Horror Story of the Week: Enormous Roaming Bills

Roaming Bill Mishaps – Imagine yourself in this situation:

If you have ever been in charge of the mobile expense management, chances are there have been times when you have cringed opening your wireless bill. Based on usage, the charges fluctuate, big one month, small the next. If you have ever had a user with roaming charges, then you know how much of an impact usage can make. Those charges can get high, however imagine yourself in this situation:

One of your sales persons, or VP’s are travelling outside of the country on a business trip. They tell you that they anticipate using their phone frequently. In an effort to help reduce the potential costs you make a mental note to call the carrier and add some roaming packages. A few days pass, the user leaves and returns. You don’t think much of it until your wireless bill comes in….. and you nearly die of a heart attack. [Read more…]

Flex Rate Plans

Which Mobile Plan is Best for Your New Employee?

When a new employee is issued a phone, you are often left guessing as to what their usage will be like.  Putting a user on a low usage plan when the user actually is a high volume consumer can result in HUGE charges for additional minutes.  I have seen bills where a new user was put on a 100 minute plan, then used 450 minutes.  These additional minutes were billed at $.35 / minute… that means the additional usage cost the company $122.50 on one month of billing.

 

If you are looking to set up a new user and are not sure what their usage will demand, consider one of the Flex Rate plans.   [Read more…]

Business Best Practices Do Not Believe in Status Quo

Status Quo As A Best Practice Might Kill Your Business

 

Some businesses have the big guy as their competitor. Some have a whole bunch of competitors in a local block. Some businesses have so much competition, that its easier to say who the’re not competing with. However, our competitor tops them all! Our competitor is “status quo”. Yup, I’d rather say I’m competing with XYZ Company than to say – we don’t really have anyone that does what we do or the way we do it (TEM 360° Solution). At least you can compete with the other women/man. Ok, but this is not about me venting that I have no direct competition to speak of. This is really to discuss that viral disease that slowly gets a company called “Status Quo” and how to avoid it with best business practices. 

 

I want to share a story about a meeting I had several years ago, with Toyota and the manager of their mobile management team. [Read more…]

Ring Central VoIP Review

A Review of Ring Central’s VoIP Service

 

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We made the very scary choice of moving from our traditional phone system and typical business lines to VoIP in July of 2010. I say "scary" because of the many horror stories we have heard in the past surrounding quality and performance. However, we had two key agendas that had to be met;

  1. Reduce telephony cost
  2. Improve remote work capabilities (this would include enhanced features)

 

[Read more…]

Mobile Plan Changes For Seasonal Travel

Data Plans, Travel Packs and Roaming To Save Big Time!

 

With the holidays coming, I think now is a great time to address roaming, and why companies and their employees should share personal travel plans, not just business arrangements.  Typically, personal travel at this time of year increases, and without proper planning, bills increase exponentially.

[Read more…]

Seasonal Businesses Cancel Active Cell Phones

Mobile Management Strategy – Cancel Active Cell Phones

Is your business seasonal? Do you have slower times of the year which extend for 2 months or more at a time? For many businesses this is the case, and as part of mobile management dealing with these slower periods of the year can be critical to cost savings. As an expense management strategy consider if you should continue to pay full price for these phones.

 

 

 

[Read more…]

Plans with No System Access Fee – Good thing or Bad thing?

Plans With No System Access Fee Under Fire

The debate over the system access fee being a government fee that was simply passed through to the government or another channel for the carrier to simply increase their revenue is as old as cell phones. However, the powers that be (you and me) have finally won the battle with many carriers in having plans that no longer encompass a system access fee, or have we?

At first glance that may be the way that it looks, but as many things go when it comes to telecom expense management, not everything is as it seems or for that matter is so cut and dry. Carol from our Analysis team explains; Clients would have to change to one of the new plans in order to see this charge dropped from billing. In most cases, a comparable new plan is only slightly more expensive (less than the former encompassing the SAF charge), but has increased OOB (out of bucket) and LD (long distance) charges.

 

 

[Read more…]

Is Telecom Expense Management Right for Small Business – 3 Part Series

Could An Audit Save Your Business 30% On Telecom Expenses?

Understanding the benefits of telecom expense management for small business is a critical component to more effective cost savings and increased profits or small business which is often overlooked.

In this short video were going to explore the first component of a complete telecom expense management solution focusing on the cost audit process, for the purpose of cost savings.

In future videos will cover the final two components of the telecom expense management solution; management and reporting, and support and procurement.

Does your small business of the telecom expense management solution and policy?

