by David Byrd, VP of Marketing and Sales, Broadvox
There have been numerous articles published about the cost-effectiveness and savings associated with VoIP communications and SIP trunking, which are economical in many cases regardless of business size and may save on average 35-50%. These saving result from a reduction in per-line cost, local metered services, long-distance usage and inbound toll-free, but there are additional telecom costs that every business needs to address.
In today’s economy every cost-saving method deserves close examination. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is emerging as a must-have for companies who are trying to cut and manage telecom expenses.
One of a company’s most important assets is their telecommunications network, which includes circuits, Internet access, computers, phones, PBXs, gateways, PDAs and other devices. Managing these is not simply a matter of purchasing and paying bills but involves several departments. Think for a moment how many people are involved with each purchase. A requisition is made and the equipment is ordered, delivered and installed. A record is made of its location, the invoice is sent to billing and paid, and someone must keep track of it. That is just a basic overview of the process.
Many companies often leave telecom equipment management up to IT personnel who keep track of both IT and telecom gear, especially if they have migrated to IP communications where phones and computers are conversant with each other and lines of demarcation and responsibility overlap. In larger companies it is more complicated to keep track of the various elements. Managing equipment, mobile devices and communication lines is a labor-intensive task.
TEM is needed because networks require a methodology to identify, organize and manage acquisitions, processes, policies and people needed for maintenance. It should include software to track inventory, invoices, accounts and locations of equipment. Ideally it should also implement business processes such as ordering, approving and managing how network components will be deployed. It should allow for and assist in the planning of future growth. Policies should be enacted to enforce the processes and the people who use them should employ the methodology to manage the network.
TEM stores data about all the components of a telecom network in one centralized repository. It standardizes the format of the information and organizes it in such a way that the departments who are responsible for maintaining the network can communicate with each other effectively and efficiently. After collecting the data it is easy to monitor usage and order equipment when needed, eliminating surplus and unnecessary expense.
Solutions may also include reminders to renegotiate terms with vendors. Bills are accurately reconciled and paid on-time, avoiding late charges and overpayments. Companies who use TEM report saving as much as 6-10% each month in eliminating billing errors alone.
When it comes time to make a decision about TEM it is important for companies to define their requirements and goals. The ultimate decision will be based on whether outsourcing to a management company is best, or purchasing a package to install in-house. The second option gives the opportunity to develop expertise internally and save more by implementing a long-term solution. Either way, when a company is migrating to IP communications by deploying SIP trunking they can take it one step further and implement TEM. They can’t lose and will save even more.
More at broadvox.com.