Saving money is always a top priority for enterprise communications expense management teams. This will be no surprise to anyone. To do this effectively though, the initial management focus needs to center around operational imperatives that properly align to organizational communications needs, best-of-breed current communications services, and forward-leaning communications expense management best practices.
Organizational focus around these key core enterprise expense management areas will translate to material realized savings with patience; the savings – as is usually the case – will not be immediate but they will eventually come because of doing the right things right in terms of managing the entire technology-spend lifecycle.
6 Technology | Communications Expense Management (TEM) Tactics for Saving Money
With the right strategic focus around enterprise expense management – otherwise known as “TEM” – for Telecom Expense Management or technology expense management, we can turn to some of the tactics that will drive enterprise expense management savings over the long term for the full TEM lifecycle.
1. Increase visibility to all locations
It’s critical for enterprise expense management teams to identify all the services that they have at each location. Beyond this, the TEM team will want to clearly understand the purpose for each service. For example, they may have 50 circuits. What is the purpose for each? And does the organization need all 50 circuits in service?
2. Determine all services under contract
The enterprise expense management team will want to identify which telecommunications services are still under contract. For telecom services under contract, are they billing correctly as per the contract terms? For existing services that are not presently billing under contract, what are the rates presently being billed? If higher than contracted rates, are they defaulting to tariff or carrier service guide (non-contract) billing?
If this is the case, the TEM team will want to explore options for getting out of default tariff or service guide pricing. If the services are billing less than current contracted rates, is there a legitimate reason for this such as a contract addendum? Either way, the TEM team will want to fully understand “the lay of the land” in terms of existing technology services and evaluate pricing accordingly.
3. Identify all no use services
In terms of services, we previously used telecom circuits as an example. Let’s continue with this example. The TEM or enterprise expense management team will want to identify circuits no longer in use. For these “no use” circuits, are they still being billed? If so, how long have they been billed while not in use?
Most enterprises would not like to admit that they have let no-use telecom circuits bill for months, and in many cases even years. Stopping this type of waste can translate into thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over time when not properly monitored and managed by expense management teams.
Or, if thinking about mobility services, many larger enterprises will find hundreds of phones that are no longer in use for any number of reasons. Personnel may retire or leave for different employment opportunities. Many of these mobile phones will still be billing. Again, this will translate to thousands upon thousands of dollars of waste for the enterprise.
The technology expense management team will need to monitor service activity proactively by employing TEM best practices relative to automating emails and network reporting. This allows users and TEM managers to take action to cancel services no longer in use such as zero-usage mobile devices.
4. Identify all low use services
Beyond services being billed that are no longer in use, TEM teams managing the full technology-spend lifecycle will want to scrutinize services that are being underutilized. For example, are users under the right plans given their usage behavior? For low use users, can they be placed on a plan that fits their user behavior? This may not always be possible, but TEM teams will want to evaluate all options.
5. Practice intelligent feature management
Often, there will be options to intelligently utilize telecom services and features that are missed by expense management teams. Having full situational awareness relative to all services within the TEM lifecycle can save money for the enterprise. For example, consider aircard use with mobile smartphones. By utilizing a hotspot feature for the phone, a user can leverage the hotspot capability and eliminate an aircard and the associated expense. A highly engaged and proactive TEM team can monitor telecom carrier plans and employee usage behaviors closely and adjust service configurations accordingly.
6. Employ proactive contract management
A highly capable and engaged TEM team will want to stay way out front of the technology-spend lifecycle. One very important way of doing this is looking way out on the TEM horizon to properly monitor when telecom service provider contracts are ending.
By staying finely attuned to when telecom carriers are coming up on term, enterprise expense management teams empower themselves to negotiate better deals for their organizations. TEM teams simply cannot wait until the last minute to negotiate with existing telecom service providers. Telecom service providers know that their incumbency gives them great advantage. And they will not be afraid to exploit this to their favor.
Large telecom carrier agreements will need a minimum of six months for renegotiations. Otherwise, the telecom carrier will know that the enterprise is posturing and not take negotiations seriously. Any conceded reductions in rates or favorable new contract terms will be modest at best, the bare minimum to make the enterprise expense management team feel as though they made gains and retain their business.
Enterprise expense management teams always want to save money. This is obvious but the ways to properly do this are not obvious. Enterprise TEM teams, along with their TEM partners, need to think about the management of their TEM program in the aggregate and over the long term.
TEM teams need to never take their eyes off the real prize, which is sound operational management of the full technology-spend lifecycle. Having complete awareness of this TEM lifecycle and all that it entails such as vendor management, services management, feature management, and user management empowers strong enterprise communications and network expense management in a sustainable way.
To learn more about our TEM program at Tellennium, please schedule a brief demo of our solution.
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