How to Manage Telecom Expenses: Six Things Every CIO Should Know

CIOs are the executives most commonly faced with the task of cutting wireless costs with reduced budgets, and must find ways to cut expenses with the telecommunications programs currently in place. In addition, there are growing complexities that organizations are facing, from increasing mobile workforces to data-rich services. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Kevin Donoghue outfits CIOs with the tools they need to get a better grip on their telecom spending.

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You're wasting millions. The truth is that most enterprises waste millions of dollars annually by not managing their telecom spend in a standardized, centralized, more accurate way. Having ballooned up to a top four overall expense of an entire company, telecom is something that you, as CIO, should put on your radar ASAP. Action is required.

And as CIO, the ball is in your court. Telecom and related network services account for almost four percent of company revenue. Up to 26 percent of your telecom spend is erroneous or could have been avoided. Without a proactive approach to Telecom Expense Management (TEM), you are wasting money.

TEM is a boardroom issue

Telecom spending for voice, data and information services merits boardroom discussion by the sheer fact that it's one of the top line-item expenses for most organizations. So, as you develop your TEM strategy and solution-and defend it in the boardroom-you will need to be prepared to address the following six challenges:

Challenge No. 1: Telecom expenses are the most complicated to manage

To effectively manage the full life cycle of a telecom expense, enterprises need resources (people with free time to do the work), knowledge and automation. Few enterprises have resources that can be shifted from other tasks for TEM. Managing telecom expenses requires a special blend of knowledge of IT, telecom services, corporate finance, and service providers' billing procedures and their internal processes.

Managing telecom expenses also requires the ability to interpret contracts, de-escalate disputes and negotiate resolution of claims. Finally, technology is needed to manage everything, including telecom inventory and assets, contracts for telecom services, telecom service order activity and telecom invoice processing. Technology is also needed to manage expense validation and dispute resolution, rate plan optimization, mobile help desk support, usage management, cost allocation chargebacks and reporting, and business intelligence.