If your organization is considering adopting additional cloud services, advanced telecom, or rearchitecting connectivity solutions, it’s critical to first identify what your IT environment looks like today before making changes to the existing systems. This starts by establishing a service inventory. This process helps teams identify server infrastructure, software applications, and voice and data service inventory. During the inventory process, businesses also identify bandwidth requirements, networking requirements, and other operational services, like managed maintenance contracts or automated data backups they are running.
After teams have completed their cloud and telecom service inventory, the next step is performing a baseline assessment. Unlike a service inventory build-out that looks at the existing circuits, lines, software applications, and server infrastructure, a baseline assessment is all about diving deep into the costs and contracts associated with supporting that environment. This includes pulling records of all telecom invoices and contracts to identify what’s being paid, what’s needed, what’s unnecessary, and highlighting opportunities for cost reduction. With detailed data, businesses can spot billing errors and contractual variations quickly. A baseline assessment also includes establishing a framework and cost-effective path for cloud migration.
Leveraging subject matter experts
Leveraging an outside expert for a baseline assessment is beneficial for several reasons. Not only does it provide objectivity, but outside specialists can also ensure quality information gathering, which can be challenging. Once the data is collected and the recommendations are made, telecom subject matter experts are also skilled at implementing the recommended changes. Telapprise, for example, offers a baseline assessment that’s so effective that 99.95% of clients receive at least a 2x return on investment. Let’s review the best practice 4-step approach to an effective baseline assessment.
- Data gathering – If working with a telecom expert, they may start by interviewing key customer IT resources, both technical and business, to learn about the IT environment, application portfolio, and spending on each. At Telapprise, we catalog and evaluate every invoice and contract as well as collect carrier inventory to identify every circuit and service.
- Analysis – The next step is conducting a full audit to identify billing errors, obsolete services, incorrect taxes or fees collected, unused credits, and contractual variations, or invalid circuits customers are paying for but not using, for example. The analysis and verification step is critical in identifying areas of wasteful spending. For more information about optimizing telecom spend, read our blog that outlines tips for navigating telecom contracts.
- Optimization – The best part about working with a telecom and cloud service expert is that they know the telecom lingo and they can identify less than optimum pricing or contractual provisions. They can also effectively negotiate to optimize future vendor agreements. Optimizing rates and taking steps to eliminate excess services and contracts can help your organizations save a significant amount of money immediately and over the long term.
- Implementation – After the baseline assessment is complete, customers can then determine how they’d like to move forward. If done right, a baseline assessment provides valuable insights for ongoing support and provides guidance about how to maximize technology investments. If the customer accepts the assessment’s recommendations, changes are then implemented with the various carriers and providers.
Another benefit of a baseline assessment is that it gives organizations the insight and data they need to tightly align their cloud computing strategy with their business strategy. By starting first with a telecom inventory and baseline assessment, teams can identify cost savings hiding in their telecom bills, plus make a plan for strategic cloud migration based on real data.
If your business is looking to score big-time savings around telecom bills and to map out a plan for moving some of your applications, platforms, or infrastructure to the cloud…talk to us. At Telapprise, we can help you avoid common missteps, saving you valuable time and money along the way.