Effective telecom expense management (TEM) is crucial to ensure you’re paying the correct amount for the services your business is using, across your technology infrastructure.
But for many organizations, managing telecoms is a burden – it’s difficult for organizations to gain complete visibility over their telecoms ecosystems, and oftentimes the data required to have a full understanding comes right down to individual end-users.
What is Telecom Expense Management?
Communication is the key to a successful organization, and particularly with businesses operating remotely now more than ever, the number of devices a business uses has escalated, and with it, so has the cost.
Telecom expense management (TEM) helps businesses gain visibility over their telecom costs. When huge organizations have a vast number of devices, contracts, and users in their network, it can prove difficult to monitor them all, and understand what you're paying for and why.
Best Practices for Telecom Expense Management
Effective telecom expense management takes the stress away from device management, and provides a number of benefits:
- Accurately track and manage telecom assets
- Streamline processes
- Optimize costs
- Audits and transparent reporting
As an expert TEM provider, we recommend these best practices for efficient telecom expense management to ensure you stay on top of your costs.
1. Inventory Management
Proper TEM revolves around data. Understanding your inventory is key to understanding your bill. If your telecom expenditure is out of control, the first place to scrutinize is your assets. Managing a massive inventory as part of a global organization is one of the most overwhelming parts of TEM, and where many costs go under the radar.
When you have a clearer idea of your ecosystem, you can begin to remove redundant devices and services to free up some cost. But inventory management isn’t just about stripping away certain endpoints – it’s also a chance to refresh your services with newer, more cost-effective solutions.
2. Invoice Management
If you’re not tracking your bills, it’s nearly impossible to catch inflated telecom spend. By processing your invoices more carefully and effectively, you can reduce the human error influence that might result in overlooking or missing a critical bill. Global organizations that still audit their IT and telecom services by hand with paper invoices will struggle the most – that’s why you need to implement a series of processes that are easily repeatable and can ensure accuracy in your bill tracking.
The same is true for dealing with and managing your contracts with providers. It’s easy to just agree to a contract and then leave it, but many businesses end up paying more the longer they’re on a contract, than they do at the start. Therefore it’s advantageous to renegotiate or go elsewhere for a fresh rate. Part of managing your invoices and contracts is being proactive – it’s up to you, or a TEM provider, to take the fight to the telecom providers themselves.
3. Expense Optimization
Make the most of what you already have available to you in your telecom network. Forecast your usage to predict where your business is headed regarding its telecom expenditure – by doing so, it’s easier to keep your spending in line with your objectives.
To truly understand your expenses, you should implement comprehensive cost and usage reporting that can be filtered by your cost centers, services, location, and end-users.
4. Expand Visibility to the End-User
For a global organization, it can be easy to fall into the mistake of simply scrutinizing your telecom network from the top-level. If you have thousands of employees in potentially different countries each using devices on the network, it might seem easier to look at their expenses as a blanket cost. However, by not auditing telecom usage down to the individual, you’re missing vital data and possibly areas where big expenditure is being missed.
This becomes particularly important if you’re running a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, where you’re allowing employees to remotely work off their own devices, yet still connecting them to the network. Then there’s the question of monitoring inventory as well – do you know what happened to that individual device when a particular employee left the company?
5. Engage an Experienced TEM Provider
As a global organization, it’s a huge undertaking to gain total control and visibility over your expenses, ensuring nothing slips through the cracks and that telecom providers are being negotiated with to win fair and beneficial contracts for your business.
Working with an experienced TEM provider alleviates that burden, enabling you to continue working while someone else deals with your company’s expenses. An expert provider can offer multiple services, including:
- Billing analysis
- Procurement support
- Provisioning support
TEM providers gain a real understanding of your telecoms environment and specialize in getting visibility over your infrastructure, whether wireline, employee-owned, or completely mobile. TEM providers use powerful auditing software to compare invoices against usage and identify areas of overspend right down to the individual end-user. Crucially, a global TEM provider will be able to manage all of this data across numerous countries and in multiple languages, ensuring a unified system throughout your organization.
TEM providers are able to tackle vendors for you by understanding and breaking down their jargon and winning the best deal before making a multi-year commitment, ensuring that the contract you have actually works for your business. By identifying areas of overspend before engaging with a vendor, TEM providers understand your requirements before they negotiate.
Working with Cass
An experienced TEM provider can offer you the above services as a minimum, but also much more in helping you take control of your expenses. We offer audits and reporting, invoice management, and an expert team that provides constant support and service, working alongside your team in a way that feels like we’re part of your organization.