By Tanya Seda, Chief Strategy Officer
After 2020’s pandemic flipped the network service model on its head, businesses of all sizes and markets are now finding it difficult to forecast future communications, network spend and future IT needs. The major culprit, of course, is the unexpected switch to a work from home (WFH) model. Given the unexpected efficiencies, not to mention the continued public health challenges, this trend is not going away any time soon. As a result, many enterprises have found themselves using manual processes and incomplete data when trying to address WFH spend, let alone develop strategies and budgets for their future needs. There must be a better way, right?
Luckily, there is, and it’s called Telecom Expense Management. With the right TEM partner, managing the new complexities that WFH creates can be made much easier, effective and most important, let you regain control over your network’s cost and components. Some of the ways a TEM provider helps:
A TEM solution provides a single platform for all invoices and contracts across an enterprise, something particularly important the more decentralized your workers—and their devices and services—are. This centralization allows for complete control and transparency of telecom and technology related expenses across the enterprise and WFH spend. With all your invoices and associated contracts consolidated, management gains complete visibility into understanding every cost’s source, type, and location.
As the old tech saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out”. Businesses which are still using manual budgeting and forecasting processes face a daunting task trying to make sense of myriad complex invoices, confusing (and sometimes misleading) contracts. A TEM partner will apply its expertise to consolidate, correlate and validate key information across your network, particularly building a detailed and accurate inventory of all devices and services. From there contracts and invoices can more accurately be processed in a standardized, automated way, across whatever number of local, regional, national or of global vendors make up your network ecosystem. Importantly, this ensures that you can prioritize speed to process and pay with accuracy, while reducing needless penalties or over-charges.
A TEM partner provides reporting and analytics features that help to provide a clearer understanding for your network management and finance teams. With the ability for them to see current and historical trends they can better manage, plan and budget spend. WFH metrics can be uploaded in a TEM solution to capture ”leaky” expenses. This sort of data enables decision makers to leverage data and reporting to more accurately forecast future technology spend and track program progress to support the overall budget and reduce costs.
With all your data, including WFH data, and technology contracts at your fingertips within one single solution, enterprises can eliminate manual, spreadsheet-driven processes. This in turn drives cost and operational efficiencies throughout the business. The result is that your teams are able to correctly forecast future spend against your strategic business objectives, ensuring that you are making effective informed decisions.
You would think by this time the value of a TEM provider would be clearly understood. Case studies showing significant, double digit improvements abound. And, indeed, many businesses do, in fact, employ TEM solutions of some sort. If you are one of those, your challenge, or maybe the test, of your current provider is to see how well they supported your WFH pivot. For those of you reading this who have yet to engage with a TEM partner, trying to untangle our new ways of working represent the perfect time to rethink your strategy!