Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Options Explained

Telecom expense management has been around for a long time.  But many organizations avoid taking a more aggressive approach to managing their telecommunications expenses because they lack the expertise and don’t know where to start. When faced with the dozens of different types of invoices and the multitude of telecommunications technologies that an organization can be responsible for, it’s common to react this way.


But adding a TEM – telecom expense management – program to your company is important.  You will be enabling your organization to take control of your telecommunications expense, allowing you to redirect that money somewhere else.   There are several ways to implement TEM:



This is the entry point.  It is done “in house” and by hand, but it is better than doing nothing.  Even a spreadsheet to track your inventory and changes, and a cursory audit review of your monthly invoices can save you money. For suggestions on WHAT you need to keep track of to get a handle on your telecom expenses, check out our white paper “Plugging the Leak:  Six Steps Towards Managing Your Telecom Expenses”


Using Software Tools

This is the upgraded version of manual.  It just gives you a tool to use, rather than juggling spreadsheets and trying to re-invent the wheel.  There are many software tools available, many at a low cost point, to get you organized.  Software helps you track your inventory, invoices, contracts and anything you change in your environment, so you always know what is going on.   Designed specifically for telecom and wireless management, they are often web-based and easy to implement and use.  Clearview is an example of such a tool.


Outsourced Telecom Lifecycle Management

This is the traditional BPO (business process outsourcing) model of TEM.  Here you contract with a third party firm to build your inventory, audit your invoices, pay your bills, keep track of all your changes, and negotiate with your telecom carriers when your contracts come due.   This is the platinum solution, since you have experienced professionals managing everything to ensure you get the best savings.  However, as expected, it is also the most expensive.  Though, to balance that,  the cost savings delivered are generally far higher than the fees, especially at the beginning.  And it offers 100% peace of mind, which is hard to put a price on.


Hybrid Software + Outsourced Solution

This is the most popular option with mid-market companies, though many enterprises are finding the flexibility appealing as well.  This option allows you to deploy a software tool, like Clearview , and do some things in house, while outsourcing things you don’t want to, or don’t have the capacity or capability, to do.  With an a la carte suite of TEM services to pick from, you can customize a package to fit your particular telecom environment, allowing for changes as your needs evolve.