5 ways it's cheaper and more effective to utilize a TEM as part of your team

When operations leaders realize that they need help managing their communications network operations and expenses, it’s usually too late. Well, maybe it’s true that there is no such thing as too late for these sorts of things – after all we are not saving lives here – but in many cases for our healthcare customers and first responders the network is critical in supporting those saving lives.

Once the need is identified and front and center, it’s usually abundantly clear that there is much less visibility and centralized control into the network of services in use. Communications network expenses are almost certainly higher than expected and there is usually a myriad of complex and thorny issues that are keeping the internal team from obtaining the desired level of operational control and cost containment they are seeking.

A majority of IT and Financial operations leaders realize that the help they really need to wrest quick control of their network and to scale effectively will be highly specialized. This will mean, by default, that they need to partner with outside help as the level of needed expertise is rarely available in-house. This type of help translates to what has traditionally been referred to as a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) firm.

A professionally competent TEM firm can serve as a scalable extension of your internal team, providing the requisite TEM technology platform  and subject-matter-expertise needed to bring back into the fold unruly operational challenges and communications expenses that have spiraled out-of-control.

For most enterprise organizations, the ideal answer will reside in keeping a core internal team while simultaneously leveraging the technology platform and subject-matter-expertise of a TEM firm. It’s this hybrid model that most organizations find most effective in terms of operational control and cost containment.

The TEM firm can be leveraged for its technology and subject-matter-expertise, while the internal TEM team can assist with overall TEM program management and serve as a liaison between the TEM firm and the internal C-Level management team.

Let’s review some of the important ways that a TEM firm such as Tellennium can be leveraged to help pare down operational network costs for your enterprise while leveling-up the overall sophistication and technology used for the expense management program:

1. Automation of Vendor Invoicing

Telecom invoices have hundreds of thousands of charges. It is impossible to validate each charge each month without automation and a strong TEM firm will have the required technology platform for efficient processing.

The cost to load an invoice ranges from $31 to $92 depending upon complexity; a competent TEM will be able to bring the per invoice load cost to the lower range of the spectrum. This will be materially lower than can be performed in-house given adherence to TEM best practices and bleeding-edge automation utilized by a TEM (e.g., the Tellennium MoT platform.)

2. Manual Data Updating

Per research firm Amalgam Insights it typically costs $.82 to update each inventory item within the existing system of use for an enterprise; these systems are often antiquated homegrown-built systems or even simple spreadsheets shared amongst employees. A strong TEM will leverage more automated updating and a current TEM platform to substantially reduce this cost to the enterprise. The freeing up of man hours can then be applied to higher-order tasks involving overall program management and optimization of network operations and costs.

3. Network Audit & Optimization

A TEM such as Tellennium specializes in understanding all the quirks and nuances related to carrier billing. We are up-to-speed on the various tricks/tactics the carriers will use to obfuscate billing mistakes and overall network billing practices, which are designed – in their favor – to maximize profit. This is essentially one of our core value-add serves that we bring to the table for enterprise management teams. 

4. Business Continuity

The age-old dilemma of being too dependent upon key internal employees becomes a non- issue if the overall strength of your TEM program is bolstered by strong systems, best practices, and current technology employed by a competent TEM firm. Use of a TEM firm – an extension of your internal team – will automatically reduce an enterprise’s vulnerability in this regard. 

Even if, say, a key person on the TEM team leaves, the impact to the enterprise organization will be minimal at best given the automation of invoice processing and the overall depth of talent within TEM firms. Such is not usually the case with respect to the dynamics of internal enterprise TEM teams not supported by a TEM provider. 

5. Risk Avoidance & Mitigation

A strong TEM firm like Tellennium is focused on avoiding risks to the enterprise. Specifically speaking, the focus is on strong operations that ensure uninterrupted continuity of business along with optimized business systems/processes and technology to keep operational expenses low.  

In short, the communications network needs to always work well and at costs that are competitive relative to current market conditions. A competent TEM running through its daily paces will always be more equipped to proactively monitor operations to limit common TEM program challenges such as service disconnections.  

Consider the following disconnect impacts: 

A TEM firm specializes in ensuring no service is disconnected for nonpayment. 

Invoice Formats

Telecom invoices have hundreds of invoicing formats that are consistently changing by the carriers. A strong TEM will ensure that these challenges do not negatively impact the enterprise and result in disconnection.

Inaccurate Invoicing

Over 25% of telecom invoices are incorrect. This has always been long-standing issue within the telecommunications industry and shows no signs of going away anytime soon. At Tellennium, we focus on correcting the invoicing, collecting carrier over-charges, and maintaining service to avoid service disruptions and their associated expenses.

Business Network Visibility

Strong operational control over services and network expenses are keys to a successful TEM program. Leveraging a TEM such as Tellennium as an extension of your core internal team will fully mitigate common network management mistakes such as disconnects and ensure that the organization is not over-paying for carrier services.

Summary

You will want some internal employees (core internal TEM team) as part of your overall expense management team. But this internal team is best utilized, as noted earlier, for assisting with overall TEM program management and serve as a liaison between the highly specialized TEM firm and the internal C-Level management team. This is how the most successful enterprise organizations extract the most value from their TEM programs.

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