ITEM Pitfalls: When Speed-to-Savings Turns into an Implementation Nightmare

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Don’t you hate it when you’re told you’ll get a call back in an hour, and they never call back. Not everyone does what they say they’ll do.  

And it’s no different in the IT expense management (ITEM) industry.  

Providers say they will deliver speed-to-value, when in fact, implementation lingers on for months, becoming an installation nightmare.  

It’s time for transparency in the ITEM industry, so organizations can see the lessons learned from those who have gone before them. In the name of accountability, Tangoe is highlighting industry challenges alongside standards of excellence, so you can hold us responsible for our commitment to superior services backed by exceptional customer experiences.  

ITEM Implementation Nightmares to Avoid 

Some providers mask their actual implementation timelines by: 

  • Starting “the timer” months after the contract has been signed 
  • Only counting business days or days convenient for them 
  • Putting the project on hold when tasks are in a holding pattern – when the provider is the cause or reason for slow down 

Those who have been burned by implementations gone wrong tell us horrific stories about being sold based on a “simple self-onboarding process.” That’s a red flag; it’s code for “the client does all the work.” The provider failed to assist with implementation and grossly mismanaged the process, emailing out spreadsheets with version control issues causing further delays.  

We also hear about clients getting sold on “unlimited face-to-face training” only to realize that the reality is far from it. In-person training leads the client to a website, where they must figure out what training videos they need to watch and what documents they need to fill out.  

What’s even more sad? Many of these companies have been so damaged by installation, that they are too afraid to switch to another provider — even though they’re unhappy with their current one and are confident someone else could provide more value. All in all, this creates vendor lock-in — those delivering terrible client experiences are essentially rewarded. 

All this explains why implementation times of six months to one year are scary facts in this industry – pitfalls to avoid.   

Exposing the Truth: Why ITEM Implementation Can be Difficult 

Implementation can be difficult when the right automation tools and processes aren’t in place. It’s challenging because expansive data sets must be collected before the more meaningful work of evaluation and optimization can begin:  

  • Mapping the IT service environment – particularly aligning client data with provider data — can be complex. That’s due in part to the number of services that must be identified and evaluated. It’s not uncommon for companies to have close to 100 providers to probe for very detailed information including account numbers, contracts, service usage data, associated cost centers, and more. However, aggregating all this information is key — an accurate inventory makes analysis, optimization, and governance possible. 
  • Cloud services can present their own challenges in gaining visibility into what is happening with cloud applications, infrastructure, and their expenses. 
  • Letters of Authorization are often required before the discovery process can even start. At Tangoe, we hear our prospective clients say, “If we have to do all this provider outreach ourselves, it will take us months. For letters of authorization, I have to bring in the legal department. It’s hours of chasing down information.” Client burdens can be significant when the provider isn’t doing their job to help accelerate LOA processes. 
  • Sometimes simply finding the right person internally can bring things to a screeching halt. For example, identifying the person who owns the cloud infrastructure and provider relationship and getting their time allocated to the project can be difficult. This issue multiplies at global companies when autonomous local teams exist in every country. 

To cut costs, every company needs to know what they have, how and where it is used, and what it costs. 

Implementation Excellence: Tangoe Works Harder, So You Don’t Have to 

Tangoe is hyper aware of implementation issues, and here’s how we help you avoid these nightmares.  

Tangoe takes on the implementation responsibility, guiding clients and saving them time. We chase down the providers and we manage the install process, using automation to make discovery fast and efficient. Our implementation process even won a Stevie Award. 

  • Tangoe prepares and delivers all letters of authorization — we fill out the forms with all the client details, and we deliver them to the client’s providers for faster processing (this a key difference between Tangoe and its competitors) 
  • DocuSign systems accelerate the process with clients and their providers 
  • Governance tools and software make the process collaborative, giving client real-time access to status information and implementation plans  
  • Automation is built into these tools, streamlining implementation workflows for maximum efficiency 
  • Tangoe is responsible for updating the implementation status and communicating with the client on next steps 
  • Weekly, monthly, and quarterly touch-base meetings, mean clients aren’t left to fend for themselves 

Clients also get 

  • Award-winning implementation process gets you started on day 1 
  • Dedicated, global, 24/7 support with clear next steps and outcomes 
  • Custom implementation plans and reports, so you get reports the way you need to see them 
  • Professional help – when cost-cutting work becomes too much, Tangoe Advisory Services support clients and allow them to take a deeper dive into IT audits, inventory buildouts, contract negotiations, and more     

The bottom line: Tangoe takes responsibility for implementation, which is why we automate discovery processes to keep the work off the client and make it easier for us too. By gathering information quickly and comparing what you think you have against what your providers say you have, we quickly expose the truth about costs and the efficiency of your IT spending. This way, clients can pinpoint cost-cutting measures faster and achieve a speed-to-savings that accelerates ROI.  

Why a Major City Chose Tangoe: Superior Implementation and Inventory Building  

When a major metropolitan city compared Tangoe against its competitors, decision makers selected Tangoe because of our ability to build a very deep and customized inventory of its IT assets and services. Unlike our competitors who leverage only automation to build inventories (a less-accurate approach), Tangoe used both automated systems and customized processes to reassess the company’s IT investments using a high-touch, white-glove approach for information gathering and AI-powered analysis. 

Decision makers understood that the inventory serves as a launchpad for optimization processes that can reveal both sanctioned and unsanctioned assets for tighter control and cost governance. Tangoe proved how it could help the team understand more about its assets and their status, making them better positioned to save money and run an effective IT innovation program.   

Learn more about the experiences of Tangoe’s clients