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How to Make Telecom Expense Management Work for You

30
Oct

Technology is pushing forward in record speed, and business is often stumbling to keep up. A decade ago, telecom consisted of tracking desk phones and paying bills on time. Now telecom consists of mobile devices, desk phones, internet and data services, and IoT. Keeping up with maintenance and assignment of devices can be difficult. Often telecom expense management is left to the wayside as unimportant.

That is an unfortunate mistake made by most businesses.

The facts are telecom expense management can impact the bottom line with just a few organizational changes. The reality becomes how to make those changes, and can an organization handle the changes in-house.

In-house management

Often a solution to expense cutting is to have a member of the staff handle the additional project. After all, what could it possibly take to review invoices?

Unfortunately, it can take a lot of time and skill to review telecom invoices. The first step to understanding invoices is to understand inventory. But the first stumbling block for most businesses is inventory. Devices no longer in use (“dead” devices) and newly ordered devices can go missed in an inventory list.

Without a sense of which asset is assigned to whom, and if that individual is still working for the company, AP will never make sense of the muli-page, multi-vendor invoices flooding in. Similarly, the priority for IT is keeping the network running smoothly and then fix any broken parts and pieces. Working through pages of invoices matching assets is not the best use of any IT staff.

specially when strong IT staff is becoming harder to hire.

Before looking at in-house telecom expense management, an organization needs to answer the following three questions. Does the organization have a great handle on active inventory, as well as processes to recover devices as soon as they are no longer needed? Does the organization have experienced staff who can analyze and research charges on multiple invoices? And finally, does the organization can track a device for the full life cycle, or can one be created?

If the answer is no, or the cost will be prohibitive, then in-house management is not an option. What other options are available to get telecom costs under control?

Outsource Telecom Expense Management (TEM)

Outsourced TEM services provide a more efficient, cost-effective solution to wrangling telecom in-house. A strong TEM partner can help determine which services are in use, favorably negotiate agreements on your behalf, streamline services, and recommend services that will provide additional cost savings and efficiencies.

A TEM provider can audit an organization’s telecom services, cutting out unused services and controlling other cost driving issues such as overages and incorrect data plans. One of the first gains from partnering with a TEM partner is getting a handle on device inventory. A TEM partner will track down and count every device.

Yet inventory is not a one-time gig. A strong TEM partner will provide software, tracking inventory in real time. The software removes costly “dead” devices while keeping track of new devices. Not only does this keep costs in line, but it assists IT with a sense of all the hardware in use.

Additionally, a TEM provider will reconcile the invoices. Not only does this prevent overages and charges for deadlines, but an organization is giving prompt information regarding any increases or third-party fees that can add up quickly. Ultimately, the organization is giving simplified information CFO and CIOs can understand and AP can process without headache.

Overall benefit

While outsourcing can be a commitment, telecom expense management is an on-going challenge for any enterprise. The requirements for in-house management can be burdensome, and the cost of implementing on-going inventory tracking can be unsightly.

The true benefit of partnering with a TEM is having experts whose business is managing telecom. Without the burden of network administration or other vendors to pay, a TEM partner can bring an ROI in a short amount of time. The standard return is between 10 – 20% with some organizations receiving up to 40% return.

In order to add true value to the bottom line, all options must be considered.

MobileWare is a Mobility Management Service that provides in-depth telecom expense management and telecom auditing. Click here to see how we can help add to your bottom line.