Tag Archives: network services

A Quest for Vendor-Agnostic ERP Implementation Partner Selection and Value Realization

Ralph Billington Blog

Ralph Billington, Managing Director –  

Enterprises expend significant resources to evaluate ERP packages and select the one best suited to the specific needs of their organizational structure and business requirements. Ironically, however, they don’t take an equally analytical approach when defining their implementation strategy, selecting their provider or determining and defining the value contributors the program has to deliver against to be a resounding high five.

That’s a problem. First off, implementation comprises the lion’s share of an initiative and determines the ultimate success or failure of an ERP initiative. Mistakes made during implementation account for most of the value leakage that takes place over the long term. In this context, to prioritize package selection over implementation is a bit like agonizing over what kind of hammer to buy when you actually need and should select a carpenter.

More importantly, the approach that most enterprises take to selecting a provider to manage the implementation is inherently flawed, and contributes significantly to the consistent underperformance we see with ERP programs. The problem is that client organizations rely on providers and integrators that have a vested interest in recommending a specific solution that, while it appears focused on increasing the value of the outcome, is in fact driven in part by maximizing the integrator’s involvement and fees. This dynamic leads to over-selling of package capabilities, overselling the business impact the program will deliver (specifically with regard to pre-configured solutions) and a glossing over of business and process challenges that need to be addressed. (“That can always be done on a change order, right?”)  The result is often unanticipated customization, significant cost overruns, scheduling delays and lack of ROI.

The alternative is to engage an independent third party that doesn’t have a stake in the outcome and has no incentive to sugarcoat or downplay the potential obstacles and challenges that may occur during implementation. An honest assessment upfront can prevent many unpleasant surprises down the road.

EU Network Strategy: Don’t Delay Mobile Consolidation

Margot Wall Blog2

Margot Wall, Managing Consultant – 

Recent moves by the European Community (EC) have opened up the competitive landscape and created opportunities for global enterprises to consolidate network operations in EC countries.  Mobile operations are especially promising, and we’re seeing a number of client organizations move forward with plans to consolidate and rationalize plans from multiple carriers.

At the same time, other enterprises appear to be content to wait until their existing mobile contracts expire before taking advantage of these emerging market opportunities. That would be a mistake. The time to start a consolidation initiative is now, even for organizations with a number of contracts still in force.

Consider: With multiple countries and multiple in-country teams, and with at least one provider in each country, getting a consolidation deal to market – and then getting to contract – both take longer than you might expect.  If you wait between 6 and 18 months to go to market, by the time you’re done with the project another 8 to 18 months has gone by – and now your rates are more than three years old.

However, by going to market now, by the time you’ve signed new contracts the old agreements you were waiting on to expire are ready to migrate to the new deal, instead of sitting at the old rates. Bottom line – you save money sooner.

We’ll be discussing network and telecom issues, contracting strategies and the European marketplace at the 2015 Alsbridge European Vendor Summit, to be held May 19th in London.

Oracle’s New Sales Strategy: Battleship in a Bathtub?

Battleship in a Bathtub

Jeff Seabloom, Managing Director –

Is Oracle serious about changing its sales culture to a more customer-focused approach? One that helps customers leverage the full suite of Oracle solutions? More specifically, will the software giant abandon what one customer recently described as a strategy of “constant attack” from multiple sales people pitching multiple products?

It’s a tall order. Commission-based revenue chasing is a longstanding problem for Oracle, one that has only gotten worse as the product portfolio has expanded. By its own admission, Oracle has on a regular basis shifted, changed, reorganized and retooled its sales strategy, teams and methods – to the point that the process has become something of an annual rite of spring.

Will things be different this time? Incentives based on a regional and vertical focus can go a long way toward improving the reward structure and reversing the practice of throwing lots of stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. The Key Accounts Program can also help, but should become a catalyst for the norm, rather than special treatment proffered on a handful of strategic accounts.

