Telecom Policy: Limiter or Enabler?
There are two aspects of every telecom policy. The first addresses an organization’s philosophy and approach to service enablement and the second addresses rules for users. Each aspect is equally important for guiding an organization’s delivery and consumption of fixed and mobile communications services. All too often, though, organizations treat policy as a tool to restrict access or use with an end goal of controlling and reducing cost. While cost control is a necessary business function, if it is the only objective of policy, then lost business opportunity may be an unintended consequence.
There’s another viewpoint on telecom policy that is worth considering. It’s the enabler approach. This practice is one where usage and service consumption is encouraged to drive a business objective. I am reminded of a conversation with a global sales leader that proclaimed, “If my sales reps aren’t maxing out their mobile minutes and data every month, then they aren’t doing their job”. The logic behind this statement is that communications is a critical element in the sales process and low or restricted activity could lead to low sales production.
Services in the fixed and mobile telecom estate serve as a conduit for conducting business. It is essential for organizations to balance telecom policy directives so that all business objectives can be met; there must be harmony between opposing objectives such as cost reduction and increased usage. As you renew or refresh your telecom policy, consider that policy can be a limiter and an enabler, and a balanced policy aligned with business objectives is a valuable tool for elevating the strategic value of the telecom estate to the business.
Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.