Everything You Need To Know About Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Services (FAQs)
What Are Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Services?
Traditionally, organizations managed their telecom assets and expenses manually with spreadsheets, but, since the late 90s and early 2000s, the telecom market has grown dramatically. Today, organizations often use multiple telecom services across multiple locations—which makes tracking costs, making payments, managing invoices, and maintaining inventories a much more complex task. In a large enterprise that has thousands or even tens of thousands of telecom services and assets, a spreadsheet is simply not a viable system for keeping track of inventory and spending.
That’s where telecom expense management (TEM) services come in.
TEM services enable organizations to more effectively manage their telecom assets and expenses across voice, data, and network services. This helps businesses to reduce costs, streamline communications, improve security, and optimize their systems. TEM services can include just the TEM software itself, or they can come as a managed service, in which the TEM provider’s own team of experts collaborate with the organization to help them improve their systems and spending.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A TEM Service?
If you’re a larger organization, there are a few key reasons why you should consider implementing a TEM service.
First, using a TEM service can help you improve visibility across your telecom network by inventorying all your telecoms assets and monitoring them throughout their entire lifecycle. With this visibility, you can gain a more in-depth understanding of which areas need improvement and where you can save money. It also makes it easier for you to conduct audits, as most TEM services offer robust reporting tools as well as at-a-glance insights.
TEM solutions can also increase security. By centralizing all your data and giving you visibility into the entire network, TEM services make it easier for you to identify where sensitive information is being stored, so you can allocate resources more effectively to protect that information. Additionally, utilizing a TEM service can help your organization mitigate fraud, by making it easier for you to identify any unauthorized changes or unexpected expenses.
Finally, TEM services can improve the overall efficiency of your telecom network by automating manual tasks such as daily expense reporting, which ensures that all steps involved in the task are completed in a timely manner and without error. Additionally, TEM services enable you to identify and evaluate tasks and processes that aren’t running smoothly, so that you can take steps to make them more efficient.
What Features Should You Look For In A TEM Service?
There are a few features that you should look for in a strong TEM service. These include:
- Inventory Management. Your TEM software should automatically track any IDs (including project codes, purchase orders, etc.,), IP addresses, and telephone numbers on your telecom network and store all that data in a central inventory so it’s easily accessible.
- Invoice And Expense Management. Your TEM service should automate and centralize invoice processing tasks, such as collecting and auditing invoices against the services in your inventory, normalizing data across vendors, validating the accuracy of each invoice, and routing invoices through approval workflows. This will help ensure you’re making your payments on time, minimizing the risk of you incurring late fees across your providers. It can also help you identify any areas where you’re overspending on unnecessary services.
- Contract Tracking. You should be able to easily search and filter for specific contracts, and your solution may also notify you when contracts are due to expire.
- Cost Allocation. Your solution should help you assign your funds so that you’re getting the most out of them, by offering insights into service costs and allocating chargebacks across different locations.
- Usage Tracking. Your chosen TEM service should help you identify which tools or services you’re using the most. This will help inform your cost allocation, by enabling you to assign more budget to areas that are the most valuable to your business. Within this, the TEM tool should track your voice service usage to ensure accurate billing from your carrier, and it should track your wireless usage to help you monitor connectivity across your systems, so you know which devices are struggling to connect and can troubleshoot those issues.
- Reporting And Analytics. Your TEM service should offer detailed reports and streamlined visual dashboard into your telecom spending and service usage. You should be able to filter reports by provider, and gain usage insights at an individual user level. This will help you understand your spending trends, such as which areas you’re using most and spending most in, and which of your providers or services are the most expensive.
- Some TEM services offer managed audits, in which the TEM provider’s own team analyze your telecom network and offer recommendations on where you can cut costs and optimize the network.