5 Ways Technology Expense Management Helps Enterprise IaaS Operations

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Enterprises increasingly turn to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to meet their evolving communication needs in the digital transformation landscape of modern companies. Technology expense management (TEM) – A.K.A telecom expense management – plays a significant role in the never-ending dance between technology and business.  

This article overviews TEM’s strategic implications for large enterprises seeking to execute operational excellence and generate material cost savings relative to IaaS. 

Before getting too far into the details of the synergies between TEM and IaaS, let’s look closely at what IaaS is, according to Google: 

“IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is a cloud computing model that provides on-demand access to computing resources such as servers, storage, networking, and virtualization. 

IaaS is attractive because acquiring computing resources to run applications or store data the traditional way requires time and capital. Organizations must purchase equipment through procurement processes that can take months. They must invest in physical spaces, typically specialized rooms with power and cooling. And after deploying the systems, they need IT professionals to manage and maintain them.  

All this is challenging to scale when demand spikes or business grows. You run the risk of running out of capacity or overbuilding and paying for infrastructure that you never use. 

These challenges are why IaaS use is steadily growing.” – Google 

Let’s review how TEM and IaaS work well together to effectively help large enterprises manage their communications operations and costs. 

5 Ways TEM Supports IaaS

1. Strategic cost management is enhanced with TEM through one centralized technology platform

The financial success of any enterprise hinges on its ability to manage costs strategically. TEM emerges as a strong ally in the expansive domain of IaaS, where the cost structure can be confusing, offering organizations a robust toolset to navigate the complexities of network technology and telecom expenses.  

One of the foundational sources of value that a reputable TEM will provide is a modern and highly capable technology platform. This single platform will house and work with data in ways that facilitate services and data transparency, facilitating real-time decision-making for management. 

This is worth mentioning because some TEM providers will support multiple technology platforms because of merger/acquisition activities; often, their “primary platform” will be a front-facing platform for multiple platforms. (Beware and inquire about this in discussions with any prospective TEM partner. Ideally, any TEM provider  you choose uses one primary platform to support all its operations.) 

TEM provides a transparent view of costs, enabling decision-makers to implement judicious controls. For example, consolidating billing information empowers organizations to conduct granular analysis, ensuring that every expenditure aligns seamlessly with overarching business objectives.  

This strategic approach fosters financial prudence and establishes a foundation for optimization, ensuring every financial decision contributes to the enterprise’s long-term operational and financial goals. 

Delving further into TEM’s strategic cost management capabilities, it’s crucial to understand how TEM interfaces with various cost components within IaaS. TEM is a comprehensive support resource, providing real-time insights into enterprise spending patterns, from network and data storage expenses to application hosting fees. Through detailed reporting and analytics, organizations can identify cost outliers, assess the impact of different service models, and refine their cost allocation strategies. 

Moreover, TEM doesn’t operate in isolation; it integrates seamlessly with existing financial systems, ensuring a unified approach to cost control. This integration allows organizations to align their TEM insights with broader financial planning, creating a constructive collaboration that optimizes costs in the present and lays the groundwork for a sustainable and financially strong future.

2. Vendor relationship management is optimized through technology

The vendor landscape in the context of IaaS is expansive, with numerous providers offering myriad services. Managing these relationships efficiently and strategically is a daunting task that TEM simplifies and elevates to a strategic initiative. By providing a centralized platform for evaluation and negotiation, TEM enables organizational expense management leaders to make well-informed decisions. 

Within the sphere of IaaS, understanding the nuances of vendor relationships goes beyond merely selecting a service provider. It involves negotiating contracts that not only meet the organization’s current needs but also allow for scalability and flexibility in the future. TEM facilitates this by offering comprehensive insights into vendor performance metrics, service level agreements, and contract terms. 

For instance, TEM can break down vendor costs into specific services, enabling organizations to evaluate the value proposition of each service and negotiate more favorable terms. This level of granularity empowers enterprises to align vendor relationships with their evolving business requirements. It transforms vendor management from a reactive, transactional process to a proactive, strategic initiative. 

Additionally, TEM plays a crucial role in vendor accountability. Continuous monitoring and reporting with the help of the technology platform ensures that vendors deliver on their contractual commitments.  

This safeguards the organization against service disruptions and contributes to optimizing service agreements. Holding vendors accountable is key to ensuring the organization receives optimal value from its investments in IaaS and all vendor relationships. 

3. Automation through technology bolsters operational strength

Operational efficiency is the backbone of successful enterprises, and within the dynamic landscape of IaaS, TEM emerges as a catalyst for operational efficiency through platform automation. By automating critical processes such as invoice handling, expense tracking, and workflow management, TEM minimizes errors and liberates in-house personnel to concentrate on strategic initiatives. 

Delving deeper into the automation capabilities of TEM reveals a transformative impact on day-to-day operations. Traditionally time-consuming and error-prone, invoice processing becomes a seamless and error-free operation. TEM automates the validation and reconciliation of invoices, ensuring accuracy and eliminating the risk of overbilling or discrepancies. 

Expense tracking, another critical aspect of operational efficiency, is streamlined through TEM automation. It consolidates expenses from various sources, providing a unified view of technology/telecom-related costs. This simplifies the tracking process and enhances transparency, enabling decision-makers to understand where the organization’s financial resources are allocated comprehensively. 

Beyond these immediate operational benefits, TEM automation sets the stage for a shift in organizational culture. Internal employees can redirect their efforts toward high-impact activities by reducing manual interventions in routine tasks.  

