3 Best Practices for Telecom Asset Lifecycle Management

10 November 2022 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

As telecommunication networks grow in complexity, organizations need complete visibility of their assets – throughout their lifecycle.

Traditional telecom expense management (TEM) wears many hats.

TEM helps organizations order, provision, and manage costs associated with their telecommunications estates and associated IT services. This includes everything from fixed-line networks and mobile devices to cloud services and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity.

But TEM isn’t only about the big picture. To keep on top of costs and equip hybrid teams with the tools they need to succeed, organizations must take a more granular view of their networks. We call this approach telecom asset lifecycle management.

What is Telecom Asset Lifecycle Management?

Telecom asset lifecycle management is a subset of TEM that focuses less on cost and usage, and more on the devices that comprise your communications estate. This covers the entire lifecycle – from procurement to retrieval, offboarding, and recycling.

It's closely associated with Managed Mobility Services and Telecom Inventory Management.

Download the 2023 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed Mobility Services, Global,  to see how MMS vendors are evaluated.

Telecom Asset Lifecycle Management Best Practices You Need to Implement

1. Set Consistent Device Procurement Policies

Consistency is key to managing telecom assets at scale. Large organizations may have thousands of devices in their estates and trying to monitor each one individually simply isn’t feasible.

You can solve this problem by setting clear and consistent asset lifecycle management policies. This standardizes device provisioning and deployment across your organization. It provides clear guidelines to ensure every smartphone, tablet, and laptop in your estate has the right applications pre-installed, so they’re ready to go right out of the box.

Not only does this ensure consistency across your business, but it also enables you to:

  • Monitor usage. Keep track of how employees use their devices day-to-day.
  • Manage costs. Bundle device and peripheral costs into a regular service fee to reduce complexity and improve visibility.
  • Implement security protocols. Ensure appropriate security and data protection measures are pre-installed on all your devices.

Some organizations take a one-size-fits-all approach to their asset management policies. Every employee uses the same devices, regardless of department or function. But this approach is rigid, and we don't recommend it for most large enterprises.

Alternatively, you can create 3-5 user profiles based on your policies. The exact number you require will depend on the size and structure of your organization. But this gives you greater consistency and flexibility, ensuring every department and role is catered for.

2. Centralize Cost Management

Visibility is a constant challenge for global organizations with complex telecom estates that span multiple countries. Telcos price assets differently from region to region. Apple might charge €650 for the latest iPhone in Ireland, but local market conditions and exchange rates could add an extra €100 to the price tag in Italy.

The key to overcoming this challenge is to develop a centralized view of costs across your estate. This gives you the real-time visibility you need to create consistent purchasing processes and monitor regional fluctuations in price, so you can budget accordingly.

In addition to cost management, a centralized view allows you to keep track of product releases, software updates, and security patches. This ensures users have access to the most up-to-date version of the devices they use.

3. Get Support from an Experienced TEM Companies

Managing a complex, global network of telecom assets is a huge undertaking. Unless you have internal resources to draw upon, it’s more cost-effective to work with a dedicated TEM companies.

The best companies become an extension of your organization. They use their knowledge of regional vendors, local cultures, and market conditions to identify the right devices for your teams and negotiate the best deals. More importantly, they offer full lifecycle support for your telecom assets. So, you can rest assured that when it’s time to upgrade, they will recycle or repurpose your legacy tech responsibly.

How Often Should You Upgrade Your Telecom Assets?

There’s no hard and fast rule that says how often you should upgrade your telecom assets. A good rule of thumb is to replace corporate devices every three years. This ensures everyone has access to the best, most secure equipment.

Buying or leasing hundreds of devices simultaneously can put a huge strain on your budget. Services like Device-as-a-Service allow you to equip your teams with the latest technology and spread the costs via your regular service charges. No upfront investment required.

New call-to-action

Topics: TEM

Get regular Telecom roundups direct to your inbox.