Are you ignoring or exploiting your ‘Telecoms Intelligence’?

Imagine you had a child who could speak multiple languages fluently, but as an adult, they chose to only ever communicate in English, and never travelled. You’d probably question why they weren’t exploiting their full potential. Today, in business, ignoring your ‘Big Data’ is the equivalent for CIO’s, Finance and IT Directors, and their managers. At best, any organisation ignoring that data will be missing out on great opportunities. More likely, they’ll lose competitive advantage as their peers apply ‘Business Intelligence’ to their organisations.

Across every aspect of your organisation, there is data – and lots of it. What you chose to do with this untapped resource is entirely up to you.

This data contains insights that can help your organisation to:

  • grow sales
  • improve customer service
  • be more productive
  • reduce costs – the list goes on.

The negative side to all this data is that it can be overwhelming to go about capturing, controlling and applying it.

Most organisations’ view of Big Data Analytics is focussed on customer behaviour and purchasing trends – looking at web data, analysing transaction details, and building models that aim to grow top line sales. However, across most business functions there are variants of this ‘Business Intelligence’ that can be exploited to deliver significant, tangible results, and value, to both the department and the wider organisation.

At Utelize we focus on just one specialist element of ‘Big Data’, and that relates to ‘Telecoms Intelligence.’

What is Telecoms Intelligence?

The idea is a simple one, that’s easy to deploy, and requires just a shared corporate workspace. The concept is simple – centralise and manage all the different sources of existing and future telecoms-related data within your organisation. And then ask the question: ‘How can that data be applied to deliver value to both IT and the wider business functions?’

You’ve probably started to collate some of this data – typically, for a one-off procurement negotiation, device refresh, or for an IT/Finance project to assist with cost control. However, often that hard work is not maintained or onward-developed with any thought as to how else the data could be used to drive benefits, both within IT and the wider business.

Simply ensuring the data is captured and stored centrally from this point forward is the key to exploiting your future ‘Telecoms Intelligence.’ The sooner you start, the better the results will be, even if you don’t yet have a clear idea of how you’ll use or manage the data in the future.

Who owns your Telecoms Inventory & Data?

From our team’s experience of helping CIO’s and IT Directors with their telecoms strategy, management, and procurement over the last 20 years, we’ve observed that it is extremely rare to find an IT department that has a detailed and accurate inventory of its telecoms services, users, assets, and other related telecoms data. For many organisations, telecoms is one of their top 10 indirect costs, yet often there is no clear picture of what services, usage, and devices are deployed.

There’s always the odd spreadsheet, a few have a repository of contracts, and some store their billing in a structured manner. Most, however, just don’t know where any of it is or whether it even exists. Even those that have invested in Telecom Expense Management (TEM) platforms often don’t seem to be able to put their hands on the data, billing, and associated information.

If you’re a Finance Manager, IT Director, or CIO, as a first step in your journey to gaining ‘Telecoms Intelligence,’ we challenge you to ask yourself, “Is my organisation any different?”

Ask to see your inventory and some associated reporting on assets, devices, circuits and billing data/costs. And if it doesn’t exist, ask one simple question: “Is this actually anyone’s clear role or responsibility, to maintain such an inventory?”

Our experience suggests that it’s one of those tasks that everyone thinks is someone else’s job. And of course, it often isn’t. The other challenge is creating and managing an inventory. This is a proactive task that often gets interrupted by reactive IT tasks and support requests, thus preventing IT and Finance teams from implementing proactive measures.

If you find you don’t really have an inventory or process to capture your telecoms data, then it’s likely that if you dig a little further you’ll also discover:

  • ineffective support processes
  • rogue devices and data security issues
  • inappropriate contract terms
  • wastage and misuse of devices
  • policy issues and breaches
  • excess costs and other challenges that result from a lack of visibility, accountability and control

The good news is that with the right strategy and ideas, you’ll quickly be able to turn this to your advantage, releasing significant costs and IT resources that you can use to help transform your IT and organisation, based on a clear picture of what services, usage and devices you have today. The most important thing is to start the data collation as soon as possible, and to start thinking about how you will exploit your ‘Telecoms Intelligence’ going forward.

In future articles, we’ll provide in-depth insights into how CIO’s and their teams are starting to apply Telecoms Intelligence across their organisations to improve processes, reduce costs, support IT transformation, and reduce business risks. We’ll also highlight some of the pitfalls of ignoring this valuable data.

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