Category: Telecom Consultants
Join Valicom November 13 for a webinar titled “Telecommunications Expense Management – Five Questions You Should be Asking.” Managers who need to control costs for managing mobile and fixed expenses should register for this free webinar on Tuesday, November 13 at 10 am CST.
Jeff Poirior, president and chief operating officer of Valicom points out “We really want to shake up the industry by forcing people to look at telecommunications management with fresh eyes. While some firms have yet to implement a strong TEM program, others have one in place but may not know what they THINK they know about its effectiveness. These questions are designed to dig deep into your processes, your environment, your management style and really make you think about whether you are doing it right or not.”
Lacinda Athen, marketing manager at Valicom and co-presenter of the webinar, continues “TEM is a mature industry, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows all the best practices and can see all the angles. Being in the business for 21 years, we designed the questions to illustrate the various facets of a well oiled, cost-effective telecom management program. The hope is that they will allow executives to check in, and make sure they are covering all their bases.”
Managers who work for SMBs, enterprises, government, and other organizations that are interested in best practices and strategies to limit risk, gain visibility and make smarter business decisions should register for Telecom Expense Management: The 5 Questions You Should be Asking.
Guest post by Kay Plantes
Kay Plantes is an MIT-trained economist, business strategy consultant, columnist and author. Business model innovation, strategic leadership and smart economic policies are her professional passions.
She resides in Madison, Wisconsin and Oslo, Norway.
Use new information technologies to transform your business models
The newest information technologies on the block – social, mobile, cloud and data analytics – can and should do more than boost your organization’s efficiency. Far more than past IT innovations, these new technologies can positively transform your organization – where it competes, why it wins and how it operates. Smart leaders understand this. Meet one in this blog.
As a young but experienced telecommunications industry professional, Nancy Peckham founded Madison, Wisconsin-based Valicom in 1991 to help companies reduce telecommunication costs. Valicom’s value promise for its direct services is very powerful: “We average 30.4% savings in telecom expenses across our client base,” according to CEO Peckham. Her company produces this savings by helping clients better manage the complex supply chain associated with providing their workforces with wired and wireless voice and data communications, internet connections, and wireless services.
As device options and mobile communications expanded, this expense area has become increasingly complex, with a lot of data errors in billing, averaging 5-12% according to Forrester Research. In Valicom’s 20+ years of doing telecom audits, they’ve found that over 35% of invoices have some type of error. Often these errors remain hidden without an audit. “One memorable client example is a health care facility that had torn down a building. But our audit,” according to Peckham, “determined that they had been getting billed and therefore paying for fifty landline telephones in a ghost building that was now a parking lot! For twelve years!”
Valicom’s original business model provides direct services through consultants who audit client telecommunications bills, secure the right plans, order devices and manage their inventories, negotiate contracts, process invoices, allocate costs to the right budget lines and benchmark overall spending. An internal IT platform enables consultants to do this work efficiently and effectively. The model was not easily scalable, however. Furthermore, Valicom faced growing competition from Accenture and other consultancies whose names were “top of mind” in IT and CFO departments.
What to do? Midsize companies, Peckham determined, had similar telecom expense management needs to larger companies, but could not easily afford direct services. This insight led Peckham to leverage its internal platform to create a “software as a service” business model that cost-effectively addresses the needs of mid-size clients at a price they can afford.
The new solution opened doors beyond CIO, CFO and Telecom Managers in mid-size companies. Managed Service Providers, Telecom consultants and Telecom agents also benefit from the SaaS solution. By serving the needs of these under-served markets, Valicom has been able to achieve 21% more revenue and 18% more profitability over the past year.
The new approach to providing services also makes Valicom more customer-centric. According to Peckham, “Through the development of Clearview, our software as a service tool, we are well-positioned to give our clients the choices they need to fit how they want to do business. All three bases are covered, from our fully outsourced model (We Do It) to our hybrid model (We Do It Together) to our self-serve model (You Do It).”
The change had its moments, to be sure, as it was crucial that Valicom execute well while continuing to provide a high level of service to its clients and partners. During the development phase, the research, design and actual work involved to adapt Clearview to the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) was new in terms of functionality and architecture. “This new business model was a new line of thinking for us internally. We not only had to navigate and educate our clients and partners, but also our own internal resources. With the new software, we are continuing to learn and adjust to ensure our operational efficiency, as we continue to gather ongoing feedback from our clients and partners for continued software enhancements,” Peckham shared.
It would have been natural for Peckham to look at new technology opportunities solely through the lens of “How can they make my consultants more efficient and my company more profitable?” Instead, the strong strategic leader asked different questions: “How can I use these new technologies to reach new markets with a hard-to-copy value promise? How can I use them to offer existing customers an even better customer experience?”
