A few weeks into working with a leading electronic signature company, the vice president of infrastructure had an appreciation for both the potential and the problems that come with management in a high growth technology company. Following rapid expansion, the company was paying high prices for services that were not fully vetted and at times did not meet their needs. LinkSource helped to transform the company’s enterprise network from a corporate liability into an asset.
In business since 2003, this client provides esignature technology to more than 500,000 paying customers and hundreds of millions of users worldwide, enabling them to remotely prepare, sign, act on, and manage various documents and agreements. The company’s success has led to rapid growth. Operating in more than 180 countries, it has been continually adding new locations to extend its reach across the globe. Initially, individual managers decided where, when, and how to open each office. Soon, the company was working with a variety of telecom carriers and a hodgepodge of services, resulting in uncontrolled expenses, mismatched circuits, and inconsistent service. In addition, invoices arrived haphazardly, sometimes not getting paid on time and accruing late fees.
Due to unvetted services being used, end users sometimes experienced network performance degradation that hindered them from completing their work. Change was needed. The VP saw an opportunity to implement telecom asset lifecycle management best practices, giving each location what it needed and room to grow while eliminating financial waste. Lacking expertise in telecom expense management (TEM), the company turned to LinkSource, trusted technology consulting experts.
A Multi-Step Solution to Managing Telecom Expenses
Step 1. Create a Wish List
The first step in our partnership with this client was to create a telecom service wish list. This step meant identifying the most pressing issues, such as inadequate bandwidth and sporadic service, to handle first. We asked the following questions:
- Which apps do employees need to access?
- How much bandwidth will each one require?
Step 2. Set the Telecom Expense Standard
As we collected information about the client’s telecom usage, standard profiles began to emerge. If employees worked with Oracle, digital media, web, phone, and email, for example, they required 2 Mbps links per person at all times. With this insight, we established baselines for employee configurations.
Step 3. Answer Four Expense Management Questions
To develop an expense management plan, we needed to understand the needs for each of the client’s new locations.
- What is the projected head count for the new location?
- When is the planned move-in date?
- Which solutions (e.g., phone and internet) need to be put in place?
- Will the new office be performing critical functions that require more bandwidth?
Step 4. Compare Internet Service Providers
We assessed the available service providers to find the best fit for the client. Decades of working with the top global telecom providers enables LinkSource to give our clients a variety of options to fit their needs.
Step 5. Gather Quotes
After we’ve established the telecom expense standards, we elicit quotes from each provider based on real data rather than estimates. For instance, we can tell the provider that our customer plans to open a new facility at a specific location with ten employees. Based on the standards we set, this might mean, for example, that they would need an internet speed of 20 Mbps and 23 voice channels.
The esignature company also required resiliency. By providing multiple circuit carrier options that adhere to their circuit diversity needs, we ensured that an outage with one would have minimal impact and the circuit mix meshed with the company’s requirements. In these ways, LinkSource and the client ensured that the services provided match employee usage, the business needs, and their budget.
Step 6. Lay Out the Options
With quotes in place from our approved list of providers, we let our client know the following:
- Price point
- Head count
- Bandwidth available
- Services provided
- Diversity options
- On-net or off-net access
With this information, the client was able to make a knowledgeable decision about the providers that would best suit its needs.
Step 7. Manage the Telecom Asset Lifecycle
After selecting each new provider and putting them in place, we work with our clients to help manage all of their telecom assets throughout their lifecycles. For the esignature company, this work included
- Providing all required carrier paperwork for selected voice, data, and internet services.
- Signing through the process
- Setting up timelines
- Managing every step of each order, providing detailed updates to the customer’s technical team and senior leadership.
- Scheduling appointments
- Coordinating the site walk-through for the customer and provider
- Coordinating equipment placement
- Managing any necessary buildouts
- Obtaining the necessary insurance from the network provider
- Helping facilitate the test and turn up of new carrier services / handing over circuits to customer IT staff.
- Setting up post install maintenance schedules for live services.
- Conducting management through the telecom asset lifecycle
- Providing first invoice review and entering new services into post-billing TEM support
The Results: Telecom Expenses Reduced by 12% to 15%
LinkSource helped set up the protocols so each office’s head count matched the circuit size and ensured the circuits were of good value. We leveraged our provider relationships, assessed the inventory in the client’s current offices as well as what was added, and created new standards for budgeting and spending. As a result, the company gained more value from the money spent throughout its telecom asset lifecycles.
- By creating metrics and protocols to follow when opening new locations and better understanding its users’ needs, the company reduced its telecom spend by approximately 12%–15%.
- Late fees have been eliminated as invoices are managed proactively rather than reactively.
- The enterprise network performs better because traffic needs are understood, and the services selected meet real and not theoretical usage patterns.
The LinkSource Advantage
By implementing improved protocols and solutions, we set our customers on a path toward effective telecom expense management. For clients preparing to open new locations, we can deploy the necessary budgeting, strategizing, planning, and asset management services all in one place.
This outcome would not be possible without the partnerships we develop with each of our customers. We’re committed to delivering the best network solutions for every client to provide the tailored value they deserve.