Not every telecom expense management (TEM) provider is the same. All too often, enterprises are frustrated by the service quality of their vendor or miss out on significant savings that the vendor overlooks. Let’s explore what truly good telecom expense management looks like.
Is Your Telecom Expense Management Vendor Good Enough?
Good telecom expense management is a complex process. It requires attention to detail and expertise to remain effective in the long term. Many TEM vendors claim to offer this. But time and time again, enterprises continue to be let down.
Why can this happen?
- Poor service quality and accountability: Service quality is a key consideration for enterprises looking to control their telecom expenses. For example, many TEM vendors claim to offer global capabilities and operational quality, but not all have in-region experts with vital local knowledge.
- Relying on software alone, not service: Some TEM vendors use software alone to manage expenses in your organization. However, there are limitations to this. Software might miss inefficiencies that experts wouldn't. Plus, data alone only gets you so far. Knowing how to extract insights and support strategic decision-making requires an experienced human touch.
What Does 'Good' Telecom Expense Management Look Like?
1. Reporting Capabilities
Good telecom expense management means having reliable, up-to-the-minute data you can trust.
Effective telecom expense reporting consolidates your telecom billing information into a cloud-based portal, and compiles the data into relevant, data-rich reports. You and your telecom expense management partner share a single in-depth view for total transparency.
There's a range of telecom expense reporting available. Look out for API reporting capabilities. API reporting, or data warehousing, captures detailed analytics data sets, making them highly available to end users.
You can integrate these on-demand data sets with your analytics tools and integrate your portal-based reporting. This lets you see everything you need through a single, cloud-based platform.
2. Proactive Telecom Expense Audits
A telecom expense audit is a systematic review to manage, consolidate, and optimize your telecom environment. This identifies inefficiencies and billing errors, enabling your telecom expense management partner to minimize costs.
With a good telecom expense management partner, this won't be just a one-time action, and you won't have to ask for it.
Many vendors will offer a one-time telecom expense audit, or only conduct audits on an ad hoc basis or by client request. However, to truly get the most out of an audit, it must be conducted continuously. This is not only to catch new errors but also to ensure proper governance of your invoice processing.
Over time, regular auditing increases the accuracy of your telecom environment and provides greater visibility, especially as changes occur. It helps you consistently minimize non-essential expenses, remove wasted resources, and even identify compliance risks.
3. Inventory Accuracy
Telecom inventory management is the cornerstone of successful telecom expense management. A good telecom expense management partner will handle this with unrivaled accuracy.
You and your partner should have visibility of your inventory through a cloud-based portal, giving you greater insight into your telecom estate.
4. Dispute Management
Vendor relationships are sometimes overlooked in the data-driven world of telecom expense management, but they have a key role to play.
When you need to dispute bills, raise anomalies, or revise invoices, knowing how telcos do business will help you improve your processes. But doing so requires knowledge of dispute procedures and dispute channels. Especially to accelerate the process and maximize the value of your dispute claims.
A good telecom expense management partner will have established vendor relationships, and experience dealing with disputes within their channels, to make the dispute process straightforward for your enterprise.
5. An Expert Team
Never underestimate the value of a trusted and experienced team.
A great telecom expense management partner will have years of experience working with clients to handle telecom expense management challenges, just like yours. They'll have defined customer service metrics to back this up.
Ask to see evidence of their capabilities and results from their existing clients. Ensure they can continuously measure results at every telecom expense management lifecycle stage.
Remember, the best telecom expense management partners are fearless in holding themselves accountable.
Good Telecom Expense Management Is About Partnership
When selecting a telecom expense management vendor, look for a partner, not just a service provider. Choose a company that works hand-in-hand with your organization to achieve your goals.