Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine
CEOCFO: Mr. McIntyre, would you tell us about Tellennium?
Mr. McIntyre: Tellennium is an objective telecom consulting and lifecycle management firm. We help medium to large, or otherwise complex, organizations better manage their telecom expenses and related processes. We also help develop Request of Proposals (RFPs) for enterprise systems and services. Tellennium began in 1999 and has experienced organic double-digit growth every year since inception.
CEOCFO: Are most companies aware that telecom expenses and associated services need to be managed?
Mr. McIntyre: Most are aware with the best of intentions but for it to be done internally takes significant resources, expense, and with everything else going on in an organization, it just doesn’t get done. It really requires a committed focus of highly experienced personnel, a unique proven process, and a specialized system to maximize the return. And it’s a substantial return, often guaranteed to do so.
CEOCFO: How do you reach out to companies to present your service?
Mr. McIntyre: Typically through channel partners as they may already have a relationship with the CIO or CFO. Also when a CIO or CFO departs from one customer, we’re one of the very first things they do at their new company.
CEOCFO: Would a company be looking specifically for your services or might one of your channel partners present your service?
Mr. McIntyre: Sometimes companies look to do this, most often they don’t. It’s typically our channel partners to present the idea or as mentioned, an executive leaves one of our customers for another company and they get us involved in their first week.
CEOCFO: When you are assessing a company, what do you look at that perhaps other companies in your space do not take into account?
Mr. McIntyre: We have very few competitors that actually do what we do and we were one the pioneers with much greater end to end expertise. However, the terms Telecom Expense Management, Telecom Lifecycle Management, and even objective telecom consulting have become quite diluted over the years. There are thousands trying to run off the coat tails of those terms but are often far from being able to deliver on what they’re supposed to represent.
CEOCFO: Are you doing this globally?
Mr. McIntyre: We do it globally although our preference is domestic. Global is quite challenging. We are focused domestically but in today’s time there are a lot of corporations that have a global presence so you have to work with it. There are significantly different laws, cultures, languages, and currencies that make it more challenging outside the US.
CEOCFO: Is it difficult to keep up with the regulatory issues and industry changes?
Mr. McIntyre: They are changing every week domestically and globally. In addition, technology is always changing and so are the organizations themselves. They are doing acquisitions and dispositions. Even within the telecom space there is always some company buying another company. Everything in that environment is forever changing. It’s our job to keep up with the changes, lesson any impact on our clients, help them take advantage of the opportunities, and have a continually smooth efficient process for them.
CEOCFO: Once you have done your evaluation is it typical for a company to continue using your service to stay on top of the situation or do some choose a one-shot engagement?
Mr. McIntyre: With small organizations, it does not warrant the continual process. They are often just not complex enough. Our services have to be of value, pay for itself and put money back into the organization. However, for small companies, a one-time audit and optimization is still a very worthy exercise to put them on the right track for the next few years and then do it again. In larger organizations, so much has changed for them over the years, are in continual change, and there is so much to do and keep track of that it just simply makes sense to clean up the past, have a centralized view and process, as well as proactively resolve issues from occurring in the future on a continual basis.
CEOCFO: When you are working with a company, do you talk about where they think they will be in the future?
Mr. McIntyre: Yes, of course, it’s very valuable for us to know their vision, goals, challenges and any future changes they envision. We are consultants and can offer better recommendations when we are aware of a company’s direction. We are always looking out for their best interest.
CEOCFO: When you are working with a company ongoing, are you sending them monthly reports?
Mr. McIntyre: We have a multi-million dollar cloud based system (TIMS) that we built which provides them any type of report they could possibly imagine. They can also setup reports that are important in their role and have them automatically and periodically sent to them. Insight and visibility are key aspects of our services.
CEOCFO: Does quality of service or ease-of-use come into play when you are doing your assessment?
Mr. McIntyre: As far as our telecom expense management and telecom lifecycle management services, it’s quality and ease of use of our TIMS platform and in simply working with us. We have to be of high quality and easy to work with to improve their efficiency and productivity. As telecom consultants, the quality, reliability and ease of use in selecting an enterprise communication’s system is of utmost importance for our clients whether it’s their contact center operations or administration and management of the system itself. Organizations are also often unique in those desires and expectations, every system is different and most companies have some of their own unique aspects as well. We’re there to help align those to the right solution for what’s important to them.
CEOCFO: Are there any problems that are common in this industry? Mr. McIntyre: As far as telecom problems found and resolved, absolutely. All organizations are paying for services they don’t use, being overcharged for some they do, and there are several inefficiencies that exist without our type of services. It pays for itself, creates efficiency, and puts money back into the organization.
CEOCFO: Tellennium was recognized on the Inc. 5000 list for the ninth consecutive year, so clearly you know what you are doing and business is going well. What might be different a year from now?
Mr. McIntyre: We are going to continue to grow for the foreseeable future at a double digit pace every year. When you continually bring value to your existing customers, keep them, and add more, it’s quite easy to grow. We’re in the technology space and we’re a software company in a specific regard so things are ever changing and we have to continually change as well; carving out those specific niches that are tangible to our expertise and valuable to our customers and future customers.
CEOCFO: Would you give us an example of something that might change in your software?
Mr. McIntyre: We never run out of ideas and neither do our customers. We have to evaluate each. Sometimes certain ideas could have an adverse reaction on other things as TIMS is a huge matrix where everything is tied together there has to be a thorough evaluation. However, we subscribe to agile software development and actually have a new release every four to six weeks. Some of that helps make us more efficient and some makes our clients more efficient and productive in their duties. The more value we can bring them, the better it is for all of us.
CEOCFO: Why choose Tellennium?
Mr. McIntyre: We are a pioneer in the industry of telecom expense management, telecom lifecycle management, wireless mobile management, and are objective consultants for services and systems with a continual track record of proven success and organic growth. It would be quite difficult to find all of those qualities elsewhere. We’re guaranteed to do things right and deliver tremendous value.