The telecom, cloud, and IT as a Service marketplace is astonishingly complex, and constantly changing. To put this in context, let’s use a high-speed Internet connection as an example. Here are just some of the considerations that affect your solution and price:
- In some buildings, one service provider might be out of capacity and must do additional construction to expand. When this happens, one service provider can be more than double the price of another. This information may not become known until the contract is signed—unless you know to ask.
- Depending on location, the same solution might be provisioned over fiber or over copper, at very different prices.
- Exactly where and how the connection enters your building will affect its reliability.
- Different gig-economy connectivity options like Direct Connect and ExpressRoute may be necessary to ensure integration with—or migration to—AWS, Azure, and other Cloud providers.
- Pricing will vary based on your overall telecom spend, the terms of a specific master service agreement (clients usually have several), length of contract, and in which state you’re located.
- Bundling options are endless: Internet with Cisco router, Internet with AdTran router, Internet with Cisco router + Quality of Service (QoS), and many others—all priced differently and with different functionality.
- New promotions come out several times per month and can be mixed and matched to create dozens of combinations.
- Engineering plays a significant role: Do you need special features like burst-ability? How about Border Gateway Protocol? Do you require Peer at certain points to ensure a good cloud experience?
- For larger deals, service provider-funded analyst teams will run models to account for all these factors and create discounts that will fluctuate by how they perceive the competitiveness of the situation, what the sales department asks for, and even the time of year.
- Different service providers will refer to the same thing by different names, so you need to know all the terminology in order to compare apples to apples.
And that’s just for an Internet connection. Similar complexity exists for voice, data, wide area network (WAN), voice over ip (VoIP), mobility, colocation, infrastructure, cloud, security, managed services, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), and unified communications.
Many IT departments navigate this complexity daily but all the work around it is generally not considered a high value activity and doesn’t help strategic initiatives or your career.