Let me tell you a story...
Choosing a Telecom Expense Management (TEM) provider can seem like a simple task. But sometimes, when a TEM provider offers this service, you end up getting more than you bargained for, and switching away can be quite a hassle. Take this story for example. *All names have been changed to protect the identity of the companies in this article.
Telecom Bros* is a company that provides TEM support to various clients. One of their clients, Morning Breeze*, has been doing business with them for years, and in all this time, Telecom Bros has run their business as a fairly closed model, providing details when requested, providing suggestions to where Morning Breeze can optimize their telecom services, and acting as a middleman for all their telecom billing.
This arrangement has worked for Morning Breeze for some time, but they felt Telecom Bros was getting to be increasingly expensive, and gradually not worth the money they were paying them. Further, they did not like that they could not see the details of their telecom invoice information except through a spreadsheet periodically sent by Telecom Bros that only went as far as price per account.
Eventually, Morning Breeze began searching for another TEM provider. Upon finding one that they preferred, one that offered a perfectly clear picture of what they were paying for, with much more flexibility, and a broader range of services, they requested all their inventory information from Telecom Bros to make the eventual switch.
But, as they say, this is when things started going wrong.
It turned out that Telecom Bros had not been keeping an accurate inventory listing. They had some of the information, and used only the invoice totals to keep a general idea of Morning Breeze’s inventory on record, and even the records they did keep sometimes contained items that no longer existed. In other places, the amounts being charged to Morning Breeze for received invoices did not match up, as Telecom Bros had been adding a margin to increase their profit.
Morning Breeze was one of a trio of companies that operated closely together, and these moves cost Telecom Bros all three as clients. But the challenges had only just started.
All of the invoices from the telecom providers were in Telecom Bros’ name. The agreement had been for Telecom Bros to pay these invoices, and then bill Morning Breeze for the amount, plus the contract for the service provided.
Morning Breeze started contacting the telecom providers to change the mailing addresses, change the names of the people responsible to give access to their new TEM provider, and request an accurate record of the services provided by these companies, but every month it was found that there was just that much more that Telecom Bros had not told them. Morning Breeze’s accounts were sometimes mixed with Telecom Bros’ ones as a cost reduction measure, consolidated accounts had no records of what was owned by which company, services claimed to be billed by one provider were billed by another, and so on. What a mess!
In the end, it would be many months before Morning Breeze could finally fill-in all the blanks left by Telecom Bros. They learned the important lesson in this process that one must make sure that when they choose a TEM provider, full transparency of information is something they should look for!
Introducing cost transparency into your organizational culture can be game changing. A SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) can provide you with the combination of software and expertise that will make it easier. Our Software plateform, Cimpl, is an all-in-one telecom expense management solution that provides the functionality of all these tools on a single interface. It integrates with all the vital systems in the organization to provide an accurate view of what the company has, who has what, and how much it costs.