Telecom Invoice Management

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September 03, 2008

Veramark Technologies Exec Talks About Telecom Expense Management, SaaS and More

By Tim Gray, TMCnet Web Editor

I recently had the opportunity to ask Tony Mazzullo, president and CEO of Veramark Technologies (News - Alert), about the evolution of Telecom Invoice Management (TEM) and the direction Veramark is taking its business.

The company, based in Pittsford, New York, currently offers TEM solutions for invoice processing and auditing, invoice payment, inventory audit and optimization, wireless management, asset and inventory management, procurement and order provisioning, and call accounting.
Veramark’s TEM solutions can be delivered as licensed software, as a hosted SaaS (News - Alert) (Software as a Service) solution, as managed BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) – or any combination thereof.
Please outline Veramark’s new corporate initiatives.
Veramark is a thought leader in communications expense management and we are continuously evolving to meet the changing demands of the market. Our latest initiatives include expansion of our professional services division and development of consulting services. In addition, we are investing in enhancements to our award-winning VeraSMART Communications Management Suite. Veramark is in the final stages of development for the rollout of new VeraSMART components that will marry business intelligence with TEM to revolutionize communications management as we know it today.
What have been your company’s big achievements in 2008 thus far?
The release of VeraSMART 8.0, which includes new international capabilities and other enhancements, was a major achievement. Other milestones include organizational changes to streamline operations, expansion of our TEM services, articulation of our vision for the future of telecom expense management, and development of a roadmap for the expansion of our product and service offerings into business intelligence for unified communications.
What can we expect to see from Veramark in the next 12 months?
Within the next six months, we will begin to release new VeraSMART business intelligence components that provide analysis and decision support capabilities for optimizing communications spend across the network.
How do you see the TEM market evolving? 
At Veramark, we envision a “tipping point” within the next 12 to 18 months that will trigger widespread, increased interest in communications management. The tipping point will be brought about by the convergence of three events: Managing the entire voice, data and mobile communications network will become a strategic initiative for many organizations. This development is inevitable, because the communications network, which is becoming more complex and costly every day, provides mission critical capabilities for every business.
Due to the complexity of the converging voice, data and mobile communications network, effective cost management will not be possible using the methods and technology available today. Isolated software applications and spreadsheets will be insufficient. Adding people to manually process data and perform operational activities simply is not feasible from a labor cost and management standpoint. New enabling software and managed services will be developed to help manage the expenses associated with the entire communications network.
What is the biggest request coming from your customer base?
Today, organizations want the ability to improve forecasts on spending for technology migrations, sourcing strategies and negotiations, price benchmarking, and plan usage scenarios for the entire communications network. They want to be able to analyze and understand that data in order to make better decisions, improve their business strategies, and gain competitive advantage. The challenge our customers face is that it is difficult to aggregate data from multiple, isolated databases, spreadsheets and applications. The aggregation and normalization of the data into a platform like VeraSMART enables analytics and visualization in support of decision making.
How are you answering their demands?
Veramark offers managed services and software that allows customers to proactively manage the expenses and capital investment associated with their increasingly complex voice, mobile and digital communications networks. Our VeraSMART Communications Management Suite is a modular and scalable solution with components for call analytics, charge allocation, and invoice, asset, and workflow management. All components are fully integrated and share a common database and Web-browser interface. We are expanding the VeraSMART components to provide increased capabilities for data analytics, business intelligence and decision support.
What do you think the TEM market might look like in five years?
In five years, organizations will be managing their entire network data through integrated solutions that provide enterprise business intelligence to reduce net total spend. C-level executives understand that there are interdependencies between operational expenses (telecom bills, service contract fees, labor), capital investment and, say, travel expenses or sales revenue. Only an integrated corporate expense management solution will provide the business intelligence necessary to optimize those tradeoffs.
Please make one surprising prediction for 2009.
TEM is a set of processes designed to manage today's telecom technology. But today's telecom technology is rapidly evolving, and the processes required to manage it will need to evolve as well. Only a select few TEM vendors will survive this transition and deliver the next generation of communications expense management products and services. Veramark will be one of the companies leading the transition.
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Tim Gray is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Tim’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tim Gray

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