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What’s Next for Technology Expense Reporting and Maintaining Data Integrity

Opportunities to waste money and spend needlessly abound in your budget line for telecom and related technology expense, mainly because there’s so much to keep track of, and so many ways to look at it.

It used to be that every employee in your company had a desk phone that you needed to keep track of. Today, they may still have a deskphone, but they also have a mobile smartphone, a tablet, a laptop computer, and perhaps even a desktop computer. Multiply by your company’s total headcount and you have one very substantial set of fixed assets to keep track of. But that’s just the beginning.

Most of these devices have telecom services associated with them. Users that travel or work outside the office may have a wireless access account. 

Then there are the data and cloud services each user requires. Each needs a datacom service account as well as voice. You’ll want to provide the same productivity, communications, and collaboration platform to each so they can conference, work on documents together, and see each other no matter where each of them is located. Any cloud user must also have security, data backup, anti-malware, and other utility services to operate safely.

Do Nothing

The easiest way to waste money is to do nothing, that is, do nothing when an employee is terminated. Leave their mobile data, voice, and cloud accounts open. Don’t reassign their devices to anyone and instead go ahead and buy new ones. After a relocation, just leave the services at the former location fully provisioned so someone can pay a bill for services that are no longer in use. When you stop to think about it, many of these things can easily go unnoticed and remain completely invisible to you, perhaps until audit time. It happens more often than you’d imagine.

Depends on How You Look at It

Today’s technology expense management (TEM) solutions are rapidly developing an enhanced ability to interact with all this data to produce the kind of reports that will help you streamline your communications operations in every way possible. Reports can readily be scheduled with proactive alerts for stakeholders based on release or specific thresholds, and are refreshed whenever data is updated.

One dashboard can show you many things:

  • Registered users who have zero activity but you’re still paying their bill
  • Services with zero activity by location, including some you no longer occupy
  • Which departments are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • Which projects are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • Which individuals are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • How close you are to exceeding your committed quota for cloud and other quota-subscribed “consumption based” services after which you’ll start running up overage charges.
  • The performance of the “pooled” minutes programs you’re using. Are you oversubscribing? Undersubscribing?
  • Which carriers and vendors are you patronizing most? This information will be useful the next time you’re negotiating rates with them.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI) including total mobile spend, total landline spend, total cloud spend, top talkers, and more.
  • Activity by user, by geographic region, by period of time, by department or business unit, by carrier, and more

These dashboards enable those responsible for management of telecom and datacom expenses to drill down into any given data point from a variety of different perspectives or views. Once they’ve found what they’re looking for its easy to generate a report that answers the specific questions they have.

Sharing Insight

Nobody has a corner on all the good ideas, so the best TEM providers are sharing innovative report formats among all users of their dashboards, making it easy for other managers to explore their own data in new and perhaps more productive ways. Technology continues to grow as a proportion of your balance sheet. The more it grows, and the more your company grows, the more vigilance you need to maintain over these expenses. Talk to MDSL to learn more about how a quality TEM provider contributes to your bottom line.