Telecom expense management (TEM) software solutions have been helping enterprises manage assets and costs related to wireless and wireline services for years, ultimately reducing costs, automating business processes and minimizing risks. It is a step that many companies have already taken to get better control of the telecom billing process, but before you take that initiative, make sure you know the answers to some important questions.
Frequently Asked Telecom Expense Management Questions
At Softeligent, we talk with a lot of people in various sectors, but the questions we receive are often very similar. Below are the top questions we are asked about telecom expense management.
1. What type of companies provide TEM?
Most people are surprised when they find out that TEM providers come from a wide variety of fields. For example, CPA firms, PBX call accounting, local and long distance carriers, telecom billing auditors and telecom consultants all offer some form of telecom expense management solutions and services. You can learn more in our article, Not All Telecom Expense Management Providers are the Same.
2. What is the difference between managed, unmanaged and hybrid TEM services?
The majority of this article is focused on TEM solutions (i.e. software), not services (i.e. consulting). However, you should still understand the difference between TEM services. Managed, unmanaged and a hybrid of the two are the TEM services that you would be looking at for your enterprise. Managed TEM services is just as it sounds—consultants do all the work for you. Unmanaged services means the TEM software is doing all of the heavy lifting and your own staff is monitoring it and taking action. With unmanaged services, positive results are dependent on the actions and expertise taken by the folks using the software tools. Hybrid TEM services means you are combining the two together, such as using TEM software and hiring a skilled staff to manage it.
3. Can TEM software be customized?
Most TEM software solutions can be customized, but the amount of time it will take is going to depend on your provider. Some of the larger TEM providers are not able to quickly make changes due to their infrastructure. Make sure you ask in advance the flexibility of the platform and whether or not it can be quickly customized to meet your needs.
4. How much cost savings should I anticipate?
Of course, the amount of savings from a TEM solution will vary from enterprise to enterprise. However, you can expect to save as much as 8% to 50% on telecom. We recently worked with a company that implemented our Softeligent platform and utilized our managed services. We found a large amount of inactive services and billing discrepancies that resulted in a 30% cost savings over the next year. 50% is not so common and we have seen this amount of savings over the years. In many cases, all of the fees associated with TEM software are self-funded by the hard dollars saved.
5. What features are included in a typical SaaS TEM solution?
The TEM solution you implement should be able to handle the entire lifecycle management of all telecom assets and services. For example, the platform should be able to deploy contract management, inventory management, work order management, invoice processing, billing disputes and cost center allocation.
6. Is it better to use a cloud-based solution or licensed software?
Generally, the best choice for telecom expense management is a SaaS solution, because it is more cost efficient and easier to deploy than licensed software.
7. How long does it take to get a TEM solution up and running?
The answer is going to change based upon the provider, so be sure to ask it before making your decision. At Softeligent, once we have all of the customer data it usually takes approximately 30 days to be operational at the admin level with out of the box functionality, and another 30 days until all configurations specific to each customer are complete and users are trained.
Softeligent offers a full lifecycle management solution for telecom billing. Telecom consultants, who knew firsthand the needs of enterprises, designed our software solution. Our SaaS TEM solution is easy to use, flexible and comprehensive. Learn more about Softeligent by getting your complimentary demo. Contact us today.