What is Telecom Expense Management?
June 22, 2011
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
There is much talk throughout the telecom industry regarding the concept of Telecom Expense Management. The focus has increased as companies are searching for ways to support new and innovative communications without spending beyond realistic budget goals. Telecom Expense Management helps in the process of identifying all telecom associated spending and streamlining it to eliminate errors, waste and other costly issues.
Telecom Expense Management
encompasses a number of different business processes
, including the sourcing of telecommunications services; the ordering, provisioning and support; inventory management to track all telecommunications services; invoice management to pay and track financial documents; usage management to track usage against billed services; dispute management when erroneous charges appear on a bill; and business intelligence to track overall TEM program results and reporting.
According to this TMCnet report
, Telecom Expense Management is the methodology employed by organizations seeking to best manage their critical strategic assets – their telecom network. TEM will truly encompass the technology
, processes, policy and people necessary to contribute to overall telecommunications services used. A software platform must be in place to inventory telecom assets, enforce business processes and manage access to the critical infrastructure information.
The business rules make up the processes
within Telecom Expense Management, governing how the network will be deployed, managed and eventually converted. The policy focuses on the overall corporate buy in and the ultimate enforcement of the processes to ensure the overall integrity of the Telecom Expense Management solution. The people in this puzzle are those who lend their expertise in networking and telecom, following the methodologies and using the software necessary to drive deployment, oversee management and to decommission the overall telecom network.
Perhaps one of the most important elements of Telecom Expense Management is the fact that it easily brings together technology, data and people that normally exist in silos and ensure they have a centralized and collaborative ecosystem. In this environment, all those participating can be interlinked and integrate different systems for communication. In other words, ordering can talk to inventory, inventory can communicate with billing, ticketing has a dialogue with inventory and so on.
Finally, Telecom Expense Management enables the delivery of a standardized set of best practices
in repeatable processes that the organization can rely on to enhance operations, spending and communications. Once Telecom Expense Management is in place, all order and invoice processing should happen the exact same way across the entire enterprise. When this happens, TEM delivers the value and benefit for which it was selected. Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Juliana Kenny