This shift enhances productivity and cultivates a culture of innovation and strategic thinking. Employees are liberated from the constraints of mundane tasks, allowing them to contribute more meaningfully to the organization’s overarching goals. 

Furthermore, the automation capabilities of TEM extend to proactive alerts and notifications. Organizations can set predefined thresholds for expenses or deviations from established norms. TEM automatically triggers alerts when these thresholds are breached, allowing decision-makers to address issues promptly. This proactive approach to issue resolution minimizes the impact of potential disruptions, contributing to the overall resilience of IaaS operations.

4. Compliance and security assurance are strengthened through TEM process and technology

In an era where data security and regulatory compliance are paramount, TEM is pivotal in fortifying an organization’s stance within the IaaS framework. The intersection of technology/telecom operations, data security, and regulatory compliance is a delicate balance that TEM helps organizations maintain through its approach and robust feature set. 

Primarily, TEM aids in establishing and enforcing policies that align with regulatory requirements and internal security standards. These policies cover various areas, from data access and usage policies to encryption standards and audit trails. Organizations create a comprehensive and standardized approach to compliance by codifying these policies within the TEM framework. 

The continuous monitoring capabilities of TEM are instrumental in ensuring ongoing compliance. It provides real-time insights into telecom operations, enabling organizations to identify and rectify deviations from established policies promptly. This proactive approach minimizes non-compliance risk, safeguarding the organization against regulatory penalties and reputational damage. 

Moreover, TEM serves as a critical component in the overall cybersecurity strategy. With the increasing sophistication of cyber threats, securing technology infrastructure is a priority for organizations leveraging IaaS. 

TEM contributes to this by monitoring for unusual patterns or activities within the telecom network. Any deviations from established norms trigger alerts, prompting immediate investigation and remediation. 

The security assurance provided by TEM extends to vendor relationships as well. Through comprehensive vendor performance metrics, organizations can assess the security measures implemented by telecom service providers.  

This scrutiny ensures vendors adhere to industry best practices and meet the organization’s security standards. The ability to evaluate and enforce security standards across the entire telecom ecosystem becomes a proactive measure in mitigating cybersecurity risks.

5. Resource optimization is improved via one technology platform and proven processes

The scalability inherent in IaaS demands a dynamic approach to resource allocation, and TEM, recognizing this imperative, provides organizations with the flexibility required to optimize resources effectively.

Through a tailored approach to scaling services based on usage patterns, TEM ensures optimal resource allocation, translating into significant cost savings and heightened organizational agility in responding to the fluid dynamics of the market. 

Regarding the resource optimization capabilities of TEM, it becomes evident that this extends beyond mere cost savings. It involves a comprehensive approach to resource management, where organizations can align their telecom infrastructure with evolving business requirements. 

For example, TEM allows organizations to assess the utilization of telecom resources across different departments or business units. This insight enables decision-makers to identify areas of over-utilization or underutilization, paving the way for more informed resource allocation decisions.  

Whether reallocating resources to support a growing department or optimizing usage to eliminate unnecessary costs, TEM becomes a strategic ally in resource efficiency. 

TEM’s flexibility is particularly crucial in the context of the ever-evolving demands of IaaS. As organizations undergo periods of growth or changes in operational focus, the ability to scale resources precisely becomes a strategic advantage.  

TEM provides the technology tools necessary to predict and respond to changes in usage patterns, ensuring that organizations can adapt their telecom infrastructure to align with their business trajectory. 

Furthermore, TEM facilitates scenario planning for resource allocation. Decision-makers can simulate different usage scenarios and assess the corresponding impact on costs. This proactive approach to resource optimization enables organizations to make informed decisions about scaling services, negotiating with vendors, or implementing cost-saving measures. 

The dynamic nature of IaaS also brings with it the challenge of managing multiple telecom vendors and service providers. TEM simplifies this complexity by providing a centralized view of all telecom-related contracts, expenses, and performance metrics.  

This comprehensive view allows decision-makers to evaluate the performance of different vendors objectively, negotiate contracts effectively, and ensure that the chosen providers align with the organization’s evolving needs. 

In summary, TEM’s flexibility and resource optimization capabilities go beyond a reactive response to usage patterns; they proactively empower organizations to align their telecom infrastructure with their strategic business objectives.  

Whether navigating growth phases, adapting to changes in market conditions, or ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently, TEM becomes an indispensable tool in pursuing organizational agility and financial prudence.

Final Thoughts on TEM and IaaS Synergy

Telecom Expense Management emerges as a solution and a comprehensive and transformative tool for large enterprises navigating the complexities of Infrastructure as a Service.  

From strategic cost management to vendor relationship optimization, automation-driven operational efficiency, compliance and security assurance, and flexibility in resource optimization, TEM shows itself as a Swiss Army Knife for enhancing operational efficiency and strengthening financial accountability. 

To learn more about how we go about IaaS management and our TEM program at Tellennium, schedule a brief demo of our platform.

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Rob Halik is a Senior Analyst at Tellennium, specializing in Managed Mobility Services, Telecom Expense Management, and Utility Bill Management. With over 25 years of industry experience, Rob provides enterprise expense management insights to help businesses optimize their operations and reduce costs. This article is a collaborative effort by our expert team members at Tellennium, including Greg McIntyre, Shawn Veitz, Matt McIntyre, and Todd Givens, who collectively bring over 100 years of industry experience.

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