Telecom carrier contract management done right is difficult, and it is tremendously important. Yet, in the world of telecom/technology expense management (TEM), it is often overlooked by enterprise management teams (very much like inventory management).
Teams find enterprise carrier/vendor contract management intimidating for two key reasons:
1. Interpreting your entire universe of carrier / vendor contracts is onerous and complicated
Most businesspeople are not lawyers and get put off by all the complicated and often obfuscating legal speak, with all the related onerous attachments, addendums, and referenced schedules.
It’s confusing, and enterprise telecom vendors like it this way. This means it’s harder for enterprise expense management teams to hold them accountable in terms of billing errors, month-to-month contract billing issues, et cetera. (And they are right unless enterprise TEM teams commit to managing their contracts properly.)
2. Decentralized contract management makes proactive expense management difficult
The second reason this is extremely difficult is that – in many cases – all contracts are not centrally managed under one capable enterprise expense management team that leverages a powerful technology platform designed to specifically manage all key TEM functions, including contract management capabilities.
Let’s review this in more detail because it’s important for your organization to take contract management for your telecom expense management organization seriously.
This telecom expense management area by itself can end up saving your company hundreds of thousands if not millions over the years to come.
5 Reasons Why Contract Management is Important for TEM Savings
1. All contractual directives aligned to billable inventory create analytical leverage for your TEM team
A strong TEM provider will help house all processed billable data in its TEM platform and be able to do so in a way that is amenable to alignment against all relevant contracts for audit and optimization opportunity reviews.
Now, some of this may be automated via TEM platform workflows which is great. But even for review exercises that cannot be fully automated, the organizational value alone cannot be overstated in terms of value for the purposes of auditing and other vendor analyses during the term of a standard 3-year agreement.
You will now also be able to negotiate more authoritatively, which is where you want to be.
2. Keeping a tight leash on contract management reduces legal and industry compliance issues
Like many highly regulated industries, the telecommunications industry is one that has many regulatory bodies and regulations to comply with (e.g., FCC).
An organization with strong central control over all governing vendor contracts and corresponding attachments and addendums will not only save money because of a better ability to catch billing mistakes but will also greatly reduce the potential for regulatory issues due to non-compliance (e.g., GDPR regulations in recent years) or tax issues (another potential prickly issue).
3. Your internal expense management team resources will be optimized because of greater visibility
Without a centralized repository for all contractual content and corresponding billing data, it’s difficult if not outright impossible to perform contract management well within the world of TEM.
But a capable TEM partner can augment your internal TEM team well by providing this capability along with its subject-matter-expertise capabilities. They will be able to provide visibility into contract management critical information like:
- Contract expiration dates
- Pricing & discounting terms
- Renewal terms
And the organizational benefits realized by this support will save significant “wheel-spinning” of many of your internal team members. (A lot of time, money, and frustration will be spared.)
4. You will have greater negotiation power
No surprise here but knowledge is power, especially in an area this important. Negotiating a bad contract will not help you, so it’s imperative that you know where your organization is relative to the market.
Clarity around where your organization is with respect to all carrier contracts, plans, services, and pricing will help to ensure the right decisions around future agreements and services for your organization at the right costs.
And one system of record, i.e., one central TEM platform supported by a knowledgeable TEM team that will drive success in this important TEM savings opportunity area.
5. You will gain greater efficiencies within your TEM program
Simply put, this is a crucial area to be proactive with, in terms of TEM program management. If you get this area right, you’ll keep more money in your pocket on the front end of your program versus fighting to get it back later via audit, optimization, or vendor renegotiations.
If you and your team manage this area well, with the right people, i.e., TEM subject matter experts, and the right technology, i.e., a TEM platform designed specifically to support TEM functions, you will drive efficiency within your program.
If you are going through the discovery process of evaluating potential TEM partners, please take the time to inquire about this critical area of contract management.
As mentioned, it is often overlooked in initial sales conversations but an ongoing TEM program that is strong and wants to remain strong will need to have strong contract management capabilities within its TEM program.
If you’d like to consider Tellennium in your TEM vendor comparisons, contact us to schedule a brief demo of our solution.
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