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Telecommunications Expense Management

The world is now a small place

Telecommunications invoices, on average, have a 7 to 12 percent error margin, most of the time those errors are in the carrier’s favour.

GARTNER GROUP

 

7 to 12 percentage is a substantial error rate, quite alarming in fact.  Based on the telecommunication spend of one of Australia’s largest companies with nearly 20,000 services, this could be a loss of between 1.0 and 1.8 million dollars per annum.  That is straight off the bottom line. The complexity and reliance upon telecommunications in Australia is growing by the day.  Telephones and data links are now essential tools for keeping Australian businesses operational in a global landscape.  As our dependence on telecommunications grows, so does our need to drive efficiencies in the administration of these services.  When the volume of services climbs into the thousands, it is not uncommon to hear the following questions:

  • Who is using this service?
  • When was this service connected?
  • Is this service still being used?
  • Why are we still being charged for this service after we cancelled it?
  • Are we being charged correctly for this service?
  • Do we really know where our telecommunications dollars are going?
  • Do we really need this many services?
  • Are we charging our cost centres accurately?

Enter Telecommunications Expense Management (TEM).  TEM solutions can answer and resolve all of the above questions.  They offer the automation of the analysis and accounting of large telecommunication portfolios for large business.  You can see who is spending all money on mobile phones, and what they are spending it on.  Essentially, a well designed TEM will provide your business with:-

  • Accountability
  • Visibility
  • Transparency
  • Intgeration

 

Accountability

Do your Cost Centre managers really understand where their telecommunications costs are? Without an appropriate system, it is nearly impossible to get them to justify their expenses; in fact, it is hard to force them to justify the expenses without providing them with the right information.   Using a TEM solution, your Cost Centre managers can now know where their costs truly are and who is responsible for them, and they can be fairly made accountable.

Visibility

Know who is using your voice or data services, and how they are using them.  Are your users cost conscious or do they simply think that no one is able to identify inappropriate usage?

Transparency

The world is now a small place

On particularly large carrier invoices, who is going to wade through hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of charges to ensure the carrier has honoured the contracted tariffs?  Using a TEM solution, your monthly bills can be accurately validated against the carriers contracted tariffs.

Integration

Any best-of-breed system does not reach its potential without integration into existing business systems.  myTEM has links to HR systems, Windows Active Directory and most major accounting systems.  Our developers are able to build custom interfaces for any other systems you wish to integrate.

myTEM Overview

myTEM is a specialised application that takes carrier account charges from several sources and combines them into a single common database.   Since every carrier has a different way to charge for and present invoices, it quickly becomes very difficult to get a micro-level understanding of where your telecommunications costs are actually going.

The system is built upon a familiar interface platform in Microsoft Excel 2007.  The data is stored in a Microsoft SQL Server database.  These two applications marry well together in a combination that makes the user experience quick, robust and easy to use and requires very minimal training.

The benefit of the single common database is quickly realised by your telecommunications administrator in that every Service and Carrier Account is treated in exactly the same way without regard for the carrier that supplies it.  This makes churning services between carriers a snap in that there is next to no administration required as the next bill import will tag it to the new carrier.

Another major benefit of the system is the ability to apply percentage-split cost allocations on both a Service Number level as well as Carrier Account level.  This provides for automatic charging of shared services to various entities.  All reports honour this split allocation when reporting about a specific entity.  The allocation history is kept so reports spanning a cost allocation change also honour the original allocation, thereby matching published financial reports for those entities.

 

