Written by: Larry Foster, Product Strategy & Vision
Full disclosure, I am a TEM guy. I’ve watched it go through many changes and technologies. From the days with piles of manual reports to make any telecom manager weep, to the last few years where they have enjoyed robust dashboards with pretty pictures and automated reports.
But recently, things are getting more exciting on the technology front. By giving telecom managers and executives access to self-discovery of real-time visualization analytics, it transforms the power of TEM. With better information, evidence, access, and manipulating power – it all drives better decisions.
As an outsourced provider of TEM solutions, we help companies manage their fixed and wireless expenses on a single platform so they can identify and carve out excesses in their telecom spend, make smarter purchase decisions, uncover billing errors, as well as optimize their communications budget. Regardless of whether TEM is managed in-house or by an outside provider, it is a critical monthly process to control costs, streamline operations, improve compliance, and provide a strong basis for strategic planning.
What is very cool now is that real-time, self-service analytics is taking things up a notch and giving TEM a turbo charge. Now, telecom managers and executives can get their hands on real-time data and do most anything – from looking at costs, configurations, inter-relationships, geography, and ownerships – the options are endless. What it does is put the knowledge into the right hands to encourage and enable evidence-based decision making.
We have just completed participating in a research paper with Blue Hill Research. Chief Research Officer, Hyoun Park, has been very insightful as together, we examine the importance of data discovery and visualization analytics solutions within TEM.
Park’s premise is that enterprise communications data is generally underused in Communications Lifecycle Management and telecom expense management environments. He believes that this new world of self-service analytics gives telecom, mobility, IT analysts and even executives the opportunity to explore this wealth of data and find important business insights.
The key points of our research revealed:
1.The breadth of Communications Lifecycle Management is expanding beyond just the Telecom spend to also include: assets, usage patterns, services, and workflows associated with Unified Communications.
2.The availability of new analytic tools based on visualization, data discovery, and interactive data creates a knowledge-base that is more reliable, predictive and useful than vendor-defined reports and IT-defined dashboards.
3.Interactive data exploration and self-service topics empower telecom and mobility analysts by enabling them to focus on the current version of the truth as well as to execute a root cause analysis of why it’s happening.
4.There is an opportunity to uncover new insights regarding current communications value and insights, including Unified Communications usage. Gaining new cost insights are the most obvious, but other data nuggets include specific usage category patterns (including overage and adoption of new functions), compliance risks, dispute resolution and contract negotiation.
5.This will lead to the future of linking communications Big Data to systems of interaction. So as individuals and cost centers start linking communications data to other enterprise data or look at networked and relationship analytics, organizations will be able to increasingly connect the frequency and time of usage to specific business outcomes or relationships over time.
I encourage organizations to take TEM one step further and focus on communications with a lifecycle approach – not just an expense management approach. By looking at asset management, services, usage, and workflows instead of simply focusing on optimization or reducing technology, companies will gain a greater sense of how communications technologies affect business results.
By empowering telecom and mobility analysts with self-service discovery, it allows these subject matter experts to explore and analyze the data, they will learn how the novel technologies like voice, video, and conferencing are adopted within the enterprise and if specific departments, cost centers, or profit centers could gain greater benefit from mobility and communications technologies.
Blue Hill researcher, Hyoun Park believes that by combining a mature understanding of enterprise communications with a modern and self-service view of analytics and data discovery, enterprises can bring novel and unique insights to a wide variety of business workflows and processes ranging from cost to geography to employee behavior. I believe it will continue to get very interesting.
Want more? View this video about InSight Analytics, and how it helps transform communication data.