What is Telecom Expense Management?

Communication plays a huge role in the success of a company. In today’s highly connected network-driven world, communication systems continue to grow and become more complex as new technology and functionality become available. Without intensive oversight, it’s all too easy to lose control of telecom expenses and end up paying too much. Telecom expense management services can help remedy this situation.

Telecom expense management is a professional service solution engineered to manage every aspect of telecom billing, including invoice management, expense management, and reimbursements. It also collects and manages the monumental amount of data these actions generate to give accurate visualizations and charting at a moment’s notice. Also, it tracks advancements in technology that impact telecom, such as the availability of fiber, VoIP, and SONET, to ensure each company remains competitive.

The most important aspect of telecom expense management is its ability to proactively reduce expenses. This is accomplished by providing companies better control of their fixed-line phones, voice, and data services. With better visualization of data and better tracking of providers, it’s that much easier to pinpoint strategies to reduce costs. It’s also easier to introduce new efficiencies, as all the elements of the management system are programmed to work together automatically. This makes validation and optimization, including ensuring providers are charging at their contracted rates, a streamlined and organized process.

Another compelling reason to use a telecom expense management service is that it removes the hassle and stress of fighting with existing systems that aren’t meant to work together. When this pressure is gone, more focus can be placed on the data itself. This puts powerful tools into the hands of C-level management to aid them in strategic technology decision-making.

Who needs a TEM service?

As industries grow and expand, so do their communication needs. Managing telecom expenses used to be much simpler back when companies relied on a handful of wired-line products. One person could realistically review charges and contracts with their providers using a spreadsheet. With the advent of employees needing not only phone service but reliable internet connectivity in the workplace as well, a company might now be managing hundreds, if not thousands of lines. Without the right tools, it doesn’t matter how many people work to track and analyze the sheer mountain of data this number of devices would generate. They are fighting a losing battle.

A telecom expense management service has the right tools to ensure that data is handled appropriately. Incoming data is efficiently databased so that it can be analyzed and compared against established metrics. Manual processes that used to take hundreds of man-hours, such as auditing, can be automated to be performed in seconds.

Acquisitions are the other big reason that a company should adopt telecom expense management services. Companies merge, change, and grow regularly. With each fusion of distinct companies, IT must reconcile the different software platforms and processes into one cohesive solution. This process can take months, if not longer. All of this wasted time amounts to untold financial loss as both companies struggle to adopt a new process for handling telecom data and expenses.

With a professional telecom expense management service in place, this transition is a matter of integrating the acquired company’s current telecom management platform into this service. The process is straightforward, efficient, and is weeks, if not months, faster than a traditional expense tracking platform merge.

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Solutions to look for in a TEM service:

When considering which telecom expense management service to use, it’s important to check if they can handle all of a company’s fixed-line needs. While there are dozens of telecom expense management companies dotting the web, not all are created equal. Here are standard services that should be part of any solid platform:

  • Contract management
  • Fixed invoice management
  • Invoice processing and audit
  • Dispute management
  • Cost allocations & chargebacks
  • Expense optimization
  • Inventory management and change control
  • Expense accruals
  • Call accounting

For optimal results, these services must all be incorporated into a cohesive program like ServiceNow. This allows communication between the different functions and makes automation possible. This automation, in turn, allows events to trigger a sequence of tasks, including the return of company property and the appropriate handling of lines that are no longer in use.

See your entire telecom estate in one view:

Telecom Inventory Accuracy screenshot

With today’s communication-driven workforce, it is crucial to remain dynamic and flexible enough to stay in front of change. This is where the brightfin partnership with ServiceNow makes a critical difference. brightfin has been praised by Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, for having gone “one step further” in their efforts to preintegrate leading systems. Their expertise and experience bring all the elements of telecom expense management together into a powerful unified package that enables companies to move forward with confidence and minimize costly errors.

Telecom experts can help:

Understand your contracts

A telecom expense management company knows how to scrutinize the terms of your contracts to make sure that you are getting what you are paying for. Growing pains that accompany an expanding business often mean that employees are stretched pretty thin. Going over your telephone service contract with a fine-tooth comb might be put on the back burner as your employees are working to put out other fires. This could lead to your company paying more than it should for the services being provided. TEM services will be sure to look after your bottom line.

Avoid late fees

It is startling to receive a late payment fee for a bill that you thought you had already paid. This is a normal part of growing, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. When your company has multiple lines in various locations, it gets even trickier to manage payments. Phone service can get very complex very quickly when you have to juggle several bills that are due on different dates throughout the month. Hiring a professional expense management company to handle everything can help eliminate problems like this.

Get uninterrupted service

Having your phone services get cut off due to late payments or other gaffes can be a real disaster. There are times when companies are surprised by the phone service provider turning off the service for non-payment of bills for several months. This happens because the company does not have enough people to monitor bill payment. When everyone is assuming that someone else is taking charge of the payments for phone services, the service cut-off can be a real shocker. Telecom expense management will help your company keep track of its phone bills so things like this won’t occur.

Simplify inventory management

Keeping track of telecom inventory is a challenge for many businesses today. Without the right tools, they don’t know what they have, so even knowing where to begin can be daunting. And relying solely on invoices to point you in the right direction can lead to chaos. This challenge is only heightened by the pressing need for network transformations. Look for experts who can provide visibility by site and location.

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