Large enterprises need the ability to accurately track, manage and report on all software and IT assets – including fixed and mobile telecom assets. A recent Cass study revealed that 40% of IT managers believe telecom asset management is an area that needs improvement.
Like software asset management (SAM) which involves tracking non-physical assets such as service agreements for user seat licenses, telecom asset management also involves tracking service agreements – lines of service – in addition to hard, physical assets. Maintaining an accurate inventory is necessary to manage your infrastructure and control costs. If an asset, such as a POTS line or mobile device plan is no longer deployed, but the carrier still records the item as active, your company is being invoiced and continuing to pay the associated fees for something you aren’t using.
The best place to start is with any authoritative sources of data you already have on hand such as a location list, network plans, contracts and customer service records (CSRs). If you’re working with a telecom expense management (TEM) or mobile expense service provider, your organization is likely using the provider’s system to manage inventory. Some organizations use IT service management (ITSM) software tools to track telecom inventory items, including services. If you are using ITSM software, make sure it is flexible enough to manage all of the critical detail associated with telecom assets.
A good telecom or mobile expense management platform captures detail down to the feature level and automatically assigns it to an appropriate business unit and geographic location and/or employee to facilitate chargebacks. Custom fields allow inventory data to be enhanced. In addition to custom fields, the platform should also store documents, instructions, pictures or notes associated with equipment and services.
Most enterprises don’t have the tools or time to maintain a well-documented telecom inventory. Cass provides this service as part of its lifecycle management offering. When Cass implements a new TEM client, we take accountability to verify and/or build a working telecom asset inventory. We start right away capturing your data and comparing it to carrier billing records. Most of the time, this method allows us to account for 80% to 100% of a client’s inventory within the initial weeks of the engagement. During our deployment phase we work out a communication process to track changes. Whether Cass does the ordering and provisioning for the client or not, Cass tracks all MACD activity in order to update the telecom inventory using the Cass ExpenseSmart® platform.
Given the constant change in both your fixed and mobility environments, maintaining database integrity can be challenging. If you don't have centralized telecom provisioning and device provisioning processes, you likely have to consult multiple systems and sources to understand your inventory, you don’t have the authoritative records you need to conduct an effective, systematic audit of your invoices. So without visibility coming from data you can trust, you have little or no control over spend.
Cass provides ad-hoc reporting capabilities to allow queries of inventory items. Drill-down parameters include vendor, master account, circuit use, location, circuit type, approved or unapproved status, and connected or disconnected status. Business-specific filtering allows the selection of assets associated with specific levels of your company structure. Inventory data can be exported for use with other systems.
Cass focuses on operational excellence to get results. We emphasize telecom inventory management because we understand that – without an accurate inventory – we can’t pinpoint invoice errors and recover savings from over-charges. No matter what the current state of your telecom inventory, Cass will take accountability to improve your inventory data – and get results in the short term. And, once we have an accurate, working inventory, we will make sure your process doesn’t slip.