“I need a Telecom Expense Management provider so we can ensure our Telecom and Mobility environment is fully optimized, right?”


Why does Telecom Expense Management ALONE fail to produce complete telecom optimization? The problem with today’s Telecom Expense Management (TEM) environment is that it fails to address the other FOUR areas impacting successful Telecom outcomes:


  • “Do I have the right technologies in place that align with our business priorities?”
  • “Are we leveraging the latest available competitive technologies to drive business?”
  • “Have we done an ROI analysis/business case on mobility policies and practices, SD-WAN technology?”


  • “Are we utilizing the right vendor in this space that provides the correct services we need at the most competitive price?”
  • “Do we have the knowledge and expertise to negotiate the best contract terms and manage all the contracts associated with our vendors?”
  • “Should my IT team be distracted by resolving vendor network issues and escalations?”
  • “Have we put off vendor analysis due to fear of lacking resources to support change?”


  • “How accurate is our inventory of all telecom assets?”
  • “Do we have a complete and consolidate inventory of all mobile assets?”
  • “Can all reports be produced real-time?”


  • “Do we have the resources to provide quality end user support for both telecom and mobility?”
  • “Do we have the Project Management resources to migrate to new technologies and the ebb and flow of new projects?”
  • “Do we have the resources to manage the ongoing changes in our telecom and mobility environment? Resources to manage MDM/EMM environment?”
  • “Are we utilizing the best custom tools and process to manage our environment?”

If you’re looking for a TEM provider and not asking the above questions, you’re missing out on a big part of the equation. Help drive your business by realizing a fully-optimized Telecom and Mobility environment.

Download a full list of Telecom and Mobility activities (including Telecom Expense Management).

As you gear up for the 2014 IT budget season, you know there are many areas competing for IT time and attention.  According to a recent article from CIO.com, you’re also trying to secure the best talent when it comes to areas like application development, project management, and technical support.  At the same time you’re probably facing the annual budget dilemma of how to design your 2014 IT budget for more strategic impact and reduce IT operating costs.  You’re dealing with ‘keeping the lights on’ expenses that are known to eat up nearly 70% of your budget year after year.  If you want to make a real impact to this recurring problem, you need to entertain a structural change to how you organize and prioritize your IT organization.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the hype about the latest mobile technology, but that doesn’t mean you have to overpay for your wireless needs.  There are plenty of ways to trim the overall cost while keeping the service you need.  Follow these 10 tips to save money on business wireless costs.

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Telecom is often viewed as time consuming and frustrating. This perception is spot-on if you don’t have the knowledge to combat potential Telecom Time Wasters. Companies often merge traditional ‘IT’ and ‘telecom’, which forces IT support professionals to absorb “telecom” duties into their already busy schedules. At first glance, “IT” and “telecom” look similar by design. However, they are quite different. So, how do IT support teams learn to maneuver within the telecom industry without losing valuable time? Simple. Keep reading the 5 Telecom Time Wasters and learn how to save time and productivity in your Telecom Environment.

Telecom Time Wasters – #1 Repair and Maintenance

There is no greater pressure for IT than an outage. An internal outage is painful, but even worse is the outage that occurs at the vendor or carrier level. You can expect long hold times, lack of proactive updates, and reduced maintenance staff to address the problems in a timely manner. Small telecom outages may take 4+ hours of your undivided attention. Large outage can take 8-10+ hours with trouble-shooting, tech appointments, equipment testing, etc.

Best way to avoid lost time? Online ticketing and live chat. Both methods give live updates from the vendor or carrier while allowing IT staff to multitask.

Telecom Time Wasters -#2 Billing

FUSF, E911, State taxes, Federal taxes, City taxes, PICC fees, contractual rates and charges… Which are applicable on your bill? How do you know if your bill is accurate? Around 60% of all telecom bills have some kind of error on them, MONTHLY. On average, errors of around 3-15% are found on a standard audit. If errors are found, better block out a good chunk of time to get them resolved. Plan on 1) an initial call and information intake 2) another call as the issue is passed on to the correct team for processing 3) yet another call to follow up on the first two calls 4) one more call after that to confirm resolution. Add into the equation standard call center hold times for each interaction and you are looking at quite a time commitment.

Best way to avoid lost time? Once again, online ticketing is the best way to go if you handle these issues in-house. If you want to remove this complicated activity from your plate altogether, there are many resources that can handle this issue for you.

Telecom Time Wasters – #3 Contract Negotiation

Contracts are a pain to negotiate even when you understand the telecom billing terminology and language. Telecom contracts contain passages that make no sense to anyone but the carrier and the highly experienced expert. Understanding how each section protects, or could potentially hurt your business is not a simple task. Once it is negotiated, there is a whole new adventure validating that everything from the negotiation is actually IN contract.

Best way to avoid lost time? Have an independent resource review your contracts. They are often cheaper than hiring a lawyer specializing in corporate technology documents. They can also make additional recommendations regarding the best way to leverage your contracts.

