Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is usually a solution the CIO manages. Their help desk manages front line user frustration with device connectivity. While guiding mavericks to dial and download responsibly. Often telecom is the best budget to manage as services move to data, and data costs fall. But in this shift from being a technical solution to a business solution the industry trend is for CFOs to want increased control.

Getting on the Bus

As an indirect spend category, telecommunications is a top five item. But dollar cost is not enough for CFO attention (beyond administrative control). What’s driving their interest is our ‘always on’ culture especially as mobile applications are now everywhere. Communications is not just a Plain Old Telecom System. It’s a highway of hardware connections that a company’s data-travels on.

Now that telecoms links sales with delivery, and customers to service, it’s now a board room agenda item. Metrics dashboards monitor performance at every management level. Extending traditional cash focussed CFO measures of financial health to include sales and service velocities. These extended CFO metrics drive the strategic need to have a communications network that cost effectively sets strategy while delivering profits and compliance.

Strategic Direction

Company communication infrastructure and applications is now a key lever to delivering sales more effectively while serving customers more cost efficiently. The infrastructure/application stack will differ depending on the business need. Sales need mobile device enabled CRM while service need desktop integrated service and IVR. Onshore and off-shore teams need to be able to transfer tickets depending on customer priority and value.

Communications is no longer a method of simple technical connection. It’s now a method of business connection – this makes it a key strategic consideration. And often a pre-condition to successful product marketing or manufacturing.

Show Me the Money

Web and online methods are now firmly established revenue channels. Ranking alongside inbound/outbound call centres, retail centres, or third parties. With real time updates, communication technologies make it possible to receive and ship products (physical or virtual) in minutes. Customers now expect instant online gratification (or at least order confirmation).

Costs can be optimised and reduced to. Telecom expense management reduces costs without impacting productivity. TEM lets users understand the cost impact of their activities. Letting big-brother impersonally manage mavericks to dramatically reduce telecom spend.

Compliance Matters

In the US, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), and internationally SOX-like legislation, was implemented a decade ago. Designed after an era of low standards and false profits, the rules mean CFO’s of public companies are responsible for company compliance.

Real time communication has strengthened CFOs ability to achieve SOX compliance. Metrics and leading alerts deliver confidence to CFOs when signing assurance certificates. The ability to publish dashboards via the cloud mean that compliance can become routine. And more importantly pervasive. If everyone knows that they’re being reported on, then the likelihood of fraud becomes less. This means that compliance moves beyond just a tick box exercise to enforce culture and support strategy.

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Bruce Macfarlane

Bruce Macfarlane is the founder of Kansoly a source to pay telecom expense management platform for business. If you’re looking to drive down your company’s costs across voice, fixed line, or mobile contact Bruce via Linkedin, twitter or email.