If it recently has crossed your mind that maybe your Telecom Expense Management vendor doesn’t seem to fulfill your needs anymore, or if you feel that maybe it’s time to change, be reassured: you’re not the only one. 47% of organizations will change providers over the course of their TEM program (AOTMP). But now, how can you know if it’s your turn to change? Have you really reached that point?
In this article, we’ll help you put together a list of criteria your TEM vendor should have to become your “soulmate” and build a strong partnership. You’ll see, it is not complicated, we will guide you through the process so you can start a new journey that’ll be for the long run, this time.
Your TEM vendor should at the base offer cost visibility and control, asset management & inventory tracking, invoice processing and the ability to drive overall telecom cost savings through service optimization and cost avoidance. If your TEM can’t answer to all these needs, it’s probably a sign that you need to change for the better. But what if they do answer all these needs but you are still not satisfied?
Has your TEM-mate lost its momentum?
You no longer get corporate gifts and stay on the phone for hours? You are just no longer getting the attention you used to get? That is a good reason to start shopping around.
Checklist: 8 non-negotiables
TEM criterias to look for
- Stability: It’s important for a TEM vendor to be able to make a long-term promise and offer you stability, isn’t that what everyone looks for in a relationship? If it is a publicly traded company, find out if they’ve filed their last statements and who are their main investors. Do a search on their name and pull out what analysts are saying about them. If it is a private company, find out how long they’ve been in business. Do they demonstrate growth? Do your research, it will help you choose the right vendor.
- Access to Information: Will they be able to answer your requests when you need them? Can the solution give you the details you need when you need them? Do you have to pay extra to get the reports you need? You don’t want to be involved with someone that’s only ready to take care of you part-time and that charges you extra anytime you need a new report.
- Professional and supportive staff: You want to get involved with someone that’s going to be supportive and attentive to your needs. You’ve got to be their main concern and they should have the expertise to help you accomplish your goals.
- Roadmap for change: You should take every opportunity you get to change and improve yourself, it’s important to be able and to want to become a better person. It works the same way for your TEM vendor, you should look for a vendor that is constantly investing in using newer technology. Their product is not stale, they are not simply trying to improve their legacy systems with a new skin, but they are really working hard at rethinking how their product helps you save more money, save time and accurately manage your inventory.
- Configuration: You’re allowed to have specific demands and it shouldn’t be a problem – today, configuration is the most cost effective path to the least resistance. Configuration allows you to easily decide what you want the software to do for you and you no longer have to pay to get the change implemented, you can easily configure it directly in the platform and activate it right away. Know what you need and what you want so you can pick the right vendor.
- Technology Supported: Your TEMmate should support all the technology used to keep your business running, such as wireless, network, cloud, IT, BYOD, cloud infrastructure, SaaS, utilities, M2M/IoT. You shouldn’t have to use multi-vendors to track the costs, usage and changes, it should be done all in one centralized platform.
- Service Levels / ROI: You need to know what you’re getting and make sure it can be tracked in your agreement. This should include savings, inventory accuracy, response time, number of unresolved tickets and invoice loading rates. If you can’t measure it, you can’t track it (Peter Drucker).
- Integrations: It is hard to be the be all and end all of this world. Your TEM vendor should allow you to connect to multiple other data sources. This ability will allow you to access the information needed and consolidate it with other sources for more visibility.
You think it’s too painful to switch? Don’t forget that a break up can be tough, but soon enough, you’ll see that it was worth it and you’ll feel liberated. Next are our advice on how to prepare for this changing process.
How to prepare for the change
To make your changing process easier, you need to clearly understand your current situation: who are the people involved, what processes are in place, what systems are connected, what the situations you want to change are, and most importantly what your objectives are for the future. This information will be needed by your new TEM vendor. Getting all these details ready right away will make the switch simple.
Don’t wait until the last minute! Start thinking about your transition process approximately 6 months prior to the contract termination with your current vendor. As your current provider may get offended by your departure and feel like kicking you out, make sure you’re well prepared before breaking the news so you’re not left with a huge burden and no backup. Alert your communications service providers. They’ll be understanding and happy to work with you and help out, this will ensure you do not get charged additional fees or experience unforeseen challenges during the change. Don’t forget to read through your current contract, make sure you go through it with a fine tooth comb to make sure you understand the termination clause as well as any fees it might include.
Gather the Data
Be prepared, gather all the data in advance for your new TEM partner: your inventory, account information (your finance team can take care of that part), invoices, and vendors you work with. So, when it’s finally time to start your new relationship, everything is ready: you’ll be more efficient and start saving money faster.
During a break up, you often feel like you won’t ever see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s why you need to take it one day, even one step at a time. Your new TEM partner should be able to provide you with a detail plan explaining the transition and preparing you for what is to come. That way, you’ll ensure your transition is smooth and easy, so you can have a faster return on investment (ROI).
I know it feels like you won’t ever find your real TEM-mate, that you’ll always be disappointed, but don’t lose hope! We are very few, but we do exist!
Why switch to Cimpl
We understand that you might need additional information before you choose to switch to Cimpl. That is why, the story of one of our customer’s journey from a competitor to Cimpl might bring to light what makes us the strategic partner you need.
One of our customer provides IT shared services exclusively to a group of companies on a cost recovery basis. With more than 68,000 employees and an annual combined revenue of nearly $8 billion, they require a large volume of IT and telecom assets to carry out its core activities. They needed to effectively manage and maintain the technology used by its employees and make sure that the costs are continually optimized. Their main challenge was that the volume of technology assets held in inventory was growing exponentially and they couldn’t keep up with the tracking process. They recognized that they needed help to manage the cost, assets, orders, accounts payable, and chargebacks. After Cimpl’s implementation, they attained a much deeper level of control on their group’s overall technology usage, costs and inventory levels and have had annual savings of $105K in addition to achieving huge gains in efficiency and time savings.
With Cimpl, customers save money ($), save time (h) and accurately manage their inventory (%) because we offer stability, respect, reliability and dependability; and we’ve got customers that will testify to our ability to deliver on our promises.