Any telecom expense management company likes to tout that they provide “best in class” solutions for TEM. But what really defines best in class?
“Best in class” is a phrase thrown around often – it’s the benchmark of success, what defines an excellent product or service among other similar B2B products and services.
What makes that the case for telecom expense management, though? What really differentiates one company from another?
You can start by asking yourself if the solution is custom tailored, or if the company is just trying to cram clients into a single solution they apply to everyone.
A best in class telecom expense management provider will tailor their approach to your company’s needs. Your company is unique, and your problems and the necessary solutions vary from others. Depending on what your business’s focus is, what industry you are in, and where you’ve invested the most in your telecom assets, your needs are going to vary significantly even compared to other businesses in your industry.
There is no one-size-fits all solution for telecom expense management.
So ask yourself: does your telecom expense management provider really provide you a custom solution for your needs, or are they just following their own formula for what is easiest for them?
This extends to managed services providers that only manage fixed OR mobile – not both. If your company utilizes both mobile and fixed services, why would you utilize a a communications lifecycle provider that can only handle part of your communication needs? Without managing both together in one platform, along with a deep understanding of the nuances of each from an inventory, cost and usage perspective, your business can’t truly get an all-encompassing, holistic view of your entire telecom environment.
The next differentiator of a truly best in class telecom expense management provider is how they handle your mobile devices and spend.
Do they review only the most recent month, or do they go back at least three months to review usage? Do they review your contracts and usage with an eye to trends that may fluctuate month over month? How much effort do they put into finding the service options and mobile solutions to ensure your business gets the most bang for their buck?
How much help does your company get in navigating the complexities of actually implementing the cost saving solutions put forth by your TEM provider? Do they provide nothing more than a check list to follow, or do they actually assign their own team members to help guide your staff through the process?
Which would you prefer? Do they even give you an option?
How much savings are they able to find in their first analysis? Does their average customer see savings in the 20% range, or have they been able to save customers more than that? How much more? If they’ve never been able to save a customer more than 40% on their monthly bills, are they going to be able to find enough savings in your accounts to make their services pay for themselves?
What are their mobility management services like?
Just how much are they able to customize your reporting to provide the data your business needs?
Can you create a custom dashboard for your managers to review device usage? How much can you drill down into your data? Can you set custom permissions for different users? How much support can you expect in the use of your dashboard?
If you can’t answer those questions, or don’t know if those are options provided by your current TEM provider, they may not really be best in class after all.
A top of the line TEM provider can do all of these things and more – all while delivering white glove service. Their ability to provide you the data you need to effectively manage your accounts is one of the primary reasons you seek out their services, after all!
Above and beyond simply managing your mobility, can your TEM provider work with you to create a custom mobile app for your enterprise needs? If they do, how committed are they to ensuring the app can grow and update as your company’s needs change?
Custom apps for your business are just one way a best in class TEM provider can really differentiate their service from the competition. There’s many intricacies of mobile app development, particularly to create an app that precisely meets the needs of your enterprise environment.
If your TEM provider can’t help you create a custom app that perfectly suits your needs, they may not truly be best in class.
What tools are at their disposal for analyzing your data? Is it cloud based, and accessible anywhere? How easily can you measure the financial impact of your purchasing decisions, or of your growth and policy enhancements? Does it offer predictive analytics? What kind of data can it display?
Truly best in class TEM offers a wide range of data you can delve into and extensive abilities for customization. Each business is unique, and has unique requirements: the software helping you manage your telecom should be able to adapt to your specific needs.
Your telecom expense management provider should be able to help your organization – from a global company to one just starting to grow – reduce and control the costs of all their telecom expenses.
Ultimately, communication is at the heart of your business. How effectively it’s managed can have a major impact on your bottom line.
Effective telecom expense management helps you acquire and validate all global invoices, manage your contracts and rate plans, optimize and pool rates, as well as manage your mobile costs in real time. You should be able to audit your invoices as you need to, and be assured that any billing disputes are handled in a timely fashion to maximize your savings.
If your TEM provider doesn’t fill you with confidence on all of these points, it may be time to find a new one.
Click below for a free guide on examining your current TEM provider to be sure they’re the best fit for your company: