Author Archives: Nancy Peckham
The current telecom expense management (TEM) competitive landscape is made up of TEM solution providers focused on the upper end of the market (companies with over 5,000 employees). According to “The Value of TEM to the Small to Mid-Size Business (SMB)” authored by AOTMP, “there is a common perception of greater effort and cost than financial gain” causing “small and medium size businesses to shy away from implementing a TEM program.” They further report that, “the keys to a productive and financially beneficial TEM program are establishing an inventory of telecom services, features, configurations, charges and service providers, and maintaining invoice accuracy.” This report also stated that, “technology assists in unifying a TEM program. SMB companies can simplify work flow, eliminate duplicate tasks and relate TEM information into usable views via technology.”
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The research conducted by AOTMP also reported the following top telecom priorities for SMBs:
* Reduce telecom cost (62%)
* Learn/implement best practices (57%)
* Establish greater control over wireless costs (49%)
* Centralize telecom environment control (48%)
* Secure support for increasing staff to manage telecom (24%)
* Increase budget for more technology solutions (18%)
They further report “savings for SMBs with a TEM program with a focus on the TEM program savings activities are positioned to gain 22% greater savings as opposed to those without a TEM program.”
Today there is an answer to address the TEM needs, or Telecom Expense Control of SMB companies! Clearview, Valicom’s telecom cost management software brings the power and control of large enterprise expense management to SMBs, who have historically lacked the internal resources and expense volume to realize benefits. Valicom’s Clearview offering is an easy-to-use, fully integrated, on-demand expense management system that provides real-time visibility into telecom expenses, pinpoints areas of corporate cost savings, while requiring minimal time and resources to implement. Designed to incorporate industry best practices and automated expense analysis functions, Clearview helps clients maximize company cost reduction, create greater operational efficiencies and reduce their dependence on suppliers, all while gaining the ability to reduce telecom expenses.
Check out Clearview to see a demo, and learn and how your company can benefit from this innovative TEM solution!
Over the last decade, most organizations have reclassified their internal telecom expense management as an IT function and handed the responsibility to an already overburdened IT staff that is generally not knowledgeable about telecom services. In addition, a well-managed internal telecom expense function involves a cooperative effort between the IT/Telecom staff and the Accounts Payable staff. This also requires streamlined, well-defined and automated processes. With the complexities of telecom services including tens, hundreds or thousands of monthly invoices, circuits or devices, using spreadsheets and other manual processes for managing telecom expenses has added to the challenges of in-house telecom expense management for most businesses today. This underscores the need for the automation of TEM processes whether in-sourced or outsourced. According to Gartner, “at the heart of any TEM offering is an automated telecom management software platform used by the business or by an external service provider managing a company’s telecom invoices and assets.”
There are also many market pressures that are driving the need for TEM investments for enterprises today. According to Aberdeen, these include “financial regulations (SOX compliance), implementation of new technology, globalization, carrier consolidation and security concerns (wireless e-mail/PDAs with sensitive data that is not centrally managed).” In addition, the economic climate is driving the need for cost reduction in areas that were otherwise ignored in past years.
Because of these reasons, it is difficult for corporations to get their arms around their telecom expenses. According to Aberdeen, “most firms manage less than 67% of their telecom expenses.”
Valicom’s Clearview telecom cost management software, is designed to address today’s market pressures and client’s needs for TEM automation. The system workflow is built to incorporate best practices and tools for greater operational efficiencies, telecom expense control and strategic cost reduction. Request a free Clearview Demo!!
I have been reading the AOTMP telecom expense management (TEM) discussions on LinkedIn and I find it astounding that, after interviewing hundreds of enterprises, AOTMP found that corporations with over $1B in annual revenue experienced an average implementation time for wireless mobility management (WMM)/TEM technology of 10.5 months and companies with less than $50M in annual revenues experienced an average conversion time of 8 months. I’m assuming that enterprises between $50M and $1B in revenues experienced an average implementation time somewhere between the 8 and 10.5 month range.
From this data, I wonder what the level of support or assistance from the TEM/WMM suppliers has been in the implementation phase for the transition to take this long! Granted, many client environment’s are complex and the process of gathering invoices, cost allocation codes, customer service records (CSRs), contracts etc. can be a daunting task; however, with the support and project management of an experienced TEM/WMM supplier team, the transition should take no more than 3 – 4 months even for companies with over $1B in revenues.
Valicom has been implementing TEM/WMM solutions for the past 20 years and the average time it has taken for our most complex business process outsourcing solution for companies with over $1B in revenues is 3 months. With our Clearview SaaS telecom expense management solution, implementation can occur in as little as one month depending on client size and the volume of invoices, circuits and wireless devices they may have. Time is money and the focus is to properly manage the function and reduce business costs. With many clients, one of the main benefits of a telecom expense management solution is company cost savings through reduced telecom expenses. Operational efficiencies can also be achieved by utilizing best practices and automated telecom cost management software, once fully implemented. With conversion times as high as 10.5 months, I can only imagine that the return on investment (ROI) is quite long when using other TEM/WMM suppliers based on the AOTMP research statistics.
