Though many companies now prefer to contract with multiple outsourcing providers rather than just one, as I wrote back in January, telecommunications appears to offer a notable exception to this trend.
As ComputerWeekly.com reports, Shell, Tesco and Procter & Gamble in recent months have all signed huge outsourcing agreements with a single provider to manage their voice and data networks for them.
Working with providers like BT and AT&T makes sense as these companies can offer common voice and data technologies around the globe. An IT director at Tesco, which recently awarded an exclusive 100 million (U.S. $197 million) telecom contract to Cable and Wireless, tells ComputerWeekly.com:
Our aim is to have a common technology platform in tandem with common business processes so that we remain competitive as a group as we continue our expansion abroad.
Working with a single supplier also simplifies pricing issues and makes it easier for customers to negotiate lower voice and data rates. One caveat: Customers may want to improve their ability to drill down into billing information and independently audit for specific items such as call and data charges at a local level, to verify that the supplier delivers the expected savings.
ABN Amro, which outsourced its data and telecommunications networks, invested in an expense-management system to closely track billing and to allow IT managers in different countries to break out their own expenses from the larger company total, according to the article.