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TEM breeds Innovation (Part 1 of 2)

Posted by Martin Sommer | March 1, 2012 10:09 AM

Consolidate

In Matt Ridley’s book “A Rational Optimist” he describes how the economy and subsequently the earth have become a better place when compared to the past (I recognize in lieu of the recent economic trends this part may require some folks to be super-rational-optimists). He maintains that 2 critical human traits of specialization and exchange have pushed us forward. The concept is ideas continually “have sex” with one another a lead to greater innovation.

I’m not here to debate the book, but something interesting materialized as I continued through it, obviously on a much lesser scale. Here at Eletesolv, the methodologies of TEM fall into 3 categories

  • Consolidate
  • Automate
  • Innovate

We went with that wording, because not long ago Johnny Cochrane showed us the power of rhyme in the OJ trial, and marketing departments all over the world have been borrowing the rhyme ever since. But essentially an argument could be made that the fundamentals of Consolidate and Automate are the same as Exchange and Specialize, and both sets lead to innovation. But I thought it might be worthwhile to explore how Ridley’s concepts apply to TEM as well. In this blog we’ll start with our consolidation methodology practices versus Ridley’s theory of exchange.

Consolidate vs Exchange:

The foundation of our TEM practice requires bringing together information from many areas of the business. It’s not uncommon for us to “lift” pieces of HR systems, ERP tools, Carrier Invoices, Carrier contracts and often internal PBX usage streams. Merging this information paints a full picture of where an inventory element physically resides, who owns it, how much it costs, when it was “turned-on”, and how it’s used.

On the surface this seems pretty straightforward, but then we tend to see a phenomenon develop. Different departments within the business who weren’t necessarily identified as key stakeholders during implementation were requesting access to the system. This is where it gets interesting... 

If you build it they will come..

Enter Ridley’s philosophy. He claims by exchanging information, humans were able to discover how they could use their talents collectively for mutual gain. Once a Telecom and IT Management system has matured, other departments begin to work off the same set of data for their own selfish interests. Collective and cumulative intelligence is refined and a deeper exchange begins to develop. This leads to departments and the corporation as a whole mutually exchanging information to the benefit of everyone. Groups can come together quicker and more efficiently to solve business challenges, and we observe some interesting results:

  • Finance knows what IT purchased.
  • RFP preparation time is significantly reduced.
  • Personalized invoice statements are delivered to end users, who can understand the financial impact of their consumption.
  • Managers can confirm thier resources, people, and the costs allocated to their department each month.

Bringing the data and the people who use it closer together leads to ideas germinating faster. In our experience, we see that departments begin to see significant progress in collaboration and are able to manage every angle of IT and telecom better.

In the next blog we’ll explore the second component of the argument – How Automation and Specialization are similar, and how TEM is improving the effectiveness of employees in their organization.

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Topics: Telecom Expense Management, Business Automation, IT cost management, tem, Innovation

Written by Martin Sommer

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