By Mark Hearn, CEO and President, Network Control
I just returned from the TEMIA Conference in New Orleans. As the Vice President of the organization, I led a panel discussion with a number of the TEM industry’s best and brightest to discuss creating standards within the TEM industry as it relates to TEM Inventory. It was a productive session and I want to share the results with you here.
We identified 5 key areas of focus for Inventory Management:
Within these we are seeking to define the “must have”, “nice to have”, and “hey that’s interesting to have” in a TEM Inventory. Some of the challenges discussed were how to gather the data when companies have some, not all and often time it is in several different systems and formats. Add to that the fact that the carrier data is not always accurate yet they too have several different resources from the monthly Invoice, to CSR, CRIMS, portal and/or carrier specific inventory data.
Managing the ever-changing features within an MPLS or Wireless service can be daunting, however it is mandatory to assure accurate reporting and analytics. As you change Wireless Plans or Class-of-Service on an MPLS circuit, if your TEM provider is not maintaining an accurate inventory it negates the value. Assuring accurate contractual information is paramount in optimizing services, renegotiating contracts and assuring you have ample time to negotiate best in class rates and terms. All too often, we find new clients that thought they negotiated a competitive contract only to find they lacked the resources and benchmark data offered by a TEM in order to assure best in class pricing.
Tracking specific installation and termination dates can result in millions of dollars saved – or lost. One recent client of Network Control, for example, found their carrier had not disconnected the billing for all the services on the same dates they dropped the circuits – resulting in over $324,000 in overbillings! With an accurate inventory that identifies the actual service or circuit acceptance you are not able to accurately audit the invoice against the install or term dates for services.
Site closures and employee terminations are two other areas in which TEM companies identify substantial cost savings. Knowing when the site closed and matching that up against your vendor billing information is critical to identify services being billed for sites where the only thing left there is your money on the table. Additionally, when an employee leaves a company do we know all the services they have? Do they have a smartphone, Mi-Fi, Tablet, Conferencing account, Video Conferencing service, home broadband etc.
As TEMIA continues to review the best practices within the IT/Telco Inventory model, they seek to develop not only best practices but industry standards which can be replicated amongst the enterprise and TEMIA companies. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.