What is it?
Telecom lifecycle management (TLM) refers to the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a company's telecommunications infrastructure and services, from procurement to retirement. The goal of TLM is to optimize telecom spending and usage, reduce waste, and improve overall efficiency and performance.
The telecom lifecycle can be broken down into several phases, including:
Planning and procurement: This phase involves identifying telecom needs, selecting service providers, negotiating contracts, and procuring equipment and services.
Deployment and provisioning: This phase involves installing and configuring telecom equipment and services, activating user accounts, and conducting testing and validation.
Usage and optimization: This phase involves monitoring and analyzing telecom usage, identifying areas of waste and inefficiency, and implementing optimization strategies to improve performance and reduce costs.
Decommissioning and disconnect: This phase involves inventorying your environment to determine if there are unused assets that still cost your business money, either decommissioning or disconnecting those items, and creating controls and processes to ensure prompt action is taken to get unused items off your books resulting in reduced costs.
By managing each phase of the telecom lifecycle effectively, businesses can achieve greater visibility and control over their telecom spending and usage, reduce costs, improve efficiency, and enhance security and compliance.
Why is this even a thing?
TLM is a direct response to the fact that big telecom is broken. Historically, there was no need for a large ecosystem to manage your telecom expense. Once upon a time, we lived in a world where there weren’t 10 ways to buy something from 10 different vendors. But as telecom has gotten more complex the need for better management of telecom and the expenses associated with it has grown.
Think about something as simple as getting a phone call to someone’s desk here are all the things you must consider:
Where are the located when they get the call? In office or at home? On the road?
Do I want them to have a hard phone, cell phone or softphone? A combination of all three?
Which phone or phones do you want ringing? Desk phone and soft phone? Cell? All of them?
Are they part of our contact center? If so, how am I measuring their performance?
How do you want the voice traffic routed? Cloud, Colo, your data center?
PBX, UCaaS or CCaaS?
SIP or VOIP or both?
How are you traversing the last mile and who is the right provider? Historically you may have only had one choice here, now there can literally be hundreds.
And this only represents the tip of the iceberg. It gets even more complex the deeper down the rabbit hole you go. Big telecom is changing and so are you and at a record pace. Here are some of the challenges you will face in today’s telecom landscape:
Ever changing account teams at the patchwork of vendors you use to support your environment.
Reduced support staff internally and externally
Accelerating pace of technology change meaning your people have to become “experts” at more and more things.
End of life products that have gone from "grandfathered support" to forced migrations.
A distracted workforce caused by having to chase down vendors to get support or even a basic understanding of what your service with them covers, how is it performing, do I have what I need, and how should it be evolving with you.
Playing air traffic controller for your various vendors to ensure things work seamlessly together to deliver the service and results your business relies on.
Why should I bother?
Telecom lifecycle management (TLM) can offer several advantages for businesses, including:
Cost savings: TLM can help businesses identify areas where they are overspending on telecom services and equipment, as well as negotiate better rates with providers.
Improved efficiency: TLM can help businesses optimize their telecom usage and reduce waste, leading to more efficient operations and cost savings.
Better visibility: TLM can provide businesses with greater visibility into their telecom spending and usage, allowing them to make more informed decisions and better manage their budgets.
Increased compliance: TLM can help businesses ensure that they are in compliance with regulatory requirements and contractual obligations, reducing the risk of penalties and legal issues.
Enhanced security: TLM can help businesses identify and address security vulnerabilities in their telecom systems, protecting against potential breaches and data loss.
Overall, TLM can help businesses reduce costs, improve efficiency, increase compliance, and enhance security, making it a valuable investment for many organizations.
Hey, you promised savings, what can I expect?
The amount that you can save through TLM will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size of your organization, the complexity of your telecom infrastructure, and the current level of inefficiencies and waste.
However, TLM has the potential to yield significant cost savings for businesses, typically ranging from 10% to 30% of total telecom spend. This can translate to thousands or even millions of dollars in savings, depending on the size of the organization.
By identifying and eliminating inefficiencies, such as unused or underutilized services, incorrect billing, and unnecessary equipment, TLM can help businesses optimize their telecom spending and usage. Additionally, TLM can help businesses negotiate better rates with telecom providers and reduce the risk of penalties and fees associated with noncompliance.
It's important to note that the amount of cost savings you can achieve through TLM will depend on the level of commitment and investment you make in the process. By regularly reviewing and optimizing your telecom infrastructure, and working with a trusted vendor or internal team, you can maximize the benefits of TLM and achieve significant cost savings over time.
I have people in-house that do this for me. Am I covered?
Even the highest performing in house team is working at a deficit. They don’t have a holistic view of the industry. They have little to no insight into larger macro trends:
Is what I am paying close to what others are?
What are all the vendors I could be buying this from?
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the various vendors I have to choose from?
Is what I am buying something I will outgrow or be able to grow with?
Should I outsource this?
Whether or not to outsource your telecom lifecycle management (TLM) depends on a variety of factors, including your company's size, budget, internal expertise, and priorities.
Here are some potential benefits of outsourcing TLM to help you make an informed decision:
Expertise: By outsourcing TLM to a specialized vendor, you can leverage their expertise and experience to optimize your telecom spending, usage, and security.
Cost savings: Outsourcing TLM can help you save costs by reducing the need for internal staffing, training, and software investments.
Scalability: Outsourcing TLM allows you to scale your services up or down depending on your business needs, without having to worry about internal resource constraints.
Ultimately, the decision to outsource TLM depends on your business needs and priorities. If you have a large telecom infrastructure or lack internal expertise, outsourcing TLM may be a viable option.
Ready to talk about how Eclipse can help you? You can contact us here. Still need to hear more before deciding? Don’t worry next week we are covering how Eclipse’s expertise can help you navigate your telecom challenges with our TLM offering.