Feature List

  • Support for multi Carrier
  • Support for Mobile ‘CAP’ accounts
  • Capacity for an unlimited number of services
  • Custom descriptions can be applied to each service
  • Unlimited percentage-split Cost Allocations by Service Number with history
  • Account Level charges, credits and rounding can have percentage-split allocations to several cost centres
  • Reports output to a familiar application in Microsoft Excel for ready-made analysis features and minimal training
  • Service Number on-screen enquiries to view:-
    • Monthly Charge Summary
    • Service Charge Summary
    • Call Detail
    • Service & Equipment
    • Other Charges & Credits
  • Users can be assigned to services for individual reporting and monitoring
  • Users can be assigned to Managers for central reporting and monitoring
  • Customisable Cover Letters for User, Manager and Location Monthly reports
  • Option to show Net Costs on User, Manager and Location Monthly reports (Corp Discounts)
  • Report Packs for each Company/Subsidiary/Location can be generated on a monthly basis and delivered electronically
  • Can be installed locally or engaged as a hosted application
  • Dynamic Analysis and Drill Down (slice and dice) available in analytical reports
  • Output options to Excel Spreadsheet or PDF.  HTML publishing currently under development.
  • Costs can be summarised into various custom categories for inclusion on your Monthly P&L
  • Manual Expense Entry for accounts not supplied electronically by your carrier1
  • Lightening fast searches for Services, Users, Locations and Carrier Accounts
  • Standard report qualifiers (if relevant in the context of the report) are:-
    • Company/Subsidiary
    • Location
    • Division
    • Department
    • Cost Centre Date Range (either Fiscal Period Dates or regular Calendar dates)
  • Option to import Cost Centre Hierarchy from Telstra’s BRSS+ (Terms & Conditions Apply)
  • Robust Microsoft technology combination in SQL Server and Microsoft Excel on the .NET Framework
  • Optional Accounting System Interface for efficiency and total accuracy.
  • Most reports can span several months for trending analysis
  • Essential report sampling:
    • P&L Comms Costs Breakup
    • Call Detail
    • Service & Equipment
    • Top NN Users
    • High Cost Services
    • Location Service Listing
    • Unallocated Service Listing
  • Track IMEI/PUK/PIN for Mobile Phones
  • Record Connected/Suspended/Cancelled information for each Service
  • Carrier accounts can be flagged as ‘Does not pay GST’ for management of sister organisation account processing where the entire cost goes to their ‘loan’ account.
  • Microsoft Windows Active Directory integration for security controlled access to various features and reports.
Additional Options

 
myTEM is highly extensible and feature rich.  As a result, we have modularised the features so you only pay for the features you need.  Below is a list of add on features that are an additional cost to the base system.

Email Module

This module allows for the automatic distribution of reports to recipients via email as either an Excel Spreadsheet or a PDF file.

Scheduled Report Module

This module allows for the automatic distribution of reports to recipients via email as either an Excel Spreadsheet or a PDF file.

Alert Subscription

Quite often with large accounts where the number services are in the tens of thousands, it is difficult to keep an eye on usage practices and carrier charges.  Alert subscriptions can notify users when certain triggers are met, such as data service usage exceeding $5,000 in a given month, or there are in excess of 10 international calls made from any one extension in a given month.

Accounting System Integration

Accounting System Integration is a very powerful module, as it can take your combined electronic bills from several carriers and consolidate them into one accounting journal, appropriated by the cost centres recorded against each service.  An estimate would be required to scope the effort involved to interface into your specific accounting package.

Expense Analysis

AVantage IT can put to use its vast experience and knowledge of the Telecommunications industry and its products and services to analyse the state of your enterprise.  Typical efficiencies can be gained from the identification of:-

  • Redundant services
  • Short-term services that have not been cancelled
  • Inappropriate use of services by users (eg. Unauthorised international or information service calls)
  • Installation of an inappropriate service for a particular purpose.

Contract Validation

Under specific circumstances, we can also validate that you are being charged the correct amounts for services in accordance with your carrier’s contract of agreed tariffs.(Terms and conditions apply to this service).

Delivery Options

 

The system can be made available to your organisation in one of two ways:

Hosted by Client

  • Installed on local machines for direct access by staff
  • Information is readily available to your Telecommunications Administrator to completely manage.

Cloud Hosting

  • No need for additional internal infrastructure
    • Application Deployment staff
    • Help Desk resources
    • Additional Server and licensing for SQL Server
    • Backup & Recovery of database server
  • No need to burden internal staff with generating and distributing standard monthly reports
  • No need to import Carrier Data on a monthly basis
  • No need for additional business analyst to wade through thousands of lines of carrier charges to find anomalies*
  • No need to train internal staff
  • No need for an Application Support arrangement

*Add-On service subject to additional charges.  Terms and Conditions apply.

Summary

 

It is not hard to see when your number of services climbs into the hundreds and thousands that it quickly becomes hard to manage and keep control of your comms costs.  It is hard to fight a battle against an enemy you don’t really understand.

myTEM is a step in the right direction.  Get to know your Comms costs and drive efficiencies into your bottom line.

 

If you would like to know more about myTEM, please contact us for an obligation free chat.