Common Challenges In Telecoms Expense Management, And What To Do About Them.

1. Telecommunications strategy

Are you continually besieged with a stream of service providers offering to save money on your telecommunications costs? Many organisations have a short term “ad hoc” approach to managing telecommunications costs.

Organisations need to take a more strategic approach to how telecommunications are aligned with overall business objectives, and importantly, constantly monitor and
adjust their Telecommunications strategic plan.

By addressing the issues raised in this guide you will have a sound basis for a good telecommunications strategy and be well placed to move forward and achieve the best possible
outcomes in terms of cost and service delivery.



Market analysts are forecasting large organisations to commence or continue to invest in TEM services.

It’s predicted that the global telecoms market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4% from 2021 to 2028. This is due to a myriad of factors; increased reliance on telecoms due to the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand for new technology, and growing infrastructures, to name a few.

Traditionally organisations struggle to deliver the best savings and actionable results without employing external TEM services.



2. Benchmarking

Benchmarking your “rates” against “the market” is a very useful exercise, as it identifies where you are placed (above, on or below current market).

Benchmarking requires access to rates and plans from all major carriers that are relevant your organisation regardless where your operations are, which could include Asia Pacific, North America and European locations.

Often a specialised consultant will assist in this process, ensuring you are fully informed in regards to how you can achieve the lowest possible cost, without reducing the quality of the service delivered.

The right consultant will have access to all the current rates and plans and will have good experience in conducting benchmarking services with an actionable
result at the end of the process.


3. Undertake Modelling and Analysis of current expenditure and profiles

Running the ruler over your existing expenditure to provide valuable insights into where you are currently placed in terms of operational and capital costs each year is crucial in your ongoing ability to measure any improvements that can be introduced.

Reviewing a single month at a time provides little value, whereas trend analysis over 6 or 12 month periods easily identifies growing areas of expenditure as well as any zero usage services, which may be present and contributing unnecessarily to monthly operational expense.

An analysis of your carrier bills and validation against your current contracts and users/locations may uncover the need to raise disputes with your service providers.



According to Gartner, Advanced Data Analytics intelligence from TEM systems are being used to make top-down and bottom-up decisions by context (for example, role, sites, location, business units) for spending, inventory and usage in easy, single-view and multidimensional formats.

Deeper analytical capabilities, including cost predictability and improved user experience, are delivered from specialist TEM systems.



4. Addressing Spiraling costs, especially mobile data costs

Does your organisation know who your top users are or who is consuming the most data and why?

In many organisations unapproved use and undesirable behavior contribute significantly to monthly expenditure, and in most cases the organisation is unaware of this excessive use or do not have the tools or policies to monitor and control these costs

Recent circumstances have driven the need to deliver business systems and facilities in a work from home environment, driving large increases in remote workers utilisation of data, be it home internet (which also has potential data security issues) or corporate owned mobile data services.

Understanding user profiles, data usage and continuous optimisation are key issues in addressing and minimising ongoing costs.


5. Optimisation of Plans within Contracts

Having the best possible contract rates is the first step, making effective use of those plans is
the most important step.

Ensuring your services are on the right plans based on usage profiling is known as
Contract Optimisation.

Our many years of experience and analysis of our clients indicates that over 34% of all savings achieved are a result of Contract Optimisation. This is more than twice the savings that were
achieved from implementing new contracts.

Ensuring you are making best use of all the plans available in your contracts, and not allowing your service providers to determine the best plans for your actual use are keys, as often the best plan for your service provider is not the same as the best plan for you.


6. Strategic Sourcing

Telecoms contracts generally have terms of two or three years (maybe more), requiring
organisations to review the market and establish new supply contracts at these intervals. The main issue that organisations face is knowing if the contract currently in place, or being offered,
represents the best value for that organisation.

Using a partner that undertakes multiple market testing actions each year ensures you have
an expert who will assist to identify the gap between your current state and cost base and
possible future state that can be achieved.

Going to market by way of a tender or similar approach involves a lot of time and effort. Often responses are confusing and it’s difficult to make an apples-to-apples comparison or know if there are further opportunities for negotiation. Working with a specialist partner who can add real value ensures you will achieve the desired outcomes.


7. Deliver to Defined Service Levels

If you have a large fleet of mobile devices consideration needs to be given to the level of service provided to the end users and how any SLAs are monitored and measured.

Most organisations that undertake mobile fleet management internally do not have the ability to measure and report on Service Levels. Those that do often have no mechanisms to improve these SLA’s to meet end user expectations.

Partnering with an external specialist partner can deliver cost savings, and also exponential increases in service delivery and increases in end user experience.


8. Dispute your billing errors

You have billing errors, you just don’t know it yet.

Some 49% of all savings we have made for our clients relate to billing errors and the recovery of these from various service providers. It is also important to understand that the same billing error can reoccur multiple times, even after you get it corrected.

Every organisation needs a proactive monthly process that identifies
billing errors and lodges these as disputes with their service providers.

It is also important to note that just because you identify an error it doesn’t mean it will be corrected or rebated. You need to have the skills, experience and time to successfully engage with your service provider and effectively put your case forward, defend your position
and attain all of the credits that are due to you.

Disputing billing errors is not a one-time process, it needs to be repeated every month to ensure you only pay for services consumed at the agreed rates.


9. Mobile device management

The growth in usage of mobile devices including phones, tablets, laptops and IoT devices is exponential. Large organisations face an increasingly complex set of circumstances with respect to the fleet management of their mobile devices. Consideration of the entire process from cradle to grave has to be considered, including the ultimate environmentally safe disposal of old devices.

Managing mobile devices, be they corporate owned or BYOD is a key component in any strategy to protect corporate data and deliver a consistent user experience regardless of the device.

Mobile Device Management (MDM) helps to enforce corporate policy and user compliance as well as providing tools to protect lost or stolen devices from being utilised improperly or incurring additional costs.

There are many MDM tools in the market, these are complex to setup and implement as well as difficult to integrate into your existing environment.

Working with a partner who can deliver a true fully managed service can typically provide this service for what it would cost your organisation to purchase just the MDM licenses on their own. In other words you get a lot more value and a lot less headaches with a service from a managed mobile provider.

Securing and managing your devices doesn’t need to be time consuming and complex, if you work with the right partner.


10. Mobile security

The increasing move towards mobility has seen corresponding increases in the risks associated with the use of mobile devices.

There is a common misunderstanding that MDM protects the content on a device or data in transit, this is not correct.

There is a large risk to corporate data security from a variety of attacks, however there are readily deployable software and systems that deliver this extra layer of security over and above
the capabilities of MDM systems.

Organisations should also be blocking Inappropriate content and undesirable behavior as part of good HR practice.

Your telecoms strategy must also include Real Time Threat Detection & Data Loss Prevention as well as dynamic blocking of work inappropriate websites.



We hope the information we’ve provided in our best practice guide helps you in the development of your own Telecommunications Strategy and action plan. Addressing these common challenges in a comprehensive plan will help you to achieve best practices in telecommunications and deliver cost savings now and into the future.



Worldwide spending on Telecommunications is projected to total $1.595 trillion by 2024,
according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc.

It’s estimated that up to 20% of global telecoms billing is incorrect.

Clearly telecommunications costs are a real and growing cost, optimising your spend in this category by even a few percentage points will drive cost savings and bottom line improvements
for your organisation.