Telecom expense management (TEM) allows you to get a better handle on your assets. As businesses grow, their telecom estate becomes larger. Over time, these estates turn into complex beasts without meaningful visibility and control of cost.
To approach this, TEM is a proven way to optimize business processes, maximize resource availability, curtail costs, and minimize risk.
But there are several issues at play that determine the results. Understanding them will give you a clearer insight into how much you can save with a TEM program.
Factors That Impact TEM Cost Savings
The cost-saving capabilities of a telecom expense management solution depends on 5 key factors:
- The size of your telecom estate
- The condition of your telecom assets
- Your TEM service provider
- Services offered by your TEM supplier
- The global effectiveness of your supplier
Each element has an impact on how much your organization can save.
1. The Size of Your Telecom Estate
Your telecom estate encompasses all your assets and services. This includes:
- Fixed lines
- IT infrastructure
- Mobile devices
- User-owned devices as part of BYOD programs
The larger your telecom estate, the more you gain from a TEM program. In fact, recent surveys show that 89% of global enterprises have adopted a formal telecom expense management solution. Like all cost optimization efforts, larger organisations with multiple assets and contracts will experience more opportunities to save.
2. The Condition of Your Telecom Estate
The impact of your cost-saving efforts will depend largely on your starting point. If your estate has undergone a series of MACD activity since its last audit, it’s likely to need refinement.
One simple change can affect any number of elements in your telecom estate. This might be a change to a physical asset or a service agreement. Or maybe your business has been busy acquiring or divesting business units. Such changes can be the source of significant problems in a telecom estate.
For businesses with a complex web of telecom assets, reduced visibility of these changes leads to a loss of cost optimization over time. Less optimized telecom inventories are given less scrutiny, causing over-charges and charges for circuits that just aren't necessary.
3. Your Chosen TEM Service Provider
TEM service providers vary by specific offerings and the quality of the service. One vendor may deliver a fully-managed service with dedicated teams to support your enterprise. Another may provide a software-subscription service and leave all the heavy lifting to you.
It’s for each business to decide how much control they want to keep. Depending on the level of service management you choose, an outsourced TEM provider can provide greater long-term value.
You get all the benefits of highly skilled expertise without spending internal resource on telecom optimization. This enables you to refocus time elsewhere in your business and automate TEM processes to achieve greater efficiency.
Otherwise, the costs of managing a TEM project internally can get out of hand. Add in a monthly software subscription to get the tools you need, and the cost of saving starts to impact the savings themselves.
A good TEM provider will help you wrangle costs with a whole range of services, not just software. This makes it end-to-end TEM an effective long-term to investment. With the oversight to scrutinize your entire estate, it’s worth noting that outsourced providers will be more powerful than your efforts alone.
4. Services Offered by Your TEM Provider
Telecom expense management includes a variety of services that may or may not be offered by your provider. The services and support offered are key to calculating potential savings. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Telecom expense auditing
- Managed mobility services
- Consulting and business intelligence
- Invoice and inventory management
- Dispute resolution
- Procurement support
- BYOD implementation support
Some vendors offer limited services with the option of add-ons. Others offer a more comprehensive service as standard.
In practice, the more service you use, the higher the savings will be. If you have to cherry-pick services, get an overview of your telecoms estate first. This will help you identify which TEM services will have the biggest impact on savings.
An experienced TEM provider can conduct a telecom expense audit on your inventory, providing a transparent and exhaustive summary of where savings can be achieved.
5. The Global Effectiveness of Your TEM Provider
The final factor that can impact the cost-saving capabilities of a TEM service is the global reach and availability of your provider. While many vendors claim to offer global support, some struggle to deliver the same quality of service in multiple regions. This can be a pain-point that impacts your saving opportunities.
Some TEM providers rely on multiple vendors to create a global solution. Every vendor has its own processes, software and reporting. This reduces the quality of the overall service because customers receive data and information in a variety of formats and must put the pieces of the puzzle together themselves.
A global provider with its own in-region resources will have standardized processes. You get better quality service, accurate data and easy-to-digest information.
In-region resources help maximize your TEM service and mitigate potential risks. Having access to local experts, native speakers, and knowledge of country-specific regulations makes your TEM service more effective.
Choose the Right TEM Provider
Many of these factors come down to your choice of TEM provider. An effective partner can offer superior savings thanks to a superior service. But in a busy marketplace, choosing the right provider can be a challenge. To help you find the best provider, Gartner has produced a TEM market guide.
Filled with useful information about TEM providers, the report is a handy resource when making your TEM vendor decision. Read your free copy today.