Telecom Expense Management (TEM) FAQs

Mobility Manages Services FAQs

Telecom expense management is the process of managing an organization’s telecom expenses. TEM can also entail mobility and similar type expenses. Below we answer the most common TEM related questions we receive.

1. What is Telecom Expense Management (TEM)?

Gartner currently defines Telecom Expense Management as follows: 

“Telecom expense management (TEM) services provide enterprises’ IT, procurement and finance departments with the ability to order, provision, support and manage costs of large-scale corporate communications and associated IT services with their inventories (such as fixed and mobile telephony and data, cloud license tracking and emerging IoT connectivity). In addition, they provide tools required for C-level technology strategic decision-making. Gartner’s TEM coverage focuses on SaaS-based applications/platforms, managed services, and associated professional services.” 

➥ What is Telecom Expense Management (TEM)? – Tellennium 

2. How much do TEM services cost?

TEM firms charge in diverse ways. The most common is based on a percentage of monthly spend processed for wireline services for the invoice processing service (accounts payable process) and a percentage gain share of realized savings for audit and optimization services. Some TEM providers may include basic audit functions in the invoice management fee; others may offer a flat rate for invoice management services and basic audit functions. 

For wireless services, charges are typically based on a monthly flat rate per device, by device type, and support services desired for mobility.  Specifically, wireless charges are based on the number of devices (discounts for quantity) and scope of work, including invoice processing, support, audit/optimization, fulfillment, kitting, logistics, etc. The larger the scope, the higher the per-device fee. Expect device charges to range from over $1 to $10 per device.

How Much Will a Telecom Expense Management Service Cost? – Tellennium

3. How much can TEM services save?

Each organization is different, so it depends. Organizations can expect multiple savings streams from invoice processing, audit, and optimization initiatives. TEM industry analysts state an average of 8-10% of the overall telecommunications spend.  

However, the efficiency and productivity gains from the digital transformation of inclusive processes can be equally significant. Some TEMs claim 25%+ in savings and offer cost-neutral guarantees.  

To learn more, please see:

How Much Money & Time Will TEM Services Save? – Tellennium

4. What type of companies use TEM services?

All organizations, including the government, can benefit from TEM services. The main qualification is Enterprise expense complexity, typically associated with multiple locations and a minimum monthly telecom-related spend of $50,000. 

Typically, the average monthly spend is much higher; if applicable, mobile device counts are greater than 500. The larger, the more complex, and the more fluctuations occur within an organization, the greater the benefit in managing changes, acquisitions, and disposition adjustments. 

What type of companies use and benefit from TEM services? – Tellennium 

5. What is the difference between TEM Telecom Expense Management and Technology Expense Management?

What is the difference between TEM Telecom Expense Management and Technology Expense Management? 

The acronym TEM originally denoted telecom expense management, which focused on enterprise telephony services and closely related communications network operations and expenses. The term has expanded to include cloud services and other technology expenses.  

So, it can be thought of as TEM 2.0. Technology expense management is simply the new term for what has historically been referred to as telecom expense management.

What is the difference between Telecom Expense Management and Technology Expense Management? – Tellennium 

6. Why outsource to a TEM company?

The alternative is to use spreadsheets, access databases, and manual processes, which, in a complex enterprise, is nearly impossible to efficiently track, monitor, and audit enterprise communications network expenses. 

TEM companies will leverage a robust SaaS technology platform, deep domain expertise, and proven processes to address enterprise expense management challenges. A reputable TEM provider will possess a greater breadth of industry knowledge due to their diverse customer base and dealing with all telecommunications vendors. 

Are You Getting These 5 Things from Your TEM Provider? – Tellennium

7. How do I pick the best TEM for my company?

When evaluating TEM providers, you will want to consider the following: (1) customer satisfaction (2) inventory build practices, (3) location of support and servers, (4) international and domestic capabilities, (5) ease of use and capability of the technology platform, and (6) culture of the TEM provider as they should be viewed as a long-term partner.

A 4 Step Guide to Selecting a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Provider

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