Protected: ICT Convergence and Applications – is it too much too soon, or too little too late?

October 14th, 2009

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Network Risk – who is looking after yours?

October 1st, 2009

It’s a changing World we live in and for IT and Telecom this is especially true.  Almost every week we see another piece of technology that we are told will change the way we work for ever.  The only problem is …you’ve only just finished upgrading your network for the last good idea! No doubt your service provider has already discussed the next generation of equipment and upgrades.

How concerned should you be at the pace of change?  What is the reality about the nature of the technology we rely on everyday? And how do you know if you are paying over the odds for equipment and bandwidth?  What are the underlying risks of keeping what you have today, and continuing to use your existing service providers?

The Posse has developed a Network Risk Assessment Tool that focuses on three areas – understanding your requirements, understanding your network, and understanding your existing contracts and suppliers.  The conclusions gleaned from researching these three categories lead to a risk profile that clearly identifies where High Risk and Low Mitigation coincide within your network and the relationships with your suppliers. You can then review the areas of highest risk with your existing service providers to ensure they develop mitigation actions against each area of concern.

The tool itself can be readily adapted to your specific needs, and has been used not only as a once only activity – but also to monitor the effectiveness of newly introduced changes.  Its design also lends itself to providing a research tool for monitoring implementations across multinational organisations to ensure that Global Standards are adhered to.

In the ever changing World – the ability to regularly identify potential failure points in a network, or to ensure that company policies are implemented across all sites, and that your suppliers are meeting their obligations cost effectively – is critical to being able to make confident decisions about how to move forward.

Kevin Southworth is the Managing Partner of The Posse Limited, a strategy consultancy specialising in IP telephony and UC applications, and telecom risk assessments.

Challenging your Desktop Service Provider

October 1st, 2009

Let’s face it – it’s hard enough just keeping up with all the technology changes that the vendors throw at you – but when someone comes along and says that for a fixed fee per desktop they will take care of all the day to day activity AND make sure that you are kept up to date with all the latest gadgets AND save you money – it’s hard to say no!

For the first few months of your new relationship – all of your troubles are on someone else’s shoulders, and your bills are down.  You feel comfortable with the support you are receiving and the decision looks like it was the right one. Then as the months pass by – you see less and less of your account manager – and although the day to day services are still delivered – you no longer have the dialogue about new technologies and the opportunities for improvements and further cost savings.

Now whilst no-one can begrudge the service provider their right to make money – after all you did nail them on the desktop price to start with! – It is easy to forget about their other commitment to keep you informed of the latest technologies and applications.

To make matters worse, where these arrangements started with a full blown outsourcing deal – transitioning both physical assets and resources – the reduction in scope of the original agreement can be slow and unnoticed.  Relationships evolve from strategic partnerships into ‘milking the assets’ and greater margins for the service provider.  Ultimately – your network becomes stagnant, and changes are driven by demand rather than innovation.

Recovering from such a situation may find you starting to rebuild a team capable of understanding the new technologies available and identifying opportunities. This cost of course is on top of the desktop commitment you are still contractually obliged to pay to the service provider – time to renegotiate?

The message here is simple … if you rely on IT to help you innovate and streamline your business operations – then keep the strategy in-house or work with an independent consultant who can challenge your service partner regularly. Keep one egg out of the basket when you hand the basket over – just in case!

Kevin Southworth is the Managing Partner of The Posse Limited, a strategy consultancy specialising in IP telephony and UC applications.

Protected: The Changing Desktop …

October 1st, 2009

This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: