DuPont Solutions Telecom Evaluation

Collaborating with IT Executives to Evaluate, Deploy, and Manage Telecom & Cloud Services

Making your Telecom Project a Smooth One 
(Managing the Carrier)


A key reason that IT Directors and CIOs resist switching Carriers, no matter the benefits, is that the process of change is often a gruelling one.

Most IT managers can recount horror stories of service conversions that resulted in down time for data and/or voice, numbers that didn't port, or severe delays in service delivery. This is extremely disruptive to business operations that are more dependent on IT and IP services than ever.  

Carriers ability to deliver is on the decline

While Carrier services have come to the forefront of executive strategy, Carriers' ability to deliver competently and on time seems to be in the worst shape in recent memory.  A combination of factors contribute to poor service delivery in the telecom industry. One of the most obvious ones is the industry's high pace of constant change, which has led to a flurry of acquisitions and consolidation in recent years. 

Projects Suffer

The result is an industry suffering from high employee turnover leading to inadequately trained salespeople and back office support.  In this light it is easy to understand how projects so often are delivered poorly. However, you can greatly increase your chances of a positive service delivery by taking a greater ownership of the project and controlling the Carrier.

IT Managers must take control of the service delivery process rather than relying on the Carrier 

IT departments can better ensure positive outcomes by closely managing  their own internal team and the external team of the carrier.  Internal and external activities need to be closely tied together and tracked to ensure that deadlines are being met and requirements are being satisfied.

Five Steps to taking control of the Carrier Service Delivery Process

Step 1 - Appoint a member of your team to manage the Carrier 

Appoint a member of your own team to project manage the Carrier with the usual controls and tools used to manage any other project in your organization.  

Step 2 - Schedule regular meetings with the Carrier

Scheudle regular meetings with the Carrier including a proper kick-off.  Your project manager should identify which activities are internal (your team) and which ones are external (the Carrier's team).  

Step 3 - Define and agree on key milestones and dependencies

Key milestones and dependencies need to be discussed and agreed upon between your project manager and the Carrier's project manager.  Your project manager should clearly understand whom from the Carrier's team can be held accountable at each phase and what is the chain of escalation if that person becomes unresponsive. 

Step 4 - Understand the phases of the order and the delivery process

As the order makes its way through the Carrier's order delivery process, a variety of people become responsible for the order's delivery. This is where the order is the most vulnerable to error and delay.  Through human latency, lack of attention to detail, and a lack of ownership, orders can change, be delayed, or even be lost.  Any of these scenarios will significantly negatively impact the project's outcome.  Because of this it is paramount to understand the phases of the project from the Carrier's perspective.  

Step 5 - Understand who is responsible on the Carrier side at each phase

Determine who is the project manager for the Carrier. If the Carrier does not appoint a project manager, which is often the case, discuss with your sales representative which resource, or resources, will be responsible for overseeing the project and/or which resources are responsible at each phase.  By understanding Carrier roles and responsibilities at each phase , the IT department will be in a position to measure, track, and manage the project.  This greatly helps to avoid being put in the usual position where Carriers fall behind schedule but do not communicate it to you or your team.

Positive Outcome

This method of Carrier Management certainly cannot solve everything that is wrong in the current Carrier environment.  Rather it is intended to help you gain some control and visibility that you would not have had otherwise.  At the very least, you will gain a better insight into real delivery times on the Carrier side and avoid being caught off guard by circumstances that are out of your team's control.  At best, you will be able to manage the Carrier, develop better relationships with their team, and develop a truly long term partnership that will benefit your business for years to come.