On the other hand, the current executive structure and supporting organizations are non-traditional Oracle, and many top sales executives have a background in hardware and, arguably, commodity sales. In the scramble for revenue during the past few years, Oracle has lost many talented professionals who were experts at complex solution-oriented sales and who were true advocates for the company and its vision. The gap left by their departure remains difficult to fill, especially when a culture of commission chasing continues to prevail in many quarters.

Ultimately, while Oracle’s leadership may be well intentioned and committed to driving a more customer-oriented sales strategy, the reality is that this is a very large company with a deeply entrenched culture. Think battleship in a bathtub.

How to Achieve the Highest Possible ROI with Your Current Wide Area Network (WAN), Alsbridge Shares Insights

Alsbridge Inc., today announced an eSeminar on how enterprises can achieve the highest possible ROI with their current Wide Area Networkon January 23, 2014, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET.

Apart from achieving the highest possible ROI, the major concerns for an enterprise about its network performance include network competitiveness with the market; the right mix of internet, Ethernet, MPLS and wireless for the firm; and application performance consistency.

Alsbridge Managing Consultant, Rob Long, and Transformation Director Mark Minorik, will put these concerns to rest as they lead a lively discussion on next generation Wide Area Network designs, assessment methodologies and examples of best practices.

Attendees of this eSeminar will learn:

  • Ideas for cost compression and revenue for the IP network
  • Sample steps to Improve Application Performance
  • What elements can be adopted to make network cloud friendly?
  • Identifying weak links or potential problem areas from scoring
  • Insight on outsourced management models

To register for the eSeminar visit Are you getting the highest possible ROI with your current Wide Area Network (WAN)?

Seats are limited and early registration is recommended.

The Truth about Your International Network Contract That Could Save You Big Dollars

Through the convergence of Voice and Data brought on by MPLS services, Data networks now represent most companies’ largest telecom expense category. Interestingly though, a large component of this spend is often ignored when negotiating WAN networking contracts. a latest report by Alsbridge Inc., a benchmarking, sourcing and transformation advisory firm – The Expensive Truth about Your International Network Contract- reveals the truth about the international network contracts that could vastly reduce network costs for companies.

According to the report, no carrier has the ability to truly be able to provide enterprises with full end-to end service entirely on their network. Instead, they purchase these circuits from local in-region PTTs, incumbent telcos and competitive providers. The telecom carriers have for some time proffered the notion that the rates charged for these local access loops represent merely a pass through charge for them. This is hard to believe coming from a group that charges surcharges for everything from their cost of collecting and remitting USF to their real estate taxes. That said, even if they are taken at their word, there is still a large area of potential, and based on Alsbridge analysis real, cost variance here.

Carriers with local in region footprint typically have better pricing than US Domestics in foreign countries. The same holds true for companies like BT and Orange when we’re talking US sites. “If you’re about to issue an RFP, and you’ve got a fair percentage of international locations, it can be advantageous to include the local foreign carriers in the bidding,” says Dieter Thompson, President, Alsbridge. “At minimum, this can help provide a view into the international local loop pricing.”

“In your networking contract, require that your telecom carrier conduct access optimization on an annual basis,” advises Alsbridge CEO, Chip Wagner. “Their network reach in foreign countries is always changing and a year or two later may allow for shorter more logical loops.” In addition, the more open international markets see natural price compression from competition much the same as the US does. The report advises clients to make sure that that install charges are waived and circuit term minimums of 12 months to avoid missing taking advantage of these cost savings. Finally, the report advises checking on the availability of Ethernet Access in international locations. Ethernet availability is greater in most countries than here in the US and is usually more cost efficient.

For further details the complete report can be downloaded here:  The Expensive Truth About Your International Network Contract.

Is Microsoft Lync The Right Solution For Your Enterprise? Alsbridge Report Shares Insights on the Pros and Cons

The latest report by Alsbridge, The  Pros and Cons of Microsoft Lync, offers a guide to enterprises to facilitate the decision to utilize Microsoft Lync as an enterprise telephony communication application.

