In these difficult economic times cost cutting and improved efficiencies is mandatory to act as a hedge against the current difficult business environment. Telecommunications is often a top three budget item for most companies and as such is ripe for spend reduction and time savings so critical to your enterprises bottom line.
Few if any companies have the time or the tools to effectively and efficiently take on an enterprises telecom management. The lack of automation and visibility to invoice details, the inability to track telecom spend categories, limited reporting data and in-house expertise leads to out of control spend and the inefficient use of the telecom management teams time.
The Road Map From Hard to Control to Total Telecom Control
Anyone embarking on a road trip (to places not previously traveled) usually charts their coarse using a roadmap. Often they wisely select various steps that mark the progress of their journey. To successfully conclude their trip they typically establish not only the steps to be taken, the safe arrival at the correct destination, but also benchmark how cost-effective their decisions are.
The same type of thinking should guide those responsible parties who are tasked with the management/optimization of a company’s telecom assets.
5 Proven Steps to Gain Telecom Control
Step 1: Assess the Situation
To know where you are going, you need to know where you have been. First ask the right questions so you can access your telecom situation.
Are you really in control of your telecom spend? Is all your telecom information located centrally and are the various spend, service types & usage categories reportable? Are the telecom assets correctly attached to the appropriate cost centers and how easily is this information accessed and monitored?
What are the total telecom costs for your company by business unit, carrier, types of service, and who is responsible for both knowing these line items and optimizing these categories? How often are usage, feature, and service type optimizations taking place?
Are your company’s contract terms up to date? Are your business rules honored and verified regularly? Are your invoices correct and how often are they validated?
What exactly are you being invoiced for? Are you paying for any terminated services, zero use devices, and are you paying for any unneeded feature options &/or regularly paying for overage penalty’s for services not on the right feature/option plan? What process do you currently have in place to verify that you are not? How regular is granular optimization taking place?
On what information do you forecast future telecom expenses and how accurate have these forecasts been? Do you have in-house expertise utilizing the right tool sets to insure the efficient optimization of all telecom assets?
These are just a few of the questions that should be asked to assess the health of your current telecom condition.
Step 2: Analyzing the problems
If you can answer the previous questions comfortably with a high degree of confidence, you are likely receiving positive results from your efforts and are in varying degrees of control over your telecom spend and assets.
However, if you could not adequately answer some questions or your analysis provides painful insights into costly telecom management oversights… It’s time to seek help!
Step 3: Understand your options
Once you have determined your telecom team requires outside assistance to dramatically reduce telecom costs and improve your telecom management team’s efficiencies. Determine which will work best for your company; either a standard Telecom Consultant/Auditor or select a Telecom Expense Management solution provider. Perhaps you need the assistance of both!
A telecom consultant/auditor will often provide insight and a “snapshot” into your current telecom environment often checking for optimal contract terms, correct service type capacities, utilizing the appropriate technologies and overall providing assistance in getting your current telecom situation healthy and whole.
The Aberdeen Group states: “Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is a term that typically describes a method for tracking, cross-charging, and paying invoices in a timely manner. However, Aberdeen research prefers the holistic approach of a “total telecom cost management” solution that also stores contracts, handles orders, manages assets and service inventory, and provides standardized analytics on an enterprise-wide basis.”
Therefore a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solution provider (if tasked to do so) will help your enterprise to better account for and efficiently manage your telecom environment on an ongoing basis. Your TEM provider can provide both configurable software and analytical expertise.
Understand and know what TEM IS and what TEM IS NOT!
TEM IS about achieving savings and control of telecommunications spending and assets by using automated tools such as software and business processes working together for an active management of telecom services in a procure to pay life-cycle. TEM IS NOT just software. Software without active use of industry approved best practices in the business processes will not result in optimal control of your telecom environment.
Step 4: Review and Consider Telecom Management Best Practices
The best possible TEM results occur when a company integrates the Best in Class software tools with industry recognized Best Practices. When an automated web-based solution is combined with the following practices your company will go from a telecom environment that is hard to (or out of) control to Total Control.
eProcurement & Help Desk Management
Inventory /Asset Management
Step 5: Implement your selected solution to get control of your telecom costs and usage
Whether you like it or not you’re on the road to either telecom control or your telecommunications is hard to/or out of control. The roadmap outlining 5 proven steps to get your company safely to an efficient and cost-effective telecom environment is yours. Begin taking the right steps today.
For additional questions feel free to give us a call.
Gary is the Business Development Manager for Integrity Communications. With a wealth of telecom marketing experience, Gary provides useful insights for those seeking help with various telecom cost reduction strategies as they work to improve their telecom teams efficiencies concerning their business’ telecom environment.