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August 12, 2010

TEM Must Take Priority in Telecom Lifecycle Management

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Telecom lifecycle management is an important focus for any company seeking to maximize its technology investments and part of an effective telecom lifecycle management strategy is a focus on telecom expense management (TEM). To be successful, companies need to have a TEM standard so they understand where to start. They must be able to understand the important elements of a TEM solution, clearly define the scope of work for the solution, streamline the buying process when it comes to telecom solutions and maintain a benchmark by which to compare results. Most importantly, the company must be able to measure the success of the TEM solution.In basic terms, there are specific requirements for TEM standards. 

For one, they must be open, quantitative versus qualitative, universally applicable and offer high inter-rater reliability. TEM performance metrics can then be used at any point in the process, although the earlier the better. Such metrics should be used for pre-project planning, TEM supplier selection, contracting, SLAs, ongoing project management, measurement and communications.

When TEM planning and design is part of the overall telecom lifecycle management process, it is possible to identify business goals and requirements that map questions which enable enterprises to compare the capabilities of each supplier. This process streamlines the evaluation process, while also enabling organizations to establish contracts and SLAs for performance requirements, business impact and projected ROI. TEM in the telecom lifecycle management process allows for a more effective and centralized process to manage overall telecom expenses. 

TEM applications can be leveraged to achieve economies of scale and benefits from a united and unified approach. When managed appropriately, TEM programs offer the ability to foster communication, collaboration and unification of expense management processes to drive better results. In essence, an effective TEM program provides the management of the full lifecycle of a telecom expense. The focus of this process is generally on eight major service domains, which include sourcing, service ordering and provisioning management, inventory and asset management, invoice management, expense management, usage chargeback, bill payment and reporting to provide business intelligence. 

The main key in telecom lifecycle management is to ensure that TEM performance metrics align properly with TEM components. TEMIA (News - Alert) published a recent white paper, “Developing an Exceptional TEM Program: Best Practices for Enterprises and Suppliers that Raise TEM Performance through Key Performance Indicators and Industry Standards.” This white paper was meant to educate the market through critical information that can be used by the enterprise to get the best performance possible out of TEM programs. As companies strive in today’s economy to do more with less, TEM is taking on a whole new importance in the overall telecom lifecycle management process. By placing a priority on TEM, the company can better use its telecom resources to drive effective results.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Erin Harrison

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