By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
As much as companies rely on communications to connect with customers, partners and colleagues throughout the world, each channel can add significant costs to the overall telecom budget. This drives a need for telecom expense management to ensure all channels are necessary and optimized for the lowest cost.
Valicom has years of experience in bringing solutions to telecom expense management. The Wisconsin-based company uses Web-based software with a suite of tools that help companies unlock the puzzle that comes with telecom expense management issues.
Reporting tools are needed in telecom expense management software, according to a white paper, “7 Ways Software Streamlines Telecom & Wireless Expense Management.” Reporting helps account for the inventory as well as track cost trends. Not all companies use the same type of dashboards to view their data, so the software should be customizable.
At the same time, not all reports within a company need to look the same, either. These parameters should be customizable as well, and the dashboard should allow the user to select the report in the way that he/she wants to see it. Valicom’s solution includes robust reporting tools that give valuable insight to the telecom expense management metrics.
Cost allocation is an important aspect of telecom expense management because it zeroes in on where the money is being spent. Software like that provided by Valicom allows the user to add in “cost centers” to allocate items and determine who is paying how much for what. Tracking allocations is important, and so is the process of tracking issues.
Valicom’s software also allows for an issues area so companies can leave notes about the various processes, orders, and payments that have been made. The issues area is something of a virtual diary for the telecom expense management processes.
Invoices are sometimes hard to monitor and track, especially for companies that process hundreds or thousands every day. Not many people involved in telecom expense management have the time to look over all the invoices. But software should allow the user to import the invoice data to the system for automation. Variance tools within the software will help alert when an invoice looks unique from other invoices, which generally all look the same.
Change orders can throw a new twist into the equation if the tracking mechanism in the software isn’t robust. Luckily, the telecom expense management software developed by Valicom has numerous areas where change and order management information can be entered. The software also saves the user a lot of time dealing with contracts.
While many contracts are on paper, the software allows the user to scan the document and upload it into the system where a digital copy is easily accessed. With this easy access, there are no file cabinets full of paper that have to be shuffled through to find the contract.
Valicom’s telecom expense management solution is provided in the cloud, which means there are no licensing issues to deal with, no long deployment periods, and no hassle on the part of the IT staff. For those interested, demos of the solution, called Clearview, are available online.