Monthly Archives: June 2012
Well, a word of caution before you make the plunge.
As they say, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”, and many firms are finding that they don’t have reliable data on what their current wireless plans are costing, let alone the assurance that they have optimized as much as possible. Thus, making the decision as to whether Data Pooling will save any money is difficult, if not impossible.
Don’t let the same thing happen to you! If you don’t have accurate, up-to-date information on your current wireless situation, it’s time to do your homework. Find out what you have, who has it, what you pay for it, do you need it, and how are those needs likely to change. With that data in hand, you’ll be much better prepared to determine what new plans might best suit your environment, and what will provide the best value for the money.
And if you need help figuring that out, Valicom not only offers Wireless Optimization services, but you can also use Clearview our web-based telecom management software, to help you do it yourself. Either way, do it now so you can make smart decisions later.
Madison, WI (June 26, 2012) – Valicom, a twenty-one year veteran of telecom expense management (TEM), today published a new white paper entitled “Telecom & Wireless Cost Control: What You Need to Know” covering best practices in managing telecom, wireless and mobility costs. The white paper is a good introduction to the elements of a strong telecom and wireless management program. The paper also showcases how modern web-based telecom expense management software tools support the use of these best practices.
As voice and wireless deployments get more complex, it is important to leverage intelligent management tactics to identify and address cost savings opportunities. And with new options being introduced by vendors and carriers as technology changes, it becomes ever more critical to understand your environment.
Jeff Poirior, President and COO at Valicom, says “We find that many companies can’t answer the simple question ‘What is your annual telecom spend?’. It blows my mind. As they say ‘You can’t manage what you can’t measure’. And with new options like Wireless Data Pooling hitting the market, you need detailed information on your services or you can’t weigh new pricing plans against the old. Will it save you money? If you don’t know what it costs now, how do you make that decision?”
Continuing, Mr. Poirior says “To help, we tried to distill our top ideas into this paper, so telecom, IT or finance pros can quickly understand where they should focus their energy to gain control over their management challenges and costs.”
Valicom offers Clearview, its web-based telecom expense, inventory and invoice management software, and delivers an a la carte suite of telecom and wireless management solutions. This supports the best practice of only using the services your business really needs.
To download the white paper, “Telecom & Wireless Cost Control: What You Need to Know” visit http://www.valicomcorp.com/Knowledge/whitepapers.aspx
To learn more about Clearview and Valicom’s services, visit http://www.valicomcorp.com/tool/trial.aspx
As we discussed in our last blog post on telecom management pain points, telecom invoice auditing is a major headache. New cloud telecom expense management software tools make that management process easier, and we wanted to show a case study that illustrated how various telecom management services can be bundled together to build a custom solution around your needs.
Industry: Electronics Component Distributor
Annual Telecom Spend: $1.5 Million
Unnecessary business lines, unused circuits, and 30 illegitimate third party charges identified and removed.
Results Obtained: $9,000 Per Month Savings
Ongoing Savings: $107,012.16 Annually
Guest post by Joe Basili – TEMIA
Telecom Expense Management, TEM and Wireless Expense Management just got more interesting with Verizon Wireless announcing its Share Everything Plans for pooling of mobile data plans. These plans offer potential savings, but subscribers will need to do some analysis to determine if it is worth giving up their unlimited data plan.
Mobile subscribers will now be able to share data allotments among different devices.The plans also have unlimited voice minutes and unlimited messages. For $50 subscribers can share a 1 GB data allowance for $50. Customers can add a tablet on their Share Everything Plans for an additional $10, with no long-term contract requirement. AT&T has also been talking about data pooling. It will be interesting to see how Sprint responds.
Mobile data pooling is already offered by mobile providers in Australia and other parts of Asia Pacific such as Japan, South Korea, Western Europe and Canada. Rogers Wireless and Bell Mobility in Canada, Telefónica Movistar in Spain, and Orange Mobistar and Proximus in Belgium have launched multi-device plans:
- Vodaphone and Telstra offer shared mobile data plans in Australia
- Orange Austria, France, Spain: Since Spring 2011, Orange has been offering two devices per data plan, bundling 600 minutes,unlimited texts, unlimited BTZone WiFi access, and 2GB shared data across both devices—iPad and iPhone are named specifically as available devices; cost is £99/month at 16GB rate.
- Vodafone Ireland offers shared mobile broadband for business users with a 5GB limit, shared across however many users is required, for a fee of €7.50 per connection per month, with each additional increment of 5GB being another €10.
- Optus offers a plan connecting five users each on a 4GB shared plan, with 20GB of data pooled between those five users each month.
- Rogers Wireless offers various plans: 1GB + unlimited social networking to seven popular sites for $30/month; 4GB + unlimited social networking to seven popular sites for $50/month; options to add an additional 1GB for $15/month or to add voice.
Wireless service providers need to change subscribers behavior. They want to curb users that consume too much data. In addition, they need to tap into the tablet market. Currently, 95% of tablets that are sold only have Wi-Fi. This is not good for carriers because they are missing out on the tablet market, which is a huge growth area that does not include carrier data plans.
