VI. Smoothing the Transition
Even a perfectly executed transition will not be painless or instantaneous. You’ll need to gather data, assign roles and manage the change. Depending on your organization’s size, this might take weeks or even months. But the time you invest upfront will bring handsome returns if you’ve chosen the right provider. A top-notch TEM provider will have comprehensive documentation to guide you through every detail of the transition process.
Your TEM provider will expect you to assign key people to fill several important roles in the TEM process. Chief among these is a project sponsor, who will link TEM to other corporate initiatives. Procurement will provide copies of your current contracts, service orders and process documentation. They’ll also support the TEM team with workflow configuration. A project manager or project lead will serve as the primary point of contact between your internal team and your TEM’s team. Your TEM will supply you with subject matter experts (SMEs). You’ll need to connect them with their counterparts in areas, including finance, vendor management, procurement, human resources, data preparation, business requirements and deliverables. They’ll need to connect with the right administrative resources to help them schedule training and consulting sessions. Your incoming TEM provider will also need the right contacts in IT, who can share information on network connectivity and access, data and network security, data management and software integrations. An experienced TEM provider should tell you how much time each member of your team will need to devote to the process.
The TEM Provider’s Responsibilities
Your TEM provider will also supply a project sponsor. Typically a member of their senior executive team, this individual will oversee the transition, monitor the engagement and advise you whenever they need further assistance. The TEM provider should also designate one team member to take responsibility for advising you on how well you’re achieving your goals. Along with this senior manager, an entire team of business analysts, project developers and technical trainers should pay close attention to your users and how well they’ve adopted the technologies involved. This is the key to the entire project’s success.
The Four-Phase Model for an Effective Transition
If the first thing your new provider does is schedule a kickoff meeting, something’s wrong. It’s an industry best practice to follow this four-step process.
- Engage: Even before the transition begins, the TEM provider should confirm and plan the scope of the engagement. For this, the provider will need access to all the data they’ll be working with, including invoices, contracts, statements, reports and other relevant information.
- Configure: The provider will continue gathering data as they work with your team on software and business intelligence integrations, plan user acceptance testing for new solutions and set up any additional managed services
- Validate: During this phase, user training begins. It’s especially important to educate the employees who will be responsible for training other users within your organization. The TEM provider’s team will prepare for audits and create runbooks outlining all of your new standard operating procedures.
- Transition: This is the time when responsibility for TEM is handed off from the outgoing provider to the new one. Once this transition is complete, the project will go live. Employees will be introduced to the new runbooks and other process documentation, users will receive appropriate support, and, finally, an executive business review will be conducted. It’s key to encourage end users to embrace new tools and technologies during this phase.
The Critical Importance of Details
It’s vital that you be given thorough documentation of the entire process at the outset. Process documentation can help you speed the implementation process and ensure that you won’t experience service lapses.
Alert Your Service Providers
A best practice is to let all of your telecom, mobile and asset vendors know about the change before you select your new TEM provider. This step can eliminate late fees and service interruptions by allowing for proactive planning. Carriers are usually understanding about the inherent challenges involved in the transition process – as long as they know about them in advance. They’ll work with you and your new TEM provider to help you get everything up and running as quickly as possible.
Let Your Outgoing TEM Provider Know about the Change
The industry standard is to initiate the engagement with the new provider before informing the old one. This way, your incoming TEM provider can help you navigate this potentially difficult transition. When you’re vetting prospective TEM providers, ask them about their experiences moving organizations away from former providers. See what providers may have done in the past to accelerate implementation and transition schedules.