With the ever evolving telecom services landscape and so many different technologies and vendor options available, how can you be sure you're choosing the right telecom services for your organization? Rest assured that with the right format, industry inputs, and knowledge of your business drivers, you can build a strong objective, metric-driven decision framework that will not only help you determine the right telecom services, but provide transparency and documentation for negotiation, implementation, and future environment changes.
First, Why Should You Listen to Us?
While we don't normally toot our own horn, in this case, we will. For 15 years we've been helping our clients navigate the changing tides of telecom. Supporting our client's business priorities is the primary driver of everything we do in telecom management. So, you can say, "We've been around the block."
What's the Value in Building a Decision Framework for Telecom Services?
Building a decision framework for telecom services eliminates any guessing or bias from the individual or team. It ensures the business requirements are tightly met and it puts you in the driver's seat with powerful information and clarity.
We often get the question, "What's the difference between a decision framework and RFP?" These two approaches couldn't be more different…There are many opportunities where an RFP makes sense, however our clients will tell you that you may be better off building a decision framework when it comes to telecom services for these reasons:
- RFPs are defensive in nature. Even if RFPs ask the right questions, the decision is typically being made for the wrong reasons (i.e. to avoid risk rather than embrace a shared vision and goal). This risk-avoidance strategy is baked into the RFP process.
- RFPs are built on consensus, which is an ineffective way to responsibly secure a business outcome.
- RFPs are an extremely lengthy, time consuming process for the internal business. They tend to drag out decisions which impacts choice, pricing, and not taking into account all the available options.
- RFPs are oftentimes recycled templates from other projects vs built to determine best telecom outcomes as a whole
OK, So How We Do It: The 4 Steps
At Renodis, we use a custom decision framework called VendorPoint™. This is our proprietary tool for helping clients determine the right telecom services for their environment based on custom criteria. Although each VendorPoint is different based on needs, the process is still the same and has, across the board, successfully produced best-in-class outcomes for our clients.
Here is the basic premise to determine the right telecom services, technology, and vendors for your environment.
#1: Think about your criteria and requirements in terms of Technology, Support, and Economics
We view telecom services through a lens of three dimensions of value:
- Technology: What is the correct overall technology and vendor that would provide the greatest benefit and competitive advantage for your business?
- Support and Service: What does your business require in terms of the quality, expertise, and availability of end user support? What resources do you need to manage change in your environment and troubleshoot issues as they arise?
- Economics: What are your financial requirements? This one speaks for itself, but it's a good idea to enlist the help of a trusted source here to benchmark financial expectations against industry standards.
By looking at each one of these dimensions of value individually, you can ensure the focus and objectivity to help determine the right telecom services for your unique environment.
#2: Prioritize your criteria based on your business drivers and priorities
Once you have your business criteria for Technology, Support and Economics, give each individual criteria a ranking. At Renodis, we use a scale of 1-5 in our VendorPoint framework.
For instance, if your business is very dependent on low cost above all else, weight the criteria in that category accordingly. If certain criteria within a dimension of value are more important than others, make sure that is reflected.
#3 Identify the top technology/vendor options that fulfill your criteria and score them
If you don't have industry expertise, of all the steps outlined thus far -- this is where we really recommend working with a seasoned expert to understand the nuances of telecom services technology and providers. With this understanding you can score each technology/vendor (1-5) against the weighted criteria outlined above.
#4 Tally the Scores!
Here's the fun part of the exercise. For each of your criteria, take the rank number (based on your business priorities) and multiply that by the technology/vendor score. This will produce a final score for each technology/vendor option. To really glean insights, you can look at scores broken down by value dimensions as well.
[CRITERIA RANK NUMBER 1-5] x [VENDOR SCORE 1-5] = FINAL TECHNOLOGY VENDOR SCORE
[A note here that even after tallying your scores it's important to review all your ranks to make sure they accurately reflect your business priorities.]
At the end of this exercise you will have a transparent, metric-driven, decision framework that will help you identify the right telecom services for your organization and the evidence-based peace of mind to take action.
Contact us to see how we use VendorPoint™ to identify the best telecom services for our clients.