Survey Sez: Maintenance Service Providers Leave Money On The Table

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According to a new InfoTrack for Enterprise Services study, maintenance service providers are not leveraging their presence when it comes to voice-communications support, thus missing out on lucrative new service contracts. By and large, maintenance service providers focus only on remote support and onsite break/fix service without proactively recommending networking changes or recognizing their customers' need to understand their full-services capabilities.

According to a new InfoTrack for Enterprise Services study, maintenance service providers are not leveraging their presence when it comes to voice-communications support, thus missing out on lucrative new service contracts. By and large, maintenance service providers focus only on remote support and onsite break/fix service without proactively recommending networking changes or recognizing their customers' need to understand their full-services capabilities.

"Voice communications decision makers want proactive recommendations that emphasize network Quality of Service, application availability and efficiency. And they want to understand all of the services, including managed services and professional services, that are included in their vendors' services portfolio," says Warren Williams, vice president and senior program director for the InfoTrack for Enterprise Services program "However, few voice-system or application-maintenance service providers do more than notify their customers of networking problems or provide on-line history, and that's far from providing proactive recommendations and being a valued communications partner."

The InfoTrack for Enterprise Services "Maintenance Report" is the result of a survey sent to communications decision makers from TelecomWeb's 4,000-member global research panel were surveyed for this study.

"Do you want your Voice maintenance vendor to provide proactive recommendations?…Why?"

(GRAPH)

Source: InfoTrack for Enterprise Services, Maintenance Report, December, 2006

"Globally, decision makers are in agreement and want proactive recommendations, with some exception in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Central and Latin America regions (CALA)," Williams continues. "In APAC and CALA, between 40 percent and 50 percent of decision makers are leery of proactive recommendations, fearing that this activity will be a thinly-veiled sales attempt. In my judgment, maintenance service providers could develop internal tools to support proactive, vendor-agnostic, thorough recommendations, and elevate themselves from a cost-sensitive break/fix entity to a valued business partner. This service strategy may become a critical success factor over time as IP voice, IP voice applications and converged networks continue to evolve."

The "Maintenance Services Report" focuses on three key findings:

-Decision makers want to fully understand the services capabilities of their voice maintenance service providers to determine if the vendor can help in other communications areas.

-These buyers will consider buying other maintenance services, managed services and/or professional services offers from their voice-maintenance vendors.

-If executed correctly, voice-maintenance providers could use their technical support capability to stimulate, if not close, sales.

"With ongoing maintenance price pressure, it is refreshing to think that technicians can influence the success of a company and potentially move from being a cost center to being a profit center," Williams concludes.

For more information about the "Maintenance Services Report", please visit http://www.telecomweb.com/iesmaint107report/.

For more information about InfoTrack for Enterprise Services, please visit http://www.telecomweb.com/marketresearch/enterprisesvcs/ or contact Craig Born at cborn@telecomweb.com or 973/602-0123.

About the InfoTrack for Enterprise Services (IES) Program

The InfoTrack for Enterprise Services (IES) Program publishes six comprehensive, primary research studies each year. Its Maintenance Services track includes a semi-annual report that combines detailed competitor profile information; remote monitoring details; end-user primary research; and market sizing, market share and forecast data regarding the voice lifecycle maintenance market. InfoTech's other IES program tracks focus on the market for managed and professional services.

About TelecomWeb

TelecomWeb encompasses global market-intelligence InfoTrack reports; daily e-letter TelecomWeb news break; TelecomWeb wireless, TelecomWeb broadband and TelecomWeb policy content packages; tariff consultancy Tarifica; and the Web-based business-telephony-product database TelecomTactics. To learn more about TelecomWeb, please visit http://www.TelecomWeb.com.

Contacts:

Sharon Valencik, research & marketing director, 800/610-3109, telecom@telecomweb.com

Warren Williams, vice president/senior program director, services, 800/610-3109

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