Consulting® NOVEMBER 2014 17
deal. After all, why pay the middleman? (Sure go ahead
and defend yourself in a court of law, see how that
works too.) The truth is you’re going to waste a lot of
time shopping around and you will likely spend more.
How often do you negotiate a telecom deal?
Agents do it every day and they work with the
same finance departments as a direct sales rep. They
also have an acute understanding of the going rate and
what the marketplace will bear. Moreover, they have
“portfolios” not a single account.
Consultants regularly negotiate better terms for their
clients. Telecom contracts are notorious for complicated
verbiage, fine print and non-sensical jargon. Consultants
look out for contractual limitations and restrictions,
while making sure client interests are fully protected.
A consultant is also free to shop around. They can source
from different vendors and negotiate on your behalf to
get the best price. In today’s complex environment with
multiple areas of telecom—from mobility to voice and
data services—typically one carrier cannot provide all
the needed services (as previously noted). And, even if
they do, sometimes “bundles” aren’t the best solution
at the best price. Only a telecom consultant can mix
and match solution sets with your best interest in mind.
Telecom consultants also provide another technical
resource. It’s not that telecom is IT rocket science. It’s
that in order to thoroughly understand the services, the
providers and the pricing, you have to be doing it day
in and day out. Most IT departments don’t have the
resources to dedicate personnel solely to telecom.
A telecom consultant has deep, broad-based
industry experience and, as an extension of your team,
can design and construct an efficient communications
infrastructure built to you needs. Consultants take
this knowledge and project manage implementations
to ensure smooth deployments. Consultants work
with these solutions every day and maintain a better
understanding of the migration path.
We’re all guilty here, too. Have you ever heard
someone say they are NOT busy? Everybody’s so
busy! Yet, there are things that we just don’t like
anybody to touch. We inherently put our elbows up
and claim, “that’s my job.” A consultant’s best friend
is the CFO. Often, IT is not so welcoming. And,
understandably so. It’s innate for an IT expert to want
to go it alone. C- and director-level IT personnel
certainly have the technical aptitude to do telecom.
But, even the most experienced and seasoned IT
expert doesn’t do telecom every day.
Why would a high-level IT expert want to spend
time taking a deep dive in this area when they could
be focused on the customer experience and other
mission critical tasks? At little to no cost, a telecom
consultant offers dedicated expertise, marketplace
data, and industry-specific technical capacity. When
the turf war chasm is eclipsed, the telecom consultant
becomes an invaluable resource to IT, in addition to
being the CFO’s best friend.
UCAAS AND THE CLOUD
Cloud technologies are changing the way organizations
consume telecom services. Your communications
infrastructure is more important than ever before. A
carefully architected network that includes disaster
recovery and business continuity is paramount.
Telecom consultants help organizations migrate to
the cloud model by taking full advantage of the cloud
and network solutions offered by vendors. Unified
Communications as a Service (UCaaS) is essentially
a delivery model for Unified Communications
(UC). Innovators are adopting UCaaS and it has
quickly become the fastest growing segment in the
increasingly expanding UC market.
The major factors driving UCaaS growth is its demand
and adoption in the mid-market. The “as-a-Service”
model, ongoing support, and powerful collaboration
tools make UC desirable and obtainable for a wider
range of organizations. Consultants are addressing this
demand by assisting with the seamless shift from on-premise technologies to the cloud-UC model.
Darren DeMartino is the Managing Partner of Advanced
Technology Consulting, a firm providing outsourced
telecommunications expertise. DeMartino leverages
20-years of telecom industry experience to assess client
needs and implement customized, value-creating solutions.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.