Over the past 20 years, Valicom has achieved an average telecom cost savings track record of 30.4% savings on our client’s telecom expenses and in most cases a return on investment is realized in the first year of the engagement. With our Clearview telecom cost management software at a lower price point than business process outsourced services, and an almost immediate time to savings, the return on investment is generally much quicker. If you would like to experience the quick implementation first-hand, request a demo today. I guarantee you will be impressed!
This is a follow-up to my previous blog entitled “Helpful Features Provided By Consultant-Specific TEM Systems” and the sixth in a series of blogs that discusses the needs for TEM software in the consultant marketplace and the benefits of utilizing telecom expense management tools for telecom and IT consultants.
The next series of blogs will explore the benefits for consultants of utilizing TEM software in detail. The main advantages are to save time and money on consulting processes, grow the consultant’s business through expanded service offerings and to provide value-added benefits to clients.
Consultants can save time and money through the use of telecom expense management software in several ways. First of all, the traditional method of entering invoice and inventory data into spreadsheets is very time consuming. Most hosted TEM systems provide a methodology and process for one-time and on-going entry of data for consultants alleviating the need to enter information repeatedly into several spreadsheets. In addition, consultants can off-load the entire data entry process to a TEM supplier both for the initial implementation and on a monthly basis. Many TEM companies provide back office services including the loading of electronic formats and document imaging for paper bills. These systems provide access to the scanned image of the consultant’s clients’ monthly bills or customer service records (CSRs) without the need to manage paper records.
Most telecom expense management software provides some level of automated auditing and optimization tools to help the consultant to save time and to maximize their audit savings results and client recommendations. These tools can include wireless optimization, exceptions reporting, trending and variance reporting, flagging of cursory audit issues and contract compliance optimization just to name a few.
Stay tuned for my next blog to learn more about how telecom and IT consultants can save time and money by utilizing TEM software or read more by downloading the white paper entitled “Telecom Expense Management Tools for Telecom and IT Consultants”.
This is a follow-up to my previous blog entitled “Helpfulness of Telecom Auditing and TEM Software Tool For Consultants” and the fifth in a series of blogs that outline the results of Valicom’s telecom consultant survey sent out to telecom consultants in August, 2010. The blog series also discusses the benefits of utilizing telecom expense management tools for telecom and IT consultants.
The last survey question was “Which features would you find helpful in a consultant-specific tool?” The following graph demonstrates the overwhelmingly positive response received to the features listed.
Some interesting results were shown from this question. About 90% reported that they would find a web-hosted solution helpful. With the advent of software-as-a-service providing ease-of-use and flexibility at a low subscription-based price point, more consultants are moving toward utilizing webhosted solutions.
90% also responded that data loading and graphs and charts would be helpful. About 85% reported that one-time audit capabilities, customizable reports, asset/inventory management and remote access for other users would be beneficial. Remote access for clients and audit tools drew
approximately an 80% approval rating. Close to 70% said that they’d like logo branding (white labeling) and document imaging features. Bill processing and payment was favorable to approximately 40% of the respondents.
Clearview For Consultants (C4C), Valicom’s answer to this overwhelming need is a SaaS based platform that provides all of the features listed above and is designed specifically for consultants. Stay tuned for my next blog that will explore the benefits for consultants of utilizing TEM software in detail. You can also read more by downloading the white paper entitled, “Telecom Expense Management Tools For Telecom and IT Consultants“.
This is a follow-up to my previous blog entitled “Tracking Systems Used By Telecom Consultants Today” and the fourth in a series of blogs that outline the results of Valicom’s telecom consultant survey that was sent out to a nationwide group of independent telecom consultants in August, 2010 on this subject.
Approximately 80% of the respondents said that a telecom consultant-specific tool would be very helpful or somewhat helpful to them in their practices. Only 7% reported that it would not be very helpful and no one responded that it would not be helpful at all.
Once again, the results of this question demonstrates a large need within the telecommunications consultant community for a telecom expense management tool designed for consultants. To answer this need in the marketplace, Valicom developed Clearview For Consultants (C4C). C4C is a SaaS based platform designed specifically for telecom consultants. Clearview is not only designed for automated telecom auditing and service optimization but also for full lifecycle TEM services such as accurate, comprehensive inventory management, more granular cost allocation and bill payment and standard and customizable reporting and dashboards. This unified platform enables consultants to manage both wireline (local, long distance, data network) and wireless (cellular, PDA, blackberry, smartphone, pagers) services for their clients. Valicom is disrupting the TEM industry with Clearview’s clean, easy-to-use and flexible user interface and low subscription based pricing model.
Stay tuned for my next blog that will provide you with how the telecommunications consultant respondents answered the question “Which features would you find helpful in a consultant-specific tool?”
This is a follow-up to my previous blog entitled “Telecom Expense Management Portfolio Expansion For Consultants” and the third in a series of blogs that outline the results of Valicom’s telecom consultant survey that was sent out to a nationwide group of independent telecom consultants in August, 2010 on this subject.
