Monthly Archives: June 2011
I have to say I found this news pretty interesting. I know the world is run by fees, but it hadn’t occurred to me how lucrative millions of thumbs-flying texting teens were to the wireless carriers. Those pennies-per-text or unlimited monthly package charges are a big part of their profitability. And they are about to make a big hole if they do start to fizzle out, as the talking heads are projecting.
What’s the problem? Well, last year the growth of texting slowed, not a lot, but significantly enough to set off the early warning bells. And now the fear is that the US market will figure out what other countries, like The Netherlands and Germany, have already found. If your phone provider allows Apps that route texting over the internet – versus over your wirless carrier’s network – your texting goes from a $20 per month charge to, well, FREE. And as we all know, its pretty hard to compete with free. And once people figure that out, it spreads quickly, as this shows..
In the Netherlands, KPN saw a surge in adoption of the free WhatsApp messaging app—from 0% of Hi’s Android phone users in August 2010 to 85% in April 2011.
That’s eight months to get from 0 to 85% adoption. It’s like a nightmare 100% off Groupon for the carriers. One kid figures it out, tells all their friends, and parents the world over shout for joy as at least one thing about raising their teen gets cheaper. No more texting fees.
Apple is leading the charge in the US, with Google right behind. And Blackberry has offered their Messenger for awhile now. Whoever, provides it, these these new messaging tools represent a a growing threat to a texting business that generated $25 billion in revenue in the U.S. and Canada last year. And this texting business has low costs and high margins. A dollar of texting revenue produces at least 80 cents of profit compared with about 35 cents of profit from $1 in wireless data or voice services, according to analysts at UBS.
Feel free to read the whole article, its pretty enlightening. http://on.wsj.com/jtx2lj
I’m just settling back in from the fabulous WBENC Annual Supplier Diversity Conference in Las Vegas. As a certified woman-owned business (WBE) Valicom had the opportunity to mingle with buyers and supplier diversity professionals from some of the largest companies in the US along with many government agencies. It’s inspiring to see how many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 firms dedicate time and staff to supporting woman and minority owned businesses. It is also encouraging to see how many of them are familiar with telecom expense management and understand the benefits of cutting their telecom and wireless costs. Enterprise-size firms lead the pack in recognizing the value of spending a little money to save a lot. But small to mid-size firms are picking up the idea, so I spent time talking with anyone who would listen about our telecom auditing services and our telecom expense management software Clearview. It was a great time, but WOW did my feet hurt at the end!!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the gaming theme for today, as I’m sitting in Las Vegas at the WBENC 2011 Annual Supplier Diversity Conference at Mandalay Bay. Well, I’m sitting in a trade show hall, versus sitting by the pool, which is where I’d rather be. And where my husband probably is. He better go win me some money at craps later today to make up for that. Mama needs a new pair of shoes….
But with all the hubbub of Sin City around me, it does bring to mind the fact that a lot of clients – before they found us, that is – were really gambling with their telecom budget. Sounds corny, I know, but it’s true. Gambling is inherently risky for two reasons. One, sometimes you don’t don’t know how to play the game, and Two – “The House Always Wins”.
Craps is a fine example. It’s complex and takes awhile to learn, but the odds are pretty good – IF you know how to play. That’s my husband’s favorite game. But then he is a Mathematician, so calculating odds while drinking beer isn’t a stretch for him like it is for the rest of us. But we watch a lot of people lose a lot of money – fast – while playing, since they don’t understand the nuances of the game. Rather like trying to manage a huge telecom budget when you’re really a CFO or an IT Manager or someone who has great skills – in doing something else.
Craps is only one example, but we all know that pretty much EVERY game in Vegas is designed with one thing in mind. The House wins, and You Lose. They don’t build those palatial casinos without presuming a pretty solid ROI. The problem is that you’re financing it. And I can assure you that the telecom carriers are built with the same idea in mind.
That’s where Valicom comes in. We know how to play the game. We also know how to balance the scales in an environment where the game is so clearly rigged to favor the telecom vendors and service carriers. I read a stat somewhere that said almost 90% of telecom invoice errors are in favor of the vendor. Gee, why doesn’t that surprise me.
