The telecom market is anything but standardised. Multinational businesses operating across Europe, the Middle East and Africa need to deal with various operators across various countries.
The fragmentation goes beyond country borders. Bill quality and formats, language barriers and currency differences feed into the fragmented nature of the telecom market.
As a result, businesses often struggle to understand their overall telecom spend, driving up unnecessary costs. A robust global technology expense management (TEM) solution can help international companies analyse and manage expense data efficiently by offering full inventory transparency.
Let's look at the fragmented nature of telecoms in EMEA and the complicated spend management associated, to explore and explain the full utility of TEM software.
Exploring the Challenges of a Fragmented Telecom Landscape
As we mentioned above, cross-border companies have to juggle a range of variances in their telecommunications. We’ve broken down the three key areas in which businesses may struggle to streamline their telecom spend:
Regional barriers are the most obvious barrier to a standardised telecom market. When you have offices based in different countries, your data exists in silos, making it effectively unusable. Even if you could wrangle all your spend information into one archive, you will still have to manage language differences and various currencies. Gaining a clear understanding of where your budget is being used can, therefore, be an enormous challenge.
Finally, different cultural attitudes can upend processes, as not every country has the same approach to managing payments, for example.
Across EMEA, there’s no “one size fits all” approach to telecommunications. In fact, competition is widely encouraged, meaning different carriers pop up in various countries all the time.
Although competition proves useful for consumers, it can make cost management a laborious task. For example, considering that every carrier has a different way of presenting information on a bill, finance departments will be unable to easily analyse spend. Equally, this lack of clarity can make tax liabilities difficult to calculate — creating the potential for unexpected compliance problems in the future.
Bill quality is a huge factor impeding a streamlined approach to cost management, as it differs significantly between carriers. Some carriers will be able to provide a focused, detailed breakdown of your telecom environment, giving you a comprehensive understanding of your bills. Meanwhile, other companies may use legacy methods of billing, such as paper, only offering a summary of the information.
Another level of fragmentation affects the presentation of information on bills. Besides currency and language differences, carriers will have their own way of formatting the details on bills. Without an automated global tool, businesses will sink substantial time into reviewing telecom spend. Instead, Managed Bill Pay lets you outsource recurring vendor invoices at scale and simplify them into a single monthly payment, easing the burden on your AP department.
On a more minute level, businesses will need to grapple with contract differences. In order to find a suitable contract for various offices (even when located in the same country), you have to explore an array of options. What may be suitable for one office may not be cost-effective for another.
For example, your needs for a busy headquarters will vary differently from a small office with only a few employees. So, even if you choose a single carrier, you will need to gain a full understanding of their range of deals to assign them to different offices.
Streamlining Telecom Spend with a Cross-Border TEM Solution
The simplest way to take control of your telecom spend is to invest in a single TEM solution that can handle a business’s entire telecom infrastructure — even when the environment extends beyond different countries.
Below, we’ve highlighted the key ways your business can benefit from robust TEM software:
1. Control Expenses
At its core, a global TEM solution enables telecom cost reduction by giving finance professionals a comprehensive overview of the business’s entire spend lifecycle from procurement to payment. Businesses can then optimise spending and identify savings quickly.
In addition, TEM platforms can automatically flag any unauthorised charges or instances of fraud across your entire infrastructure to keep unnecessary expenses to a minimum, and should have inbuilt tools to allow you to manage these directly within the platform. Additionally, through our smart automation technology, you can create policies to manage your expenses and reduce the administrative burden on your teams.
2. Gain Insights
For organisations spread across dozens of locations, it’s easy to lose sight of technology spend for basic services such as broadband and telephony. However, there are often sizeable discrepancies in regional costs, above-market-value pricing and other hidden costs that can eat into your budget without you even knowing.
A global TEM platform empowers enterprises to accurately inspect their spending and conduct a price benchmark analysis to ensure they’re paying a fair price. In addition, you will be able to fully understand the technology services you have and where you have them from a central platform.
Having in-built tools to highlight business needs and opportunities is crucial, as greater spending insight can give you a better foot to stand on when negotiating prices. In other words, armed with an accurate picture of their spending, your teams can explore other packages to ensure they get the best deal.
3. Streamline Workflows
Global telecom expense management software can save multinational companies time as well as money by streamlining payment processes and acting as a single source of truth. Certain TEM solutions can audit and evaluate incoming technology invoices for accuracy, completeness and contractual compliance to maintain an accurate inventory of technology services and usage.
By automating pain-staking admin tasks, finance teams have more time to focus on their core competencies. Not only that, but businesses can easily identify discrepancies in usage, leading to speedy telecom cost reduction.
Finally, for businesses spread across multiple countries, a TEM solution can ensure that data is presented in a clear, streamlined manner — no matter the language, currency or format.
Reduce Your Global Telecom Costs with Calero
Growing companies and multinational enterprises need to be aware of their technology spend across their entire environment in order to make strategic, cost-efficient decisions.
Calero can deliver unparalleled visibility into cross-border businesses’ telecom spend across EMEA with our TEM solution.
Contact us today for a free consultation and discover how your multinational company can start saving time and money with technology expense management.