TEM Services are Evolving in Both Predictable and Unpredictable Directions

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• TEM Services have been useful for enterprises to track usage and mobile service expenditures, reconcile invoices across carriers, and optimize service plans

• The latest crop of TEM services encompass fixed and mobile, IT expenses, unified communications usage analytics, and usage and expense management for market data by investment firms

A recent set of Current Analysis company reports analyzing telecom expense management (TEM) services by independent providers such as Asentinel, Tangoe, Ezwim, Calero and MDSL show a fascinating evolution. These companies used to offer software that aggregated expenses from multiple mobile operators used by their business customers, and performed invoice reconciliation together with outsourced dispute management and service plan optimization. Looking at these companies’ latest sets of services, it is clear that their portfolios have changed considerably. For example:

• Predictably, TEM providers now offer their platforms as SaaS, which they tend to call lifecycle management services

• Not only do TEM providers analyze both fixed and mobile service usage and expenditures; most providers now offer IT expense management, looking at items such as data center/hosting charges and cloud services. Read more of this post

Will TEM Have Trouble Finding Ongoing Traction in an Industry Where Complex Solutions Become Dominant Over Commodity Services?

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• IBM sold off its Rivermine TEM business to Tangoe in May 2015, signaling that it was not as strategic a business as its other mobility-related services.

• Verizon shuttered its TEM service in 2014, as prospects favored independent providers for billing verification, expense reporting, device and service plan logistics and provisioning, and especially multi-carrier expense optimization.

While all Tier 1 operators and IT service providers (ITSPs) have offered telecom expense management (TEM) services for years, there are some changes in the market that harken back to the original question of whether a mobile operator can be impartial enough to be trusted with seeing, validating, recommending and helping optimize both its own voice and data services, as well as those of other operators. The ITSPs often used this argument to tout their own offerings, since they clearly weren’t tied to a particular operator. But network operators went out of their way to be impartial too, by separating their TEM staff and services from their network services. Meanwhile, as the TEM platform providers grew into TEM services and became service providers themselves, carriers increasingly used them as an independent liaison, whether the carriers were simply reselling their platforms or basing more advanced services on them. Read more of this post

Operators and TEM: Is the Argument About the Fox Guarding the Henhouse Going Away?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Nearly all Tier 1 US and global mobile operators offer multi-carrier telecom expense management (TEM), providing voice and data usage information, billing reconciliation, and cost allocation, as well as advice on service/spend optimization.
  • But independent TEM software vendors and IT service providers claim operators can’t be objective about mobile spend and shouldn’t be trusted to advise customers on how to optimize mobile expenses.

TEM is important because it is often the first step taken by enterprises to take control over their mobility environments. Before plunging into more extensive deployments of mobile applications or investing in more devices and service plans, they need to take a granular snapshot of what devices and services they already have, and see if they are spending wisely across all their carriers. At first glance it would seem unlikely that they would go to one of their primary carriers to get advice on where to spend (or not to spend) their telecom budgets. However, nearly all global carriers are now offering this as a managed service, often using platforms from leading TEM software vendors. Vodafone Global Enterprise has taken this a step further by acquiring two TEM vendors (Quickcomm and TnT Expense Management) and setting up a separate TEM practice with add-on professional services. Read more of this post

Are Managed Services a Viable Answer to Mobile Device Mania in the Enterprise?

K. Weldon

K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Huge rise in mobile device usage in the enterprise is kick-starting use of telecom expense management (TEM), mobile device management (MDM) and mobile security
  • Current Analysis research shows that most enterprises still patch together solutions from third-party vendors; trust in managed services will take more time

In a recent Current Analysis survey of approximately 600 businesses in the U.S. and Europe, 82% of respondents noted that employee-owned mobile devices are accessing data residing on corporate networks or servers; however, only 60% of the companies explicitly allow this practice. Further, 73% of these businesses are planning to buy tablets for their employees, adding to the smartphone types and OSs already in the mix. Clearly the environment for managing costs, reining in the usage and application types accessed by employees, and centralizing device management and security is becoming very complex.

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