How RPA and AI are Revolutionizing Telecom Expense Management

4 April 2024 | Posted by Cass Information Systems, Inc.

In recent years, we’ve seen a noticeable uptick in the number of telecom expense management providers using robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence (AI). But why? What does it do that a person can’t and how does it benefit your clients?

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness are the cornerstones of telecom expense management. RPA and AI enables providers to process greater volumes of data faster and with fewer errors, unlocking new opportunities to help you cut costs and get more value from your telecom services. Let's explore this in more detail.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and How Does it Work?

RPA is software used to automate business and IT tasks via scripts that emulate human interactions with an application's user interface. Organizations typically use RPA to streamline data collection, entry, and validation, which frees staff to focus on higher-value strategic tasks.

The scripts are often developed from the RPA's no-code or low-code graphical user interface and deployed into different runtimes. The runtime executable of the deployed script is referred to as a robot, or bot.

Typical applications of RPA include:

  • Invoice processing
  • Expense auditing
  • Report generation
  • Data reconciliation
  • Compliance monitoring

74% of organizations use RPA to streamline their processes.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and How Does it Work?

AI is a branch of computer science that includes machine learning, deep learning, and data analytics to create sophisticated computer algorithms capable of performing various tasks. A popular example that's changing how we work and live is generative AI, such as ChatGPT. 

As AI can learn and reason, it's ideal for:

  • Problem-solving
  • Streamlining processes
  • Extracting insights from complex datasets
  • Identifying patterns and trends
  • Predicting changes

Of course, AI comes with its dangers. Questions remain about its ethics, bias, accuracy, societal impact, and relationship with humans. That is why organizations should take a calculated approach to its use. 

25% of US companies use AI, with the financial services sector among the biggest adopters.

 Discover the 7 key attributes and services you should look for when choosing a  telecom expense management vendor. Read the guide.

3 Benefits of RPA and AI for Telecom Expense Management

1. Increased Efficiency

RPA and AI enables telecom expense management providers to process large data sets quickly, boosting the speed and efficiency of their teams. This makes them ideal for critical, time-sensitive tasks required for invoice processing.

Traditionally, providers processed customer invoices manually. Some used optical character recognition (OCR) to automate data collection and ease the pressure on their in-house teams, but there were drawbacks.

AI technology captures and stores data automatically, allowing providers to process invoices faster and spend more time supporting your business. For example, by delivering strategic recommendations.

Faster invoice processing has many benefits. Small carriers often have short payment terms – for example, 10-15 days. By enabling providers to process invoices more efficiently, RPA and AI ensure you pay on time and avoid late fees.

At Cass, RPA and AI helps us process over 50 million invoices every year. This lets us focus on strengthening relationships with our clients.

2. Improved Accuracy

When someone has to review and record data manually, there’s always a chance errors might creep in. We’re all human; even the most diligent of us can make the occasional typo.

As a rule-based solution, AI helps to minimize errors. Give it a task, like collecting and storing key information from a customer invoice in a central database, and it will perform the task consistently. It doesn’t have to apply judgment or critical thinking, which means it can deliver a level of consistency and accuracy people can’t match. This makes it perfect for similar tasks, like data validation and cleansing.

In addition, telecom expense management providers employ AI to catch bigger issues – such as billing inaccuracies, overcharges, and unused assets – to further optimize your costs.

3. Deeper Insights

Increasingly sophisticated AI algorithms allow telecom expense management providers to look beyond broad information like account numbers, payment amounts, and tax rates to extract more granular data. For example, internet connection speed and bandwidth.

Telecom expense management providers can run this data through analytics platforms, like Power BI or Copilot, to cluster assets, create comprehensive reports, and deliver detailed strategic recommendations. These insights help you make more informed, data-driven decisions to:

  • Optimize costs
  • Manage resources
  • Spot patterns and trends
  • React to opportunities faster

Getting the Most Out of Technology

As RPA and AI technology mature, telecom expense management providers will find new applications and opportunities to harness their potential. Innovations like generative AI could pave the way for even greater efficiency.

However, technology is only as good as the people behind it. That's why it's important to pair the right telecom expense management provider with the right technology to get maximum value for your business.

Topics: TEM

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