Subscribers will need to determine if having mobile data for multiple devices is worth giving up unlimited data plans. Enterprises will also need to determine if they can save money by pooling employees’ data plans together. Many organizations will find that there are savings for some employees. For other road warriors, unlimited data plans will be more cost effective. It is critical to perform the analysis before you make the change. What do you think? If you don’t have time to perform the analysis ask a Telecom Expense Management, TEM, Wireless Expense Management, WEM firm to help.
Compliments of the New York Times tech blog - data pooling is here. We had heard rumbles in the industry that this was coming, and we await with baited breath the future consequences for business data plans. But for now, it is just being rolled out for consumer plans. On the surface, it sounds like a good idea, but it could also be a closet price hike. Check it out – what do you think?
Verizon Unveils Wireless Plans That Cover Several Devices
By BRIAN X. CHEN
June 12, 2012, 12:17 pm
In a first for the American wireless industry, Verizon Wireless said on Tuesday that it was introducing plans that would allow customers to pay for a certain amount of wireless data and share that allotment across their family’s smartphones, tablets and laptops.
To Verizon, this is an evolution of family plans for cellphones, which offer a shared pool of calling minutes and text messages. The new plans include unlimited calls and texts, but they put limits on wireless data — at a time when mobile Internet use is cutting down on time spent talking and texting.
The shared plans could help Verizon offset the decline in revenue that the trend is causing. Verizon is not the only carrier that recognizes this: AT&T, the second-biggest American carrier after Verizon, has also said that it plans to introduce shared plans this year.
Consumers may find the new plans more appealing than having to get separate data contracts for, say, an iPad and a teenager’s phone. But the idea of paying for unlimited texts and calls may not sit well with everyone.
“Verizon is finally delivering something that everybody wants — in a way that nobody wants,” said Jan Dawson, a mobile analyst at Ovum, a research firm. “There are people who want a shared data plan and minimal voice and text messages, and that just isn’t available.”
For Verizon customers, the shared plans are an option, not a replacement for their current phone plans, which involve paying a monthly fee for a certain amount of minutes, text messages and data.
Brenda Raney, a Verizon spokeswoman, said customers with these older plans would not be required to switch to a shared plan, even when they upgraded to a new device.
“The point of this is customer flexibility and value,” Ms. Raney said. “If you have a smartphone and you don’t have a tablet, but you’re at the beach one day and your friend has a tablet, you can activate it right then and there because it’s included in the data plan.”
The shared plans may have repercussions for customers who are clinging to unlimited data plans. Verizon discontinued these last year, but customers who wanted to keep them were allowed to do so. After the shared plans come into effect later this month, Verizon’s unlimited data customers who want to get a new phone at a discounted price will have to pick either a limited data plan or a shared plan. They can keep their old plans only if they buy a new smartphone at its full, unsubsidized price — often hundreds of dollars.
Customers who choose a shared data plan will pay a monthly fee for each device on their account. A smartphone would cost $40 a month, a normal cellphone $30 and a tablet $10. Then there is an additional monthly fee for the shared data pool, ranging from $50 for 1 gigabyte to $100 for 10 gigabytes. A family of three with an iPhone, a regular cellphone and an iPad that wants 10 gigabytes would pay a total of $180 a month.
When an account is close to using up its data, each device on the shared plan receives an alert asking if the customer wants to buy an extra 2 gigabytes of data for $10, Ms. Raney of Verizon said. But if they ignore this and go over the limit, they have to pay $15 for every extra gigabyte they use, she said.
Verizon previously outlined to investors how these plans would help it make more money. Francis J. Shammo, Verizon’s chief financial officer, said at a recent investors’ conference that the company believed that its faster fourth-generation LTE network would encourage people to stream video and generally be heavier users of data, eventually prompting them to buy the more expensive plans. He added that the new plans would help push the old unlimited customers off those plans.
“It is going to be more important that people will start to upgrade in their tiers as they start to really realize the benefits of the LTE network,” Mr. Shammo said. “Over the future time, as they add more devices, they are going to have to buy up into tiers.”
Michael Weinberg, senior staff lawyer at Public Knowledge, a consumer-rights advocacy group, said he was puzzled by one aspect of the new plans. He said he found it odd that customers had to pay an additional fee per device when they were already paying for the data they were using.
“I’m already cutting Verizon a check for a pool of data,” he said. “Why do I have to pay a monthly extra fee just for the pleasure of adding a device to my account?”
Last week we had a great turnout for our webinar “The Telecom Expense Management Landscape in 2012: Trends, Tools & Opportunities”. The webinar was specifically designed for telecom and IT consultants or telecom and IT managed service providers. We covered trends in TEM, pain points in the market, and how they create opportunities in for consultants and service providers. We also touch on how Valicom’s partner program can help you grow your business. Check out the description below, then register to watch the webinar recording.
TEM in 2012: Trends, Tools & Opportunities
Is the TEM of today the TEM of tomorrow? Join Valicom, a twenty-one year veteran of telecom expense management, as they lay out the current industry landscape, how it is changing, and the opportunities being created for managed service providers along with IT and telecom consultants.
Hear market data, research and case studies illustrating what services and tools are in demand, and how new flexible partnering options can help expand your service portfolio and grow your business.
We will also briefly touch on how Valicom’s Consultant Liaison and Partner Programs and how they support businesses in delivering or recommending TEM software and services to the market.