4 Key Takeaways from the Gartner® Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services, 2021

25 January 2022 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

The Gartner® Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services, 2021 has been released. The latest report provides a trusted, in-depth analysis of the global telecom expense management market in 2022 and beyond, straight from the expert insight at Gartner. 

In the report, the global research firm explores:

  • The current telecom expense management market definition
  • An overview of the market’s direction
  • Insights and a market analysis
  • Representative telecom expense management vendor profiles
  • Market recommendations

Curious about the state of telecom expense management in 2023? Read the latest  Gartner Market Guide to learn more.

1. Telecom Expense Management Vendors Must Provide Broader Capabilities

Enterprises have expanded their technology resources in the last few years. The pandemic and its aftermath have accelerated our reliance on new technology, which has created more complexity in telecom environments.

Businesses require a telecom expense management provider who can take responsibility for managing all assets within an enterprise telecom environment, not just fixed or wireless telephony and data.

This includes costs across cloud-based applications, the Internet of Things (IoT), and the mobile devices that businesses rely on. Importantly, there’s increased demand this year for integrated managed mobility services (MMS) with telecom expense management.

In reading the guide, we believe that telecom expense management vendors that can manage all of this with an integrated solution are more competitive. When they can report costs, chargebacks, maintain inventories, and track service consumption from a single platform, enterprises receive a more consistent experience. Additionally, pre-integrated solutions enable straightforward, fast, and real-time processing for enterprises.

  • Enterprises will select vendors based on capabilities beyond traditional fixed and mobile. They want greater detail across reporting and inventory management for their entire mobility estate.
  • There’s greater interest in full-circle telecom lifecycle management capabilities in 2022.
  • Businesses want to include communication expense management as part of their telecom expense management processes.

2. Service Quality is a Key Differentiator

Enterprises want consistent, robust management for their telecom expense management services. They prefer proactive, not reactive, engagement models and are often dissatisfied when there are hidden costs or they experience a poor-quality service.

To avoid these shortcomings, businesses are taking a closer look at vendor operational quality and the ability to meet defined SLAs. There is now more scrutiny of important service quality checkpoints before choosing a telecom expense management provider, such as verification of telecom expense management provider SLA track records, years of experience, identifying roles and responsibilities of contracts, defining implementation schedules, and the ability to scale services.

More so, enterprises are focusing on whether telecom expense management providers can deliver based on company size and scope requirements. For example, does a telecom expense management provider deliver services on a global scale? The ability to deliver services globally and provide in-region resources is impacting vendor selection in 2022.

  • Enterprises are looking closely at vendor operational quality and the ability to meet defined SLAs.
  • As global enterprises continue to grow, they require support and a level of service that matches their international reach. Geographic capabilities are a priority, and in-region resources give them a competitive edge.

3. There's Greater Demand for Automation, Data Analytics, and Intelligence

Enterprises want deeper analytical capabilities and intelligence in 2022. This can be used to fuel context-based decision-making and a more proactive approach to telecom expense management.

Businesses are looking for telecom expense management services and platforms that offer cost predictability, forecasting, and AI-based technology simulations using data. With this level of insight, they can make tactical and strategic business decisions based on evidence, enabling greater accuracy. We believe that this means that budgets, IT investments, inventories, and future contract negotiations are based on data, rather than guesswork.

Additionally, enterprises are looking for smarter service delivery from telecom expense management. Automation reduces the need for manual processes in complex environments. There’s increased demand for automated processes such as invoices, inventories, data processing, and integration processes. When a telecom expense management provider streamlines these factors, it reduces the burden on internal teams and improves the quality of their service.

  • Deeper analytical capabilities will give telecom expense management providers an edge in 2022. There’s also a trend towards AI-based technology simulations.
  • Enterprises want to automate processes to improve efficiency and reduce manual processes. Additionally, it’s important that data fuels decision-making.

4. Enterprises Want Competitive Pricing and Savings Guarantees 

Pricing and contracts for telecom expense management have become more competitive. However, enterprises are aware that pricing is not indicative of the quality of a telecom expense management service. Instead, we believe the Gartner report suggests that they are leaning towards more flexible pricing models. For example, structured pricing that's a fixed proportion to their spending, regardless of what service spend it relates to. 

Additionally, some clients that are new to telecom expense management are now requesting savings guarantees as part of their telecom expense management contract. This is a clause that has been negotiated to guarantee a minimum amount of savings that are equal to or exceed the cost of the telecom expense management service. If the telecom expense management provider doesn't provide this amount of savings, the contracts have exit conditions.

It's important to consider that this is an emerging trend, however, it highlights that enterprises are looking to extract the most value from telecom expense management services. 

  • New pricing models allow enterprises to structure pricing as a fixed proportion of their spending, regardless of what service spend it relates to.
  • As an emerging trend for 2022, some enterprises are looking to include savings guarantees in their telecom expense management contracts. 

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*GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved

Gartner Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services, Katja Ruud, Lisa Unden-Farboud, Pablo Arriandiaga, 22 December 2021

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as telecom expense managements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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