What is Telecommunications Expense Management (TEM)

TEM (Telecommunications Expense Management) is a SaaS based expense system or a human analysis process of your carrier Opex & billing.  Audit, Cost Recovery, re-pricing, and bill pay are just a few options Telecom Expense Management can support organizations.  25% of telecom bills have incorrect charges associated with a company’s voice and data network.  This can add up especially if nobody internally understands how these invoice work.  Telecom Expense Management software alone is not always required to correct anomalies and often not the first recommendation due to cost.  A brief evaluation of accounts often provides organizations the ability to get back on track with billing.  The entire practice and workstream of Telecom Expense management is a function and not always just a “service” even though it is marketed as one.


Who can use a Telecom Expense Management Service?

Any company or size can use a Telecom Expense Management Service however the offering should vary if you have a small or large environment.  Voice consumption and data services across multiple carriers is where costs and errors can creep into the business.  We recommend to not contract with a TEM software service until you really audit what you have for inventory and capture upcoming contract expirations.


Should you perform a Telecom Audit?

The answer is yes and using an outside organization saves time and cost to perform a telecom audit.  Don’t be mistaken, the audit should be in two forms depending on your needs:


  1. Cursory Telecom Audit:This is a free 1–5-hour evaluation of your current spend across any network, voice (wireless included) and other services.  Performing a Cursory Audit provides a set of recommendations which sometimes include areas to perform immediately such as “We see taxes & fees mis-calculated or you are doubled billed, open a request with the carrier immediately!”


  1. Telecom Expense Execution:Following a Cursory Audit, if there are some recommendations to adjust your billing with the carriers, it’s best to execute.  Capturing the correct inventory now is important because if you decide on a Telecom Expense Management SaaS subscription, the data will be inaccurate.  The results will not be favorable as the system will not fully understand where the corrections need to be made.  However, depending on the software, some can accommodate LOA options to then pull in direct billing.  This does help with ongoing audit review, but the software will never be intelligent to understand your business, only the data inputs provided.


How to Lower Telecom costs with a TEM program?

Lowering Telecom Expenses without reducing functionality should be the first goal in all cases because sacrificing the tech just for cost means there is a misalignment.  Every organization should build and operate a cost-aware culture with respect to the data, corporate voice, and wireless services.  This means putting in place the process to fulfill business obligations without sacrificing budget and time.  Key areas to consider for internal TEM programs include:


  1. Telecom acquisition process
  2. Mergers & Acquisition integration of services (if applicable)
  3. Cost Recovery with billing mistakes
  4. Benchmarking
  5. SLA maintenance


Check out our article on 5 Ways to Reduce Telecom Expense


  1. Telecom Expense Management Software (if required)
  2. Quarterly Bill Review against the telecom expense metrics.  Accurate telecom inventories are a constant battle.  Many times, bills are accurate and then there is an issue with the carrier systems resulting in invoice problems.  If not found quickly, the compounded


When to use TEM Software

As mentioned, every use case varies so the answer is not always right or wrong.  For example, in one use we assisted a global organization with over 12 million in annual Telecom spend avoid the need for a TEM program.  How?  Their environment was static, and a thorough audit was all that was required.  We provided 100% of any savings found back to the company equally removing Opex with a TEM solution.  Conversely, one client continued to implement various services across multiple carriers requiring different term dates and more.  As a result, a small TEM solution for their business was more practical and economical reducing internal labor hours to solve carrier billing issues.


Should I leverage a Telecom Consultant

Telecom Consultant is a term loosely thrown around in the industry thus using one is not always recommended.  A true telecom consultant should have deep technical aptitude of the global infrastructure offerings, not just pricing and billing.  Why?  Many mistakes in telecom environments are not on the invoice but rather the topology.  Over/under designed networks cost more in expense compared to a billing issue on an invoice.  Lost business, poor performance and terrible commercial contracts are just a few areas an organization must be able to understand.  Questions to ask a Telecom Consultant are:

  1. Years of Experience
  2. Technical depth across L1-L3
  3. Their timetable to provide resolution
  4. Next-Gen technology understanding
  5. Prior technical Engineering and Service Deliver experience at the Carrier level
  6. Referenceable clients


Schedule a Free 1–5-hour Telecom Audit so you are put on the right path before you decide if a TEM solution is needed.  We can quickly explain and point out areas of added expense or billing discrepancies first…. sometimes those savings pay for a TEM SaaS solution, you would be surprised.