Better Technology and Telecoms procurement drives bottom line benefits

19 October 2020

Telecommunications services across fixed line, mobile and data are indispensable to business today, but they are often viewed as a sprawling, complex cost centre managed across multiple departments. Infrastructure manages fixed line, HR allocates mobile allowances, and finance complains about the rising costs of it all.

Marco Almeida, Head of Operations at Adapt IT, says: “Local enterprises have become a lot more cost sensitive in recent months. At the same time, technology and telecoms spend is spiking. Over the past 10 to 15 years, corporates have become increasingly dependent on mobility solutions to enable their workforce to be far more available, but in the process, many have lost control of the mobile component. The mainstream adoption of cloud services has contributed to this mobile sprawl, loss of control and increase in costs. Without a strategy for procurement and delivery, and tools to effectively measure and manage the environment, what you end up with is chaos.”

Improved visibility into company technology and telecoms services enables smarter decisions, and therefore smarter procurement.

 

South African companies are understandably loath to acknowledge any lack of strategic foresight, however. “What ends up happening is a situation where corporate South Africa pins the blame on communications service providers,” says Almeida. “Ultimately, the solution is a better understanding and more visible mobile environment, integrated with the overall environment, and mapped to strategy.”

With complete visibility of technology and telecommunications services use within the organisation, more strategic procurement and management becomes possible, allowing the organisation to understand how and where particular services are used, what the real cost of those services is, and what future usage and patterns are likely to emerge. “Managing technology and communications is not just about cost, but additionally about how you consume the service; how you procure it smartly. It becomes a commercial discussion,” says Almeida. “as such, there has been a significant shift in the way companies view their historical infrastructure and services.

With mobile being a growing contributor to overall telecoms costs, it is frequently seen as a procurement and management challenge. Almeida says: “Even major organisations may not understand how they are buying from service providers. The billing and management thereof may seem daunting and confusing, with hundreds of line items, so companies simply say ‘right, it’s easier just to pay each person an R800 allowance’. But in fact, the management of mobile services from service providers doesn’t have to be mysterious. It can be flexible. Just because procurement is buying from the service provider in a certain way, it doesn’t mean the services must be passed on to staff packaged in the same way. With the correct management platform in place, the company can buy a bundle for the organisation, at preferential pricing, and carve and allocate to individual users however they like.”