The consideration and potential use of Microsoft Lync for telephony and unified communications is thought to be a passionate topic inside enterprises today. The most common challenges faced by infrastructure groups today include; desktop, telephony, and networking groups. These clearly define support roles like contracting, deployment, ongoing service support and management all of which are essential to support Microsoft Lync as telephony and unified communication engine.

Alsbridge CEO, Chip Wagner says “Even before ownership and decisions are made, concerning support and operating structure, enterprises first need to weigh the pros and cons of a Microsoft Lync investment and then determine how they should proceed.”

Microsoft has come a long way from the early days of Office Communication Server (OCS), improving their unified communication offering, capabilities and vision. The capabilities of Microsoft Lync, which includes instant messaging, presence, video, email and telephony, are highly robust offering strong value for enterprises. However, there are also numerous technical challenges and complexities in deploying a Microsoft Lync solution. If one cannot afford workarounds, delays, and higher than standard labor costs then one should consider other solutions or hybrids and not put all your eggs in a single basket with Microsoft.

“Enterprises need to execute planning up front, and answer critical technical questions before Unified Communication deployment; thus allowing them to achieve the savings, customer support, and solution high availability,” says Dieter Thompson, President, Alsbridge Inc.

The report discusses in detail some of the advantages and disadvantages to adopting end-to-end Lync Strategy. The complete report can be downloaded by visiting Pros and Cons of Microsoft Lync.
About Alsbridge Inc.

Alsbridge is a global consulting firm that helps companies transform and optimize the way they purchase, manage and leverage technology and business processes.   We have over 175 team members on 4 continents serving over 200 clients a year including more than 40% of the Fortune 500.  Alsbridge has helped hundreds of companies reduce costs and get more value from their vendors.  Our experienced consultants leverage proprietary tools and information databases to identify and engage the optimal vendors for your situation, negotiate best practice terms at fair market prices, and improve the way you work with your service providers.  Alsbridge clients utilize the most cost effective and value added sources globally for IT infrastructure services, network carrier services, hardware and software, application support and development, business processes and cloud services.

EDITORS/WRITERS: Journalists interested in covering the above topic or interviewing one of our SMEs please contact:

Scott Tims
Office: 214-378-7970 ext. 278
stims@thepointgroup.com
www.alsbridge.com

Turn Tricky Phone Bills to Dollars through Effective Telecom Audit, Says Alsbridge

Alsbridge will deliver key insights on how organizations can drive big savings from effective telecom audit. Alsbridge and SunGard will co present the eSeminar ‘Who’s Watching the Phones: Savings From Telecom Audit,’ December 5, 1:00 to 2:00 PM.

Through the eSeminar Alsbridge Director, Will Saybe and SunGard’s Telecommunications Contract and Finance Manager, Eric Barish will share their telecom audit philosophy including insights on:

  • Billing invoice audits and when they should be conducted and to what should be included
  • When should clients conduct on-site inventory of all their carrier facilities
  • How an audit engagement should be communicated both internally within your organization and to your carriers

For years clients have benefited from the savings driven from trained consultants performing an audit of their telecommunications spend. “In today’s world of carrier consolidation, technology change and reduced headcount it is even more challenging to ensure you are paying the correct amount to your carriers,” says Chip Wagner, CEO Alsbridge.  “Alsbridge offers a full suite of telecom audit offerings to ensure full contract, tariff and service inventory compliance within your organization,” adds president Alsbridge, Dieter Thompson.

To find out how your organization can turn those tricky phone bills into big dollar savings, attend the eSeminar. To register go to Who’s Watching the Phones: Savings From Telecom Audit.

Seats are limited and early registration is recommended.

Strategies to Rein in Runaway Network Costs in a Dynamic Environment, Insights from Alsbridge

Understanding recent market trends and forecasts, together with sourcing and benchmarking strategies is the first step to getting a handle on the increasing network costs and services issues, according to Alsbridge Inc., a benchmarking, sourcing and transformation advisory firm. Alsbridge has released a report- Cut Network Costs in Rapidly Changing Environment– in which it shares insights for organizations on effective strategies to manage their network costs in the ever evolving environment.

