As we close out August, the fifth full month of covid-19 reality, cost pressures on businesses haven’t subsided. Parts of our economy are opening back up and others, like my home state of Texas, reinstated some social restrictions as case rates spiked. The slow decline of those receiving unemployment benefits that began at the end of June reversed recently with right at one million additional workers receiving assistance. It isn’t hard to see how most businesses are still facing challenges to their very survival.
To try and help this is the second article with ideas for fairly easy ways to curtail costs businesses face in their IT infrastructure budget.
*Consolidate Analog Lines*
Analog or POTS services (traditional phone lines) are a must for most companies. They handle alarm systems, fax machines, elevators, and other critical infrastructure components. While needed, they aren’t very flashy and have very little technical impact to an organization’s day to day function. Because of this they are often ignored and their typical low unit cost is treated as a necessary evil. Don’t be fooled, costs for these services add up quickly. One client of ours spends just over $200,000 a year for analog lines at their offices.
All analog lines are not created (or priced) equal. Providers have learned to create packages that sound good but ultimately increase cost. Does an elevator really need call forwarding? Do we need a wiring insurance policy on our fax machine? Doubtful.
A good way to eliminate those fees and only buy what you really need is to use an aggregator to consolidate these services across all locations. Typically, the bulk purchasing these firms bring will lower your bill by 10% but the process we use to help clients onboard with an aggregator also evaluates the configuration of those services and removes unneeded features and functionality that only add to your expense.
The thought of an audit does not normally stir feelings of joy but in this case it should. Organizations tend to add, remove, change, and shift over the course of business and I’m talking about people and technology. It is inevitable that something will fall through the cracks and more often than not that something costs you money. An audit of technology expenses is a great way to find items that once were important, you still pay for, but no longer fit into the business strategy.
In over 20 years in this industry I have never seen a properly completed audit that did not turn up savings. From the data circuit at a closed office to mobile phones assigned to former employees, the dollars are there.
Before you cringe about another project, partner companies of ours do these audits on a contingency basis and require little involvement from your team. They go through product costs, all the surcharges and other cryptic “fees” added by telecom providers, and when errors are found they claw back as much as the law allows. You have very little to lose and lots to gain.