Monthly Archives: August 2011
News reports just hit the wire that the US Justice Department is taking action to oppose the mega merger of AT&T and T-Mobile.
“The combination of AT&T and T-Mobile would result in tens of millions of consumers all across the United States facing higher prices, fewer choices and lower quality products for mobile wireless services,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole.
The primary reasons appear to be fiscal – T-Mobile creates a low-cost third party option to the two large wireless rivals AT&T and Verizon, and innovative – referencing T-Mobile’s extensive high speed network and their industry-leading acceptance of Android and use of Blackberry’s wireless email.
“AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low-priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market,” the complaint said. “Thus, unless this acquisition is enjoined, customers of mobile wireless telecommunications services likely will face higher prices, less product variety and innovation, and poorer quality services due to reduced incentives to invest than would exist absent the merger.”
Sprint has been a major voice in calling for opposition to the merger. As of the announcement, Sprint Nextel stock was up 6% while AT&T’s was down 4%. Only time will tell how the markets react long term to the attempted block, and how it will impact business and personal wireless consumers. But it certainly bears watching…
As everyone knows, smartphones are rapidly taking over plain old cell phones in the business realm. That means expensive wireless devices, fat data plans, apps apps apps, and costs costs costs!
So what’s a CIO or IT Manager to do to stop the bleeding? Implement a standard offering for all employees and stick to it. It’s very basic telecom cost control but it needs to be done. The days of handing a new employee the phone number to your wireless provider are long over and yet, we still see some really relaxed wireless expense management.
Standardizing the wireless devices themselves and limiting choices of smartphones will help reduce your spend and limit the dreaded “phony envy” amoung employees. And be sure to negotiate with your vendor prior to signing a contract, you never know what kind of a deal you can have if you don’t ask!
Standardize on one provider, if coverage allows. Obviously, the more devices under one contract, the deeper the discount. Granted, the debate over “who’s the better provider” can really get heated amoung users, but unless there are big coverage issues due to real-estate expanse, try to stick with one provider.
Standardize features. Is there a business need for texting? A business need for email/internet? Establish a firm protocol and don’t deviate.
Standardize equipment. This is a big one, folks. All the major providers offer headsets, BES licenses – you name it, they’ll sell it to you. Do negotiate a discount on equipment, as well as the device themselves, but also be sure to shop around.
It’s also a good idea to implement a wireless policy. That cay pay off big time in itself, as research shows Enterprises with a formal wireless policy spend 40% less per user on mobile voice services.
Need a place to start? Visit our wireless expense management page and download a copy of our FREE wireless policy.
In a recent post over at Channel Partners, Joe Basili did a great job of boiling down why master agents, IT consultants and MSPs would care about telecom expense management.
- With carrier commissions from carriers shrinking, TEM can provide new revenue and consistent income.
- Clients are seeking partners that have ongoing customer contact and bring value to the relationship.
- No customer wants to buy services they do not need or pay extra for services.
- Customers and agents benefit from reporting that consolidates all carrier expenses and validates charges.
- TEM provides visibility that agents are providing efficient service to their clients, controlling costs and proof that clients are realizing savings.
- TEM providers offer best practices that can help enterprises manage their networks more proactively.
Valicom has been making the same argument – as margins shrink elsewhere, IT providers are seeking new recurring revenue streams and unique ways to be a trusted advisor to their end user clients. Adding telecom and wireless management solutions to their portfolio does both as we lay out in our one-page “To the Point: How TEM Software Can Benefit Your Business” overview. Using Clearview, our telecom & wireless expense management platform, as a springboard, MSPs and IT consultants can add a variety of services to their offering – inventory management, invoice auditing, wireless optimization – and deliver greater value. To find out more. request a demo of Clearview today.
I ran across an interesting article today promoting a class for Telecom Expense Management training called “Best Pactices for Wired and Wireless Network Cost Control“. It is a two day seminar that will set you back eighteen hundred dollars, and the list they cover is daunting to say the least. What it really illustrates nicely is how complex telecom expense management really is if you try to tackle it yourself. Just as an excerpt…
By participating in this training seminar, you will:
- Recognize how communications costs have escalated to be among the largest expenses in today’s enterprise. The control of these costs can dramatically impact your company’s bottom line!
- Identify where to look to avoid overpaying your carrier/service providers. The dollar value due to billing errors is staggering—as much as 30% of your annual carrier spend, plus taxes and surcharges.
- Identify best practices for controlling and reducing costs. It’s essential that you understand that components of carrier contracts and how to leverage that understanding to reduce the rates you pay. Learn how to find unnecessary lines/services, the cost-benefit analysis for replacing older data networks, and learn how to leverage IP Telephony/VOIP, video over IP, audio conferencing and Unified Communications, and how to reduce maintenance contract costs.
- Leverage techniques for managing wireless communications—they’re much different than wired—and the best ways to handle mobile billing (corporate vs. personal) for your organization
- Learn about the 3 most dangerous telecom trends that will affect your bottom line over the next 3-4 years.
- Understand how cutting-edge telecom expense management practices can be leveraged in your organization based on trends in the wireless market, invoice management control and available new technologies.
- Dramatically reduce your communications services costs. Improved efficiencies can be achieved during procurement that can save you as much as 65%; you can realize savings of up to 50% via better, smarter audit procedures; reduce your costs of managing network expenses by up to two-thirds.
- Understand the best Telecom Expense Management (TEM) practices and learn about the available products. Compare selected TEM vendors, products, and services.
- Manage and create a self-service environment for allocation and execution of costs back to departments on a monthly basis,
- Demystify all of the steps involved for implementing telecom audits and TEM in your organization,
- Identify the best ways to establish baselines and consolidate carrier billing for your organization.
Don’t know about you, but I got tired just reading that, and the syllabus continues in great detail about the tasks and challenges facing today’s telecom manager. I’m sure it is a helpful class, but it also illustrates why so many of our clients chose to outsource telecom expense management. Our Telecom Audit Teams have years of experience DOING all this stuff, every day, for mid-size to enterprise clients. We don’t have to learn it, we know it. And the results we can deliver in day to day telecom and wireless management or telecom contract negotiation prove the point.
So if you think you’re in the market for a telecom expense management class, you may also want to pick up the phone and look into the telecom expense management software and telecom audit service offerings we have. Get it off your plate and spend your time doing something you’re already good at…
The big mobile news today is that Google is taking huge strides to enter the mobile manufacturing arena by acquiring Motorola Mobile to build Android phones. They intend that Android stay an “open source” platform to be used by other mobile manufacturers, like HTC and Samsung, but this positions them to better compete directly with Apple and Blackberry maker Research in Motion. It may also change the nature of their partnerships with other Android phone vendors, further muddying the smartphone market. Combined with Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Skype, it makes for a very interesting mobile future.
For more details on the acquisition, visit the press release.