The Telecom Management Outsourcing, Co-Sourcing or Insourcing Decision
Is outsourced telecom management the answer?
Organizations exploring TEM, MMS, EMM and other categories of telecom management vendors often start by assembling teams to identify and prioritize desired solution features and functions. Then, vendors are identified and corralled for sales presentations and sourcing events. A selection is made, a contract is negotiated and an engagement is launched. The typical launch involves a project plan for deployment and a plan for steady-state delivery following an established go-live date. Sound familiar?
This approach may work just fine, but more often than not, precious decision cycles are wasted during vendor evaluation and deployment because a fundamental business question wasn’t answered before the exploration process began – what is the resource strategy for the solution? There are three resource models that may be used exclusively, or in a blended fashion, to execute on telecom management work streams. Telecom Management Outsourcing means the vendor executes against defined work streams, co-sourcing means the vendor and the customer share execution responsibilities for defined work streams, and insourcing means the customer executes against defined work streams.
Determining the resource strategy is critical, because it focuses organizations on defining specific delivery and fulfillment requirements essential for making the correct buying decision. By example, all TEM vendors process invoices; however, each step involved in invoice processing involves resources in some capacity to acquire, load, code, validate, resolve exceptions and compile invoice data for payment. Using this example, a solicitation issued to explore invoice processing solutions without a defined resource strategy casts a net so wide that vendors not qualified to fulfill the resource strategy are unnecessarily involved, wasting time and effort for everyone.
Before evaluation cycles are spent on solution feature and functionality requirements, solidify a resource strategy. By moving this decision to the beginning of the evaluation process, you will be better equipped to target vendors most likely to meet or exceed your business requirements. Depending on your situation, consider all the solutions: in-sourced, co-sourced or outsourced telecom management.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.