Massive shifts are taking place in the business telecom industry. Minimize their impact and turn the moment into an opportunity.
Everyone involved in business telecom works hard to keep up with the changes in the industry. Business leaders track changes in technology, try to get ahead of future business requirements, and look for flexibility in their contracts for the changes that lie ahead.
Then, just when it seems we’ve played the game well and have all of the pieces in the right place, something out of our control happens.
As vendors work to keep up with technological advancements and industry trends, unexpected changes are inevitable. Below, we’ll look at three of the biggest changes taking place right now and strategies for responding to them.
Here are some of the latest changes facing business telecom clients.
1. Legacy telecom technologies are being sunsetted and discontinued by carriers.
As carriers transition to modern technology from legacy platforms, you may be forced to migrate on their terms.
Whether it’s an issue like the decommissioning of a legacy MPLS platform, the capture of copper facilities in a carrier’s CO (Central Office), or the removal of a pricing option that was previously available, these moments force some major, time-bound decisions on clients.
Will you continue with your existing provider?
Will you transition to the new technology with a new vendor?
Can you find an alternate vendor who still supports your current technology?
The key to navigating these changes is finding a strategy for making these decisions on your time and your terms. We’ll come back to that in a moment.
2. Leading on-premise PBX providers are moving swiftly to the cloud.
Traditionally, businesses used premise-based solutions to enable their telecommunications solutions. The on-premise equipment created the “brain” for the system, and the carriers provided the network (the “central nervous system”) that delivered communications from a centralized point of intelligence.
Now, providers are looking to move from traditional on-premise, capital-based selling models to residual OPEX models in the cloud like UCaaS.
As a result, businesses with on-premise PBX solutions feel the clock ticking down to the day when it’s no longer a viable solution. As vendors move on to new technologies, R&D and support for legacy options will naturally slow and leave little choice but to move on.
There are good reasons for vendors to move their clients to a cloud-based solution: flexibility, financial benefits, and resiliency to name a few. However, this still means companies need to consider the right timing for:
Making a move (planned or forced)
How to get leverage out of their existing investment in systems and upgrades. (Have these been written off? Can concessions be negotiated in making the move?)
Furthermore, you’ll need to assess whether you have the staffing to accomplish the move or whether you need a third party. You’ll also need to consider whether the contracts you have in place limit your ability to make a move without a penalty.
The transition to UCaaS in particular can be more painful than expected. UCaaS solutions were a lifesaver for many companies during the pandemic. However, many companies experience a gap in service when the people implementing cloud-based UCaaS lack a background in traditional technology.
The transition can be painful if you haven’t paid detailed attention to the growth and modification of your current environment over the last 20 years. We see clients all the time who have disruptions in service when migrating to cloud-based UCaaS simply because they didn’t have a good idea of how their phone system was configured.
For example, if trunk groups have been implemented and modified over the years and are not captured up front, it can cause breaks in call flow post-migration despite the enhanced flexibility that comes from working in the cloud.
3. Movement to the Cloud Creates Immense Security Concerns
When your technology moves to the cloud, the ground rules for security change. When systems and applications resided inside a corporately-owned data center, the number of ingress points was lower, the governance of its many systems and platforms was more consistent, and end user access could be be centrally controlled.
As applications have moved to SaaS, internal systems have migrated to the cloud (or even multiple clouds). As a result, end users are more geographically dispersed, making security more challenging than ever. Workers need to be able to access resources from work, home, coffee shops, etc., and changes in any one area have significant impact on the rest and must be reviewed with an eye towards an overall strategy.
The complexity is immense, and this is where Serviam helps to bridge the gap in coordinating all of the vendors involved from end to end.
Every Major Change Can Become an Advantage
When these massive technological shifts occur, they create a sense of urgency to find a solution. However, by taking a strategic step back, your business can still win the day and navigate these changes on your time and your terms.