The third survey question was “What Kind of System Do You Use To Track Information Now?” Here is the response we received to this question:
Approximately 80% of the respondents said that they were using Excel or other spreadsheets and only 7% said they were using an outside TEM software platform to automate their auditing and telecom expense management processes.
Valicom’s TEM software, Clearview, is a SaaS based platform designed specifically for telecom consultants. Clearview is not only designed for automated telecom auditing and service optimization but also for full lifecycle TEM services such as accurate, comprehensive inventory management, more granular cost allocation and bill payment and standard and customizable reporting and dashboards. This unified platform enables consultants to manage both wireline (local, long distance, data network) and wireless (cellular, PDA, blackberry, smartphone, pagers) services for their clients. Valicom is disrupting the TEM industry with Clearview’s clean, easy-to-use and flexible user interface and low subscription based pricing model.
Stay tuned for my next blog that will provide you with how the telecommunications consultant respondents answered the question “How helpful would you find a software tool designed specifically for telecom consultants for auditing and TEM?”
This is a follow-up to my previous blog entitled “Telecom Auditing and TEM Software Tools” and the second in a series of blogs that outline the results of Valicom’s telecom consultant survey that was sent out to a nationwide group of independent telecom consultants in August, 2010 on this subject.
The second survey question was “How interested are you in expanding your portfolio to include more Telecom Expense Management (TEM) services?” Here is the response we received to this question:
Close to 50% of the respondents said that they were “very interested” and 25% said they were “somewhat interested” in providing more telecom expense management services for their clients. This indicates that the greater majority of telecom consultants would like to provide telecom expense management services such as telecom asset management, bill payment, on-going invoice audits and comprehensive client reporting if they had the technology to do so.
Clearview, Valicom’s proprietary SaaS tool, provides the platform that can address this need for telecom consultants. With functionality to provide on-going services such as accurate, comprehensive inventory management, more granular cost allocation and bill payment, automated auditing and optimization tools and standard and customizable reporting and dashboards, Clearview offers the capabilities for telecom consultants to provide these services for their clients. Valicom is disrupting the TEM industry with Clearview’s clean, easy-to-use and flexible user interface.
Stay tuned for my next blog that will provide you with how the telecommunications consultant respondents answered the question “What kind of system do you use to track information now?”
In August of this year, Valicom sent out a survey to a nationwide group of independent telecom consultants regarding their needs for a consultant-specific telecom auditing and telecom expense mangement tool. We received a 20% response rate and an overwhelmingly positive response regarding the overall need for a telecom-specific TEM tool. We also had the opportunity to speak at the Society of Telecom Consultants conference in Dallas in late September where I presented the results of this survey.
This is the first in a series of blogs that I plan to post that outline the “Telecom Auditing and TEM tool” survey responses along with how telecom consultants can save time and money, grow their businesses through expanded service offerings and provide further benefit for their clients through the use of TEM software.
The first survey question asked what the mix of consulting engagements were. The graph below shows the break out of engagements.
As you can see, on average, about 55% of projects were one-time audits or on-going telecom expense management engagements, those that can be automated through the use of a telecom expense management software tool.
Clearview, Valicom’s telecom expense management SaaS platform, is designed to provide tools for telecom consultants to save time and money on their one-time audit and on-going TEM processes. This subscription-based system is disrupting the telecom expense mangement industry with it’s low price point and ease-of-use.
Stay tuned for my next blog that will provide you with the responses to the question “How interested are you in expanding your portfolio to include more telecom expense management services?”
In my last blog, entitled “The Benefits of On-Demand Telecom Expense Management Software,” you were left with the thought that, not only are there benefits, but also potential disadvantages of on-demand telecom expense management software. This blog will outline those drawbacks and how you can mitigate them.
Lack of security, disaster recovery and data ownership issues can be detrimental for businesses acquiring Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions of any kind. When selecting a SaaS telecom expense management provider, companies should insist on strong security protocols, disaster recovery infrastructure and ensure that the SaaS agreement includes a provision that states that the data remains the property of their organization. The data center that houses the hosted solution should be state-of-the-art, fully secure and SAS70 compliant. This will protect the confidentiality and integrity of your data and make sure that it is always accessible when you need it.
Finally! There is a cost-effective solution to address the unanswered need in the mid-market for TEM solutions. SaaS technology providers allow for the processes, tools and training to gain greater control over business telecom expenses, and at a fraction of the cost of traditional telecom expense management solutions. During the due diligence process, mid-market companies need to make sure that the SaaS application is secure, fully protected and that the end user maintains ownership of the data. If all checks out, the answer is quite obvious to the question: “To SaaS or Not To SaaS?!”
This is the last of my blog series on the topic of TEM SaaS Solutions. To read more about this topic, register for Valicom’s whitepaper entitled “Can TEM SaaS Solutions Lower Your Telecom Expenses For Mid-Market Companies?” OR register to watch the streaming telecom expense management webinar sponsored by Valicom about this topic.