Telecom Time Wasters – #4 Order Negotiation

Once the contracts are approved, you have to deal with the order process surrounding the changes resulting from the new contract. This may be anything from a simple upgrade to a full network migration. In essence, this means lots and lots of time spent making things happen. Order outlines, planning, specifics, communication, process, timelines, meetings, implementation, testing and review are just a few of the action items that have to happen with any telecom order. Experience and exposure to the process, or lack thereof, can make or break any project plan.

Best way to avoid lost time? Get a commitment to resources from your provider. They are the experts. Let them do what they do – support telecom. Have a detailed, well mapped out communication and implementation plan done – in writing. Set task reminders for milestone commitments and hold them to those timelines. If the scope of the project is larger than what you would like to take on yourself, there are resources that specialize in handling these types of changes for you.

Telecom Time Wasters – #5 Lack of Accessible, Knowledgeable Resources

Let’s face it – in this day and age of limited resources, accessible and knowledgeable support is hard to come by. The telecom industry is understaffed with people who can translate the ‘telecom language’. It’s nearly impossible to get in contact with someone regarding your issue on the first attempt.

Best way to avoid lost time? Cross your fingers. If you do not have a dedicated carrier representative assigned to your business you are just going to have to deal with it. Remember, live chat can be a bit better with faster response times.

At the end of the day, the need for communication and technology is no longer optional, it is essential.  When companies merge ‘telecom’ into traditional ‘IT’, valuable time is taken away from strategic IT initiatives and pushed into merged job duties. What can we learn from these 5 Telecom Time Wasters? That an outside, knowledgeable, customer-focused resource is essential to be the most productive in the ever-complicated world of telecom.

A telecommunications enterprise is a complex and multi-faceted organization that is both a strategic necessity and a likely source of economic drain.  Most companies aren’t aware of the cost outflow within their wireless telecom environment, or if they are, managers don’t have the time or resources to identify and correct the source.  The lack of focus on the daily cost management of telecom can continue and snowball into significant losses to the enterprise.

Identifying and managing these areas of loss could most certainly be a full time job.  The problem with continued waste is that most enterprises do not have resources focused on the day to day management of wireless telecom expenses.  Wireless telecom cost drains can be obvious, some can be insidious, and still others need to be drudged up to the surface.   All, however, require time and a tedious level of commitment to overcome.

As the list of unmanaged wireless telecom expenses can be lengthy, a good place to start is with the lowest-hanging fruit – those problems that are the easiest to resolve and which can reap immediate savings.   In review of wireless expenses, immediacy of savings can best be realized by reviewing some key areas of your wireless expenses, move on to dig up the stealthy issues that contribute to cost outflow.

Plan Pooling and Optimization

Own pool optimization by specifying if and when automatic optimizations occur to improve device performance – don’t let this run unmanaged.

Voice/Data/Text Overages

Unless your mobile user base has an unlimited plan for voice, data and texting, monthly overages can voraciously eat away at your budget.  Overages comprise one of the most common problems amongst mid-sized organizations today.  Research and review who your mobile user is, what he/she will be utilizing the mobile device for (cellular telephone, email, presentations, web browsing, etc.) and optimize a monthly plan that will be built around users’ needs.

Excessive Roaming Charges

If your mobile users are racking up roaming charges then it is time to re-evaluate their plan.  Move them to a global plan that will enable them to utilize their device when and where necessary.   Roaming charges nonsensically creep into expenses but can be easily avoided.

Unnecessary Add-on Features and Services

Another source of escape occurs by providing an employee with too much functionality or service that goes unused.  Allowing unnecessary add-ons such as insurance, roadside assistance, or visual voicemail will only ensure that telecom cost creep will continue to erode your bottom line.   Review each mobile user contract to determine which features are absolutely necessary for him or her to perform their duties, and eliminate the rest.

Zero Usage Devices

One of the more common problems, the management of devices that are no longer utilized, such as those that belong to terminated employees or those that have been replaced or upgraded, requires more time and effort to optimize, but can result in modest cost savings.  Having a strictly enforced mobile user policy in place that addresses zero usage device management is essential.

Unused or Underutilized Data and Text Plans

Rectifying what is actually billed with what is used is an arduous task but one that can pay big dividends.  Assess those plans that are underutilized or not used at all to determine what can be eliminated or consolidated.  Get rid of those plans that are unnecessary.  Perform an audit amongst your mobile user base to determine the exact nature of plan usage on an employee by employee basis to ensure the best plan fit.

Mobile App/Subscription Slamming

This happens to be one of the most common areas of cost drain amongst mid-sized businesses with 500-5,000 employees.  In mobile app or subscription ‘slamming’, customers are switched to another telephone provider without their knowledge or permission.  These types of misleading sales practices among mobile service providers can lead to intentional fee increases and can also change the terms of service.  If not carefully monitored and guarded against, slamming practices can unknowingly increase costs and detrimentally alter contracted terms.

Tighter controls and regular audits can make a significant difference to the bottom line of a mid-sized company.  In auditing and assessing wireless expenses in corporate mobile telecom environments, these seven points are quite common among nearly 70% of companies we work with.

Get your Telecom Outsourcing Assessment now to see if any of these items apply to your business, and follow our blog for additional articles relating to Turnkey Telecom Management™ (TTM™) and Telecom Outsourcing.

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