By Tanya Seda, Chief Strategy Officer
We have had many conversations with our clients over the last year regarding challenges in understanding and managing their communication costs. Many customers have concerns that they are not capturing all the costs necessary to provide accurate numbers to executive management. They are also having trouble capturing accurate inventories as service providers use off-net services to get to certain locations without necessarily making the use of those services clear. As a result, they present significant challenges to those responsible for selecting the most cost-effective services.
New technologies are constantly emerging and other legacy services are sunsetting. (Details on sunsetting of services can be found at the carrier service guide sites.) Research from many service providers on the topic of 5G wireless service claim it will redefine the rate at which data services can be consumed and that increased speed will follow. On the other hand, the continuing growth of the “Internet of Things” (IoT) creates more demand for data and related technologies to connect more devices to the internet so it’s hard to know if all parties can keep up with demand growth.
Wireless services are not the only ones affected. Fixed-line technology is changing very quickly as well. Legacy landline services like BRI ISDN, DSL, and PRI-to-PBX-based services are quickly being replaced by VoIP and UCaSS services. This is because this service can take advantage of the best of both worlds. VoIP and UCaSS can blend both private IP networks and the public internet to reduce overall costs. This strategy helps the customer eliminate the need to maintain a separate voice network plus reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) when voice traffic leverages the IP data network.
Service providers are constantly changing services, prices, terms and conditions. As we continue to see service providers change their plans and sunset legacy services it is vital to keep track of these as they emerge. Carriers often raise rates on older services to discourage customers from continuing to use them. Our procurement team stays current on these comings and goings to best benefit our customers. Here’s an example of the latest service changes from Lumen/Centurylink:
“Effective April 1, 2021, Qwest Corporation d/b/a CenturyLink Rate Plans longer than 12 months (24-mo, 36-mo, 60-mo) for Interstate Private Line Transport (DS1/DS3)
“Services are being grandfathered. New circuits ordered will only have the option of 12-month or month-to-month rates. Customers under existing Rate Plans can keep those terms until the expiration of their current term. Existing Rate Plans will not be renewed. Upon expiration of current Rate Plans, plans will revert to month-to-month pricing or the customer can renew at a 12-month term at the then current rates.”
Enterprises in every industry are planning for their digital transformation journey to keep up with customer demand, the work from home (WFH) initiatives and be more data-driven. As mentioned above, before jumping into digital transformation, we recommend enterprises first be sure they understand the challenges, including a change in data traffic patterns, the move to the cloud, and security. We can help by building inventories of current and proposed services and pulling necessary data reports that support bandwidth needs.
Over 2020 and WFH scenarios, enterprises have seen that new applications are being introduced, the volume of data increasing, and created a more complex environment. They have to start planning for digital transformation based on these new workloads and user experiences that are needed to provide a seamless workflow.
The need to frictionlessly configure endpoints where data originates and drive actions on those endpoints, along with the ability to quickly set up and tear them down, business critical to every enterprise in today’s environment.