Billing UCaaS Back to the Business: Expense Management for Zoom® Microsoft Teams® and 8×8® 

UCaaS Call Detail Records_Main blog page

Wondering why your IT budget is disappearing faster than forecasted? Take a look at your unified communications (UCaaS) costs. Companies today have a surplus of UCaaS applications in use, and when IT departments get hit with invoices and overage fees, “eating costs” can be far easier than cost recovery — figuring out who is responsible for those charges. 

It’s hard to hold corporate departments fiscally accountable for the communications tools they use, because it’s difficult to see how employees are using UCaaS apps and the source of any overcharges. Data observability stands in the way of effective UCaaS expense management. Here’s how Tangoe fixes that problem.

UCaaS Platforms are Missing Call Detail Records 

Invoices are paper documents or stagnant PDF files – leaving IT financial analysts with no way of double clicking on the source of their service overage fees. Digging into vendor dashboards and triangulating invoice line items with historical service usage and call detail records can feel like searching for a needle in a stack of needles – an activity far less important and urgent when compared to innovating at speed and at scale. So, it’s easy to see why IT departments throw their hands up in frustration cataloging all Zoom, Microsoft Teams, 8×8 and UCaaS expenditures as simply “the cost of doing business.” 

But tossing all UCaaS expenses into the sea of IT operating costs can be detrimental, particularly when technology waste is consuming more of the IT budget and technical debt is considered a silent killer of corporate innovation.  

Instead, UCaaS expenses needed to be billed back to the business.  

This explains why IT and financial leaders are looking for better ways to wrap their head and arms around UCaaS expenses – and do so across a vast number of vendors with deep visibility into who uses corporate communications services and how. The good news is all the detailed data is available for companies to exploit. The bad news is vendor invoices and default dashboards aren’t always the best tools for advanced UCaaS usage analysis, SaaS expense management, license assigment management, and cost allocation.    

Here’s the story of how Tangoe stepped in to help two major retailers solve these problems.  

UCaaS Expense Management: Data Observability, Chargebacks, and Cost Recovery 

To charge back UCaaS costs efficiently, you need a UCaaS expense management platform like Tangoe’s. Advanced integration and AI-based automation is helpful in connecting the dots between call detail records and invoices, which makes it easy to see the source and root cause of overage charges. Cloud expense management software is built specifically to work with cloud communications applications like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and 8×8. In simplifying financial reporting, it monitors charges and bills them back to their appropriate departments using customizable rules that comply with the client’s own financial standards. 

Major Clothing Retailers get UCaaS Visibility in 30 Days 

These capabilities were particularly helpful for two global retailers that needed to track UCaaS usage back to thousands of stores for cost allocation purposes. One retailer had calling plans with overage charges amounting to tens of thousands of dollars every month and needed to get to bottom of it quickly.  

Tangoe showed it could help them achieve the following: 

Utilization: Insights into UCaaS Users and Service Consumption 

  • Accurately collect, manage, and report on UCaaS usage information daily across multiple vendors 
  • Monitor critical cost allocation data, flagging any missing chargeback departments for corrective action 
  • Normalizing data across multiple UCaaS vendors, so the client could see a true cost comparison between different services with data standardized across all – including the cost per minute for calls made to each country 

Cost Allocation: Productivity in Total UCaaS Cost Recovery 

  • Automatically apply customer business rules against the usage insights, for instance tying costs to acceptable cost centers and generating General Ledger files in alignment with the client’s own financial processes and integrated with their financial management systems 
  • Distribute or chargeback expenses based on usage and service consumption, using equitable cost allocation practices to charge general customer service contact center costs equally to each business unit 
  • Detailed reports included spending trends and cost analysis  

Cost Savings and Compliance  

  • Drive at cost savings through vendor consolidation, exposing which UCaaS applications and licenses were the most and least used 
  • Guide data-driven procurement decisions in knowing which stores and user groups should use which UCaaS service to pay the lowest price per minute for the countries each one dialed the most 
  • Assist in compliance evaluations, for instance running call log reports against specific types of calls made – complaints, legal inquiries, fraud detection, calls gone unanswered or forwarded to voicemail 

In the end, the retailers could account down to the exact penny on their UCaaS costs. Once they could identify which entities were responsible for the charges, their IT and finance leaders were empowered by the information. No longer accepting these bills as an internal expense or part of their operational cost center, they could now clearly pinpoint contributing factors to execute cost allocations with productivity and process efficiency. 

Ready to simplify the financial management of your UCaaS applications? See how Tangoe can manage your UCaaS costs

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ZOOM is a trademark of Zoom Video Communications, Inc.  
MICROSOFT TEAMS is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. 
8×8®, 8×8 XCaaS™, Experience Communications as a Service™ are trademarks of 8×8, Inc. 
All other trademarks are the property of their respective holders.