Many companies begin a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) program with the plan to later address an overall telecom asset management strategy. But sadly, those plans don’t always materialize. Ultimately, by not having a centralized inventory of all telecom and mobile assets in place, it often causes a miss as it relates to realizing potential cost savings as well as overall return on investment.
Telecom Asset Management is a sub-category of ITAM or IT Asset Management. ITAM is defined as: a set of business practices that incorporates IT assets across the business units within the organization. IT Asset Management joins the financial, inventory and contractual responsibilities to manage the overall life cycle including tactical and strategic decision making.
Deploying a TEM program that incorporates ITAM capabilities can drive tangible and impressive savings. A recent study by AOTMP found that, organizations can drive upwards of 400% cost savings during audits, another 400% in optimization and 300% in contract negotiations.
Many businesses already engage in some level of ITAM using simple tools like spreadsheets. But they often only track items like computers and hardware – while neglecting the assets in the telecom basket. Telecom related assets are among the most difficult to track if employing manual technologies like spreadsheets. In this sense, assets are defined as both physical assets like a land-line telephone or mobile device, as well as virtual assets like fixed-line, mobile and data services. Yes, that’s right, a telephone line is considered an asset that you’d need to track as part of a successful TEM program.
IT teams face mounting pressure to drive business value creation. The end-to-end visibility created when ITAM and TEM are aligned can help organizations cut waste and maximize the value of existing inventory. Building out ITAM functionality as part of a TEM program provides transparency and a better understanding of how technologies and the business intersect and it gives companies a clear idea of what they can expect from their telecom assets as they work to maximize value creation.
When organizations do not create a centralized inventory database of their assets as part of TEM, it becomes nearly impossible to optimize the business in any meaningful way. Sure, they get invoice loading and payment processing, but none of the real optimization benefits. More often than not, this creates the biggest source of tension between less experienced TEM vendors and their customer.
IT asset management should not be an afterthought. Instead, treating ITAM as a cornerstone of your TEM program, lets you create a single, centralized database of assets to drive operational efficiency gains, cost savings and optimized value associated with your technology systems and services.