Calling for Savings? Cut Your Telecom Expenses
August 07, 2014
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
How many times have you heard from the executive suite that it’s time to reduce costs? It can often seem like a daunting task, especially if you believe you’ve cut everywhere possible. Attacking cuts by merely looking at the highest numbers doesn’t mean a good move for business. What you really need to do is address waste, if you can find it. Fortunately, telecom expense management can help.
While this may seem an unlikely avenue to minimize spending, the reality is companies are often overspending on their telecom costs. In fact, experts suggest that enterprises are paying thousands of dollars in overages each month, billing is riddled with errors and unused connections are still a line item. Industry studies suggest an error rate of more than 30 percent on monthly bills, a rate that is likely to increase as companies migrate to IP and Unified Communications (News - Alert).
Such migrations make good business sense as they offer the opportunity to streamline connections and create one bill for all communications. When the bills are difficult to understand or the system becomes more complex, it’s easier to pay for things you don’t need. For instance, the accounting department may decide to eliminate three phone lines and forget to tell you, leaving three lines still incurring a charge each month. The sales team may only need four of the seven mobile devices on contract, but no one bothered to cancel the extra accounts.
The size of the organization can also play into the complexity of the telecom billing, making it more difficult to spot errors or identify unnecessary costs. If the bill amount is the same each month, for instance, the individual responsible for paying it may simply compare the cost against expectation and approve payment based on this exercise alone. In the process, the company may be paying for a tax that doesn’t apply or a line that hasn’t been in use for more than a year. Without careful scrutiny, these errors go unnoticed and the telecommunications provider profits.
Telecom expense management solutions can help tackle the challenge of understanding telecom bills and how best to identify errors. The process starts with an audit of all assets, current contracts, live lines and proper billing rates. Bills are also reviewed in detail for errors, especially where taxes are concerned. It’s not uncommon for companies to be charged a tax that doesn’t apply or a rate that doesn’t reflect the agreed-to amount. Simply identifying these areas can greatly reduce expenses and show better budget control.
At the end of the day, you may still need to adjust spending in other areas, but putting telecom expense management practices into play can go a long way toward controlling unnecessary spending and ensuring your organization gets full value on all telecommunications accounts.