Typically, businesses have equipped their offices with PBX phone systems, as well as other similar tools, such as IP Telephony systems, for employees, managers, and chief executives to make work-related phone calls. This comes with a much needed ability to keep track of usage across a company’s phone lines. These PBX phone systems allow for logging of records in order to provide reporting, typically with the help of add-on software. This way, businesses get the cost allocation and cost visibility that’s needed. This way they can keep track of who is using which phone lines, who they are calling, and what kind of telecom expenses are associated with it. Phone calls are rated and the data is easily retrievable. All of this allows managers and employees to verify calls that have been made, and finance teams to access the required data to chargeback departments the costs associated with their extensions.
However, companies have been adopting new technologies for business communication. As Skype for Business, and many other collaboration tools, have made their way into many enterprises, a new way to communicate has developed. Businesses can now unify communications across the board within one software. The landscape of business communication has changed dramatically. Tools like Skype for Business allow for group meetings, conference calls, video chat, screen shares, application shares, and so forth. All of these new methods of communication come with a need to track usage just like PBX phone systems. Unfortunately, retrieving data from Skype for Business isn’t quite as easy.
With nothing but the collaboration tool itself, businesses have no way of allocating costs generated by the software. There is no visibility over essential information on calls, such as the origin, the destination, or length of time, all of which is required in order to rate and chargeback calls. Since Skype for Business has been so beneficial to companies, finding a solution without having to resort back to old ways is a priority. Thankfully, there are ways to solve the problem. The key to getting the data you need is finding a way to manage and keep track of everything.
How do I manage Skype for Business?
Seeking out a tool for managing Skype for Business is the first step to improving overall cost visibility. You will gain the ability to keep track of all company activity within the software. This means you’ll be aware of employee activity and usage within the software, helping to prevent fraud and maintain security. Employees using company services for personal use will be made visible to managers, and can be handled accordingly. You can easily obtain data on individual employees, managers, departments, and so forth for your records. Information on calls, conferences, video chat and more allows for managers to view and take back control of their department’s telecom costs. As a result of understanding the costs associated with each employee and department, end-users become encouraged to be more aware of their usage and the impact they have on the company. With the collection of this data, businesses can chargeback to the correct departments in order to finance the software.
Four Key Benefits to Managing Skype for Business
- Allocate costs by department, business units and end-user.
- Seek out zero-usage accounts.
- Monitor employee usage for fraud prevention.
- Provide your finance team with the reports they love.
On the same token, the ability to see all of the activity happening in skype means you can also see the activity that isn’t happening. Zero-usage accounts, extensions, and devices can quickly be identified through managing skype for business. Discovering zero-usage devices allows your business to avoid having to pay license fees for no reason, thus incurring savings for your company. You can keep track of unused services and remove them as quickly as possible.
TEM has been growing to include more and more services, and with particular vendors, you might be able to not only manage your telecom expenses, but also the costs associated with the use of collaboration tool. Platforms that include the management of Skype for Business remove the complexity of allocating costs, and bring the ability to centralize key information. This simply becomes another service that your TEM keeps track of for you. Platforms like Cimpl extract the data from Skype activity, and define the associated rates for you. The process requires no manual intervention, as all of the data is being brought into Cimpl’s database automatically. This allows you to chargeback costs to the right individuals, expose these costs to the responsible end-users, and make all of the data available in the form of reports.
Having a TEM platform incorporated into your business structure creates positive change. In the past, TEM platforms have been focused primarily on billing discrepancies and managing invoices. However, as the landscape of Telecom Expense Management has been evolving rapidly, a more accurate term is Technology Expense Management. Some vendors go the extra mile, including a variety of services such as managing an accurate inventory, ordering and provisioning, usage management, reporting and business intelligence, IT, cloud management, and Machine to Machine (M2M), all the while taking care of the usual billing discrepancies and invoice management. All of this bundled together alongside Skype for Business management creates a solid foundation for businesses to rely on.
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AUTHOR: Victoria Lewin