What is Telecom Expense Management: Where are we now?

As a followup to our TEM in 2014: History and Trends webinar (available as a stream or a white paper), we’ll offer a series of posts covering telecom expense management – check out where it came from, where it’s going, and trends for the future.


To stay on the software topic from our previous post, the most noticeable change from then to now is that those telecom management tools – as with everything else it seems – are moving to “the cloud”.

TEM firms, their clients, partners, and consultants want the flexibility to manage environments and work collaboratively with each other via the web. And end user IT staff doesn’t want to manage software in house anymore. By delivering it securely online, both groups are happy.

Streamlining the software, and eliminating the need for inhouse technical staff to support it, also positions TEM firms to meet another growing need in today’s marketplace – the demand for TEM in the middle market.

Complexity of telecom and wireless is growing for everyone – not just in enterprise. Mid-sized firms are discovering the visibility and savings to be had by implementing a telecom management program. TEM is no longer just for the Big Boys.

With this inclusion of the mid-market, along with enterprise, at the table for TEM services, something else is happening. The fully outsourced model, the platinum meal plan, is being replaced with a buffet. TEM providers are pairing select managed services with web-based subscription software, creating new flexible, affordable hybrid solutions. End users can access just what they need, when they need it, controlling cost while still allowing for adaptation over time as their environments change.

Another accelerating trend is the takeover of telecom by IT. As wireless, voice and data continue to bleed together, further driven by the rise of tablet computing, the lines blur on who should manage it. Administrators are also dealing with much more complex issues than a few years ago. Corporate vs. employee liable decisions, mobile device risk mitigation, managed applications growth, and device recycling needs, just to name a few.

And as BYOD (bring your own device) adoption spreads, security and privacy issues are coming to the forefront, along with questions about how well BYOD saves money. If it does at all…

So where does that lead us?  Stay tuned for TEM Trend #1 for 2014…