Not long ago, Telecom and Technology Expense Management (TEM) were concepts in the exclusive domain of large enterprises. As automation creeps further into every level of every business, it seems only natural that the platforms become more accessible to businesses of all sizes.
If you aren’t familiar with the concept, TEM represents a holistic approach to tracking and managing runaway technology expenses that plague many businesses.
There would be no point investing in a major overhaul of expense management if it didn’t come with significant net benefits. To put the savings of TEM into perspective consider the Gartner Market Guide for TEM. The comprehensive TEM research revealed some big numbers. First, they found that total IT spending is almost to $4 trillion. Of that, roughly 40 percent (over $1.5 trillion) is dedicated solely to telecommunications. That means that improving telecom alone can optimize a multi-trillion dollar industry. Adding the rest of technology expense management only adds to the pot.
More to the point of your individual business, Gartner found that TEM savings are massive. Even in small businesses, TEM invariable saved money. Across all industries and business sizes, TEM investments saved 5 to 40 percent on costs and investments are usually no higher than four percent which is a pretty large return on investment. That’s not technology costs. Those numbers are across all business costs.
This should clarify just how much technology investment has inundated all facets of all businesses. You can’t hide from these expenses; the only option is to manage them as efficiently as possible.
Self-Management vs Outsourcing
Small businesses thrive on handling expense management and other challenges themselves. At an enterprise level, this same philosophy translates to in-house management. Both are reasonable philosophies to apply to TEM, but they should not be considered lightly. Implementing TEM is analogous to big data or IoT investments. It involves integrating a new platform into every level of your operation.
In order for TEM solutions work, they have to track large amounts of data in often minute interactions. This requires a deep understanding of the technology your business is using, the telecom interactions tied to technology and even external vendors, services and pricing trends.
It’s also important to understand that time spent learning and mastering a TEM software is time spent not using it. That can lead to avoidable losses. All of that said, no two businesses are identical, and you can decide if you’re poised for self-management or not. The obvious advantage to self-management is the additional savings cost from not paying an outsider to run everything -- provided your self-management can match the efficiency of dedicated TEM professionals.
Regardless of how deeply you root yourself in the TEM overhaul, you’ll end up working closely with a vendor. They’ll typically help you map an implementation strategy and plan for employee training. TEM works better when it more deeply inundates your entire business, and that means training employees to make use of the system. When planning for implementation, you’ll be looking over inventory data, invoice data, personnel data and anything else that can possibly inform the TEM software.
From there, an overarching strategy can be designed. This means supplying a vendor with intimate details of your business and organization. Many balk at this, and it’s important to remember when you shop for a vendor because it is impossible to design a TEM strategy without massive data collection. With it, however, you can expect to have impressive help in crafting a means to track your technology expenses in impressive detail, and the savings will begin to accumulate.
This is only an introduction to the concept of TEM. If you want to look more closely at how it works and what it would take to get started, you’re going to want to have a discussion with an expert.
Work with your IT resources to start investigating vendors and see what is available and contact a Valicom representative for more information.
About the Author: Chantel Soumis
Chantel Soumis brings over a decade of knowledge in workflow enhancement through the use of technology. Chantel studied marketing communications and business administration at Franklin University and proceeded to work in a fast, ambitious environment, assuring client delight in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Passionate about project productivity and streamlining workflows through the use of technology, Chantel strives to inform organizations of Valicom’s advanced telecom expense management software and services by mastering communications and messaging while delivering helpful information and supporting resources.