BlogMoving to a New TEM Provider? Consider the Risks and Rewards

Moving to a New TEM Provider? Consider the Risks and Rewards

October 20, 2016, Expense Management

Written by, Scott Davis

Change Can Be Good

Are you getting that sinking feeling you’ve outgrown your TEM provider? Do you need broader capabilities or does it look like you’re missing out on some cool capabilities by sticking with your existing vendor? Maybe, you wonder if your TEM provider will survive the volatile industry changes.

Why Do Companies Change Providers?

There are many reasons organizations look to replace their current TEM provider. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Poor customer service, SLAs and response times
  • Lack of reporting, analytics and business intelligence
  • Low visibility into TEM processes
  • Disconnected solutions and platforms
  • Multiple systems – wireline/wireless
  • Dated technology
  • Concerns of vendor viability

47% Will Move On

If you think it’s too expensive and time consuming to make a move to a new provider, you may be surprised to learn that approximately 47% of organizations will change providers over the course of their TEM program (Source: AOTMP). I think this number will increase over time as cloud capabilities expand.

It may come a surprise, but moving to a new telecommunications vendor doesn’t have to be a painful process. Instead, organizations are finding that instead of going back and starting from scratch, it’s actually easier to transition an existing TEM program to a new provider by building upon existing capabilities and taking the current solution up to the next level.

Keep the Good + Take It Up a Level

First, don’t throw out what you’ve got. Take a look at what you may have that provides a great starting point.

  • You’ve got existing workflows and processes to improve upon. The right vendor can take you to the next level.
  • You’ve likely sorted out all the vendor information already and you just need to pull it together versus creating from scratch.
  • You’ve likely sorted through the accounting connections, cross-charge codes, etc. Now you need to just pull it together for your new vendor to implement.
  • Overall data models are created, and this change event is a great time to dust off the rules to improve everything. The right new partner will be able to help.

Look at the Risk Verses Reward

The Risk and Rewards of Moving to a New TEM Provider

The Biggest Risk of All

Let’s assume you hunker down and “make do with what you’ve got”. Seems safe, yes, but consider the risk of maintaining the status quo. First, you may suffer with less than ideal service levels and you will have to learn to live within the limits of your current solution. The biggest risk you face personally, is that the lackluster performance of your current solution will not likely win over internal management. Your solution will not give them new strategic advantage and your role does not get any boost – if you know what I mean. But it was safe – right?

Take the board game Risk as an example. If you’re not familiar with the game, you are in essence given armies which are then leveraged to take over as many countries as you can.  I have a friend that never strategically goes out of his comfort zone to attack other countries.  As a strategy, he tries to fortify one country, and hopes nobody will ever attack. As a result, the other countries eventually chip away at his army until he’s forced out of the game.

Why do I mention this?  Because sitting and hunkering down is not a winning strategy. It’s a safe strategy that may buy you a few months, or maybe even years.  But it’s not the strategy that helps an IT or Telecom manager strengthen their personal brand or the organization.

The Rewards

Then, assess the financial and efficiency impact of the inherent rewards of implementing a new, improved system. Yes, it will cost you in resources and time, but transitioning to a more enhanced TEM solution will deliver substantial short and long term rewards including:

  • Cost benefits (savings from new technology and processes)
  • Streamlined processes, efficiencies
  • Higher levels of visibility
  • Improved service levels and response times
  • Easier to grow and evolve an over-performing solution

And most importantly, it gives the IT/Telecom manager the ability to make a strategic impact. Time and time again, we’ve seen people promoted, or given more responsibility because of the work they’ve done to improve and optimize their communication business.  So ultimately, yes, you’re doing some great things for the company.  But in the end, you’re also doing some even greater things for your career.

Want more?  Take a look at this article that provides a framework to look at value over a three year period.  Hint, value goes far beyond just the year one hard-dollar savings.

Or, if you’re ready to think about what would be involved in a switch, take a look at this new white paper titled 13 Ways to Prepare for the Switch from One TEM Vendor to Another.

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