BlogWhat Is CLM Compared to TEM, and Why Does It Matter?

What Is CLM Compared to TEM, and Why Does It Matter?

maart 8, 2016, Communications Lifecycle Management, Uitgaven

Technology has made business communications significantly more complex. Today, the average enterprise uses 508 applications, many of which are used to facilitate internal and external communications. Twenty years ago, business communications were typically confined to telephone lines and fax machines. For modern enterprises, the introduction of Internet, mobile and cloud technologies makes the telecom expense management process more complicated.

What is TEM?

Traditional telecom expense management (TEM) is, most simply, the process of managing the communication tools of a business.  Gartner defines TEM as a recommended set of principles to manage the procurement, provisioning, payment and cost allocation of telecommunication services.  Gartner has also noted that for many organizations, using a TEM provider is the only cost-effective way to acquire the program management capabilities they need to control spending on telecom services.

TEM incorporates aspects, such as expense management and tracking, budgeting, contract management and reporting. While TEM shares many similarities with CLM, there are some key differences. 

What is CLM?

According to Blue Hill Research, Communications Lifecycle Management (CLM) is a necessary evolution of telecom expense management that addresses the financial, technical, and compliance issues associated with the billing, device management, and support challenges in an increasingly connected world. 

Where TEM focuses on telecom and mobility, CLM addresses the more complete view of unified communications which also includes instant messaging, VoIP, WebRTC, data, video conferencing and more.

AOTMP notes that CLM has the following attributes:

  • The practice of managing the entire communications estate, from procurement to payment
  • Provides complete transparency into all communications assets and services
  • Goes much deeper than simply managing invoices and expenses
  • Generates cost savings as an outcome, but is not the sole driver
  • Includes, but is not equal to, TEM (Telecom Expense Management)

Traditional TEM was initially developed to meet the needs of businesses with simpler communications technologies and does not always account for the complexities of modern business communication infrastructures. In a recent joint AOTMP and Calero webcast, on the Business Value Managing the Full Communication Lifecycle, AOTMP made the following comparison between TEM and CLM:

Telecom Expense Management versus Communication LIfecycle Management

So Why Does CLM Matter?

CLM is an approach developed for business communications that may be fragmented across a variety of tools, applications and vendors. Having a strong CLM framework in place, lays the necessary groundwork for properly managing the holistic view of the evolving world of communications, especially as connected devices like machine-to-machine and wearables continue to become more mainstream. To maintain a competitive advantage, organizations must constantly evaluate existing technologies against newly available options to meet metrics.

CLM is also sensitive to the many complexities of modern business communications that were not present in the past, including financial, technical and compliance issues. By managing the full lifecycle of existing communications tools, budgets, talent and regulatory requirements, companies gain the ability to:

  • Achieve greater efficiency and productivity
  • Realize cost savings on communications
  • Create effective plans for the future
  • Develop better IT roadmaps and reporting


There are many forms of modern communication technology that are crucial to competitive advantage and customer service. With a modern approach to expense management that supports all communication types, enterprises can develop the ability to strategically align their communications data with business goals, and keep up with the evolving set of channels. 

Want to Learn More?  
Check out this analyst report by Blue Hill Research on the Evolution of Communication Lifecycle Management