Maximize TEM Program Benefits
Managers seeking ways to maximize the benefits of new (and established) Telecom Expense Management (TEM) programs should consider these two strategies:
- Maximize the amount of spend being managed with the program.
- Take action using TEM analytics for smarter decisions.
#1 Maximize the amount of spend that is managed with the program
Many organizations start with a limited deployment for their TEM program. Sometimes, a TEM deployment will be limited to certain regions of the country. In other cases, the implementation may only cover voice services, but no data. Some organizations start with mobile and never address wireline services.
A phased approach may make sense for large networks, but many organizations never finish the deployment so they miss many benefits TEM programs can provide. These benefits include opportunities to streamline service order activity, invoice management, charge-backs and bill payment.
It is also important to remember that TEM has many different components. Like a crossword puzzle, things are interrelated. More parts provide clues that make it easier to complete the puzzle.
Contracts usually contain provisions for volume sensitive discounts on entire telecom spend, not for individual regions. Keeping parts of the communications network out of the program will make it difficult for the TEM provider to validate whether discounts are being applied properly. All regions and sites should be included. Many circuits and lines have local and long distance components. It is hard to optimize services and identify if a local loop is missing from a long haul circuit. In other cases, having a complete view of fixed and wireless services that employees use is critical. Traffic studies are incomplete and it may appear that a location needs more services if the wireless components are not included.
Finally, more spend enables the organization to leverage the full scope of its buying power. This can drive larger volume discounts. It can also provide better leverage when seeking refunds from service providers.
#2 Use TEM analytics to take action
Over the past few years, advancements in analytics have empowered end users. Managers that sought to use advanced analysis needed to expensive software and scarce, highly knowledgeable IT resources to develop the analytics.
Today, TEM programs aggregate critical data and roll it up into useful reports which can be used to provide analytics that identify unused services which can be disconnected for cost savings. In many cases, obsolete communications services have been replaced by new technology that remains on bills. These legacy services drive expenses higher. Analytics can also be used to proactively prepare for contract negotiations by identifying new services to include in RFPs and items that should be discontinued from contracts.
In conclusion, maximizing the spend that is managed with the program and using analytics to take action can help organizations get their TEM program to the next level. Sometimes expanding the scope of a program involves taming mavericks that are used to doing things on their own. Driving more spend into a program will produce bigger savings. Enterprises can rely on Comview to automate many labor-intensive activities. Managers should use the time that is freed from manual processes gathering data to act on the analytics that the program provides.