Unified Communications (News - Alert) (UC) offers great promise for simplifying management of corporate communications in the future. But the reality for most organizations today is that communications are far from unified.
Voice, digital and wireless services typically are delivered by separate carriers, under separate contracts. In some cases, multiple contracts with a single carrier compound the complexity of managing these services.
“Many organizations are overwhelmed,” said Josh Bouk, vice president of customer services at Veramark Technologies (News - Alert). “They don’t have the resources or tools to efficiently manage invoices from multiple carriers or vet them against contracts and actual usage. They know they’re missing huge opportunities for improved productivity and cost avoidance. That’s why they opt to outsource this business process to Veramark.”
Veramark’s invoice processing and payment solution covers the complete invoice management process – from receipt to payment. Veramark provides a single collection point for all of the customer’s carrier invoices and performs invoice validation, dispute resolution, and payment. Veramark, in turn, submits a single, consolidated invoice to the customer. Transparency and comprehensive reporting, Bouk notes, are essential components of this process.
Incorporating a number of best practices for invoice management, Veramark’s solution:
automatically identifies, evaluates, files, tracks and reconciles any carrier charge that exceed defined limits. An integrated dispute workflow component allows for full lifecycle tracking and management of the dispute process including disposition, amount recovered, important dates, and more.
Veramark’s solution issues an alert when future invoices contain disputed charges. Invoices with disputed charges can be “paid in full with disputes,” or short paid. Reporting and trend analysis highlights dispute-related data by category (vendor, invoice type, account, service, etc).
Options for handling disputed charges include:
Dispute and Do Not Pay Marked Charges - this option is used to withhold payment until resolution on a future invoice. The system will reduce the authorized amount accordingly and create an unpaid charge entry for the invoice source.
Dispute Marked Charges - this option is used to pay the charge, but flag it as ‘disputed’ for future resolution. The system will create a disputed charge alert for the invoice source.
Approve Marked Charges - this option is used to pay the charge, clearing any disputes. The corresponding charge breakdown records will be flagged as ‘approved.’
Veramark’s solution includes flexible, online reporting that provides near-real-time status of invoices and disputes.
For organizations that deal with multiple carriers, contracts, and complex communications networks, outsourcing invoice processing and payment can improve the bottom line by reducing operating costs and eliminating invalid charges. It’s not unified communications, but when it comes to paying the bills, it’s the next best thing.
For more information on Veramark’s telecom expense and invoice management solutions, visit http://www.veramark.com/TEMSolutions/.
Eve Sullivan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Eve’s articles, please visit her columnist page.