Gone are the days when telecommunication was synonymous with the network of phones sitting on the desks throughout the office branching out into the wider world of communication.
Today, telecom encompasses more than just voice. Besides covering communication via wired (traditional desk phone) and wireless (cellular phone technology), the term telecom, in reality, means so much more.
The Meaning of Telecom
Today’s meaning of telecommunications, when spoken of in any professional environment, refers to how all communication travels, not just voice. And it refers to the vehicles by which they do so. The concept of telecommunications includes not only voice, but images, video, written communication, music, and so on. Telecommunications today basically includes any form of communication between two or more people using technology.
The vehicles of telecommunication include everything that works to help transmit the message, whether that be software or hardware: email platforms, facsimile transmission, cellular networks and their providers, etc.
In fact, technically speaking, telecommunications has always referred to any form of transmitted communication. The name telecom became glued to the notion of voice communications preceding the internet revolution, and its association to this specific form of communication stuck.
The Beginning of Telecommunications
Telecommunications has been involved with human evolution in some form or fashion, beginning with communication conducted via beacons, smoke signaling, carrier pigeons, etc. In the 20th century telecommunications took a great leap forward with the invention of wired and wireless communication via electrical and electromagnetic signals.
Today, telecommunications has penetrated every part of modern society with the popularity of smartphones, tablets, apple watches, fitbits, laptops, smart TVs and other intelligent communication devices. Not only do we spend much of our time on any one of these devices, the way in which we communicate across them has moved pass traditional practices.
No longer are we just giving each other a call, or sending an email. Those forms of communication quickly evolved into social media communication, texting, and messaging across different platforms within and outside broader networks.
Most workplaces now have an internal communication platform, besides internal email, in which they can communicate with other team members simultaneously. Less phones are ringing, more computers are dinging.
With this surge in the way we communicate both professionally and personally, and the platforms available in which to do so, a need has emerged within the business environment to effectively manage all these tools for communication.
Where Telecom Management Was Born
Here enters Telecom Management. A term that can be daunting to many business owners, telecom management requires a great amount of coordination on a number of different levels. As it involves both traditional Information Technology and telecommunication lines, delineation between the two has become blurred as the two technologies have increasingly intermingled to effectively send the message in whatever form, to whoever needs it, by whatever means necessary.
No more does the IT department just deal with the internal computer networks of a business and its connection to the larger world wide web. Instead, IT has been increasingly burdened by the pressure placed upon it to keep up with lightning fast pace of evolution within telecommunications as well.
The need for a separation between IT and telecommunication management has been making itself known for some time. The most efficient organizations have delineated in some way the responsibilities of the IT team and telecom management team, although lines can still be blurred.
Whether telecom management becomes a subdivision of the IT department or a separate department of its own, the duties of the telecom management team can be expansive.
It can encompass anything to do with communication including wired phones, cell phones, fax machines, computer networks, videoconferencing, and all the applications these types of vehicles use to communicate: email, chat rooms, internal and external messaging, social media, video chat, phone, text, faxes, etc.
What Does TEM Include?
Effective telecom management means handling all the services, carriers, operators, equipment, software, integration, billing, finance, contracts, reports, maintenance, cost analysis, and updating associated with any and all communication needs of the office.
Traditional IT management ensures a smooth running computer network and other services at a high level within an office or wider organization in order to complete the daily tactical and high level missions of the organization, such as software maintenance and updating, hardware and device purchase, installation, and maintenance, etc.
Telecom management while, involved closely with IT, branches beyond what IT is responsible for, and gets more into the tactical, day to day weeds of working to ensure effective communication is happening across the organizational board by whatever means is authorized within the organization.
The effectiveness of any telecom management solution has a direct impact on the success of any business. A strong relationship with vendors who provide quality products and services are crucial for the success of any telecom management solution, and thus the success of any business.
This can often be easier said than done, as it’s the responsibility of the telecom management team or department to conference with numerous vendors to effectively keep communication wheels in motion.
Email platforms may require one solution while cell phone plans and carriers require separate communication with a separate vendor. Then, there’s all the internal communication to deal with including chat and group messaging that may involve a completely different vendor.
Of course, lets not forget traditional wired phone communication, fax communication, and videoconferencing. Not only does the telecom management team bear the burden of keeping all of these solutions afloat, but they must integrate various solutions whenever or wherever necessary.
So while telecommunications have been around in one form or another since the early existence of humankind, the modern sense of telecommunications has become much more involved with the invention of electrical and electromagnetic communication such as the telegraph, the phone, and then the computer.
Since the 1990’s the world has witnessed an explosion in how we communicate both professionally and personally. With the increased means and methods of communication penetrating almost every facet of our lives no matter where we are, the need for effective management has arisen separate from Information Technology management. Hence, we have what we call telecommunication management today.