The term “Telecom Expense Management” (TEM) has turned into somewhat of a misnomer. These days, TEM really ought to be considered and referred to as Communications Lifecycle Management (CLM) because enterprises rely on technology that exceeds the boundaries of legacy wireline.
To that end, an advanced TEM (or, again, CLM) vendor serving the needs of its clients will go beyond traditional TEM functions. In this article, we discuss the advantages of using Telecom Expense Management for Mobility and IT.
What Does TEM for Mobility and IT Look Like?
Many of the practices that support TEM also apply to wireless and IT. Prime examples include bill and inventory auditing, plan optimization, and other strategies for controlling and reducing costs.
However, additional approaches have evolved because mobility and IT are not the same as telecommunications. And there is much more to true TEM – or CLM – than focusing on expenses, regardless of the technology in question. Consider the following highlights:
Small and mid-sized enterprises with less than $1 billion annual revenue often need help figuring out the best way to provision mobility and IT. Progressive TEM vendors take this on for their clients.
When it comes to mobility, organizations can choose among Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), corporate-liable, or a mix of the two. BYOD requires paying a monthly stipend to employees who use their own smartphones and tablets. This can get complicated and enterprises may encounter some security holes because they do not own the devices. The tradeoff is that they are not buying and upgrading those devices.
With corporate-liable, all that changes. The organization owns the phone or tablet and its data, assigns policies and permissions, and decides who gets new device when. A hybrid program gives both the enterprise and its staff more flexibility, yet also requires extensive administration. The right TEM vendor will assess the organization’s unique requirements and propose the best solution.
Many small and mid-sized enterprises either have a small IT department or none at all. Still, they must keep pace with the latest technology developments. As with mobility solution design, the right TEM vendor will evaluate the IT environment and business goals, then present the solution that best meets those requirements. IT solution design applies to areas including cloud services and infrastructure, SD-WAN, and internet of things, among others.
Procurement and Deployment
For both mobility and IT, a next-generation TEM vendor further will source and implement devices and services on behalf of customers. This accomplishes a couple of aims. First, it removes burden from the enterprise and frees staff to work on activities that create organization-wide momentum. Second, it allows the enterprise to capitalize on the TEM vendor’s carrier and equipment relationships, securing the most advantageous pricing and terms.
Ongoing Monitoring and Management
Once the TEM vendor has deployed the new mobility and IT initiatives, all while keeping the enterprise informed, it then will handle all monitoring and management for the client on a continuous basis. The customer will have visibility and insight through a software platform, and send requests, but responsibility for completing tasks tied to inventory, moves/adds/changes/disconnects, policy assignments, compliance and security, procurement, decommissioning, and more, all falls to the TEM vendor. The enterprise knows what is happening within its environment but does not have to perform the associated tasks. Say, for instance, a security threat arises. The TEM vendor will address it, ideally proactively because it has the tools and partnerships to ward off breaches. The provider will keep the client apprised, and work with staff as needed to fix the situation, all while spearheading the project. Very little should rest on the enterprise.
So, Why Use TEM for Mobility and IT?
By now it should be clear that TEM can, and should, support and improve mobility and information technology estates – delivered through a forward-thinking, knowledgeable, and equipped vendor, of course. It makes sense to consolidate management for each of these domains under one roof, and to team with an expert that shoulders the load for the enterprise.
Recall that, along the way, this TEM vendor further will continue to provision the foundational functions of expense management for mobility and information technology, as well as telecom. The basics will always be important – it’s just that they are no longer the only aspects of TEM, which has transformed into across-the-board lifecycle management for telecom, mobility, and information technology.