Firms Cobble Together TEM Solutions to Meet Changing Needs, Study Finds
February 25, 2014
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
Most large enterprises now use telecom expense management (TEM) software to control increasingly complex telecom spend, but many must jump around among providers or cobble together several solutions to make it work.
This is one of the overall findings from a recent IBM (News - Alert) whitepaper on telecom expense management.
A full 94 percent of the large companies surveyed by IBM currently use a TEM solution, and the remaining 6 percent said they planned to roll out one within the next 18 months.
However, 62 percent said they use three or more TEM vendors to fully meet the needs of their organization.
A number of factors are in play, according to the paper.
First, the rapid growth of mobility and the associated Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) phenomena are relatively new trends, and most legacy TEM solutions were designed to address primarily traditional wireline telecom expenses.
Second, mergers and acquisition from the economic downturn in 2008 have created a messy TEM space for many companies, creating the need for a unified TEM strategy for the combined organization.
Lastly, some firms prefer multiple vendors as a way to both spread risk and induce competitive tension among TEM vendors, noted the paper.
This has led many businesses to use several TEM solutions, and to move among options as they find the right fit. There is considerable churn within the space, with IBM finding that 77 percent of respondents with installed solutions said they had changed TEM vendors.
“Technology (architecture or performance of the platform), at 74 percent, was the most frequently mentioned reason for changing vendors,” noted the whitepaper. “Although cloud-based solutions at 48 percent were the preferred IT model, there remained a fairly strong preference for licensed TEM solutions at 31 percent. The next two factors most often given for changing vendors were closely related; project implementation services at 72 percent and ongoing vendor service and support at 71 percent.”
These findings underscore the need for a solid, well-executed TEM implementation plan combined with the selection of a vendor that has demonstrated support of the product. With technology changing so much, firms need a solution that can grow and evolve—even in the TEM space.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson