These days, companies are trying to save every possible dollar, and doing many of the right things already, but sometimes you have to think outside of the box to garner additional savings. Telecommunications can make up as much as 20%-40% of a company’s IT expense. Many large companies partner with Telecom Expense Management (TEM) or Mobility Management providers to help contain costs. Beyond that, there are some additional cost-saving strategies that can be utilized to cut down on mobile telecom expenses. In this post we’ll begin with the first six ideas, and follow up in a future post to finish this list:
Most international travel within a company is not “spur of the moment”. Plane tickets are bought, passports are updated and hotel rooms are reserved in advance. Someone within the company is usually keeping track of who is traveling, where and when. It is a best practice to involve the telecommunications department with these travel arrangements to allow them to place the users on the appropriate international plans and features before traveling to keep usage costs as low as possible.
Most users think they need more than what the company offers to them. In reality, they do not. The average 8 GB or 16 GB phone is typically enough for most users to do what the company needs them to do. Analysis can be done, but it often makes more sense to offer a smaller GB, and cheaper, phone as the standard for users.
It is a best practice to set limits on the type and brand of accessories that employees can order. In most situations, a travel charger and possibly an extra wall charger are enough to offer to end users. In some situations, to prevent device damage, companies are smart to recommend or require a case for the device. It is sometimes a good option to work out a contract with a third party accessory vendor. These companies will often offer quality accessories for a fraction of the costs of the carriers.
Some companies will have as many as five or six wireless carriers. This could cause a great number of challenges for a company. If possible, a company should choose one primary carrier and one or possibly two support carriers (to accommodate the small percentage of users who do not have great coverage with the main carrier). This will give the corporation more leverage and negotiating power when contracts are up for renewal. The promise of more business or the threat of taking away business can have a lot of weight during negotiations. We recommend that a company start by going out for RFP with all carriers. This can often even result in per line monetary incentives to retain or move business during a proposal.
It is a best practice to consolidate billing accounts within one carrier. Often features like sharing are not accessible across multiple billing accounts. Today, many carriers offer data sharing. Consolidating accounts will allow a company to take advantage of some of these features.
Make users aware of proper usage habits for their wireless devices. By monitoring a user’s usage over multiple months, management can determine if users are abusing their corporate devices. Educating them on current corporate policies and being strict about personal usage can shift the thinking of a user base. Training, periodic emails, and monthly telecom newsletters are tools that a company can use to remind users of proper corporate device etiquette.
View the next six tips in 12 Ways to Find Hidden Mobile Telecom Savings (Part 2).