At a time when the world is tightening its belt but still using broadband and wireless services like they are going out of style, you might imagine an increasing portion of companies would be interested in managing telecom expenses. And if you think about it - with companies cutting travel budgets and utilizing technology to substitute for air and other forms of travel, it makes sense that broadband and telecom costs could increase while headcounts shrink.
During the recession of the early nineties telecom costs decreased
more or less in lockstep with business activity and headcount. Nowadays this is far from the case as companies further look to reduce costs with hosted solutions which they used to run locally. In addition, there is an increased focus on accessing information everywhere - via phones, netbooks and smartphones. As more information is accessed in different ways such as mashups and IVR systems, broadband use increases and so can costs.
The increase in telecom use at a time when companies are looking to decrease costs across the board could explain why some companies are looking to rein in their telecom budgets by looking to telecom expense management companies.
This would explain why Veramark Technologies, one of the companies in the TEM space is adding staff. Yes, someone is actually adding people in this environment. And while TMCnet's Michael Dinan was busy writing an article about the happenings at Veramark, I was meeting with Troy McCracken the CEO and Trent McCracken the President of Spectrum Incorporated, a company also providing services in the telecom expense management space. One comment the brothers made in the meeting was that TEM solutions will save 25% of telecom expenses over four years. I have heard similar numbers from others in the industry and from researchers.
One differentiator Spectrum brings to the table is the company's focus on ensuring agents can manage customers easily through an intuitive software program. In addition they have a focus on paper invoices allowing data to be easily extracted and loaded into SQL tables.
The company has a unique way of looking at the field - they blend the help desk with sourcing and procurement, asset management, financial reporting and expense management. An important theme in our discussion was the fact that TEM is much more than auditing and with increasing complexity of broadband services, they make a great point.
Feel free to visit the company's site for more.
In addition here are some other related and sponsored TMCnet resources for more: