“Cancelling a subscription should be as easy as sending an email”. My thoughts exactly. However, cancelling the Microsoft SharePoint subscription that I had with a local web hosting company took over six months. Not to mention numerous phone calls and countless emails.
Eventually, when I was able to show no activity on the site and after I secured a credit for all past due balances, I finally got it cancelled successfully. It was the moment that I realized that continuing growth in cloud services could open significant issues with expense management.
Telecom bill inspecting was a “thing” even in the 80s and 90s, but it completely erupted with the appearance of innumerable competitive local exchange companies (CLECs), instantly asserted by the FCC to encourage contention with already deprived, but still widespread Bell companies. CLECs’ operations could be labeled as immature and certainly full of errors, whilst Bell company billing systems were written in an ancient computer code, and they were quite stubborn in terms of their fight against new rates and contract terms. This chaos served as a perfect precondition for creating telecom expense management (TEM) as an industry.
Telecom Contracts versus Cloud Service Contracts
Telcos had to file tariffs and get every offered service approved, due to stiff regulations protecting the customers that they had to deal with. Nevertheless, telcos managed to use filed tariffs to their advantage, as these tariffs could exceed any custom terms and conditions requested by a client, while the contract itself is subject to change occasionally.
This type of contract was adopted by the cloud service providers, with the exception of giving a subscriber the option of cancelling the contract if the subscriber doesn’t agree with revised terms. The final summation is that the user can’t obtain a static contract, so it’s always important to evaluate how your provider will inform you of those changes and how often would you have to accept or reject them. This needs to be crystal clear right from the start in order to avoid the troubles of switching to a new cloud service, as it isn’t as easy as it might appear to be.
Telecom and Cloud SLAs
Service-level agreements (SLAs) might make sense to a certain point. But, aside from having no outages – in case of perfect circumstances, what might you need from a SLA? Gradual credits won’t generally cure the lost business or client trust from an outage. SLAs never really seemed practical in general.
Managing Cloud Costs
The best time to start administering cloud costs is the time when you’re initially expecting to engage in the service. This is the time when you have most prominent impact for costs assets and flexibility, the two main values enterprises expect from the cloud.
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