According to a recent Aberdeen Group study, 7
to 12 percent of telecom service charges are in error. Such billing
errors on the part of the carrier can be caught when accurate Call
Data Records (CDRs) are kept. However, there is another area of
over-billing that occurs as a result of lack of coordination between a
company's departments and can affect telecom expense management.
The IT department, for example, orders
services that are paid for by the finance department. The two
departments seldom liaise to make sure that the bills correspond to
what was ordered and received, and that the best rates were obtained.
With improved communications and liaison, these obstacles can be
Another potential area to eliminate waste is
to ensure that the carrier stops billing for discontinued services.
This happens with upgrades as a result of expansion, as well as when
For example, according to one source, a
carrier overcharged a company by $50,000 after that company had sold
several of its locations. The carrier had omitted to transfer the
charges for those locations to the new owners.
A computerized Telecom Expense Management
(TEM) system can vastly improve the situation, but the best computer
system cannot function properly with inadequate or incorrect data.
Therefore, it is vitally important that there be a centralized point
where the relevant telecom data is gathered and processed.
Some internal reorganization may be necessary
to make sure that any time resources are moved, added, changed, or
disconnected (MACD), this fact is recorded in the system's database.
In many cases, it would make sense also to centralize telecom
approvals so that the best deals may be negotiated with carriers.
While creating an accurate and complete
database of existing inventory is vital, continued vigilance is needed
to ensure it stays that way. Many companies, for example,
inadvertently continue to pay for the cell phones, pagers and phone
cards of employees who have left. Good interdepartmental
communications and periodic inspections are needed to help keep the
telecom records up-to-date. With a complete and accurate database in
place, a telecom Expense Management (TEM) system can realize
significant savings and pay for itself in short order.