Telecom expense management (TEM) is an ever-evolving beast that continues to adapt in response to market trends and shifts. For enterprises concerned with managing telecom spend, Gartner has now released its TEM Market Guide for 2018 – providing up-to-date insight into today’s TEM direction.
The guide offers a cornucopia of valuable information, ranging from market analysis and direction, through representative vendor comparison, to recommendations on how business leaders can extract the greatest value. For the full, extensive insight, you should download the report, but here are the seven key findings for corporate decision makers.
1. Demand is Coming from Large Organizations
According to Gartner, growth in end-user enterprise enquiries is felt most strongly from the elite-side of the market. The report states that large multinational corporations (MNCs) with more than $3 billion in revenue and complex telecom expense management (TEM) environments now represent almost half (44%) of Gartner's TEM-based end-user enquiries.
This demand is leading to increasing pressure being placed on TEM vendors to provide a more well-rounded service that caters to the globally dispersed IT and communications estates inherent within enterprise organizations.
2. Fragmented International Capability
Continuing upon the theme of global reach, very few TEM vendors have the global reach required by enterprises with international locations. While in the last year, TEM vendors have attempted to partner with each other to cover a technical specification or to complement geographic influence, Gartner reports that the competitive landscape remains fragmented.
Last year, we outlined that Cass Telecom was the exception to Gartner’s findings – offering services in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. And as we transition through 2018, Cass remains the only publicly-traded vendor with the international reach to deliver on a global basis.
3. Mergers are a Double-Edged Sword
In spite of the eagerness of some vendors to partner with one another to strengthen geographic or technical offerings, Gartner reports that merger and acquisition (M&A) activity complicates ongoing daily operations and lengthens the decision process for enterprises.
The best way for organizations to gain confidence in their TEM services is to assess vendor stability or do business with a well-established, publicly traded player.
4. The TEM Stack is Growing
Perhaps one of the most important takeaways from this year’s report is that TEM providers are evolving their offerings as enterprises' range of fixed, mobile, and BYOD devices grows and diverges.
Gartner reports that enterprise communications and IT services continue to evolve, driven by the use of video, cloud services, mobility, emerging IoT, consumption-based services and digitalization.
TEM vendors are now characterized by their ability to handle a broader spectrum of communications-related IT and cloud-based asset/licensing capabilities. Choosing the vendor best suited for your needs now requires the examination of TEM providers’ technical roadmaps, in addition to customer retention and product value.
5. The Age of Automation
Automation has become a staple talking-point throughout virtually all industries. Using bots where it makes sense – to save time and resources and drive efficiencies – is an attractive proposition.
According to Gartner, TEM vendors will look to automate many of their back-end processes, such as automating invoices, workflow links, vendor integration inventory count and data processing, to scale new technologies as the TEM stack evolves.
However, while bots work well for some customer service tasks, the value of a named team that understands your business can't be overstated. Choosing a TEM service that truly prioritizes the service is still the best way for organizations to extract the greatest value from their subscription. Imagine putting your faith in a bot to order a complex MPLS circuit for your new manufacturing plant in Vietnam, or disputing a charge in Japan without someone who can speak the local language.
6. Definitive Move Toward Managed Services
Gartner reports that, to account for the evolution within the TEM sector, most TEM services are now bought as managed solutions and, increasingly, enterprises are seeking a holistic TEM solution.
While some enterprises still believe that basic software can be used to control costs effectively, Gartner has seen significant frustration on the customer side when invoice loading and inventory has proved complex in DIY conditions. This debate between software vs service has then ultimately resulted in a U-turn to a managed solution.
7. The Ongoing Value of TEM
Any business can benefit from streamlined processes, cost-savings and relief from time-sink tasks. But for large domestic, regional and multinational enterprises, the value of proper telecom expense management is maximized in the age of GDPR.
Gartner states that global enterprises routinely struggle to rein in their telecom service spend – which represents 15% of global IT spend – and large MNCs with more than $3 billion in revenue can stand to gain the most from utilizing TEM services.
How to Extract Maximum Value From Your TEM Solution
In the face of an ever-evolving industry, the best way for organizations to gain assurance is to partner with a vendor with strong roots. Working with a publicly traded and federally regulated partner lets you avoid many of the risks associated with unstable vendors, and, as the only vendor that meet these criteria, Cass Telecom is the premier choice for enterprise organizations.
We have over $50 billion of annual spend under management and on a daily basis, process over 240,000 invoices from vendors around the globe. With the global reach to support enterprise demands across the globe, and a fully-GDPR-compliant telecom expense management service, you can trust us to tame your telecoms and rein in your spend.