Is it Time to Transform Capital Planning in the Telecom Space? Let's Find Out.

August 4, 2022 Bill Neill

Copperleaf® provides enterprise decision analytics software solutions to companies investing in and managing critical infrastructure. For over two decades, industry leaders across the energy, water, and transportation sectors have relied on Copperleaf’s solutions to create strategy-driven investment plans that deliver the highest business value.  

In this blog series, Bill Neill, who leads market development for telecommunications at Copperleaf, shares insights from his 20 years of experience in the industry. In this first installment, Bill discusses the state of capital planning in telecom and how your insights can help shape its future.   


…A finance director’s centralized capital allocation process worked seamlessly when money was flowing freely but came to a grinding halt when the CEO applied the brakes to CapEx spending. They realized they lacked a quantitative framework for making hard trade-off decisions across their wide range of potential investments. The result? Previously friendly executive planning meetings became heated political debates as individuals fought for their piece of the budget. Rational, value-based decisions were replaced with posturing and cross-business bargaining.

…A product manager, upon hearing through the grapevine about a project cancellation and impending capital release, dusted off an old nice-to-have business case and quietly leveraged a back channel to share it with the planning team. Seizing the opportunity to avoid a lengthy plan review and reprioritization, they funded the project.  It was the easiest approach but not necessarily the best decision for the organization?

…An operations manager was repeatedly denied the small amount of CapEx required to upgrade servers that supported a “free” legacy service. With a process that largely ignored non-financial metrics and no way to confidently quantify and demonstrate the risk of doing nothing, priority was usually given to revenue-generating projects instead. When those servers failed, the company quickly learned how many customers still relied on this free service—costing  millions to remedy, and resulting in reputational damage and decreased customer satisfaction. 

Sound Familiar? 

As the market development lead for telecommunications at Copperleaf, I spend a lot of time talking with organizations from around the globe about their capital planning processes. These are just a few stories I’ve heard where telecom capital planning let stakeholders—and the business—down. 

That said, I know it’s not the full picture. Capital planning in the telecom space is complicated and hard to do well, especially with antiquated tools like spreadsheets. But is it broken? If so, how? What can we do to fix it—and is fixing it worth the effort to the business as a whole? 

Copperleaf prides itself in helping organizations make better investment decisions, and we've been doing just that across a spectrum of capital-intensive industries for over two decades. As we continue to evolve our decision analytics solution to meet the needs of each new market we serve, we always start with the same question: how can we help?

That’s what we want to learn from you—and it’s why we’ve created a survey that is open to anyone who has experience with capital and investment planning in telecom.  

From executive decision-makers to planning teams, product managers to plant managers, developers, technicians, cost engineers, and finance analysts, we want to understand and learn from your experience. 

If you have a few minutes to spare and are willing to share your perspective  on telecom investment and capital planning, please click the link below to participate in our survey. We won’t disclose your responses or data with any third parties, and our intention is to share our findings with you once the survey closes.   

 


 

Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your support of our fact-finding mission! I look forward to reading and learning from your firsthand insights into planning in the telecom space—and sharing what we find in the subsequent articles in this series. 

In the meantime, learn more about Copperleaf here, and feel free to reach out to me directly with comments or questions.

About the Author

Bill Neill

With over 20 years of experience leading Product Management, Marketing, Business Development and Sales Enablement teams in the telecommunications industry, Bill is responsible for developing Copperleaf’s presence in the telecom space.

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