Top TEM Trends to Look Out for in 2021

4 February 2021 | Posted by Russell Hodge

The telecoms industry has seen significant changes throughout 2020, as businesses and consumers alike have relied on connectivity more than ever.

From widespread adoption of SD-WAN and BYON initiatives to 5G developments unlocking the true potential of IoT, here are some of the top TEM trends to look out for in 2021 and beyond. 

Bring Your Own Network (BYON)

Remote working has quickly become the norm for businesses in 2020. This has increased the popularity of Bring Your Own Network (BYON) for the coming year.

What is BYON?

BYON enables an enterprise's work-from-home employees to sign up for broadband subsidies to be paid directly to their home internet service provider, automatically. Building on the widespread success of our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) solution, BYON simplifies supporting these workforce needs and provides a seamless administration of the costs.

This enhances end-user experience by improving ease of access, letting employees remain productive and work flexibly.

Some of the benefits of BYON include: 

  • Greater freedom for employees
  • Fewer overheads and costs for enterprises
  • Reduced strain on IT teams

With adoption set to increase substantially in 2021, businesses should consider embracing the trend to maximize the potential of their remote workforce.

A TEM provider can help you integrate BYON into your enterprise. They offer BYON expense management services to support your business transformation and help you manage costs. This will provide greater visibility into BYON expenses and how they fit into your broader telecoms infrastructure. 

Additionally, a TEM provider can offer services like managing expenses associated with employee home internet, automated employee reimbursement, and more. This helps eliminate the time and expense associated with submitting expense reports for broadband reimbursement, and simplifies tasks for IT and finance departments. 

New up-to-date insight into the opportunities and challenges facing the TEM  space is now available. Download Gartner, Market Guide for Telecom Expense  Management Services, 2020.

Globally Capable TEM Services

With the growing complexity of networks, the increasing demand for remote working, and the mounting disbursement of resources, enterprises are looking for global TEM partners to overcome new network management challenges. 

Many TEM vendors rely on national teams, which often struggle to deliver quality service. Without in-region resources, internal teams can encounter problems like language barriers and lack of a centralized view of assets. So, when it comes to negotiating or disputing telecom contracts on a global scale, there are inevitable inefficiencies that arise.

In 2021 and beyond, we expect to see more enterprises looking for a TEM provider with the global reach necessary to achieve the best service, regardless of their physical location. 

Enterprises are readily embracing fully managed and outsourced TEM services. Customer satisfaction and service is critical to TEM vendor success, and underpins the technology and software behind it. 

Organizations should look for a TEM provider with years of experience and their own local resources. To achieve consistent high-quality service, enterprises require a fully-managed global network to help overcome challenges like cloud expense and GDPR compliance. This requires a team of accredited experts with the resources, knowledge, and vendor relationships to ensure that nothing gets missed.

The best TEM providers will expand their offerings to approach these growing trends with confidence, and aligned with customer growth goals. 

Widespread Adoption of SD-WAN 

Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) is uniquely positioned to continue transforming network management for enterprises in 2021.

The capacity of WANs has been stretched due to the rise in remote working. This has impacted user experience, affecting the quality, speed and reliability of enterprise connectivity between networks and data centers. 

SD-WAN addresses these challenges by reducing the complexity of configuring devices, routing, and network addresses. It boasts better flexibility compared to hardware-based MPLS, offering benefits like improving resilience, encryption, path control, and more. 

The SD-WAN market is expected to grow from $1.9 billion in 2020 to $8.4 billion by 2025, as businesses continue to adopt SD-WAN solutions to manage their complex network infrastructure at a lower cost. 

The Evolution of SD-WAN

In 2021, we'll also see the development of Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), a network technology that builds upon the framework of SD-WAN, improving its security, management, and performance features.

It achieves this by consolidating security services, eliminating the inherent complexity created by multiple edge appliances and cloud-based solutions. This results in a more streamlined operational approach for enterprise managers.

Additionally, SASE gives IT teams access to a centralized overview of all network activities, like monitoring and classification of traffic on all ports, which simplifies operations and reduces the time it takes to maintain network architecture. 

Implementing SD-WAN

Once an emerging technology, the SD-WAN market is now maturing. There are a growing number of vendors entering the market, all offering different levels of service. 

An experienced telecom expense management (TEM) provider can undertake a full-service audit to quantify the potential cost-savings of SD-WAN and help you build a compelling business case for their implementation.

In addition, the right TEM provider can accurately assess the various SD-WAN providers and help with benchmarking and procurement, to ensure that you get the best deal available. 

5G Supporting IoT Transformations

Over the past few years, we've seen the almost limitless potential of Internet of Things (IoT) and the substantial growth of associated devices, services, and platforms. In 2021, the demand for IoT applications and solutions will continue to increase and 5G will enable IoT to be deployed on a huge scale. 

Research shows that 35 billion smart devices will be online by the end of 2021, and that number will rise to 75 billion by 2025. For enterprise management, IoT solutions are driving connectivity between these devices, creating an entire network of technologies that are improving how we work, collaborate, and engage with each other. 

In the telecoms industry, IoT solutions help with asset management, remote systems monitoring, analytics, cloud monitoring, and more.  

The Importance of 5G

5G coverage is expected to reach as high as 75% in the US by 2021. But aside from reaching commercial viability, 5G will enable greater control and access to applications using real-time network performance monitoring.

5G will reportedly be 10 times faster than current LTE networks, allowing IoT devices to communicate and share data faster than ever. Additionally, 5G allows for greater connection density without impacting speed, stability, or latency. So more devices will be able to benefit from near-instant connectivity.

To get an in-depth view of an ever-growing mobile environment, enterprises should embrace unified endpoint management (UEM) solutions as part of their existing TEM services. 

UEM solutions improve the end-user experience, giving organizations greater control over their devices – while providing additional security and support to supplement existing BYOD programs. This is achieved by offering enterprises a single, centralized platform to manage an entire ecosystem of mobile devices – for complete visibility over their network. 

With IoT and 5G developments facilitating connectivity on a greater scale than ever before, having centralized control of devices and ensuring their security is more essential than ever.

Keep Up with Current TEM Trends

The telecoms market is always evolving, but with the right TEM provider, you can optimize your expense management processes to meet the demands of modern telecom environments.

For the latest insights into the global TEM landscape, download the Gartner Market Guide for Telecom Expense Management Services today.New call-to-action

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