So if you are ready to get serious about savings money on your voice, wireless and data – without the gambling part – then give us a call. We’ll give you our best people, and make sure that the House doesn’t win any more of your telecom money…..
Rajani was kind enough to write an article about our upcoming webinar for TMCnet, offered here for your review…….
By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor
Valicom, a Madison, WI-based provider of telecom expense management (TEM) solutions, announced it is offering a free webinar to show how best practices paired with cutting edge Web-based telecom expense management software tools help control telecom expenses.
The webinar titled, “Plugging the Leak: How Software Tools and Strong Tactics Contain Telecom & Wireless Costs” will be held Tuesday, June 28 at 1:00 p.m. CST.
Valicom believes in the principle, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” By helping companies measure their telecom expenditure, Valicom helps them manage their telecom infrastructure smoothly.
The emergence of new devices and technologies has escalated the complexity of telecom infrastructure. In this scenario, it becomes extremely difficult for companies to stay on top.
“All companies know they must spend money on telecom, but the looming unanswered question is often “how much are we wasting?” say Valicom officials.
Through this Webinar Valicom wants to educate the market on how to spend money on telecom. The company claims that by increasing visibility and better understanding of the environment, firms can often shave 10 to 30 percent off of their annual telecom budgets.
The Webinar will address key areas of fixed and wireless administration from inventory and change management to invoice auditing and payment. It will also discuss the latest cloud-based software technology and how it streamlines telecom administration.
The company will educate customers on how several telecom management tasks can be handled in-house and suggest the necessary steps that firms must adopt. A central software tool makes collaboration easier, both between internal employees and with outside consultants or contractors, according to Valicom officials.
Back in April, Valicom announced it has been honored as a Top Woman Owned Business as part of DiversityBusiness.com’s 11th Annual Business Awards.
Each year DiversityBusiness.com collects and compiles their ‘Top Business List’ on a State and National basis. The data is used to determine the most successful woman and minority owned entrepreneurs across the United States for their awards program.
Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Everywhere I turn its Cloud this and Cloud that. It’s starting sound like bad band names from the 70s, or children’s books. “Steve Jobs and The Cloud” “Amazon and The Cloud” “Microsoft and The Cloud”. If I hear “To the Cloud!” one more time, I may have to plug my ears with wax. I suggest they make a Japanese horror movie and see if we can eradicate this rapidly-becoming-annoying menace – “Godzilla Vs The Cloud”. Personally, I think Godzilla would win. Especially with all that extra nuclear radiation floating around right now.
But I digress. The Cloud is really just a concept that covers a tremendous amount of technological ground, from a way to access all your illegally pirated music online (No – not you!) to quick and dirty ways to tap into business applications remotely. Even from something like an iPad. I love mine, it is super easy to get into SalesForce or Clearview without having to lug a laptop around.
And as our own Clearview is just such an application, I guess the Cloud does apply to us. Clearview is a web-based software tool that allows you to track, edit, access, and report on your telecom inventory, invoices, and contracts from anywhere. You’re on vacation in Hawaii? No problem. Login and do some work without having to leave your beach chair. Or spill your Mai-Tai. It also has strong collaboration tools, so you can do as little work as possible while on leave and let your minions back in the office handle most of it. Multiple users, multiple levels of access, and lots of reporting to keep track of what is going on. We’re just trying to make your life easier.
So if you’re ready to step into The Cloud and want a better tool to manage your telecom expenses, give Clearview a look. Or join us for a webinar we’re doing on how strong tactics and web-based software help contain telecom costs.
And enjoy your Mai Tai!
One of the great things about working at Valicom is the ability to attend fantastic supplier diversity conferences throughout the year, like the WBENC Annual Conference in Las Vegas in June. Woman-owned, veteran-owned and minority-owned businesses are significant drivers of the national economy and these high-energy networking events are an inspiring way to connect with and help grow that community.
