Recently, the highly respected Forrester and Gartner Research Firms estimated 2010 U.S. based technology spending (defined as hardware, software, IT services and telephony) at $1.4 trillion. In other words, the US technology market is 7 times larger than the entire American Fast Food Industry ($120Bn). IT telephony investments totaled $600Bn or almost 42% of all spending. So it is not surprising that we rarely complete an IT engagement these days that doesn’t touch the world of telephony either directly or indirectly.
So we thought we’d pass on a few lessons learned that could save you some substantial “quid.”
1. ALWAYS START WITH AN IT ROADMAP.
In our experience, it always makes sense to make sure you have an updated IT Roadmap before you spend a dime. The roadmap will help you or your Portfolio Companies (PCs) identify what are the most important questions that need to be addressed before the meter starts ticking. For example, do you need voice and data connectivity? Do you need broad or limited internet access? And, what about the need for corporate connectivity?
2. MAKE SURE HARDWARE AND ITS CAPABILITIES ARE COMPLETELY INTEGRATED WITH YOUR IT GOALS AND OBJECTIVES.
As we’ve suggested to many among our PIP family of clients, make sure the IT department, and the companies that service them have the capacity and desire to understand your Portfolio Company’s business goals and objectives. For example, building a state of the art customer response system that does not allow all parties in the service chain (e.g., account or sales reps, customer service reps and shipping and billing) to participate in real-time problem solving is most likely a failed telephony opportunity.
3. CONSIDER HARDWARE-NEUTRAL VENDORS.
Clearly as the use of telephony has grown, the prices of hardware have dropped accordingly. Unfortunately, in order to maintain margins, some vendors are what we call “over-recommending.” In other words, selling you more than you need. Their rationale: investing now will reduce future IT costs. Since the market is so dynamic, we are more into the “buy only what you need” mode. One way to flush out vendor motivation is to propose a performance incentive: partial payment in the form of a % of operational savings That way you have a concrete baseline and the vendor has to put his/her money where their mouth is.
WHO’S ON FIRST? WHAT’S ON SECOND?
If you’re not certain about anything regarding telephony trends or what you may or may not need, we’d be glad to walk you through the maze. Just give us a call, 203-220-9555. As a trusted client, you know there is no cost or obligation to the consult, be it remote or in person. It’s our way of saying thank you for your past business, and for making PIP America’s largest and most respected IT consulting & implementation organization dealing exclusively with the Private Equity Industry and its Portfolio Companies. For more about PIP services, company developments and testimonials, check out www.pip-llc.com.
An information technology consultant who is truly a member of your team will consider your business as his or her own.
Read one of our testimonials:
“We like the people at Performance Improvement Partners, how they work with our portfolio companies, and the results of both their assessment and implementation projects.”
Managing Director, Advent International