If you are collecting and analyzing IT metrics -- and that is a big if -- should telecom be an integral part of that? Few companies see the value of including telecom in that analysis, usually due to the perception that telecom is simply about numbers of call paths, voice minutes used and data bandwidth. While this was true for a very long time, there are so many new products and services available from carriers that developing telecom metrics to incorporate into your existing IT metrics can be valuable and relatively pain-free.
So, should you? Like any good high-tech answer, it depends on your responses to a couple of questions:
- How integral is telecom to the functionality of your company? By that, I don't mean, "Do you use the telephone and email a lot?" Most everybody does. What I mean is: How closely are telecom services integrated into the core of your business? For example, a streaming content provider is probably going to rely a lot more heavily on their IT infrastructure than a restaurant. As a result, the cost of that infrastructure will more directly and specifically impact the cost of goods sold by the former than the latter. Your calculations should be roughly proportionally in depth to the degree to which you are dependent on your telecom services.
- How difficult/expensive would it be to develop telecom metrics? Obviously, there's a cost/benefit calculation, and telecom can be tricky. Few companies have done a superb job of auditing their telecom costs and truly tracking what effects telecom services have on their business. If you're one of those companies, then this is where you should start. If you want a real wake-up call, ask your sales director how he/she is affected -- both positively and negatively -- by the telecom services provided, and then ask your accounts payable department some questions about the bills they pay. Work with a good telecom consultant or agent to assist you through this process and you will get to a point where you recognize you have enough of the right information.
As I said, there are so many new products and services available that appropriate calculation of telecom into your internal metrics can and will help you leverage these services to more efficiency and greater profitability.
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