Planning for Telecommunications Convergence

Technology convergence is here and suppliers are looking for ways to interact with customers in more complete and integrated ways—even delivering complete value propositions to support business processes. As such, investments in new end devices like smart phones, tablets and increasingly, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, or services such as wireless 4G, an evolving 5G, or increasingly unlicensed spectrum, must be well understood in terms of their ability to deliver for your business. 

Add to the mix pricing pressures, broadening service options, as well as potential mergers (AT&T, after acquiring Direct TV, is now making a bid for Time Warner), wireless service value will become increasingly difficult to assess as the industry reaches true maturity over the next several years.

It has never been more important to carefully plan technology decisions, as the risk of getting it wrong has never been higher. Executives must be strategic in how technology advances their business objectives to avoid the opportunity cost of capital allocated that will never realize a true ROI or investing in technologies that are unable to deliver. 

Determine how technology aligns with business objectives

Executives can hedge planning risks by thoroughly documenting business requirements and determining the key services and devices that can deliver on their overall business objectives. Use cases can be deployed to anticipate problems in advance by walking through a typical business process interactive scenario and carefully documenting the work flow and the technology touch points. This approach exposes all technology requirements to ensure technology decisions are comprehensive and inclusive of multi-department needs.

Keep objectives in mind when negotiating telecom contracts

Additionally, contract negotiations should be entered with clear objectives based upon desired outcomes for terms and conditions. Developing a negotiation strategy going in will drive best possible outcomes. Be aware that long term contractual commitments to technology suppliers—especially legacy suppliers, bound more by their own standard terms and conditions—may result in less than optimal service and content delivery. But new players in the market, unencumbered by legacy regulatory and legal constraints may well be willing to entertain unique contract clauses and custom terms.

Effective planning, together with an understanding of how the technology is used from end device to end device, can prevent costly investments in solutions that ultimately disappoint. Partnering with knowledgeable technology specialists to control cost and optimize solutions in affordable business relationships also can be part of the solution.  

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