Enterprise IT: How to Avoid the “Bump in the Night”

IT Lifecycle Management 9-Point Series: Blog #1
Solution Design

IT Lifecycle Management From Procure-to-Pay

In this nine-part series our experts will share insights on game-changing technology lifecycle management practices for IT, operations, and finance to set your business up for success.

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SOLUTION DESIGN

  • IT Planning
  • Technology Architecture Design
  • Vendor Scorecard
  • RFP Management
Sourcing

SOURCING

  • Online Shopping Experience
  • Price/Product Benchmarking
  • Quote Management
  • Service Order Workflow
Planning and Procurement Contract Management

CONTRACT MANAGEMENT

  • Contract Negotiations/Review
  • Aggregated Buying Power
  • Contract Approval Workflow
  • Document Center

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

  • Order Workflow
  • Project Management
  • Carrier Management
  • Testing & Deployment
Asset Management

ASSET MANAGEMENT

  • Carrier Service Inventory
  • Hardware Management
  • Customized Technical Attributes
  • Inventory Reconciliation
Contract Management

SERVICE & SUPPORT

  • Help Desk / Tech Support / NOC
  • Moves / Adds / Changes / Disconnects
  • Vendor Management & Trouble Shooting
  • Managed Network Services (MNS)
Invoice Management

INVOICE MANAGEMENT

  • Centralized and Normalized
  • Consolidated Billing
  • Invoice Workflow
  • Bill Pay
  • Invoice Audit & Dispute
Accounting

ACCOUNTING

  • GL Coding
  • AP Posting File
  • Cost Allocation
  • Budget Management
Analytics/BI

ANALYTICS

  • Report Library
  • Trend Analysis
  • Dashboard / Metrics
  • Utilization
  • Optimization

Success is possible with the alignment of a clear vision and smart project plan. Every single IT Team will go through Design and Sourcing exercises for each new specific technology update once every two to three years. One obvious challenge is being an expert on every new technology that needs to be designed and sourced. Smart teams incorporate trusted advisors to help with certain aspects of the front end of the IT Lifecycle because they understand where realistic strengths end and risks start. The Design and Sourcing experience should be as painless as any well-designed and implemented technology, and with vCom, it can be. The key to success is finding a partner that can work as part of your IT Team to help obtain, and objectively evaluate, options that align with your core IT Teams goals and vision. That right IT Lifecycle partner will also make your acquisition of the chosen technology a simple process.Every IT team’s worst recurring nightmare is of that dreaded, cold-sweat inducing, 3:00 a.m. wake-up call stemming from management’s increasingly insistent dictate: “Do More with Less!” The quest for an ever-improving, simple user experience seduces management into believing that every great technology experience happens magically. But IT Teams know otherwise. Network planning, optimizing server roles, balancing access and security, and rolling out new apps continuously strain the challenges of successfully managing the IT lifecycle. Designing and Sourcing the entire solution stack is the most important key to building a solid foundation for delivering a truly “simple user experience” that all IT teams strive for.

IT Lifecycle ManagementThe traditional method has been to hire a firm to run a Request for Proposals (RFP). This is right in part, but can also be a mistake because it is an incomplete method. Firms that run RFPs are seldom responsible, or even around, for the long-term successes and challenges resulting from choices made. Running an RFP, or an objective evaluation against goals and objectives, is important, but it’s just one portion of the whole solution … or as we describe it at vCom, the LIFECYCLE. Your best approach is to leverage a trusted partner, who also provides you with a complete IT Lifecycle Management experience to run your RFP … while also assisting with the onboarding, tech support, billing, and analytics associated with the new service.

We all want a great outcome. And that great outcome we all want is predicated upon a great start. Design and Sourcing are the key starting points of this process. It’s nice to do this just a single time; it’s even better to be able to continuously replicate the great start and the great outcome. This is the definition of a successful IT Team … and this is ultimately what’s important.

vCom provides you with a complete IT Lifecycle Management experience with its unique blend of software, processes, and people to ensure your continuing success. Our entire business is premised upon the foundation that our relationship starts on Day 1, and evolves throughout the lifetime of every single IT service that is run through our platform. vCom’s seat at the table is right next to the customer so that we can work in combination with you to ensure that each and every vendor is delivering what was promised.

So, what can we promise? On time or sooner; on budget or cheaper; and with a user experience that is as expected or better. A great Design and Sourcing experience should reflect all your requirements and desires, and allow vendors to measure their product against these – including timelines, financial and contractual goals, product experience requirements, and anticipated variability criteria. vCom ensures that its business customers continuously experience positive outcomes – with proven software, effective processes, and great people.

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Considering your next steps? Here is an outline to help get started:

  1. Define your goals, identify associated metrics, and articulate a clear definition of success

  2. Bring resources that appropriately match the problem (simple to complex, in-house to outsourced)

  3. Build a comprehensive and objective evaluation matrix

  4. Manage potential providers throughout the evaluation process

  5. Compare vendors and match solutions to your desired outcomes

  6. Negotiate price and sign clean, clearly-defined, contracts

  7. Get started with the rest of your IT Lifecycle

 

Post your comments or questions below to dive further into solution design.

About The Author

Bob Barnes leads vCom’s Collaboration Spend business unit. He oversees the collaboration sales and operations teams, managing the entire collaboration lifecycle and ensuring a successful customer engagement. He also oversees vCom’s sales operations organization, managing the first step of the customer onboarding process and ensuring our telecom engineering and professional services are seamlessly implemented for our customers.

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