Telecom Cost Management

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Telecom Cost Management Featured Article


August 13, 2007

Eliminate Unneeded Telecom Expenses, Save Money

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor


Many companies today are drowning in communications services invoices. What manager has time to go through hundreds of pages of bills from many different vendors, each month? It adds insult to injury, considering how much businesses spend—albeit necessarily—on communications expenses.
 
Getting a handle on invoices is the first step toward effective management of communications expenses, and toward reducing costs wherever possible. Yet, financial controls, audits and consulting only carry so far. These methods can reduce expenses by clearing up billing errors and negotiating better rate plans. But, they can’t find every possible way to save money.
 
To truly optimize spending on communications services, a business must also reduce overspending by identifying and eliminating unneeded services and assets. The latest telecom cost management technology, used by a management provider, will help uncover these oversights.
 
Many such oversights are the result of staffing changes. Unless a telecom cost management system is in place and being used, it is difficult at best to verify and optimize every expense by linking it to an active employee, location or project. The emphasis here is on active; it is vital that any particular asset or service be associated with the company’s current operations, rather than previous employees, completed projects, or no-longer-operational offices.
 
Of particular concern are previous employees still using company assets, or simply assets that were assigned to a previous employee but are no longer in use yet are still being paid for. Without effective telecom cost management, these expenses may go completely unnoticed. Some estimates put the annual turnover rate for employees in the U.S. at about 14 percent; as a result, the cost for unused services can pile up to as much as 20 percent in hidden, unneeded expenses each month.
 
A telecom cost management provider is set up to use the newest tracking technology to capture detailed billing information from most major carriers, and then link that information to a business’ finance, human resources and operations systems.
 
Much of telecom cost management involves automated inventory management. Every asset or service should be tied to either an active employee, cost center, office location, or project, or some combination of these. If an asset or service can’t be linked to a current company activity, it likely is an unnecessary expense and should be cut.
 
The newest generation of telecom cost management uses the application service provider model. This is a Web-based service model, through which businesses can achieve both short- and long-term return on investment for communications assets and services. Because this service is provisioned from a telecom cost management provider, it doesn’t require any capital expenditures.
 
To learn more about how telecom cost management can improve your company’s bottom line, please visit the Telecom Cost Management channel on TMCnet.com, sponsored by Optelcon.
 
Mae Kowalke previously wrote for Cleveland Magazine in Ohio and The Burlington Free Press in Vermont. To see more of her articles, please visit Mae Kowalke’s columnist page. Also check out her Wireless Mobility blog.


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