Modern Businesses Need Wireless Expense Management (WEM)
A very large part of doing business consists of doing a lot of communication. These days, a very large part of that communication takes place on smartphones and other mobile devices. That’s a very major reason for which Wireless Expense Management (WEM) programs have become very important lately.
WEM is a special category of Telecom Expense Management (TEM); WEM programs are designed to:
- Reduce wireless expenses;
- Identify new operational efficiencies;
- Increase cost/usage visibility; and
- Furnish the IT manager and the employee better control over mobile voice and data services.
The key point to note is that WEM is really focused on wireless services and devices – while a dedicated WEM will have points of commonality with other expense management solutions, it will have features optimized to manage wireless use. It might not be obvious to everyone, and so today I’ll be clarifying these features.
For convenience, I’ve broken them down by themes. Read on to get a full answer to the question, "What is wireless expense management (WEM)?"
Easy User Access to Devices, Services, and Plan Information
- Employees at most levels (if not all) will make use of mobile devices as part of their work. Good WEM software will have portals with intuitive design that allow employees to manage selection of carriers/operators, mobile devices, and service plans. Properly-configured portals will assign privileges and entitlements (for mobile devices and services) as a function of the employee’s likely job requirements for her or his role.
- Good WEM will make devices available based on careful evaluations of device coverage, plans, types of smartphones, and replacement costs for damaged devices (after all, everyone drops their cell phones at least once!).
Bill shock comes in distinct flavours, and good WEM is crucial in reducing their impact!
- Matching monthly service plan to employee usage is essential – a good WEM service will ensure that employees who travel often will have a plan that accommodates roaming for voice and data.
- Alternately, WEM programs proactively find cost-effective local service providers, alternative technology, or use real time reporting to alert travelling users of added expenses to avoid or reduce overages.
- One of the underestimated sources of bill shock comes not from too much use, but from too little. Basically, there are employees who will not use their devices or services, but the company pays for these unused implements nonetheless. Good WEM services will identify data pooling options that will properly allot usage privileges according to need, and/or identify unused lines and disconnect services to save companies additional money.
Tax and Behavioral Benefits
- Value Added Tax is a consumption tax (i.e., a tax that the buyer of a product pays) that manufacturers and sellers of products can recapture from the government. WEM software enables/facilitates this recouping by performing call tagging, i.e., distinguishing personal from corporate calls. Basically, firms can only recapture VAT taxes on the calls that are shown to be for business purposes only.
- Good WEM services/software can also change employee behavior – by reporting individual consumption and chargeback to the user, the user’s awareness of costs is heightened. This in turn will likely modify their behavior such that they self-regulate their usage in a more responsible fashion.
The rate at which devices becomes obsolete is truly staggering. Good WEM programs will manage device retirement. Let’s be clear – it’s not simply a case of properly disposing/repurposing/reselling the retired devices. There’s the matter of security as well – corporate data needs to be wiped from the device so that security risks to the company is minimized!
I hope that’s been helpful! It would also be great if you had any insights to share about WEM; we greatly encourage you to participate in this discussion by posting your thoughts in the comments section below! In the meantime, contact us at Cimpl if you have any questions regarding WEM. We’re Canada’s leader in telecom and IT expense management, and our signature product Cimpl expertly handles wireless expenses (among many others)! We’ll help you manage all of your wireless expenses and optimize your wireless fleets!