 

 

[Read more…]

Telecom expense management is a multifaceted process

Telecom expense management

Corporate communications networks are costly and difficult to manage today than ever before. It has been found that the telecommunications spending area is wrought with inefficiency among organizations (the difference between ‘average’ and ‘competitive’ rates is as much as 40%). A staggering 80% of telecoms bills include hidden charges or incorrect billing.

Incorrect billing results in 10- 15% overcharges – Gartner Dataquest

In this competitive world, it is important for businesses to carefully manage their telecommunication costs. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is a comprehensive approach to controlling what is one of the greatest expenditures in many businesses. It is a business approach to manage telecommunication service expenses (voice, data, and wireless) with a combination of software tools and manual auditing.

Telecom expense management is actually a multifaceted process. The basic telecom expense management activity is a cost audit that determines possible savings. This cost audit reduces the monthly service costs of your organization by up to 50% (average 32.8%). In manual auditing the auditor performs research and comparisons himself, while utilizing software applications like Tele-Watch to assist. Software auditing involves the use of specialized software tools designed to aggregate usage and billing data. In-cycle analysis involves ERP-class analytic tools to automatically reconcile detailed billing elements to service inventories and contracts/tariffs prior to payment processing.

A complete telecom expense management solution looks at the industry as a whole to find the best carrier for your needs. For example, one carrier may provide excellent rates for fleets of phones providing basic talk and text service, while another might be the best for 3G wireless Internet. Telecom experts need to keep up to date on the latest rates and agreements available from every carrier to provide the best possible savings. They are involved in detailed tracking by unit to detect employee misuse and inactive units. This helps in cutting down the unnecessary expenses.

Telecom expense management helps reduce the costs by finding cost effective sources for new hardware and upgrades such as smart phones and Bluetooth headsets. TEM provides you a detailed review of all your communication costs to keep your organizations telecommunication costs in control on an ongoing basis. It provides visibility into your costs enabling you to perform informed business decisions.

There is no risk involved in using the services of a TEM firm as it guarantees net savings for your company. It goes a long way in reducing the operational costs and improving the efficiency of your organization.

 

Mobile Expense Management – Keeping Up with your Wireless Fleet!

Mobile has become a critical element in productivity enhancements for Businesses. This has also lead to mobile charges becoming one of the top components of operating expenses for organizations. As more companies are adopting Blackberry/Smart Phones and other PDAs, it is becoming more imperative to stay on top of Mobile Management and Usage Policies.

What are your organization’s main Mobile-Wireless priorities?

  • Total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • International roaming costs /voice & data roaming
  • Procurement of hardware, contracts & plans for all mobile/wireless services
  • Customer support
  • Billing & Analysis tools
  • Management of devices on multiple mobile network operators
  • Remote access for staff working off site
  • Security
  • Device management
  • Exploiting unified communications & collaboration potential
  • Mobilizing data applications
  • On-site mobility
 

There is a true value in mobile expense management, along with the added support received in maintaining this complexity. Time and sanity are also saved when mobile device management is implemented into an organization.

 

Do you have someone in your organization that handles the day to day tasks of Mobile – is it YOU?

  • Updating your mobile inventory
  • Purchasing hardware for new employees
  • Cancelling or transferring devices of retiring or leaving employees
  • Upgrading devices due to loss or breakage
  • Swapping ESN’s / IMEI’s & SIM Cards
  • Keeping up with the latest accessories
  • Optimizing wireless plans
  • Auditing international roaming costs
  • Allocating expenses
  • Troubleshooting glitches and outages
  • Resetting voicemail
  • Adding new features
  • Fighting billing errors, escalating costs & unknown charges. 
Are you having FUN yet?
 

As you have guessed it or are already experiencing; managing the day to day mobile services can be a challenging endeavor for any organization. Determining the best optimal voice/data plans, and figuring out which devices & features suits the needs of individual employees and the organization are just the beginning of the managing process .

Don’t despair – it can be simplified, and streamlined.  Start with a plan of what you want to know. 

  • Start with reviewing your mobile bills for number of units being billed & used – remember some units may be expensed
  • Create a spreadsheet to track Mobile handsets, Blackberry devices, PDAs and other wireless devices currently in use by your organization as noted on your Wireless bills
  • Include in your spreadsheet, cell phone numbers, user name, type of handset, plans/features & of course costs
  • Determine Ownership of Inventory – some devices may be Company owned and others Expensed
  • Establish a Company Wireless Policy based on how you want to move forward with your Mobile Expense Management
  • If this is not your area of expertise, you may want to Consult an Expert on Mobile Expense Management
 

Cloud based Mobile Expense Management solutions give your organization the information it needs to promote cost savings with accountabilityvisibility and simplicity.