The cost of an organization’s telecommunications services (voice, data and wireless), typically accounts for three to six percent of overhead, and can average more than two percent of total revenue. In addition, telecommunications services spend is increasing. To help IT leaders rein in runaway network costs, the report discusses in detail the market trends and price management strategies including:

Chip Wagner, CEO at Alsbridge says, “The high level of network costs coupled with the anticipated increase makes controlling total network spend a top-level imperative for all IT leaders, requiring them to scrutinize telecom costs and seek out every option for savings.”

With network services pricing continuing to decline and utilization continuing to increase, IT leaders have to consider and implement sourcing and benchmarking strategies that will help them control network costs and ensure effective service. Understanding recent market trends and forecasts, coupled with industry-leading insights on how to effectively create a benchmarking and sourcing approach is the winning combination to successfully managing your network strategy.

To know more about effectively managing your network costs in this constantly evolving environment, download the complete report Cut Network Costs in Rapidly Changing Environment.

About Alsbridge Inc.

Alsbridge is a global consulting firm that provides data-driven sourcing advisory and benchmarking services for IT, Finance and Sourcing executives.  We’ve helped hundreds of companies reduce costs and get more value from their vendors.  Our experienced consultants leverage proprietary tools and information databases to identify and engage the optimal vendors for your situation, negotiate best practice terms at fair market prices, and improve the way you work with your vendors.  Alsbridge clients utilize the most cost effective and value added sources globally for IT infrastructure services, hardware and maintenance, network services, software and maintenance, application support and development, business processes and cloud services. Alsbridge was ranked the #1 outsourcing advisor in the world by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) based on the value delivered to clients.  This commitment to delivering value to our clients has made Alsbridge a distinguished member of the 2010 Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in America.

EDITORS/WRITERS: Journalists interested in covering the topic or interviewing one of our SMEs, please contact:

Scott Tims
Office: 214-378-7970 ext. 278
stims@thepointgroup.com
www.alsbridge.com

How to Take Home Field Advantage with Carrier Value Assessments, Explains Alsbridge

(Dallas, Texas) October 01, 2013The results of a carrier value assessment, whether they are sub-par or super-par, represent game-changers for the buyer organization, explains Alsbridge Inc., a benchmarking, sourcing and transformation advisory firm. The firm’s latest report- Assessing The Value of Network Carrier Relationships-explains how carrier value assessments can help buyers ascertain and gain real, sustainable and business strategy-aligned value from their carrier partners on par with market standards.

“Today’s enterprises struggle with assessing the value – or lack thereof – that their relationships and contracts with their carriers actually deliver in support of their strategic, cost, and operational goals,” says Chip Wagner, CEO at Alsbridge.

Alsbridge benchmarking data proves that even though carrier price points are declining, the 30 to 40 percent price spread it regularly sees during client engagements makes it clear that the savings aren’t being actively passed on to customers. Even when buyers ask for and receive price concessions, most lack the benchmarking data-based knowledge to help them determine what the market will bear, resulting in less than optimal savings.

“It’s Up to Buyers to Take the Home Field Advantage with Carrier Value Assessments,” adds Wagner. “To ensure alignment with strategic imperatives, the buyers must instill carrier accountability and make certain pricing, service levels, and terms and conditions on par with market standards.”

Alsbridge recommends enterprises undertake comprehensive carrier value assessments every 12 to 18 months. The assessments should addresses revenue, expense/profit, operations and image, both in and of themselves, and in relation to current carrier practices and industry trends.

Their next step should be engaging in a multiple vendor RFP at least 12 months before their contract expires, unless the carrier value assessment results drive RFP tendering farther in advance of agreement expiration. The RFP should include all full-service and business grade providers, and specialty players as appropriate, in order to enable evaluation of all proposed solutions, service levels, and contract terms.

