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When to Outsource Telecom Expense Management

Blog Post
April 14, 2022

By Bob Tisch of Advantix Solutions.

If you’re operating a business that spends at least six figures on telecom and would like to save significant money, the short answer is, “as soon as possible.”

Gartner and other research firms consistently identify telecom as among the most challenging categories for finance and IT teams to manage. This often results in over-billing, duplicate charges and errors that go unnoticed, leading to massive overspending.

The pandemic further complicated matters by pressing companies to abandon their offices and equip employees to work remotely. This caused many businesses to duplicate and orphan technologies and subscriptions, unintentionally renew contracts and endure other costly setbacks. And the genie is not going back in the bottle. Remote work is here to stay and will increase into 2023.

Add to this the fact that business activities remain in a state of severe disruption. Supply chains are stressed. Wholesale prices, energy costs, wages, and other employee expenses are rising. And the technology enabling companies and their newly-distributed workforces is changing rapidly.

Bringing in a TEM provider to audit and continually manage fixed telecom and wireless environments can mitigate much of this by:

  • Lowering spend significantly
  • Integrating, organizing, and tracking inventory and assets
  • Consolidating and processing invoices
  • Eliminating many hours of dealing with carriers
  • Providing reports/analytics with actionable insights

For these reasons alone, it makes sense to consider outsourcing TEM. But a TEM provider can help situationally, too. Some examples:

When you need to lower costs quickly: If cutting costs is a priority, an initial audit can reduce total spending by up to 30 percent or more. A fully managed TEM service ensures ongoing cost control and further reductions.

When internal IT staff is needed elsewhere: TEM is tedious and time-consuming work. Outsourcing it to third-party professionals frees up internal IT and other personnel to focus on higher-value projects.

When you’re growing fast: Expansion requires new telecom infrastructure, circuits, and inventory including phone systems, handsets, and mobile devices. Having a TEM provider at your side to organize and track inventory and perform moves, adds, changes, and disconnects (MACDs) helps to streamline operations as you scale.

When you have M&A activity: Companies involved in M&As face all manner of challenges related to technology discovery and integration. A TEM provider can create an accurate and clean account of carriers, contracts, inventory, services and spend for every office location; conduct cost-benefit analyses to help your team determine which products and services to keep, retire or replace; and perform MACDs during the integration process.

When you’re migrating to new technologies: If you’re planning to migrate to SD-WAN or a unified communications (UC) platform, for example, working with a TEM provider can ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition.

The Process

Enterprises usually start with a contingency-based audit that verifies contract compliance, converts costly overcharges and other billing errors to credits, and reduces total spend. Post-audit, many business leaders opt to continue with a fully managed TEM service to ensure they have the support needed to keep costs under control, maximize visibility and administer their telecom program more effectively. This generally involves:

  • Data loading and hosting
  • Inventory/asset ID
  • Invoice contract/storage
  • Invoice consolidation and bill payment
  • Invoice error analysis & coding
  • Billing dispute/resolution
  • Recoveries and refunds
  • Solution recommendations
  • Usage tracking and custom reporting

Come for the Savings, Stay for the Organizational Efficiency

Managing telecom costs is complex and labor-intensive, especially for companies with multiple locations or distributed workforces. By outsourcing TEM to the right third-party provider, you can ensure that you have the right technology for your environment(s) at the lowest possible cost and that repetitive, labor-intensive activities are performed quickly and accurately so your staff can focus on high-value work.

If you’re thinking, “I don’t need a telecom or mobility audit,” know that 80 percent of telecom invoices have billing errors. If all those errors in recent years were added up, the carrier credits could be substantial.

If you’re thinking, “my finance and IT staff don’t have time for another project,” not to worry. We work behind the scenes without disrupting your staff and workflow.

And if you’re thinking, “it will take forever to see any savings,” savings can be realized in less than three months and overcharges can be recouped from service providers in less than a year.

To cite just one example, this machine and equipment distributor saved $400,000 on wireless expenses in the first year. With ongoing mobility management services (MMS), the company saved an additional $2.5 million.

Teksetra and Advantix are Here to Help!

Teksetra has partnered with Advantix, a leading telecom expense management provider, to help businesses save money and get the support they need. Reach out today to learn more about how Teksetra can help you manage your IT and implement an Advantix TEM solution that’s right for your business!

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