Machine-to-Machine Telecom Expenses Should Be Tracked, Too
March 05, 2014
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
Telecom expense management (TEM) has become increasingly important for businesses of all sizes thanks to the increased complexity and proliferation of telecom services and devices that must be supported. Roughly 94 percent of enterprises surveyed in a recent study by IBM (News - Alert) reported having a TEM solution in place, with the remaining 6 percent indicating that they would roll out one within the next 18 months.
Yet few companies have stayed with a single TEM provider, according to the IBM study, and part of the reason for that is because of machine-to-machine (M2M) communications.
What smartphones have done for employee mobility, M2M is doing for corporate assets. With M2M, sensors and equipment can be connected to the Internet and, in many cases, administered and reconfigured remotely. This is about more than just tracking—it can be game-changing for the innovative business.
So M2M is a quiet revolution within business, but all too often TEM solutions do not adequately support the tracking of telecom expenses that relate to M2M. To get the desired level of telecom expense management, firms have needed to cobble together solutions or switch when their existing TEM product did not adequately support M2M.
Roughly 85 percent of companies surveyed by IBM indicated they planned to make further enhancements and investment in their TEM solutions, and M2M was cited as one of the big drivers, just behind better tracking of mobile services.
The need to support M2M devices was cited by 53 percent of respondents that planned to upgrade their TEM solution, according to the IBM study. Nearly 80 percent of those companies that tracked wireless expenses with TEM solutions reported that they had a requirement to also manage M2M devices.
This highlights a fundamental criteria for any business assessing TEM solutions: Good telecom expense management offerings are flexible and frequently update.
Technology does not stay put, especially in the telecom sector right now. TEM solutions need to be more than just good at tracking wire-line and mobile telecom costs—they also need to be flexible to adjust to new telecom offerings or their purpose is defeated.
And that’s exactly what the IBM study found, too; 62 percent of enterprises surveyed by IBM said they use three or more TEM solutions to fully meet their requirements.
Isn’t that at least two solutions too much?
Edited by Rory J. Thompson