What to Look for When Choosing a TEM Partner

You’ve now realized that you don’t want to waste any more time or money on managing your telecom expenses. Outsourcing telecom expense management is in your best interest, and it’s time to choose a telecom partner. Choosing a telecom partner can be a task in itself, but it doesn’t need to be. You just need to know what to look for. Based on over 25 years of business, we picked out seven characteristics that you should consider when choosing a TEM partner.

Benchmarking

When you’re trying to price telecom services, accessing benchmark pricing data will set you aside from your competition. This data will paint you with a clear picture of where your services could be from a pricing standpoint, and also helps you make savings estimates by service type.

RFP stands for Request For Proposal. When you have the right information to apply, the RFP can be a hugely rewarding project both in the short and long term. Access and information from price benchmarking will allow you to decide where to apply the most effort during the RFP and telecom contract negotiations to maximize strategic cost reductions.

Independence

Some TEM companies can be sneaky and are working closely with specific telecom vendors. This means when you sign up with them they will pursue you to sign up with one or two providers only. When this is the case, your TEM partner is not looking to your best interest. You want a TEM partner who is independent and will work with the telecom vendor that is best for your telecom environment.

Mobile Environment Expertise

Almost all companies have employees who carry mobile devices. Some more than others but no matter how complicated your telecom environment is, it’s important to have a TEM partner who has the proper mobility expertise. Having a TEM provider with the proper mobility expertise can reveal lost saving opportunities, help you decide what mobility policy to implement, and manage data usage.

Services

There are many services that TEM partners offer. Some of these services include contract compliance, RFP management, reporting, cost allocation, and inventory management. Some companies may need reporting, cost allocation, and bill pay. While another company may need RFP negotiation, network optimization, and test calling. Having a team that will work with you to find a solution that caters to your specific needs will be your most cost effective option.

Cost Allocation

Cost allocation is one of the services we mentioned above. This is a service that is very important for the organizational process of telecom expense management. Splitting telecom and technology costs so they can be assigned to the responsible party, department, location, and employee. Cost allocation is one of the most important steps towards transparency in a telecom environment.

Inventory Management

At the core, telecom expense management is maintaining a detailed, up-to-date telecom or wireless inventory. Telecom inventory management usually includes:

  • Organizing and updating telecom and wireless inventory data
  • Listing all devices, plans, circuits and lines you have
  • Tracking all telecom orders and changes
  • Interpreting and entering CSR data
  • Properly associating telecom inventory with locations, users, GL Codes, etc.

If a telecom expense management provider does not discuss inventory management with you then it may be time to swipe left and move on to the next option.

Bill Payment

Lastly, a service that not all TEM providers offer but takes a load off any company’s shoulders is bill pay. Telecom bill pay is a time-consuming process, that when handled wrong – can end up costing your organization even more. If you misapply a payment or miss a deadline – you’ll be slammed with late fees. Avoid these costs (both time and resources) with automatic bill pay, a telecom expense management service.

Now that you know what to look for, you can take a step toward finding the TEM Company that will turn your complicated telecom environment into one that is organized and easy to manage. Knowledge is power. This goes for both the TEM team and the client (you!). If everyone is on the same page and is doing what is in your best interest than you’re on a good path.


About the Author: Brittany Peckham