A Technology Strategy Advisor is More Effective Than Going Direct to Telecom Carriers, or Even Using a Broker
Businesses looking to change, upgrade or modernize their telecommunication services typically have three options to source vendors and help with the project rollout and implementation:
- Work directly with carriers or service providers
- Coordinate with a telecom broker to source carriers
- Partner with a technology lifecycle management advisor
The first option carries the most responsibility for the business, while the second and third options provide additional support.
Technology Lifecycle Management
The process of identifying, sourcing and ultimately rolling out services via one or more carriers or service providers is known as the technology lifecycle. This process can be deceivingly complex because, in most cases, managing information technology and telecommunications assets involves many points of contact, multiple install dates, delays, pages and pages of invoices, moves, additions and changes.
There are eight stages to Technology Lifecycle Management. Each support option handles strategy differently:
|STAGE||DESCRIPTION||DIRECT TO CARRIER||BROKER||FULL-SERVICE ADVISOR|
|IDENTIFICATION||Partners with you in researching and identifying the IT environment your company needs and why you need it||x||x|
|SOURCING||Developing and knowing which questions to ask providers to ensure they check all of your boxes||x||x|
|CONTRACTING||Understanding how pricing models work so you know how to plan your budget||x||x|
|PROCUREMENT||Providing the right information to your providers at the right time to avoid costly delays||x|
|IMPLEMENTATION||Ensuring a smooth transition between the sales team and implementation team||x|
|BILLING||Clarifying bills and highlighting potential errors so you know exactly what you’re paying for||x|
|CHANGE MANAGEMENT||Coordinating the transition during a migration of services so you aren’t paying for a new vendor and an old one at the same time||x|
|REPORTING||Translating confusing and potentially misleading reports to avoid future errors and unexpected payments down the road||x|
Based on support received throughout the lifecycle, the direct-to-carrier option requires the most effort on the part of the buyer, because you’ve chosen to work through each stage of the lifecycle on your own.
This method gives you full control over your services, but it also means there’s more room for error. Without a team of specialists to design a solution and manage the lifecycle all the way through, making changes to your telecom services can prove to be an extremely painful process.
Working with a telecom broker can alleviate some of this pain. A broker’s job is to source vendors and find the best solution for the client – normally defined as the lowest cost – and then essentially act as an intermediary during the sales process. Unfortunately, this results in telecom brokers assisting in the first three stages of lifecycle management (Identification, Sourcing, and Contracting) and then leaving the client to work through the other five stages alone.
In simpler telecom times, telecom broker services were sufficient because brokers specialized in having connections in the industry to sell basic voice and data services. In today’s converging and expanding telecom marketplace, telecom brokers work well for specific, well defined situations.
Brokers with good connections are helpful in certain situations, but the telecom space has become more complex. What was once an industry with perhaps 20 carriers and vendors, has grown into a supply network of over 250 carriers/providers that is growing larger each day with emerging technologies. And all of the various technologies are becoming more interdependent and more connected with an organization’s IT infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this means greater potential for information to slip through the cracks, resulting in instability for your technology and telecom projects.
One example of how a telecom broker relationship may not be enough comes directly from a Bluewave client’s Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) project. As the client began to seriously move into the decision-making phase of the project, they engaged Bluewave to do a final review of five different Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SDWAN) and SASE vendors that had been brought to the table.
Bluewave dug into the details and developed a new business strategy based upon the technical and business requirements that involved a complete scoping analysis, development of business plans and long-term goals, and recommended solutions and vendors.
This process took more time than a simple deal sourcing, but within three months the client had a complete understanding of their SASE solution, an agreed upon implementation plan—and the best pricing in the market.
A Better Way: Solution Selling
While Bluewave has the capacity to act as a broker on your behalf, our capabilities and expertise go beyond what a traditional broker can provide. Working with Bluewave means working with a long established, dedicated technology advisor with the industry expertise to deliver macro-level insights, achieve immediate cost savings, and add lasting value to your technology and organization.
Telecom brokers and carrier sales reps are very focused on selling. Bluewave takes pride in taking a step back from the situation and walking through each stage of the technology lifecycle, so nothing is overlooked providing the following benefits:
- Outlining a technology roadmap
- Managing the entire implementation project
- Audit & optimizing services
- Single point of contact for 100+ global vendors
- Providing business process outsourcing & TEM
- Managing real-time inventory & reporting>
- Expertise in carriers, integrations, & finance
- Building a long-term technology partnership
- Saving on Information Technology (IT) costs to fund other initiatives
- Finding simple solutions to your technology troubles
Bluewave offers more than just a quick one-and-done business transaction. From asking the right questions and designing a service and solution, to negotiating the contract, to ordering and implementing services, we are with you every step of the way – and then with you after the go-live.
Bluewave provides not only expertise around vendors and their pricing, but a technical resource. We offer unmatched value compared to traditional brokerage services.
In the end, you will not only get the products and services you need at the best possible price – you will get the solution that is best for your business goals, delivered as expected.