4 Key Takeaways from Gartner's 2020 Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services

3 November 2020 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

The latest edition of Gartner's 2020 Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services is here. This guide explores the state of the TEM marketplace, with expert insight into the 2020 landscape and beyond. Covering the major TEM providers, the global research firm explores challenges and opportunities that are appearing beyond traditional fixed and mobile TEM.

You can download the report in full, however, we’ve summarized our four key takeaways that will help you assess the state of the TEM market.

1. Vendor Capabilities Must Go Beyond Software

In the future, enterprise communications and IT services will continue to grow. This development is driven by increased video usage, cloud-based services, and the use of IoT services to support organizations on their path towards digitization. And in part, out of necessity due to COVID-19 in the past year.

Therefore, when assessing a TEM vendor’s capabilities, providing TEM software alone is not enough. Many businesses are looking to TEM providers to extend management across a larger range of cloud-based or communications-related IT and offer a comprehensive service. And in some cases, businesses are looking for outsourced TEM services that can be delivered with other solutions.

Put simply, it is now a key differentiator in 2020 for TEM vendor capabilities to not only provide effective TEM solutions, but also a comprehensive service to manage aspects of IoT or cloud.

  • Enterprises want TEM providers to take more control of communications-related expenses, such as mobile, wireline, and cloud services. This also extends to life cycle management services for end-user devices.
  • Demand continues to increase for a single platform to track services, costs, and inventories for UCaaS, IaaS, PaaS, storage, IoT, and fixed and mobile assets.
  • SaaS license tracking and optimization are also becoming greater concerns this year. And organizations want a TEM provider who can control and track this in their enterprise.

New up-to-date insight into the opportunities and challenges facing the TEM  space is now available. Download Gartner, Market Guide for Telecom Expense  Management Services, 2020.

2. There is a Focus on Long-term Performance

In 2020 and beyond, IT leaders should look at their chosen TEM vendor's ability to meet technical and functional requirements in the long-term. Performing due diligence on TEM vendors is important to investigate day-to-day service delivery capabilities, their future platform roadmaps, financial position, and leadership.

More so, organizations are likely to look at the operational quality of a TEM provider and compare consistent performance against SLAs. We believe that more RFPs will include requirements to meet defined SLAs, as evidence that they can support improvement over time. 

  • Organizations find that the quality of the RFP response and the ability to attain flexibility in negotiation is important. 
  • Businesses recognise that prior experience, whether its positive or not, is beneficial when searching for a TEM vendor, especially when meeting geographical or technical requirements.

3. TEM Services Should Inform Decision-making

With a heightened focus on cost and process optimization, businesses are relying on their TEM vendor to provide greater visibility of their telecom infrastructure. We deduce that this is a key incentive for hiring a TEM vendor in 2020, as they provide clarity around costs and consumption of services.

When choosing a TEM vendor, it's essential they have access to advanced data analytics and intelligence to help inform decision-making. For example, data on spending, inventory, or usage in an easy to understand format; in a centralized platform. This allows both internal teams and the TEM provider to see data first-hand, and the TEM vendor can provide helpful support or advice. 

  • This year, TEM vendors have strengthened automation within their platform environments. Processes such as robotic process automation (RPA) have enabled many to automate invoices, vendor integration, or data processing.
  • It is notable that some organizations still want to control processes internally by using a self-managed platform and it's automated tools. This can still cause challenges, and many of these businesses choose to shift to a fully managed service afterwards, to help reduce internal workload. 

4. To be Truly Global, TEM Providers Must Have Local Resources

When it comes to service delivery for global organizations, it's vital to assess whether the chosen TEM provider has truly local, in-region resources.

We think that many businesses are challenged by the offering of surface-level service delivery, that appears to work well at first, but doesn't offer the service capabilities to serve and scale according to global enterprise requirements. For example, organizations require a TEM organization with an understanding of local dialect or currency, allowing them to dispute charges effectively. 

This year and beyond, it's vital to assess the local capabilities of a vendor, including across their partnerships. Factors such as quality assurance and service delivery capabilities must be reviewed before you begin working with a TEM vendor. This can help distinguish the difference between truly global, fully-managed TEM, or a service that differs between regions. 

  • If your chosen vendor needs to find a partner, then it's wise to identify the partner's level of involvement, as multiple regional partners across a TEM vendor can be challenging for organizations.

Read Gartner's 2020 Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services for Free

You've heard the insights from us, but if you'd like to learn more about the current TEM landscape for yourself, you can download Gartner's 2020 Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services for free. Or, to learn more about how Cass can help with your telecom expense management requirements, click here

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