Interview

Managing your company's cellular assets with telecom expense management

Editorial staff

 

 Many enterprises find that their cellular costs are out of control. What can an enterprise expect to save if they use a TEM solution for their enterprise cellular as well as their wireline spend?
The cost of supporting enterprise cellular services and devices is nearly ten times the cost of wireline management. The telecom expense management capabilities that reduce wireline costs can help bring enterprise cellular costs under control. Leading industry analysts have found that enterprise cellular expense management can cut the cost of enterprise cellular services and device management by more than 20%.

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Many organizations don't know what devices or plans they have or what they're paying for them.
Tony Mazzullo
President and CEOVeramark Technologies Inc.

 What's driving the high cost of enterprise cellular?
Lack of centralized management is a major factor. Many organizations don't know what devices or plans they have or what they're paying for them. Employees in many organizations have plans in their own names. Multiple devices, plan types, and direct-to-employee billing result in plan inefficiencies, lack of accurate inventory information, and poor visibility into usage. Is this an example of "you can't manage what you can't see"?
Lack of visibility is a major part of the problem, because without visibility into plans, usage, and spend, it's impossible to optimize enterprise cellular expenses. Can't businesses simply establish appropriate use policies to rein in costs?
Appropriate use policies alone are not enough. For example, despite clear plan guidelines, employees often incur penalties for exceeding plan minutes, or they underutilize voice or data service plans that exceed their needs. Behavior management is part of the solution; plan optimization based on centralized management and visibility into usage is also required. Is it possible for organizations to solve these problems without cutting back on their enterprise cellular capabilities?
The right combination of centralized management, policy enforcement, and enabling technology can significantly reduce enterprise cellular costs without constraining an organization's ability to deploy enterprise cellular and gain the productivity it provides. What are the key elements of telecom expense management for enterprise cellular?
An effective TEM solution for enterprise cellular encompasses services, policies, and enabling technology for the processes critical to every comprehensive TEM solution, namely sourcing, ordering and provisioning, inventory and invoice management, usage and dispute management. Only by managing all these processes can you implement a true life-cycle solution that closes the loop on wireless costs. If an enterprise is using TEM to manage their wireline costs, how can it help them reduce their enterprise cellular expenses?
Leading telecom expense management solutions can help identify and capitalize on opportunities to reduce enterprise cellular spend, enforce wireless procurement and usage policies, and reduce enterprise cellular costs through process automation (such as automated, online wireless procurement solutions). The right TEM solutions enable you to monitor and analyze enterprise cellular spend and usage patterns, providing data that can help you negotiate the most favorable contracts with your enterprise cellular service providers. Some TEM solutions let you manage enterprise cellular costs by exception, so that you can spend less time on day-to-day operational tasks and focus on strategic initiatives that offer greater, long term savings potential. Your TEM vendor may be able to provide services or consulting to help you tailor a solution to the needs of your particular organization. How important is centralized inventory management?
When moves, adds, changes, activations, and deactivations are not tracked in a consolidated database, invoice validation is virtually impossible, allowing costs to go unchecked. An accurate, up-to-date, central inventory of devices and plans is fundamental to any effective enterprise cellular management strategy. How can TEM help an enterprise manage enterprise cellular invoices and usage?
TEM enterprise cellular solutions let you process your invoices electronically, automate validation and approval, improve accuracy, lower processing costs, and improve on-time payment to reduce late payment penalties. Equally important, telecom expense management allows you to capture detailed usage information that provides visibility into the way your organization really uses enterprise cellular services. Through centralized invoice and usage management, you can make sure you're paying the right amount for your enterprise cellular services and collect the usage data you need to optimize your enterprise cellular network. Many enterprises handle enterprise cellular ordering and provisioning manually through many different office locations. Can TEM help them take control of this process?
Absolutely. There are telecom expense management solutions available that enable enterprises to centralize and automate ordering and provisioning. Enterprise cellular procurement through a secure Web portal, is one example of how workflow automation can enhance productivity, enforce process and policy compliance, and improve cost accountability. It presents users with customized catalog selections and routes their requests to appropriate individuals within the organization for review and approval. The same self-service processes can provide similar benefits for MACD, help desk, and other service requests. How can telecom expense management help with managing multiple enterprise cellular contracts?
Manually managing enterprise cellular contracts is labor intensive and error prone process. The right TEM solution can automatically track contract terms and alert you to the approach of critical thresholds, such as renewal dates or failure to meet minimum annual commitments, giving you time to plan for contract negotiation or take corrective steps to ensure contract compliance. TEM can also provide you with the data necessary to evaluate vendor performance against SLAs and support your future negotiation efforts. You can create negotiation scenarios that are unique to your particular organization, business practice, or industry – making it easy to negotiate on terms beyond just quantity and price. Technology is great, but there also has to be a change in behavior. Where can an enterprise get help with policies and procedures?
Lack of policy and procedure is a major contributing factor to high enterprise cellular costs. In many organizations, procurement of enterprise cellular devices and plans has been handled in a decentralized, ad hoc manner – even when centralized solutions are in place.

Lack of policy and procedure is a major contributing factor to high enterprise cellular costs.
Tony Mazzullo
President and CEO

Veramark Technologies Inc.

 Purchasing may have been left up to individual employees, who are then reimbursed for the business use of their personal devices. In this kind of unstructured environment, enterprise cellular expense is difficult and time-consuming to manage. Leading TEM vendors offer services and consulting to help you design processes and policies that work hand-in-hand with your TEM technology to maximize your enterprise cellular savings. How can a business intelligence (BI) solution help maximize enterprise cellular savings?
Business intelligence integrated with a TEM solution can summarize and analyze a vast amount of data collected by a TEM system. It can help spot enterprise cellular spend anomalies and exceptions, identify opportunities to consolidate vendors and plans, and help find ways to optimize enterprise cellular expenses across the organization. BI helps take TEM to a whole new level of cost savings and efficiency. Some wireline usage reporting relies on CDR data generated by call accounting software. What kind of usage reporting can be expected for enterprise cellular?
TEM solutions that provide enterprise cellular invoice management can generate usage reports based on information provided in the invoices. Enterprise cellular usage reports shows how much individuals are using their enterprise cellular features (as compared to plan allowances) and the amount of overage charges. Enterprise cellular usage exception reports examine the latest invoices with enterprise cellular category usage/charges and highlights problems in one or more critical areas. When you're comparing telecom expense management solutions, be sure to look for configurable reports that provide enough flexibility to meet the enterprise cellular reporting needs of your organization.

About Veramark Technologies, Inc.
Veramark is a leading provider of scalable, integrated enterprise solutions for telecom and IT expense and performance management. Veramark solutions provide visibility into operational expenses and generate actionable business intelligence to help organizations reduce spend and optimize business processes. Veramark solutions, which include software and services for telecom expense management (TEM) and business process outsourcing (BPO), enable best practices for managing complex unified communications networks on a global scale. For more information, visit www.veramark.com.


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