SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Marty Parker
Marty Parker brings over three decades of experience in both computing solutions and communications technology. Marty has been a...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Marty Parker | June 11, 2012 |

 
   

Cost Savings or Business Value: Industry and Career Choices

Cost Savings or Business Value: Industry and Career Choices A focus on cost reductions will usually add minimal business value, while a focus on business value may also create major cost savings.

A focus on cost reductions will usually add minimal business value, while a focus on business value may also create major cost savings.

Each day, enterprise decision-makers make an important choice: Whether to focus on telecom cost reductions or on communication-based business value. The options are not mutually exclusive, but a focus on cost reductions will usually add minimal business value while a focus on business value may also create major cost savings.

Making the choice is not always obvious, but it is a choice just the same. The way to see which choice is being made is to look at how the organization and the people are spending their time and their budgets. Whether you represent a communications vendor or you work in an enterprise Telecom or IT department, you can see these choices being made all the time.

Here are some typical characteristics showing the contrast between the two options:

* Cost Reduction:
--Spend time with infrastructure vendors and carriers.
--Read lots of product announcements.
--Vendor presentations emphasize their great technology.
--Work primarily with the incumbent communications vendor.
--Upgrade existing systems rather than testing new options.
--Have a SIP trunk cost-saving initiative.
--Move to IP-Phones for telecom system TCO.
--Don't do any BPA (Business Process Analysis); no BPA staff.
--Few or no CEBP (communication-enabled business process) apps or pilots.
--Keep looking for reductions in current maintenance contracts and cost.

* Communication-based Business Value:
--Spend time with operating departments, lines of business.
--Read lots of case studies.
--Vendor presentations emphasize business improvement opportunities.
--Explore innovative vendors, whether incumbent or not.
--Avoid upgrades or migrations of incumbent systems, unless there is business value.
--Look for more efficient topologies (Ethernet backbone, cloud communications, even SIP).
--Grow the use of new devices, shrink the number of phones (TDM or IP); reduce TCO.
--Hire or train BPA roles in your team, specializing in finding CEBP applications.
--Have one or two CEBP-type pilots always running to prove business value.
--Optimize TCO and Maintenance costs as part of the new solutions.

Both options improve the business, of course. But an important distinction between the two is that the time and money that are consumed in pursuit of cost reductions usually reduce or eliminate the ability to pursue business value initiatives. A common statement is, "We just want to migrate to Voice over IP so we can move to SIP trunks, then we can build UC (surrogate for 'business value') on that new platform." When this happens, the enterprise may well lose two or more years in new application adoption to those enterprises that are focused on business value first, with cost savings as a benefit.

It is also worth noting that almost all of the new Unified Communications solutions for increasing business value can also produce a major technology cost reduction, since the new methods are so much more efficient and usually have lower licensing and maintenance costs.

Of course, we have seen a similar set of questions in the contact center market in the past two decades. Most of the innovation and spending came from proving that new methods would deliver business value and staff efficiency. Cost reductions for contact centers focus on the savings in labor and time for the customer facing staff rather than simply on minimizing technology costs (e.g. of legacy hunt groups).

Perhaps you want to take a look at this question. Maybe the cost reduction choice feels right for you and your company. That's fine, but realize this choice leads down a road of constant reductions in headcount and spending and has the risk that business value solutions based on other technology platforms (e.g. communications built into business application software packages) may ultimately take over some or all of the communications functionality.

But, if the business value choice feels best for you and your company, begin to spend your time and budget on finding the places in your enterprise where the new technologies of Unified Communications, Collaboration and Social Business, blended with your enterprise’s business processes and business applications, can transform your enterprise’s operations and workflows. You can do this one process or one department at a time; it's not necessary to do it all at once. When you're done, you will be working for a more profitable enterprise or more efficient public sector entity, likely with increases in customers, revenues and market share or services.

By the way, if you want to pursue a business value path and your organization (vendor or enterprise) doesn't see things that way, maybe it's time to polish up your resume. Enterprises that value growth and innovation are always looking for people who have a passion for that business style. And, good luck on your journey, whichever choice you make!





COMMENTS



May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.