Whether your company is small and starting out or an enterprise with headquarters in many countries, telecom is essential. As such, the expenses of are a necessary cost. But there’s a difference between anticipated and necessary. Fortunately there are often opportunities to control costs. In this post we cover the benefits of telecom expense management.
Telecom Expense Management is the practice of centralizing controlling a company’s wireless, landline and data needs. For a smaller business, that might be a single landline and a handful of mobile devices, in addition to whatever carrier plan fits their needs and spend requirements. For larger businesses, landlines, devices and carrier plans often have to factor in location and department needs.
Telecom expense management (TEM) varies from company to company. Some choose to manage the process in-house, which can be resource-intensive. Others outsource to TEM providers, experts that specialize in this practice. To be clear, a company with no expense management controls around their telecom needs is not set up to succeed. But having those controls is only a step in the right direction. The way a company manages telecom expenses determines the success of their program. Here are a few examples of areas in TEM that make this abundantly clear.
A company decided to run their mobility program in-house. They budgeted for the typical expenses: carrier bills, phone lines, internet. But there were also expenses they did not anticipate. Namely, device management and IT infrastructure.
Mobile assets have an expected upfront cost. However, whether the program is limited to specific roles, departments or across the entire company, many companies have a ready supply. A company might experience high turnover or have the same team for decades. In either scenario, some employees will use a personal device, leaving the corporate device unused. Neither changes the fact that idle assets add unnecessary expense to bills and grow more obsolete with each year. Managing mobility in-house means problem solving in-house. But more on that later.
The solution here is outsourcing your program. Believe it or not, companies save money by outsourcing their mobility program. How? Well, for starters, they don’t have a desk full of phones waiting to be put to work. What’s more, they handle the device preparation, making sure it has all the right software before its sent to the appropriate individual. Additionally, they handle repairs and end of life management. No company wants a device with sensitive information floating around on the secondhand market. Outsourced mobility programs should ensure that doesn’t happen.
Finally, a company with an in-house mobility program is at the mercy of their carriers. Billing may fluctuate and charges may be listed in ways that are intentionally difficult to understand. Managed mobility service providers have experience with a multitude of carriers. By controlling the bill, they can cut through the complex verbiage and potentially even negotiate them down.
A company is looking to provide its rapidly growing sales team with mobile devices. Exploring their options, they find the best carrier for their needs and order 45 phones with a nationwide coverage plan. Most of the phones will go directly into the hands of the reps, but 10 are held in reserve, as spares. When a phone inevitably needs repairs, it often takes days just to learn it’s not fixable. Dumping the old one, the company plans to use one of the spares, after transferring all the necessary information and software on the new device.
There are a few. First, this company may be limiting itself to the best plan it can find. It’s not their fault they aren’t in the TEM industry, but it will cost them.
Second, having too many spare phones is an idle asset disaster. Depending on the quality of the device, that reserve could easily cost $10,000. Planning for the worst is always a good idea, but too many spare devices on the books isn’t doing your company any good.
Third, all devices should be wiped before they are disposed of. That goes double for a corporate device which may have sensitive company information on it.
One of the benefits of telecom expense management is not having to worry about excessive spend around device management. The right provider can keep support a mobility program by helping with carrier negotiations, avoiding a mountain of idle assets and maintaining proper life-cycle-management protocols.
A company wants to provide mobile employees with in-house support. While initially thinking the current members of the IT department can fulfill this need, a conversation with the department head reveals mobile devices aren’t in anyone’s wheelhouse. Not wanting to slow down, the company roles out IT support as they begin the search for another head. This support is limited to 9 to 5 on weekdays only.
IT is a big umbrella. Expecting the department to carry these additional support duties is expecting too much. Unfortunately, support for computers and support for phones aren’t easily translatable. Simply put, supporting TEM requires expertise.
Additionally, internal support stretches the IT team thin while limiting employee access to specific hours. Accidents can happen at any time. If a phone fails late Friday, it may take until late next week before the problem is solved.
The right TEM provider can offer expert support with better hours of coverage. Outsourcing TEM also removes the burden from IT staff. Cost control is often held high, but employee time savings is another benefit of telecom expense management.
A company decides on a TEM provider that appears to offer everything a business could need: 24-hour support, device management, partnerships with software providers and a hefty bit of cost-savings. At least, that’s what it says on paper. Outsourced support is a source of frustration for the reps trying to troubleshoot device issues. Additionally, to navigate all the software and its administration, employees and managers have to juggle multiple logins for disparate systems. What’s more, the software itself is far from user-friendly. For all the cost-control promises, there always seems to be a reason for missing that number.
One of the clear benefits of telecom expense management should be the prevention of headaches, not the creation of them. Issues with support is a major red flag. If the TEM experts don’t seem to be solving problems, they aren’t the experts your employees require.
Many TEM providers have old systems stitched together from multiple mergers and acquisitions. These can create frustrating experiences for employees and administrators alike, not to mention the security issues. A stitched together platform has multiple points of entry, or more vulnerabilities for cyber criminals to exploit.
Finally, if a TEM provider isn’t delivering on their promises, they’re not the TEM provider for your company. Fortunately, the TEM space is full of competitors, and one of them may offer the solution that fits your needs.
With all the benefits, a company jumps at the chance to switch from in-house to outsourced mobility. Unfortunately, without MMS experience, their first choice isn’t the right one. They being to notice after reaching a few milestones and noticing those promises of ROI and cost savings are going unrealized. Unfortunately, these warning signs have come after the decision has already been made.
The problem is clear: the vendor is unable to deliver on their promises. That doesn’t mean the company is stuck with them forever. The solution is simple: find an MMS provider that truly meets the needs of your company.
Cost control shouldn’t have to come at the expense of what your company needs in a mobility program. When making the decision, don’t just settle on the company that offers the highest ROI. Press them to deliver on other areas of importance. Good service and support should be essential to any company. The provider should also have a platform that meets your mobile device management needs, from software to security and beyond.
There are many ideas any company may have around cutting their telecom costs. At the end of the day though, there’s one major solution. Outsourcing your mobility program may seem like a step backward when it comes to cost control. Why pay someone when you can do it in-house? That’s an easy question to answer when it’s framed in another way. It’s the same reason people call plumbers, electricians and mechanics. You might be able to snake a drain, replace a light bulb or change your own oil. But not every issue is so easy. You call for the expertise and the peace of mind, knowing that if you hadn’t, you could have made the problem even worse.
Motus is a unique provider in many ways. While our offering is specific to Wireless Expense Management (WEM), it also provides flexibility. Some companies may want support for both a BYOD program and a corporate liable device program. We’re the only ones that can do both. We work with multiple carriers to ensure customers have the best deal available to them. The quality of our support team and our single platform also set us apart. Interested in learning more? Read about our mobility offering.