Managing a modern technology environment can be a complex enterprise, with ever-changing trends, needs and a multitude of services providers. Understanding these trends while optimizing contract terms and rates are key to avoid overpaying for services. When dealing with various telecom providers, having the right solution, insights and market knowledge can increase negotiating power and lead to real cost savings.
Regus (now known as IWG) is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions. Their extensive network includes nearly 3000 business centers spanning almost 900 cities across 120 countries. Successfully and profitably managing such a large global office network requires an effective Telecom Expense Management program. In this blog, let’s look at the evolution of Regus’s TEM program, why they ended up working with Calero and, ultimately, how Calero and Regus have been able to realize cost savings in the TEM program year-over-year.
When they first began a Telecom Expense Management program, Regus manually managed the program in-house. They created a small team of three auditors responsible for reviewing invoices, issuing billing disputes and matching charges back to contract terms. However, Regus’s rapid growth soon became too much for their in-house team to manage.
In 2005, Regus decided to enlist the help of their first outsourced TEM solution. While the solution helped with online order processing, billing auditing and their Accounts Payable feed, numerous billing errors were discovered while using inventory data to negotiate contracts. In 2009, they decided to change vendors to a second TEM solution. With this vendor, Regus maintained online processing and provider-audited invoices. However, inventory errors were frequent, impacting billing disputes, cost avoidance and recoveries. To get the results they wanted, they knew they needed a better solution.
Scalability, inventory management and billing errors ultimately drove Regus to select Calero. Regus began their contract with Calero in 2014 with a blank slate, as they had accuracy concerns about importing their inventory from their previous TEM solution. Before Calero, auditing was a manual and tedious process and billing errors were often missed and left uncorrected. With paper invoices and billing auditing only occurring twice a year, Calero began the work of modernizing the invoice process. They managed and processed invoices against negotiated contracts, looking for abnormalities and rebuilding inventory. With Calero’s help, all invoices were converted to a digital format, making them more easily tracked and searched.
Regus began to use the Calero VeraSMART portal to process 100% of orders, including new orders, change orders and disconnect requests. Calero audits invoices and matches them to the approved inventory in VeraSMART, then sends the Accounts Payable feed to the Regus AP team. Leveraging a centralized online IT invoice database gives multiple departments at Regus access to the most current inventory details and costs.
Regus received a number of benefits from working with Calero, including improved invoice and Accounts Payable accuracy, as well as accurate inventory details for contract negotiations and renegotiations. This allowed Regus to hold vendors accountable for billing errors and follow-ups until rates were corrected and credits received. Calero also enabled accurate reporting of inventory types, quantities and expenses for negotiations, helping Regus determine their true cost savings. Working with Calero helped Regus recover $1.6 million in credits and improve their inventory accuracy.
Accurate inventory can also empower bigger changes that lead to higher item cost savings. In 2017, Regus achieved big savings by transitioning from a traditional PRI voice service to an SIP platform where concurrent call paths are used and shared between offices. Having accurate inventory details gave Regus’s project managers visibility into current services, providers, and account details, which was critical to coordinate DID porting and terminating old voice services. This led to a successful migration in less than a year for the majority of offices.
Having the right solution, necessary insights and market knowledge can greatly increase negotiation power when working with different telecom providers. To achieve optimum cost savings, it’s important to be proficient in both managing contracts and maintaining inventory. With the help of Calero, Regus was able to reduce their overall expenses through contract renegotiations and improved disputes, as well as through SIP and ISP migrations.
To learn more about how Regus achieved cost savings with Calero, as well as their Best Practices for TEM not covered here, make sure to watch the Calero World Online presentation, “How Regus Approached Reducing Telecom Spend – With Phenomenal Results.
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