Managing wireless costs in an environment where they are becoming increasingly important to every aspect of business is no easy task. Carriers often don’t make it any easier, with evolving technology, legacy billing platforms, acquisitions and divestitures and cumbersome contracts and billing practices making it all the harder to get a handle on the complexity of telecom costs.
According to the Aberdeen Group, companies lose 12-17 percent of telecom spending on billing errors, while a Gartner analyst found that “12 percent to 20 percent of telecom charges are in error—and 85 percent of the errors are in the carrier’s favor.” On top of billing errors from carriers, internal inefficiencies and a lack of oversight can lead to wasted spending on telecom, from paying for unused services to choosing suboptimal pricing plans. The best way to get a handle on your wireless telecom spend is to conduct a wireless telecom audit.
A wireless audit can give you instant savings and complete oversight over your telecom services and spending by inspecting the following four aspects of your wireless environment. By aligning your inventory, usage, contract terms and invoices, you can ensure you are being billed correctly, negotiate more favorable rates, identify and cut unnecessary spend and discover other opportunities for savings and optimization.
Getting an accurate overview of your wireless inventory shows you what you have now and gives you the data required to move forward with the rest of the audit. By compiling an account of your working assets into one manageable snapshot, you can manage your infrastructure and compare it to your invoices to confirm you aren’t being billed for lines or plans no longer deployed.
The core of the telecom audit is getting visibility on your entire wireless infrastructure and usage with a full list of expenses and usage by vendor. By examining your usage, you will uncover any areas of internal waste, such as zero-use devices, unused features and international, roaming and long-distance calls. You may also find overlapping or poorly-managed services, such as a larger data pool than necessary, which can be dispensed with to cut costs.
No audit is complete without reviewing your wireless contracts. By going through your contracts, you can ensure the terms still fit your organization’s needs now and moving forward. By benchmarking against current rates, you can leverage new offers and lower pricing from competing vendors to negotiate more favorable rates. By eliminating offers your users aren’t using, you can shift your savings to invest in ones they are.
You may want to limit your risk and exposure by identifying any contractual liabilities that should be considered with any disconnects or changes to service made as a result of the audit. You also want to ensure your contract terms are aligned with your usage and invoices, so that your obligations, billing and usage are all correct and coordinated aspects of your wireless management strategy.
Here we get to the billing itself. Tracking invoices allows you to identify any missing discounts, wasted spending and erroneous charges. Are you paying for features that you aren’t using? Organizational changes such as mergers and acquisitions and migrations to new technologies can often result in circuits, lines and services that are no longer being used but continue to be billed and paid for.
It also allows you to find billing errors from your providers, which may not be discernible at the monthly charge level but uncovered through a deeper reading of your invoices. Your monthly statement may contain over-billed items such as invalid circuits, improper rates, unexpected fees and incorrect charges. These can commonly happen unintentionally as a result of the complexity of telecom agreements and billing processes and organizational changes.
Once you’ve compiled your wireless usage, inventory, contracts and expenses, you can now identify any cost-saving opportunities. In an average audit, we typically find up to a 26 percent reduction in ongoing invoice costs. To learn more about the benefits of wireless expense management and how Calero can help, click here.
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