Modern companies no longer run on simple telephone services, they have evolved to operating on an entire IT and mobile-based infrastructure. One that is ever-changing. As emerging technologies are increasingly adopted, it creates copious amounts of labor-intensive details for businesses to manage.
Running telecom needs and the technology services that accompany them are also costly. According to AOTMP, global organizations spend a whopping $1.5 trillion a year on fixed and mobile telecom services. That’s a big investment and, unfortunately, many organizations lose money in the process because of the labor and level of detail involved. There is a solution – Telecom and Technology Expense Management (TEM) services. Organizations that turn to TEM services find they receive a good ROI on their investment because they save over 22% more than companies not investing in TEM programs.
While there is an overall growth in TEM interest, some organizations still aren't making this investment, despite the ability to increase efficiency and cut costs associated with the management of technological lifecycle activities. AOTMP notes the top reasons organizations cite for not spending on TEM are:
- Inability to justify the expense
- Activities are handled internally
- Perception that managing a TEM vendor and its software creates more work
The good news is the expense can be justified and, once the process is set up, it runs smoothly and results in less work. Decision makers looking for cost-effective solutions can build a strong business case for investment in TEM services.
Integrating automation through TEM software and services enable organizations to efficiently gather IT and telecom bills and find any overcharges or contract violations, ensuring both wired and wireless agreements are being met. It also performs digital health checks to see if products and services are performing as expected. If not, TEM solutions will identify any unused or broken equipment that needs be disconnected or repaired.
Most businesses today work with multiple telecom vendors and this can be difficult to track. Often details get lost in the mix due to volume or human error. With TEM this is all removed because contracted services effectively work with telecom vendors to negotiate better contracts, rates and discounts. Invoices associated with telecom services can be consolidated to make payments quick and easy.
The money saved through eliminating waste can be reallocated to other highly used technologies, thus increasing the ROI associated with TEM.
With the rapid rate of change the tech industry, it can be difficult to keep up with spreadsheets or other manual processes to track telecom and wireless expenses, equipment upgrades and flow of IT inventory. Organizations investing in TEM find they can easily track their data through the analytics provided by automated solutions. This increases not just accuracy, but efficiency, as real-time data associated with their IT inventory is always available. Through TEM solutions, organizations can increase the precision of tracking data and inventory, allowing managers to have an exact and current snapshot of assets and the telecom services needed to run them. In the end, this saves time and money, both of which can be calculated into the ROI.
Once TEM software is integrated, it automates workflows and streamlines processes, relieving staff from having to manage the numerous details associated with telecom and technology expenses. From automatic invoice processing to tracking the IT assets distributed to staff, these figures, and more are easy to pull up at any given time. With these time-consuming burdens removed, employees can focus on core competencies and other innovative tasks to help grow the business, boosting productivity and, ultimately, profitability.
Stronger Tracking and Security
Another valuable aspect of TEM is it provides the ability to better track and secure an organization's IT assets and services. Automation of these processes assures regulatory compliances and business policies are followed. Through TEM, there is better accuracy in expense tracking and reporting, removing the potential for human error and avoiding hefty penalties associated with any violation of regulations. Other benefits it can provide include:
- Identifying security measures needed for mobile devices
- Accurately tracking data use and determining the correct level needed, ensuring the right amount is purchased
- Tracking the devices of departing or transferring employees, making certain devices are returned, turned off or still being paid for non-usage
- Linking employees to assigned IT and mobile devices
- Uncovering fraud and detecting unauthorized charges
Additionally, cybersecurity is a necessary process these days and it’s going to continue to be a top priority, especially as laws or regulations are adopted relating to data protection. According to projections, organizations will spend $6 trillion on cybersecurity by 2021, that’s not far off! Being there is already a talent shortage in the cybersecurity job sector, automation can help cover some of the gaps and absorb some of the expense.
Times are a-Changin'
Organizations currently spend significant money on IT equipment, mobile, and telecom services. It’s only going to get even more complicated. Technologies, such as IoT and Artificial Intelligence, are making great strides and it’s not too far down the road when these advances will become the norm in many modern organizations.
It takes resources to manage technological assets and TEM is a great solution to cut costs associated with these expenses. Organizations can run the software themselves, or partner with a firm like Valicom to assist with some or even all of the details. With a seamless operation, organizations investing in TEM not only find a positive ROI, but in the long-run position themselves with a stronger competitive advantage.
About the Author: Nancy Peckham
Nancy began her career in telecommunications in 1983 as an account executive with Republic Telecom, a regional long distance carrier. She was named district sales manager for the Wisconsin region in 1987 when Republic Telecom was acquired by Mid American Communications. She recognized a need for independent, objective telecommunications consulting which led her founding Valicom. Since its launch in 1991, Valicom has been a leader in providing telecom expense management solutions and serves enterprise and mid-market clients in a variety of industries and verticals across the U.S. Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, founded and served as president of the Telecommunications Professionals of Wisconsin (TPW) from 1989-1992, and was executive vice president on the board of directors of the Society of Telecommunications Consultants (STC). Nancy is also a founding member and executive council chair of the Independent Telecommunications Expense Management Association (i-TEM).