Reduce IT costs! That’s the permanent quest for IT leaders and one area often overlooked because of its apparent complexity is the Mobile Telecom Services spend. With a bit of attention, you will uncover massive savings! Find out how you can apply 3 steps to reduce IT costs and drive business growth instead.
IT Leaders are transforming the role of IT from a cost containment department to one that innovates to improve the customer experience and drive business growth. Following great success with our service partners Ezwim and Freemove, I shared a case-study of the management practices we put in place for global-scale, lean, mobile telecom service at the Telecom Expense Management conference TEM Heliview in Amsterdam, Netherlands on 14th of March 2012.
Reduce IT Costs: Find Big Savings in Mobile Telecom
Clifford Chance (one of the world’s leading international Law Firm) had first deployed a global TEM strategy in 2008. In this presentation, I share our initial objectives and achieved results after leading the program for 4 years with a clear vision of realizing professional wireless mobility management within a global organisation.
Move from an ad-hoc activity with limited understanding of telecom usage and costs towards a professional and predictable telecom service management process with a clear focus on the end-user while involving Business units management teams at country and cost-centre level as well as staff.
#1 Plot your path
You need to know where you are going before you start such global initiatives. Back in 2008, working with our partner Boxtone and Gartner’s VP and Fellow Brian Gammage, we shared the Path to Mature Mobile Services Management (slide 3-8) to help organisations visualise the features of such services and milestones to implementation:
- User-focused SLA: manage the service quality end to end (from carriers to the mobile device) to deliver user-focused SLA
- Service unit & usage-based costs: once you are delivering user-focused services, it is easy to define its unit cost and move to a usage-based cost model.
- Service owners drive demand and consumption: with the usage-based cost model, you can then let the service owners rather than IT drive demand, implying IT relies on infrastructure virtualization to flexibly meet service consumption.
#2 (re) Design Your Services
Once you know where you are going, it is time to (re) design your services to that vision; focusing on key steps to lead the change:
- Know your current position: To help you secure Executive support, measure progress and promote the success of the initiative, you need to document and share the current status. This needs to include financial, service, quality and procurement metrics, who are you telecom administrators, what contracts, notice periods and terms are currently in place.
- Contain chaos: Working with Telecom Expenses Management (TEM) service partners such as Ezwim, they will help you identify major costs “leaks” with unused mobile services subscriptions, exceptional abuse, etc. You should also put in place immediate Procurement policies globally to ensure any new contracts are on your radar. Communicate about the change initiative and its objectives as early as possible!
- organise for excellence: You have little chance of success if you wait to have all parties involved globally to buy into the change: instead create a Centre of Excellence and Champions team to manage these services globally and centrally.
Now is a good time to start working with a TEM service partner to consolidate billing data from each country into a single repository to maintain global/national/office/cost centre/user views despite local challenges such as currencies, language, data formats and local carriers differences)
- Focus on Quick Wins: You need to show benefits within a couple of weeks of starting this Cost Reduction initiative. the TEM service partner will help you identify some quick wins and get some money back from carriers’ billing inaccuracies, inefficient service plans, optimising pool of SIMs. Your simple Procurement policies will also ensure no new mobile service subscriptions are provisioned unmonitored. Those early efficiencies shouldn’t be savings for you to cash in just yet: instead fund the next steps in your global mobile telecom services management initiative.
- Challenge Suppliers: Carriers have had nearly two decades of unchallenged revenues. Now it is time you challenge your carriers to take responsibility and deliver on innovation, for example to deliver those TEM services as part of the mobile services contracts or to deliver on your consumerisation objectives with SaaS mobile device management services and Employee Purchase Plans.
- New Governance: With laser-sharp service and commercial data, your IT and Procurement teams are now able to take the lead and challenge carriers for global tendering for example or even local – you now have global visibility, whether you are sourcing the services through a global carrier Alliance such as Freemove or through local national carriers.
Put in place formal global service management practices with your IT and Procurement teams and with your carrier accounts team to ensure that both your staff in each office and the carriers’ local sales men do follow the Procurement and Service Management practices you’ve put in place to avoid expensive waste!
#3 A taste of the Results
Within a few months of your global mobile telecom services management initiative you’ll not only have delivered big savings of about 20-40% for most organisations, but you’ll also enjoy the following benefits:
- Global Services Management capabilities,
- Central Procurement, on top of your mobile services contract,
- Tight Governance Partnership, with IT, Procurement, your carriers,Cost-Centre managers and even your users on your team!
- Metrics driven: Equipped with meaningful data analytics you’ll have crystal clear visibility into the actions you need to take to deliver further cost reductions and this time, put these savings back to your business, contributing to profitability or further adoption of mobile services!
Feel free to contact me if you would like more information on this topic!
Have you got your global mobile telecom spend under control? Any tips to share? Please leave them below.
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