By Shane Stark
There are a lot of things to be thankful for this year in IT and telecom, too many to count; so here are the four things I'm NOT thankful for.
On the surface, Bring Your Own Device seems like the next big move and a huge expense cut for businesses, but it's not something I'm thankful for. Many issues come up when deciding to move into a BYOD platform, you know, things like security, who manages the service issues, how are you controlling stipends, what if you have high turnover, how many types of devices do you support, app creation for your employees, etc.
How can you turn BYOD into something you are thankful for? My suggestion — don't do it. Instead run your own mobile plan and devices but use wireless expense management. WEM is the big kicker here, your life will be much easier by maintaining 1 mobility plan and using WEM to keep your expenses under control.
2. The iPad Mini
Everyone loves new technology; don't get me wrong, I do too. The iPad Mini is great for Apple, but not so great for businesses and even the consumer. Add one more device to track and inventory, one more device sucking up your bandwidth, one more device for all of your team to covet. Tack on additional spending to tweak any apps you have created and all the time you spend putting your already purchased software on the new device.
Want to be thankful for the iPad Mini? Buy more Apple Stock. Here, I'll even link to it for you.
3. The Wireless Play
This is so close to being something I'm thankful for, I'm going to combine my comments into one paragraph. We need more than two major players in the wireless space. Why? The move towards having consolidated vendors is a positive for businesses, and the opportunity to sell an additional service for agents. One of the major telcos needs to pick up a wireless offering. A few months ago I would have suggested they buy Sprint; now they will have to settle for T-Mobile.
4. The Write-Down on Bandwidth
Like all things in telecom, when technology improves and becomes more prevalent it makes commodity pricing possible. It happened with long-distance and you can see the same thing happening in bandwidth. Every agent stands to lose at least 10 percent in bandwidth write-downs this year — definitely not something I'm thankful for.
How can you take those write-downs and still keep your MRR the same or even increase it? The most obvious choice is to sell bigger pipes. Another option is to move to a managed services offering. IT and telecom merging makes this solution even more appealing. Offer businesses more for what they were paying last year, and often they will take you up on the offer. No IT/telecom manager wants to see their budget shrink — help them get more for their money.
Shane Stark, director of operations, Carrier Access, Inc. , is based in the Des Moines, Iowa, area. His company focuses on making telecom simple, using strategic partnership and life cycle management to deliver a comprehensive communications offering. Their mission is to help businesses grow by offering them access to the innovative, cost-effective communication services they require to compete in today’s global marketplace. Stark is a member of the 2012-13 Channel Partners Advisory Board .