The Telecom Retainer

Sharing The Responsibility, Not the Authority

When a client needs more than a single project performed simultaneously, and the need is likely to persist over time, or when a client needs help in simultaneously implementing long-term telecom-related strategic decisions, reducing cost, and in gaining control over both telecommunications billing and contractual relationships, then a retainer relationship with Teleconvergence may be in order.

Teleconvergence assists top management and acts as part of a client's management structure. We participate in formalizing objectives and in recommending strategies to meet them. Over time, we learn the personality of a client, the ethics, the way things actually get done within the firm, and we use that perspective to enhance the technological, financial, and competitive positions of our clients in every possible way. 

This article provides a good basic perspective regarding our retainer service.  Once you're done, please turn to The Telecom Retainer FAQ for the details.

The Teleconvergence Retainer Vs. Outsourcing

Traditional Outsourcing: Firms that typically outsource are huge organizations that have decided that equipping and running their information or communications systems is distracting them from their "core business."

Outsource suppliers are usually equally large organizations, so the process becomes a mating tango of elephants making financial and strategic tradeoffs and concessions. Giant outsourcers supply the systems and software and technical staff. Outsourcers assume that all hardware and software will be replaced during the three to five year contract period and so they make money on the equipment and on their service fees and frequently by paying staff less. The client (now regarded as a "strategic partner") negotiates a flat rate or the equivalent and is glad to have someone else shoulder the responsibility.

The Telecom Retainer:  Teleconvergence clients are different. They replace telecommunications equipment only when absolutely necessary, and they exert constant vigilance over costs. They regard their information systems as key corporate assets they would never entrust to anyone else. Teleconvergence clients are not usually very large companies, but they are usually heavily communications-intensive and/or they are companies for whom technology or telecom assumes strategic importance.

The Teleconvergence retainer is equally different. Teleconvergence does not supply equipment or software or personnel, nor do we assume responsibility for existing systems or staff.  In fact, one of our chief attributes is that we aren't a vendor, and so we can impartially help a client select from among the entire universe of possible suppliers and services, and will even help the client recruit technical staff.

If you're a small-to-medium sized firm that would like to grow your in-house telecom expertise, we can help there, too. Teleconvergence can begin by performing the project work that requires expertise, then later train your staff to perform and administer operations and billing, or whatever combination of the two makes the most sense for you. If your firm is in long-term growth mode, Teleconvergence can also train employees to perform much of the work that has to be done to manage the telecom function on a regular basis, moving us to a review/oversight and strategic role rather than an operating one. Either way, your needs come first, and our objective is to satisfy them.

If You Do Require Actual Outsourcing, Though, Here's Where We Can Help

If you're a very large company or a good-sized one that is geographically distributed – and you internally lack the telecom resources necessary to grow your company consistent with your business plan, it may indeed make sense for you to outsource your telecom operations to another large corporation, although certainly not your strategic direction nor your oversight capability and prerogatives.

Teleconvergence understands the outsourcing business although we don’t compete for it. A prudent step would be for you to retain Teleconvergence to help you manage the outsourcing selection process by working with you to define your requirements, create the necessary detailed RFP (Request for Proposal), and then assist you in evaluating the responses.  Afterward, once the outsource entity has been selected, we can assist you by periodically reviewing outsource entity performance, vendor bills (or outsource entity rebilling) for equipment and usage, and by helping you renegotiate line items or entire agreements, as necessary. One slight variant on the foregoing is that we may be able to help you directly if you simply lack needed telecom oversight in the Pacific Northwest.

On the other hand, if you'd like to consider growing your own capability, we can help. As noted earlier, for more information regarding our retainer services, please read The Telecom Retainer FAQ.