SVM pros often are tasked with facilitating formal and informal discussions between IT operations and business stakeholders for input and feedback when attempting to evaluate and refine a strategy for new communications technology decisions and sourcing. Comms technology planning and sourcing should be centralized within IT in order to avoid islands of investments by business decision-makers who don’t want to wait for IT to work through a lengthy evaluation process that they’re not even involved in.
However, given the escalating pace of communications technology evolution (e.g., the iPad phenomenon), it’s more important than ever before to take measures to ensure an open dialog between the businesses and IT, specifically about new technology evaluations, testing, and proof-of-concept trials with vendors that IT is undertaking within its operational labs or on behalf of a division. SVM also can facilitate regular discussions between business stakeholders that include sharing lessons learned from recent proof-of-concept and pilot activities, etc.
Moreover, because telephony and mobility technologies and services in many distributed companies typically are provisioned by local market GMs, centralized IT SVM organizations often struggle to get some control over sourcing practices for the associated services. SVM, regardless of its mandate from IT’s steering committee, has to deal with more and more instances of self-provisioning by business leaders that bypass established processes.
Defining a best-practice communications strategy requires establishing a planning starting point. To do this SVM professionals need to undertake a comprehensive audit of the company's communications operational current state that includes compiling use cases by different business divisions; determining the more popular and alternative procurement models; and identifying specific as well as general vendor management responsibility and processes. Key to a successful audit is obtaining wide business buy-in, which can be achieved by a combination of obtaining a mandate or official endorsement from the IT executive steering committee that includes key business leaders, and asking business operations executives for input and feedback starting with at least two major divisions and then socializing an opinion and concerns about comms technology input across all the major businesses. As a next step, SVM and the IT communicatons technology strategy planning team need to actively solicit feedback and additional data that will be used to develop the future-state communications technology vision. In this way, and specifically when the business stakeholders who've participated see their ideas and concerns reflected in the strategy planning documents, momentum will build for interest and readiness by the businesses to move forward faster to flesh out, finalize, and execute a new strategy.
The Canadian federal government has (finally) made a move to lift Canada’s rules on telecommunications operator ownership from a previous maximum of 46.7% (20% direct plus 30% indirect) foreign ownership — albeit only for smaller market players. Earlier this week, the Minister of Industry announced amendments to the 1993 Telecommunications Act that will remove all restrictions on foreign ownership of wired and wireless network operators that have less than 10% market share. Details haven’t been provided on precisely how this will be calculated, but it’s assumed it will be based on national market share in terms of revenues and addressable customers. The rationale stems from Conservative government’s desire to stimulate competition in the Canadian national market where two operators — Bell Canada and TELUS — dominate fixed-line business and consumer voice and data services, and where three wireless operators — Rogers (which is also a major cable operator), Bell Mobility, and TELUS — have a 95% chokehold on cellular services.