How to Project Telecoms Spend for 2021

12 November 2020 | Posted by Nick Oldham

Many enterprises turn to their TEM provider for insight into telecoms spend forecasting. Positioned uniquely to see all your telecoms spend, TEM providers can use your data to help you forecast your 2021 telecoms spending. But looking back at the data is not enough.

Give Yourself A Telecoms Audit

From misapplied billing and incorrect contract rates, to services you no longer use or need, a telecoms audit will help you take charge of your telecom spend and recoup unnecessary outgoings.

As you explore processes and redundancies, you can start to put a value onto those productivity improvements and fold them into your overall TEM costs for the coming year.

We recommend continuous audits, due to their ongoing benefits and enhanced visibility. But, if you or your TEM provider is not performing them regularly, you should at least do one a year ahead of preparing next year’s budgets.

Be mindful of hidden costs

  • Poor compliance monitoring

Regular auditing of telecom invoices is needed to find and fix billing errors – which are surprisingly common.

  • Inconsistent wireline pricing across multiple regions

For organizations with hundreds of locations, it is easy to lose sight of wireline spend for basic wireline services like MPLS, broadband, ethernet, etc. There are often sizeable discrepancies in regional costs, above-market-value pricing etc.

  • Aligning wireless usage with carrier options

Aligning actual voice and data usage to carrier plan options is no easy task. The only way to match consumption with the correct subscriptions is to know the usage profile of each individual user.

  • Low visibility into wireless spend and shadow IT

At enterprise scale, visibility into wireless telecom spend can be difficult to achieve. Without centralized wireless spend, it can be challenging to enforce purchasing/cost management protocols and maintain spend visibility.

  • Failing to secure best rates and discounts for services

The wireless cost management landscape changes day by day. Most companies do not have the internal resources, deep understanding of wireless carrier plans and street-pricing insight to confirm if they are paying a fair price.

Undertake Market Research

Market research helps you understand how your spend impacts performance and driven KPIs. But be wary of research made before 2020.

TEM market analyses for 2020-22 were written pre-COVID-19. They talked a lot about digital transformation, NFV/SDN-driven network and operations automation, and 5G deployments.

They could not have considered the impact COVID-19 would have. On the one hand, we have seen digital transformation take huge leaps. But on the other, enterprise deployment for 5G may take a hit.

Key trends for 2021 that could impact TEM spend projections

  • The fate of 5G in 2021

The longer the crisis lasts, the harder it will be for enterprises to commit with their 5G spending plans. The potential of a recession after the pandemic will test the resolve of decision-makers further.

  • Global recession

While the telecom market itself is likely to get through a recession, other businesses will not be so lucky. During tough economic times, service delivery becomes all the more important, so shoring up your telecoms infrastructure could become a priority.

  • Cybersecurity

Despite never losing its importance, cybersecurity had dropped out of the conversation in recent months. But with the pandemic, cybersecurity has become highly relevant again. Hackers have exploited the coronavirus pandemic to expand attacks against businesses worldwide.

Audit Your Provider

For the last five years, the TEM market has been growing in maturity. We have seen a lot of churn and a lot of unhappy customers putting up with poor service.

Enterprises who are on a 3- or 5-year commitment will be coming up to renewal in 2021, so as you prepare your budget for the coming year, take the time to review your current TEM provider.

Questions to ask your TEM provider

  1. Are they able to provide the same quality of service as your enterprise has expanded?
  2. Have they been able to keep up with recent global changes?
  3. Is billing analysis still providing value?
  4. Have you received negative reports on procurement projects?
  5. Can your TEM provider give you the service and support you need for the foreseeable future?

Remember: 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.

TEM providers whose global solution is to rely on separate vendors have processes, software, and reporting that vary in quality. This leaves customers with data and information in a variety of formats and no support for getting valuable insights.

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. Having access to local experts, native speakers, and knowledge of country-specific regulations makes your TEM service more effective.

Make Sure Your TEM Provider Is A True Partner

Uncertain times make budgeting enough of a challenge. But with the right TEM partner by your side, you can trust that the information you get is reliable and the savings that are promised end up in your books.

Discover how Cass identifies the best vendor for your telecoms needs.

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