Many telecom expense management (TEM) providers rely solely on automation software like machine learning and AI to drive results. While these technologies can be a great way to automate manual processes, they often fall short when handling the more complex side of TEM.
Is AI Too Good to Be True?
Automation technologies are effective tools for handling repeatable practices like processing invoices, auditing expenses, and updating inventories. But they're often less effective at supporting more complex tasks like contract negotiations, account management, and understanding the nuances in carrier billing.
And although AI is much more swift and adept than humans at number crunching, it lacks the finesse and intuition to read between the lines. To get the most out of TEM, you need a provider that can back up data insights with advice, guidance, and industry expertise.
Here are some of the challenges of relying solely on AI and automation to deliver results.
TEM is About More than Just Automation
There's no shortage of TEM providers offering cutting-edge software but relying on software alone leaves crucial gaps in service when it comes to more difficult tasks. In these instances, having the support of an experienced team is essential.
The best TEM providers can handle:
- Contract negotiations
- Sourcing & logistics management
- Invoice audits & disputes
- Global operations & support
When TEM vendors provide their expertise and support alongside AI and automation, you’re much more likely to achieve more valuable results.
AI Needs Human Input to Be Successful
AI and automation are great tools for sorting through vast amounts of data. But they still need human input to cross-reference any findings and provide real-life context.
For example, errors in carrier billing can account for millions of dollars in lost revenue. An AI may struggle to confirm or fix the error through simple variance analysis. So, to locate the cause of any erroneous billing, you'll need human reasoning to determine a solution.
Errors Can Still Happen
As sophisticated as AI technologies have become, they're still not immune from errors and inaccuracies.
A miswritten line of code, a poorly programmed script, or a glitch in the system can quickly send an AI into disarray. And even the best AIs still need a human team working behind the scenes to avoid miscalculations and make sure everything goes smoothly.
TEM Software Should Support Service
While AI and automation are great time-savings tools for TEM, they should always be used to support, not replace, quality managed service.
By partnering with an experienced team, you can get more value from your software and will be better equipped to make more informed decisions.