How are you thinking about and applying social, data analytics, mobile and cloud technologies in your enterprise?
“Telecom Expense Management on Your Terms” Earns Valicom Record High Client Satisfaction Scores
Valicom, a twenty year veteran of telecom expense management, reports continued high client satisfaction survey scores with its third quarter 2011 results. A strong combination of web-based software, flexible delivery options and excellent, experienced Telecom Audit teams creates an environment for client success, savings and satisfaction. The client satisfaction scores were 3.89 on a 4.0 scale, a record high.
Madison, Wisconsin (December 7, 2011) – Telecom expense management firm Valicom reports record high client satisfaction scores for 3rd quarter 2011. This continues a twelve year tradition of surveying clients quarterly, to learn how well they are delivering in eight key areas: professionalism, overall expectation, communication, quality and accuracy, understanding client needs, responsiveness, meeting deadlines, and overall value. The combined client satisfaction scores were 3.89 on a 4.0 scale, a new high.
CEO Nancy Peckham, upon release of the scores, offered her take on how Valicom continues to exceed customer expectation. “At Valicom, we really go beyond just delivering services. We aim to help level the playing field between our customers and the telecom carriers. In the David versus Goliath battle to control telecom costs, we like to think we bring value and business intelligence to help our clients win the war.”
As Valicom branches out more to work with partners and consultants in the IT and telecom management field, these new customers are also finding value with their solutions. By combining their web-based software Clearview with an a la carte suite of traditional telecom auditing and management services, Valicom creates custom deliverables for each of its clients. From software subscriptions to fully outsourced telecom lifecycle management, Valicom delivers at the highest level, supporting the high satisfaction scores they receive from clients large and small.
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This is the first in a series of “To the Point” posts, getting to the heart of how TEM can benefit your business, no matter what business that may be.
This post outlines out telecom expense management software, combined with business coaching and training, can increase profits and maximize efficiency for telecom consultants – whether they are already doing telecom auditing, or just want to start. So read the article, then request a demo of Clearview to find out more.
To the Point: How Telecom Expense Management Software Benefits Your Telecom Consulting Business
What’s the opportunity?
Being a telecom consultant, we don’t have to tell you that telecom complexity is exploding. We’ve gone from pagers and landlines to smartphones and tablets in just a few years and the demands of modern business make managing, tracking and policing telecom costs harder than ever.
Add to that the fact that up to 35% of all telecom invoices have some kind of error on them - Overcharges, unnecessary fees, items not billing to contract, missed credits and unused or dead assets. In fact, in twenty years of doing telecom auditing, we’ve found that firms are wasting 15 to 40 percent of their annual telecom budget. What that means is that your clients are losing money and they need help!
What your clients need is TEM – Telecom Expense Management. What YOU need is to provide it. Don’t wait for them to pay someone else to do it! And if you’re already doing it, do it better, faster and smarter!
How does TEM software help?
If you haven’t been living in a cave, you’ve heard of “The Cloud” and software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools. Well, SaaS has come to Telecom Expense Management in the form of Clearview. Clearview is a TEM software delivered via the web at aggressive price points, meaning more margins for you. It can be used to make in-house auditing tasks easier and more efficient, showcasing your work better and maximizing savings for your clients. It can also be white labeled and delivered to your customers to manage some TEM tasks themselves or to access detailed reports and user-defined, customizable dashboards.
What this means is that if you already offer telecom audits and are stuck using spreadsheets and other laborious manual processes, it’s time for an upgrade. And if you aren’t offering telecom expense management yet, now is the time to start. For both, Clearview makes it easy to offer ongoing services, moving beyond one-time audits and allowing you to leverage existing relationships to grow your business, benefit your clients, and make more money.
How does it work?
Adding or expanding TEM services is easy by partnering with Valicom, a twenty-year veteran with an excellent track record of saving money on telecom. Combining Clearview with our experienced telecom audit teams, we can offer two ways to add TEM to your toolkit. We can offer Clearview via subscription to support your existing business model, or offer Clearview while also providing training and support to help you learn to deliver more TEM services. In addition, you may choose to outsource some of the work to us, like data loading or invoice payment, allowing you to offer more options. Any way you do it, with margins of 80% or more you can’t afford to wait.
TEM Services Clearview supports you in offering can include:
- One time and ongoing telecom audits
- Telecom inventory management
- End-to-end invoice processing and payment
- Detailed GL coding of telecom costs
- And advanced reporting & dashboards via a web-based software tool
Produce more recurring revenue, increase your value as a trusted business advisor to existing clients and attract new ones through expanded services. With TEM they not only gain better visibility and control over their telecom costs, they save money! Make this the year that you take advantage of the growing need for telecom expense management to expand your portfolio and increase your business.
Request a demo of Clearview to find out more.