Top telecom expense management tips for 2021
What is Telecom Expense Management? Telecom Expense Management is the process of building a cost aware culture to manage your data, wireless and cloud network carrier services while improving OPEX. Additionally, focusing on how services, taxes and surcharges are accounted for against Master Services Agreements (MSA) to ensure accurate billing. Telecom expense core services of the business include, but not limited to:
- Data Network
- Cloud Connectivity
- Mobile Wireless
- Work From Home (broadband etc)
Telecom Expense Management can include both human analysis and software to support billing, inventory, cost recovery, reporting, and more. See areas on overall IT Expense Management here.
Now that 2021 is the year of back to the office (potentially) with remote work staying here in a hybrid fashion. Regardless of how your organization moves out of post Covid, every employee will be impacted by your network and unified communications decisions. all of which require telecommunications services. Still new to this part of the industry and asking what is telecommunications?
Telecom billing errors usually occur over 10-20% of the time and organizations are unaware they exist. Telecom cost reduction strategies can begin with going through the hundreds of pages of invoices to validating inventory and opening a cost recovery ticket if they are incorrect.
Where do organizations fail in their Telecom Expense Management focus?
Organizations struggle with the ability to understand how carrier services bill as no one organization is the same. This is not a FAILURE of you or your company, it’s a breakdown in how these legacy systems operate and service you within your invoices.
How to reduce telecom costs without reducing functionality? We have come up with several tips we work with customers on daily to build a cost-aware culture and more importantly, save expense with vendors.
Telecom Expense Management Tip #1
Audit telecom expenses to validate billing anomalies against your Master Services Agreement (MSA). Billing changes, discount codes and other items occur over time accidentitly, review your inventory to understand the fluxuation.
Teleco Expense Management Tip #2
Review your cost allocation of telecom expenses against your business units. We’ve found cost centers in the past who ordered a small broadband circuit for other wireless needs. This is shadow telecom spend and could create a security issue into your network
Telecom Expense Management Tip #3
Renegotiate Telecom rates & services:
Most carriers are willing to evaluate a rate review of their architecture you have especially now to partner with you long-term. The challenge with renegotiations, is it’s never fun! Benchmark your prices across your WAN and look for a SASE edge play for an upgrade.
Telecom Expense Management Tip #4
Do not simply add a SaaS expense management solution as the stop gap. Telecom Expense Management (TEM)systems work well, so well they will continue to perform exactly as programmed and they require diligence to understand the carrier. The system will record your inventory, billing and payments, however it will not ask why is your price per Gig so high or did you look at a managed network operator to reduce taxes?
Telecom Expense Management Tip #5
Understanding Telecom Tax, namely USF. Did you know, the USF tax rate increase significantly in the last year? Have you explored other services to remove your connectivity options away from the 33%+ it is at today?
Will a Telecom Expense Management application save my organization money? The short answer is yes, the longer answer is you might not fully maximize the savings. A Telecom Expense management system will perform as programmed; the data entered for inventory will continue to report and pay your monthly services. It will not have the logic to understand should your business pay for that service or if it’s an additional cost you do not require.