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Keep up to date with our news and thoughts about Telecom Expense Management, Contract Value Intelligence and Spend Analytics.

Posts about Digital Procurement:

Category Management - Six Ways to Reduce Telecom Costs & Complexity

Category Management - Six Ways to Reduce Telecom Costs & Complexity

Factors such as bundling services and keeping copies of contracts have their roles to play in reducing telecommunications costs, but many organisations are still failing to investigate a range of unnecessary hidden expenses, and the complexity of telecom category management for enterprise procurement teams continues to increase.

Whether your organisation is paying for disconnected services or suffering from internal usage abuses, the six cost reduction methods listed in this article will help to reduce telecoms costs, improve total contract lifecycle value and optimise technology spend.

Despite the difficulties associated with telecom cost management, we will also look at the practical solutions to unlocking significant savings on your technology and telecom spend.

To truly optimise this process and maximise reductions, working with Thinking Machine Systems automates the investigation and visualisation of data as well as simplifying strategic recommendations which are quickly actionable.

Optimising Enterprise Telecom in Digital Transformation

Optimising Enterprise Telecom in Digital Transformation

Enterprise telecom expenditure and strategic cost management is still quite a niche subject once you get into the detail of it, but the rise of Digital Transformation and Digital Procurement means it is quickly becoming a focus area for many enterprises.
 
From a data perspective, it overlaps all the services that make up the essential communication network within companies, the onion-like layers of supplier terms & conditions, and vast complexity that goes into the supplier-end operations to supply a service.
 
It’s very common today to focus on the top-line issues, i.e. what’s your overall service requirements, and what’s the best deal I can negotiate from a supplier. Once these top-line issues are agreed and a Telecom contract is implemented, there is a hidden gold mine of efficiency opportunities that can alter how company departments operate while providing large improvements to the bottom-line expenditure.

Why is this hidden? Because finding the efficiency opportunities, and executing them, are found through rigorous data & business analytics that extend past the capabilities most organisations have today.
 
This marks part of the Digital Finance Transformation, recognised as a key driving force for companies in the coming years. It’s also been found that most CFOs aren’t sure where to start on such a mammoth objective, evidenced by the level of funds still weighted towards traditional ways of working.

Telecom Expense management software helps beat bad data.

Telecom Expense management software helps beat bad data.

In modern times, the shift from Telecom Expense Management Software to Technology Contract Value Intelligence continues to gain momentum as the complexity of enterprises Landline, Mobile, Cloud and IoT inventory increases.

Every time you send an email or make a call, that is a service being delivered. When organisations use the cloud or machine to machine communications, more services are delivered as part of technology contracts. Capabilities like these have become so tightly woven into the fabric of enterprise operations, that today they account for 70% of the average total spend. In 2018 alone there were 21 trillion dollars of global business purchases related to services, and this trend is growing fast.

As organisations strive to innovate, the technology contracts and invoices linked to these services have become even more complex, causing them to be tainted by inaccurate information. We call this bad data, and it is stripping value from organisations across the industries at an alarming rate.

Why is Technology Expense Management complex?

Why is Technology Expense Management complex?

Enterprise organisations have been striving to adopt wide ranging emerging technologies including technology expense management providers and telecom expense management software throughout recent history, meanwhile contract value management, contract value intelligence and enterprise spend analysis practices have also been gaining momentum.

However, a growing problem exists, the complexity for enterprises to efficiently manage technology expenses and gain insights on all technology spend increases every day.

Mobile networks have evolved, the internet has become part of our every day life, and IoT technology has become increasingly prominent among businesses. The widespread arrival of 5G is now imminent, which alongside cloud computing will enable the sophisticated IoT networks of the future.

All of this amounts to an even more complex technology service landscape than we currently have, and most enterprises are already failing to achieve optimal value from their technology expense management software and the expensive services they pay for.

Digital transformation with spend analysis software

Digital transformation with spend analysis software

Enterprise digital transformation occurs when digital technology enables businesses to function better than before, improving efficiencies and business processes. At the core of this process is the transition of analog information to digital formats, with significant value available to organizations that adopt the right cost reduction strategies, spend management strategy, spend analysis process, and expense management software while doing so.

The ability to decipher detailed data about complex services can unlock immediate and long-term value, both in terms of savings and overall efficiency. Tackling the right pain points with the right technology results in an enhanced approach to transformation.

To achieve these outcomes, organizations require a spend analysis solution that can improve supplier management and performance. Charging inconsistencies can commonly be traced back to the supplier, due to factors such as inaccurate data and methodologies.

A subset of improved supplier performance is cost savings, and the right technology can enable you to optimize existing service plans without having to renegotiate deals. These improvements can be taken a step further when service data is aggregated across multiple suppliers, resulting in better deals.

Contract Value Intelligence: Optimise your Telecom contract savings

Contract Value Intelligence: Optimise your Telecom contract savings

As a buyer, how do you prevent Value Leakage in your complex Telecom contracts? Simple, Spend Analytics! 

Telecom is increasingly a prominent feature in enterprise budgets. Annual spend on Telecom equates to an average 1-2% of enterprise revenue. Therefore, significant savings and efficiencies found in Telecom will make a significant impact on the bottom line. To beat bad data, information silos and increasing value leakage, enterprises must focus on spend analytics.

Today, a fragmented information environment characterises Telecom category management for buyers:

  • Contracts and invoices hold tens of thousands of line items containing references to different definitions.
  • Definitions made up of implied rules defined somewhere else across the contract or standard supplier T&Cs.
  • Implied rules are tangled in an undefined web to other sets of definitions.
  • ‘Shifting sands’ of contract variations and regular updates of standard supplier T&Cs.

As a result, Telecom Category Management has no standardisation and will mean something different depending on who you ask. Eliminating value leakage is not seen as a routine operational activity today because there has been no feasible way to systemise operations. When enterprises perform related activities, they are performed manually and only done at significantly timed events due to the high time, effort, and specialisation required to complete the work. These significantly timed events typically are: 

  • During the RFQ / negotiation stage, when price benchmarking is completed to give the buyer an indication of what they should be paying.
  •  Resolving a longstanding commercial issue, when billing issues have compounded to the point that extraordinary intervention is required to get things under control.

Digital Procurement: What is a Thinking Machine?

Digital Procurement: What is a Thinking Machine?

When we thought about our approach to enterprise data, telecom expense management, spend analytics and digital procurement, the name came quite naturally.

Our corporate background was in a company with one of the most complex data warehouses in the world. Legacy data warehouses were built on top of one another, each with an initial scope to be the ‘source of truth’ but ultimately finding it too complex and expensive to implement.

Instead, build was made on a compromise of requirements and provided piecemeal reporting that fed into an ever-growing web of manual analytical processes for end users to achieve their outcomes.

I was lucky, in that my early days as a customer service consultant inadvertently afforded me access to the source feeds across dozens of key applications. Having no technical literacy at the time, my only frame of reference was the end business purpose of the data I was looking at.

Seeking technical mentorship, I slowly started translating my business knowledge into data modelling and development. There was clear transformational potential in having complete, holistic datasets that represented what was really going on in the systems day to day.