answer to their “What have you done for me lately?” question and follow with a proposal for solution extension and contract value growth. Enterprises are seeking answers to effective and efficient network asset and cloud management and migration.
When you are positioning to talk about the willingness for customers to pay for business expansion, it should be from an underpinning of delivered value. Is there a program of, and basis for, continual improvement? Define and assess your solutions; receive and evaluate customer feedback, at every ‘touch point’ related to delivered value; establish and maintain scoring; have a foundational framework and improve your visibility in the market(s) you serve. There are many segments within telecom management where enterprises struggle, and as their needs expand, their existing solution provider is positioned to bring these pieces together.
I stumbled upon a definition of Gestalt (I know, I know…how does one stumble upon a definition of Gestalt?). Anyway, the idea that ‘An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts’ certainly does apply here. Increase positive perception by bringing more relevant visibility to every customer engagement and develop/maintain recognized prominence in your industry – focus on the whole and expand the parts to increase ‘that sum’, and in this case, that sum is what hits your bottom line each month.