Telecom Expense Management (TEM) – Choosing a Software Vendor
How many of you have either created software to help manage telecom expense management or procured other assets from a vendor whose expertise was not software? Although the price may seem right at first, chances are it will cost you far more in the long run simply because writing and maintaining software is not yours or their core competency.
Knowing what the core competencies are for your vendors is critical to sustain long term growth and relationships. Senior management has to have trust in a product, the people behind the product and the company that is supplying them with the expertise needed.
Creating your own software or utilizing a vendor for needs outside their core competency will lead to a variety of time consuming problems. As a result, every moment spent dealing on issues outside your core competency is less time spent on developing your own businesses core competencies.
To better understand why this issue is so important it is easiest to see the benefits that comes with the purchasing of telecom expense management software from a company that has software development as a core competency.
Perhaps the most important thing to remember when choosing a telecom expense management software vendor is to realize that quality software takes time to develop and represents a commitment from the TEM vendor to be there as you grow and change. The benefits of this include but are not limited to:
Good software takes times to develop. Choosing a telecom management expense software that is an established innovator for TEM means that your software is not going to be obsolete in 18 months and the vendor is in it for the long-term.
Quality TEM software is tested over and over in a real world environment to minimize the number of issues/bugs that occur. Quality Assurance is much greater when a vendor’s core competency is software for the TEM industry.
Support comes in several forms including implementation, training and online/telephone help. For example, end-users as well as their management need to receive adequate training to effectively utilize telecom expense management software.
Other forms of support are also continuous. Ongoing support is not limited to troubleshooting technical issues. Support also encompasses electronic mechanisms for refresher trainings and best practices.
Ability to update
Although this may seem minor, a good TEM software vendor will proactively offer the capability to get their updates via the web when both upgrades and fixes are available.
Professional staff development team
As technology evolves so should your software. When software development is one of your vendors your core competencies your core operations will be able to help sustain a competitive edge. It can also lessen administrative worries such as staying in compliance with ITIL IT management standards.
Just as important is that dedicated software professionals stay on top of their game which enables more agile software development for quicker response to changing industry and client specific needs.
Good telecom expense management software should be able to grow with your company or be useable whether you have requirements for Wireless, Wireline, PC assets, software licenses, printing costs etc... The software should also be useable for any operational model such as a hub and spoke organizational system or decentralized operations.
When software development is a vendor core competency, the industry the software is customized for is normally created with substantial industry knowledge. Your software vendor should not only have sales and support people dedicated to your company, there should be industry experts that communicate the direction of the company and act as your liaison or advocate.
When software is one of your core competencies, communication between c-level executives and the software vendor becomes critical. Information should flow freely between project key stake holders and the vendor so make sure your vendor has alternative forms of communication that goes beyond traditional emails and telephone calls such as e-papers, blogs or support forums.
In a Nutshell..
When software development is one of your vendor’s core competencies, your core operations should be receiving the best help possible from a vendor with a vested interest in your success. If not, then it is time to look for a new TEM software vendor.
Lastly, choosing an established software vendor helps enable senior management to focus their attention on their own core competencies thus allowing them to enter new markets more quickly or adapt to technology changes and consumer demands. In order to do this, management needs to be as worry free and profitable as possible.
With that being said, why not schedule a live demo with one of our reps?