For example, in the case of a migration from a legacy MPLS, the moves a company needs to make are complex and involve installing new circuits. In many cases, it can make sense to find a better vendor fit for the company.
For companies considering a move to a UCaaS or CCaaS solution, the opportunity now is to untangle the web of solutions that got them through 2020. Many companies added platforms and options just to remain operational. Now, they can unify their communications under one platform and create a better user-experience for their employees, customers, and clients.
The move to CCaaS offers additional value. Many businesses with a premise-based infrastructure are unable to leverage the omnichannel engagement with customers and clients that's available on the cloud.
Here are three basic strategies you should embrace to transform the changes in the industry into advantages...
First, Determine What You Need From Your New Telecom and Technology Landscape
If the changes your carrier is making in response to industry trends is forcing a decision, evaluate whether it’s time for you to move to a new provider - or even to a new technology.
Look at your business. What’s changed? What requirements have stayed the same? What does your business have the ability (financially, culturally, etc.) to undertake in terms of changing the way you work?
What have you put in place since the start of Covid to get by? What did you like? What did you not like? What can be kept and grown, and what needs to be trimmed off or combined with other capabilities?
Ensure the technologies you are evaluating fit your “new normal”. Telecom and I.T. are becoming increasingly blended, and decisions in one area may impact decisions in another down the road. What is your long term plan?
Next, Look Past the Immediate Problem to the Big Picture
One of the things we focus on at Serviam is helping clients to step back and take a look at the complete, holistic picture of their telecom and IT infrastructure. Everything is connected, and when you look past the immediate technological problems to the full financial, contractual, and technical picture of what your company has, there’s often an opportunity achieve wins like…
Making adjustments in another area of your technology platform to make room in the budget for what’s needed.
Reduce costs elsewhere to fund the strategic moves you need to make.
Getting better service and better solutions for what you already pay.
Adding greater flexibility into your contracts for the future as you negotiate the changes you need to make.
Ensuring the direction you take will not prevent you from adapting to other technology requirements in the future.
Taking a step back and conducting a strategic assessment of your telecom and IT infrastructure can reveal incredible opportunities.
Then, Look for Leverage.
Your strategic assessment of your infrastructure will reveal many opportunities to leverage major gains in your negotiations with a carrier.
However, there’s another form of leverage that’s external to your company and always present. The same clock that’s counting down to big changes for you is ticking for the carrier as well.
Carriers want you to move as soon as possible. This presents a classic opportunity for creating leverage. You can negotiate for the provider to pay for the migration. You can also significantly reduce your rates and even ensure your new contract has enough flexibility for you to take action if service levels deteriorate down the road.
This process can feel overwhelming.
That’s why Serviam comes alongside clients to help manage this complexity. We have the time and resources to step back, examine the options, assess the company’s environment, and help teams make better informed, strategic decisions on the best path forward.
We help you…
Find options for moving to new vendors or technologies.
Identify opportunities for cost reductions or savings that mitigate the impact of your next steps.
Discover the leverage you need to negotiate more favorable contracts along the way.
Create documentation and a roadmap for your technology to ensure that future changes have a baseline for evaluation.
We minimize the impact that occurs when vendors change the rules and instead make sure those moments turn into opportunities for companies to make big leaps forward in their technological capabilities.
We’re happy to help you discover new options and possibilities. Schedule a Consultation at serviamco.com to learn more.
Serviam’s process is simple.
We listen and assess your unique telecom situation.
We guide you through a custom roadmap to better technological and contractual solutions.
We manage your transition so you have the best possible experience.
We stay with you to make sure your vendors continue to support your ever-changing business requirements.
Our Telecom and IT Vendor Management service goes far beyond managing costs or negotiating contracts. We guide you through a holistic, future-forward telecom strategy for your company and provide you with a long-term partner who manages your vendor relationships so you can focus on the road ahead.
Schedule a consultation at serviamco.com to start forming a roadmap for your business.