Telecom costs – how to avoid panic in a pandemic
Since Covid-19 hit North America, and many companies began working from home, Operations and IT departments are coming up against unforeseen needs, such as insufficient connectivity for employees to do their jobs. The reality of a crisis, however, is that you’re probably not alone, and that can cause additional headaches.
That was the case for one of Cimpl’s customers, a large Canadian energy company, to whom we provide managed services for their wireless telecoms. Some of their employees did not have adequate home Internet infrastructure, and there was a sudden spike in requests for mobile devices that could compensate. However, Canadian and US carriers were also taken by surprise, and were in back order on latest-generation devices, as well as accessories. Additionally, our customer was very worried they would exceed their negotiated data pool limit.
The value of a partnership of trust
Our Care Team is seasoned in adapting to change and finding solutions, and took the increase in volume of requests in stride. They calmly switched orders to the penultimate generation of devices, and located alternative accessories and suppliers. They ensured every user’s shipping address was correctly recorded, reaching out to employees, sometimes several times, and manually updating from the corporate address on file to the home address. They speedily replaced orders when some were lost during shipping. They increased communication to ensure users were kept constantly updated and frustration with delays was minimized. They dealt with the data worry by using the Cimpl platform to understand usage and model anticipated usage, and made recommendations on the data allowance needed to avoid overage costs. Finally, they negotiated with the customer’s carriers to change plans or add data bundles.
As the Care Team specifies, however, “Processing all these changes so quickly was only possible because we worked together closely with the customer.” The Cimpl team drew on its experience and understanding of how the customer works, as well as on its telecoms expertise, to adapt quickly and think ahead of possible roadblocks. The customer worked hand-in-hand with the team, to ensure their mobile operators provided the information needed and responded to requests for negotiations. It was a stellar example of a true partnership, which we know will stand us in good stead for any further adaptations we will need to carry out as the pandemic goes on; but also for the “new normal”, whatever that turns out to be.
Keeping costs down in a crisis (and beyond)
For other companies who see their telecom costs exploding with remote working, whether its mobile data to access the Internet or dial-in conferencing, for example, here are some tips:
- Establish a baseline – Get in touch with your carriers and obtain a snapshot of your telecom costs over the last three months – the more detail you have, the better.
- Fix informed contract objectives – Compare your contracts and usage with what’s available on the market, so you can go back to your providers and intelligently ask for what you’d like to see in future.
- Continuously review your situation over time – Once a year or a quarter, or even every 90 days, is not enough. It needs to be an ongoing monthly activity, with a report to help you plan effectively and budget appropriately.
- Broaden your scope – Start with one aspect, such as mobile usage, for example, then look at what else you need to take into account. What about your wireline costs? Or your assets? Savings can be made everywhere.
- Find your own trusted advisor – Form a partnership with someone who can make recommendations that meet your goals, based on your own unique situation and their knowledge of the telecom space.
The switch to a remote workforce probably did a number on your IT and Telecom costs. What are you doing to get ready for the new normal? In the first of this four-part webinar series, we’ll help you prepare your remote environment and discover potential savings so you can better balance your budget.