Diverse suppliers, like Valicom who is a certified woman-owned business enterprise, or WBE, get a chance to meet and mingle with Supplier Diversity and Supply Chain managers from some of the largest firms in the US. They have internal supplier diversity goals to meet, and welcome the chance to work with firms like Valicom at any opportunity.
And as Valicom provides a unique telecom cost control service – one that SAVES the firm money, versus just having them spend it – we offer the supply chain a chance to help shrink budgets, and re-allocate funds for something else. Whether those saved funds go to the bottom line, or to pay for equipment, personnel or other business services, it is a win-win for them. As shown in our telecom expense management case studies, our return on investment is strong and most clients see a decrease in their annual spend of 10-30% or more.
So if you are a Supplier Diversity or Supply Chain Manager, and are planning to be in Las Vegas in June at the WBENC Conference, be sure to let me know as I’d love to meet you in person!
In the telecom expense management world, we know that sending checks to telecom carriers is always somewhat risky. You have little control over when the check will arrive and how it will be applied. Unfortunately, until recently, this has been the only option for most businesses.
When the check arrives late because the mail was slow, you get hit with late fees. And what can be worse, if the check is misapplied to a different telecom account, you are stuck spending sometimes hours on the phone getting the issue resolved. And in the process, your service may even be disconnected.
Increasingly, electronic forms of disbursement are becoming accessible to small and medium sized businesses. Using technologies like ACH (Automated Clearing House) for example, you can transfer to funds directly to the telecom carrier’s account and even attach the remittance information electronically.
Using electronic methods of disbursement such as ACH ensures that your payment gets to the telecom carrier quickly and accurately. And in the long run, avoiding late fees and misapplied payments can save your organization a lot of time, and a lot of headaches.
Avoiding late fees and unnecessary disconnects is a simple, yet critical part of managing your telecommunications expenses. By using the most modern tools and methods available, you will not only reduce costs – but also save time, which can be spent researching other, more lucrative ways to reduce your overall telecommunications spend.
Valicom, the only answer for your telecom expenses!
We’re happy to finally be rolling out our anticipated summer 2011 webinar on telecom cost control tactics. And by tactics we mean what? Well, telecom expense management has a lot of facets. Firms are interested in how to control expenses for landline telephones, wireless devices, cell phones, smartphones, tablets, data services – the list is endless. We will go over the things you should be focusing on – where the best areas for savings are – and best practices in managing your telecom environment.
We will also be showcasing how new cloud-based software tools can make all these tasks a WHOLE lot easier than back in the old days. If you are still tracking your cell phone inventory in an Excel spreadsheet, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Web-based, affordable telecom expense, invoice and inventory management software, like our own Clearview, will make you significantly more effective and efficient.
We’d like you to join us, so enroll for our free webinar “Plugging the Leak: How Strong Tactics and Software Tools Contain Telecom & Wireless Costs”. June 28th, 1:00 p.m. CST.
Like any relationship worth having, is the relationship you have with your Telecom Expense Management (TEM) provider serving your company the way you expected, or producing the results you were told? If not, the time is NOW to take a look into your options.
Ideally, the TEM provider that your company utilizes performs periodic reviews with you to assess the quality and value of the service you are receiving. If not, why not?
- Maybe the TEM provider is not interested in understanding how you perceive their service.
- Maybe the TEM provider is not interested in making any changes to exceed your expectations.
I have always believed that Feedback is a gift, positive or negative. How people respond to the feedback also differentiates the good from the not so good TEM providers.
Valicom conducts quarterly Client Satisfaction surveys to ensure that we are listening to our clients and completely understand how we can respond the our client’s changing business needs. As a result we have become one of the most flexible and responsive TEM providers available for you to choose from.
Hold your provider, regardless on the product or services they are providing accountable for the results that you believe you contracted for. If you are not receiving the results you expect, then the time to make a change is now!
In our upcoming webinar on “How Strong Tactics and Software Tools Help Contain Telecom Costs” we plan to showcase how web-based software can make managing telecom a whole lot easier.
So here’s the sneak peek… Want to know what all this means? See you at the webinar!