Telecom services make reliable, efficient and timely communication with customers and clients of your organization possible. From the phone to Internet access and many things in between, telecom services help maintain your network infrastructure's connectivity capabilities. As technology continues to change and advance, telecom carrier services also evolves and has become more critical.
How has Telecom Changed?
The underlying trend of telecom carrier services is providing more bandwidth for less. Traditional phone companies compete on performance and reliability, but no longer have a ‘lock’ on product or pricing. We often advise telecom users that “you get what you pay for” when it comes to carrier services and not all products are built on similar platforms, nor are they supported the same. Larger, more traditional telecom companies such as Century Link, AT&T and Level 3 all have “best in field” service level agreements.
What’s Coming in the Future for Telecom?
Price and performance will continue to dictate the telecom market. Change will be rapid among product offerings and performance. Tier 1 providers will still have the edge as they own and operate the legacy telecommunications backbone and data networks. Most other providers will buy services from these networks and integrate their Tier 2 or Tier 3 network products. It is important to understand what you are buying and who the underlying network provider is, as well as how these networks will be integrated.
Telecom carrier consolidation will continue, as many smaller providers will no longer be able to compete on performance and price. Telecom carriers will also be expected to transform, to offer leading edge products and services or consolidate with a larger provider. Continued billing, slow repose to moves, adds and change requests, and sporadic bandwidth performance issues will continue to plague many telecom users. Telecom providers will need to plan to continually develop efforts to manage and minimize these ongoing issues.
What Telecom Innovations are Coming?
Hosted services are becoming more readily available and a logical option for many businesses. This includes everything from voice, data infrastructure and software based applications. The availability of high speed bandwidth and hosted options is putting significant control back in the users hands. Companies will no longer be required to purchase premise-based hardware, as it is now available on an “as needed” basis. The telecom users that adapt early will have better cost control and predictability, including a potential competitive advantage.
What Should Telecom Users Prepare For?
Users should anticipate working with telecom carriers who can provide a higher level of expertise and establish a solid relationship with an experienced telecom carrier consultant. As mentioned, Telecom Carriers are competing on price by lowering their support overhead and leaving more of the day-to-day network management and support functions on the users. Some users may accommodate this, but it can be very frustrating and time consuming for others. Choosing a carrier, or carrier services agent, that offers help desk support will become more critical.
Bottom line, in this changing environment users will need to better understand their telecom needs and whether or not it is best for them to offload various support elements to a Telecom Carrier Consultant, or try to maintain this expertise in-house.