Carl Weinschenk spoke to Joe Basili, managing director of the Telecom Expense Management Industry Association. The group is holding one of three yearly meetings Nov. 2 in Boston.
The radical shift in the way enterprises use telecommunications means that far greater efficiencies in the overall pricing structure are possible. Indeed, the potential impact of Telecom Expense Management-TEM-is massive. Joe Basili, managing director of TEMIA, tells IT Business Edge blogger Carl Weinschenk that the most important issues at this juncture are the transition to mobile, the move to data from voice and the end of unlimited contracts.
"So now, as we anticipate that the carriers are going to start limiting these plans, it becomes important that organizations get that granular information on data usage and look at the types of devices employees use."
Weinschenk: Just to refresh, what is TEM?
Basili: Telecom Expense Management really is about a couple of things: The first is the idea of getting the optimum spend for telecom expenses. Often that means spending a bit less through a number of different processes and a combination of software and professional services. The basic idea behind it is to look at fixed, mobile and international telecom expenses.
There are three in swim lanes, if you will. The ways that carriers make money through these services are different and the ways to save money vary a bit between fixed, mobile and international. In each of the different categories there is inventory management and change management. Other categories include sourcing, procurement and invoice management. There is both validation and optimization of expenses and usage charge backs. The idea of charge back is to charge business units and in some cases individuals. There is bill payment and reporting, with the idea of getting business intelligence and vital information. All of these are aggregated together in specialized repositories. The idea is that expenses have unique qualities and challenges.
Weinschenk: What is driving TEM today?
Basili: Two of the biggest dynamics is the idea of mobile expenses and the tremendous growth in mobile and the idea that we are moving from a voice-centric to a data-centric world for fixed services.