For further details on how buyer organizations can ascertain and gain real, sustainable and business strategy-aligned value from their carrier partners, download the complete whitepaper Assessing The Value of Network Carrier Relationships.

About Alsbridge Inc.

Alsbridge is a global consulting firm that provides data-driven sourcing advisory and benchmarking services for IT, Finance and Sourcing executives.  We’ve helped hundreds of companies reduce costs and get more value from their vendors.  Our experienced consultants leverage proprietary tools and information databases to identify and engage the optimal vendors for your situation, negotiate best practice terms at fair market prices, and improve the way you work with your vendors.  Alsbridge clients utilize the most cost effective and value added sources globally for IT infrastructure services, hardware and maintenance, network services, software and maintenance, application support and development, business processes and cloud services. Alsbridge was ranked the #1 outsourcing advisor in the world by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) based on the value delivered to clients.  This commitment to delivering value to our clients has made Alsbridge a distinguished member of the 2010 Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in America.

EDITORS/WRITERS: Journalists interested in covering the topic or interviewing one of our SMEs, please contact:

Scott Tims
Office: 214-378-7970 ext. 278
stims@thepointgroup.com
www.alsbridge.com

Keep Up with the Cloud to Avoid Costly Network Outages, According to Alsbridge

Alsbridge to deliver an eSeminar on Is your Network being Killed by the Cloud?

(Dallas, Texas) September 17, 2013 – In today’s cloud world, enterprise networks must either adapt to the changing pace of business or die at the hands of the Cloud, according to Alsbridge, Inc., a benchmarking, sourcing and transformation advisory firm. The firm will share insights how to avoid costly outages and save money on network expenses in the cloud world, through its eSeminar, Is your Network being Killed by the Cloud? on September 19, 2013, 1-2 p.m. ET.

The pace of business has changed with the prevalence of cloud and mobile solutions. Enterprise employees need to be able to connect at anytime, anywhere, and from any device. These changing business needs are putting extensive stress on enterprise networks to keep up.

Join Alsbridge Directors, Richard Sizemore and Mark Minorik, as they provide tips and tricks on how to avoid outages and save money on network expenses in today’s cloud world. Attendees of this webinar will learn how to: 

  • Explore your network infrastructure and get end-to-end visualization of your entire network infrastructure
  • Analysis your network to reduce the noise and find the actionable events to pro-actively fix before the network goes down.
  • Automate network configuration changes and the provisioning of network services based on the network errors you find, so they don’t happen again.
  • Keep a continuous evaluation of network configuration compliance against industry standards and best practices

“Today’s enterprise networks must adapt in order to effectively support cloud, virtualization, mobility, increased data volume, wireless connectivity and non-IT devices, “ says Richard. “Networks that lag behind the times are being killed by the Cloud, causing costly outages and headaches,” adds Mark.

To know more attend the eSeminar Is your Network being Killed by the Cloud?
To register, visit the link above. Space is limited and early registration is recommended.

About Alsbridge Inc.

Alsbridge is a global consulting firm that provides data-driven sourcing advisory and benchmarking services for IT, Finance and Sourcing executives.  We’ve helped hundreds of companies reduce costs and get more value from their vendors.  Our experienced consultants leverage proprietary tools and information databases to identify and engage the optimal vendors for your situation, negotiate best practice terms at fair market prices, and improve the way you work with your vendors.  Alsbridge clients utilize the most cost effective and value added sources globally for IT infrastructure services, hardware and maintenance, network services, software and maintenance, application support and development, business processes and cloud services. Alsbridge was ranked the #1 outsourcing advisor in the world by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) based on the value delivered to clients.  This commitment to delivering value to our clients has made Alsbridge a distinguished member of the 2010 Inc. 500 fastest growing privately held companies in America.

EDITORS/WRITERS: Journalists are welcome to register for and participate in Alsbridge eSeminars.