Four Best Practices for Telecom Expense Management Success
March 06, 2014
By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor
Recently IBM (News - Alert) conducted a survey about telecom expense management (TEM) among large companies. The goal was to gauge the current state and future direction of TEM within the enterprise.
The survey found that the TEM market is mature, with 94 percent of the companies surveyed reporting that they currently used a TEM solution to track telecom spending. The survey also yielded a wealth of information on penetration levels, procurement practices and key performance metrics.
A properly executed TEM solution can achieve considerable cost savings and a host of operational benefits, the study found, but only if telecom expense management is used within a structured, disciplined framework that possesses four key characteristics.
First, the TEM solution must be an integral component of an enterprise’s corporate procurement and financial strategy, noted the study. This means, among other things, having commitment from senior management to make the program a success.
Further, there needs to be an emphasis on rigorous implementation planning and execution, and enterprises must hold TEM vendors accountable and be willing to switch vendors if necessary.
Finally, as I noted recently, the TEM solution must be dynamic and flexible enough to accommodate changing enterprise requirements such as machine-to-machine communications and bring-your-own-device policies.
To incorporate these characteristics into a company’s TEM program, IBM recommends the following four best practices:
Build an internal communications plan to keep senor executive sponsors fully informed of the financial and operational goals of the TEM initiative, and then consistently reinforce that message with regular, concise feedback and reports on the results of the deployment.
Understand the growing role and importance of the company’s procurement organization, and ensure that the TEM strategy recognizes the need to work within the framework of those procurement policies.
Establish training programs that develop and enhance the company’s ability to plan and execute the increasingly complex aspects of TEM.
Stay current of the technologies that drive the company’s business and communicate the demands they place on the TEM strategy to senior executive sponsors and the company’s vendors.
Sometimes TEM is defined as a simple process to corral complex data. But having an effective TEM solution is not as simple as it might first seem.