Telecommunications consulting is the process of evaluating the communication needs of a customer, finding the right tools to meet those needs, and helping the customer acquire those tools. In many cases, a consultant of this type may also offer training on new equipment as part of the support services offered to the customer. The scope of telecommunications consulting can be very broad, involving all types of communication devices and services, or focus on a particular area of telecommunications support.
Businesses of all types and sizes make use of telecommunications consulting services. A new business may choose to engage a consultant to help in the selection and installation of an office telephone system, or aid in the design and implementation of an internal network that includes both voice and data functions. An established business may hire a telecommunications consulting expert to evaluate an existing system and determine if the customer should add to the current system or implement a completely new one altogether.
In order to provide effective telecommunications consulting, a consultant must be well-versed in the latest technology. This means being up-to-date on the latest product offerings from different types of telecommunication companies, such as long distance providers, telecommunications equipment manufacturers, and various services such as web and audio conferencing providers. In some cases, the consultant may choose to specialize in a particular area of products or services, such as focusing on wireless telecommunication networks or landline telephone services and related products.
The degree of autonomy that is involved with a telecommunications consulting assignment will vary from one situation to another. A client may choose to engage the consultant for the sole purpose of evaluating and recommending specific products and services, such as a long distance telecommunications carrier. At other times, the client may enter into a contract with the consultant that is more comprehensive in nature. When this is the case, the consultant may be directly involved in the selection, acquisition, and installation of new equipment. It is not unusual for the consultant to also provide on-site training to employees on how to make the most of the new equipment or service acquired.
There are telecommunications consulting firms that offer consulting services on an ongoing basis as well as for short-term projects. Larger corporations may choose to keep a consultant on retainer, making it easy to call upon his or her services when a system needs to be upgraded or replaced, or when the business needs some new and different type of communication service. Compensation for these services may be in the form of a flat fee, or may be billed on a per hour basis.