With all of the recent web-chatter on devices, security, and BYOD, it seems that attention has been diverted from one of the most important and fundamental items: Monthly billing. Sure, there’s great value in discussing how employees bring their own devices into the workplace, the way IT arranges security compliance, or the generosity of companies footing the bill for fancy new devices. But you still have to ask yourself this: How much does it all cost and each month? How can you manage it all?
Here are the top 5 items to validate every month:
1. Long Distance (LD). LD is easy to manage if you have an inclusive corporate plan. If you don’t, you have to be much more vigilant about who your employees are calling over LD, and why. It can (and does) happen that many employees make LD calls for personal reasons – at their company’s expense. With that in mind: Have you ever analyzed your organization’s LD costs to see if they were really business-related calls? Try it someday…. You may be surprised!
2. Voice over-usage. Are you on a voice pooling plan? Do you have free evenings and weekends? If you don’t have either, you’re going to have to identify the talkers! They’re likely used to having such features on their own personal plans; you have to let them know that the company’s plan doesn’t include these options!
3. Data over-usage. For me, it’s hard to imagine this happening. Most plans have generous allowances, and Wi-fi is available in many places. It happens all the same, and not necessarily for job-related reasons! For example, while managing the expenses of one of our customers, I recently identified several of their employees who had exceeded their limits by a wide margin. Looking at the times of the extra use revealed something interesting: 3a.m.? Unless they were working 24-hour shifts or have clients overseas, this data over-usage is most likely not work-related.
4. Unexpected options suddenly appearing on your invoices. You have many devices and IT assets floating around. Do you have control over employees adding options to their devices? It’s a question that needs to be asked. I have seen clients whose corporate plans somehow and suddenly included “Mobile TV” or the “NHL Package” for no good business-related reason. In all fairness, the employee may have done this innocently without realizing that there are charges for these applications, or may have done it thinking, “no one will notice”. The thing is, these do cost money, and they add up in the long run. If it’s not for work, that’s extra cost for nothing. (And if it is work related, I am working in the wrong place!)
5. Roaming. Some employees do need to roam for their work (sales reps, for example). For such staff, there are packages that keep this charge under control. For those don’t need roaming habitually, you have to train them to let you know ahead of time when they will need such packages. Also, have you negotiated a roaming deal in your corporate contract to cover these users?
All in all, there are always ways to improve your management of your monthly telecom expenses. Personally, in all my years managing Telecom Expenses, I find one of the best ways to do this is to make your users aware of how much they are spending and train them to inform you of their developing needs and to ask for permission to install services that aren't usually productivity tools (such as Mobile TV or NHL packages). In the past, I actually managed to train everyone in an organization – from VPs to regular employees – so well that they let me know when they made LD calls. They also actively asked me to advise them when the bills came in. In fact, these employees actually went to the accounting department to pay BACK what they owed!
Oh, and by the way, this also works for phone systems in your offices. Have a look at that LD usage – let me know what you see!
Without the proper software, monitoring usage is not an easy task. It is exactly for this reason that Cimpl was developed here! If you are looking to cut inventory costs, eliminate bill shock, drive revenues and of course work smarter through the power of automation, the solution is Cimpl! Cimpl software allows you to more efficiently manage your IT and Telecom assets in your workplace. It also helps you develop a culture of IT cost transparency which gets everyone in your business thinking about just how much they are spending. Cimpl Mobile will make this even easier - it will give users true R-TEM - real-time telecom expense management! If this sounds like something that would make your life easier then you should contact us at Cimpl! As Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management we have been helping give companies greater visibility over all their IT and telecom assets for more than a decade now.