Now more than ever, telecommunications is a critical lifeline to productivity, especially in the face of a public health crisis. Remote working, tablets, cell phone and hot spots all saw significant usage (and expense) increases over the past 18 months. But there is help available. During the COVID-19 crisis, many agencies turned to ProcureAmerica’s Business Intelligence services to help contain cost for their fast-growing telecommunications needs. ProcureAmerica’s team has captured on average over 32% in cost reduction for public agencies over the past year, just when government needed it most.
Agencies often rely on their IT and procurement teams to navigate the myriad of options for telecommunications providers and plans. With staff routinely being overburdened with the ever-growing technology demands of government, the pandemic brought heightened need, combined with shrinking budgets. From supporting a rapid transition to a remote workforce to procuring new equipment on an unprecedented scale, there is little time to examine and evaluate the finer points of carrier contracts/programs. Even during business as usual, this analysis is often a low priority for busy staff.
“The pandemic impacted Contra Costa County Health Services in a material way,” said Patrick Wilson, CIO for Contra Costa County Health Services. “Resources were tight, and our staff stretched thin. ProcureAmerica not only helped us lower our telecommunications cost by six figures; they did all the heavy lifting so our staff could focus on the health crisis and serving the community.”
As public agencies adapted to meet the challenges of COVID-19 and managed the rollout of mobile vaccine clinics, their fleets of wireless infrastructure ballooned by up to 50% requiring alternative carrier plans to support their frontline response efforts. Then, as the public vaccination effort scaled down, the lower usage again impacted telecommunication costs and programs. Rather than absorbing rampant costs and waste, many agencies turned to ProcureAmerica to assist. “Our telecom team was able to scale programs up and down in real-time, delivering cost reduction in short order. Additionally, there was no cost to the agencies as our public sector programs are 100% self-funding through savings,” explained ProcureAmerica CEO Fred Armendariz.
Where most firms take a “rear view mirror” approach to telecommunications and conduct traditional bill audits, ProcureAmerica takes a comprehensive real-time and future approach. Ensuring that contracts are optimized going forward to the usage levels at any given time delivers material and sustainable cost reduction. Bill audits are important and are part of ProcureAmerica’s process, but traditionally deliver limited results. “Less than 10% of our cost reduction results are identified in the “bill audit” component of our reviews. The other 90% comes from program and plan optimization going forward. Further, these savings are evergreen in nature as they will continue to deliver benefit for many years to come,” said ProcureAmerica’s Telecommunications Division Administrator Matt Denburg.
ProcureAmerica not only completes the study, but also oversees implementation to ensure continued success and savings. Ann Graf, Director of Technology for the City of Azusa, commented: “The City of Azusa engaged Procure America to conduct a review of our telecommunications services and costs. The project was not a burden on our staff, and in fact their work and vendor oversight will save the City hundreds of staff hours.”
When public agencies can spend less and deliver more, we all win.