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Eureka! How to Cut Communications Costs

A recent Whitepaper by Tangoe, Inc. (NASDAQ:TNGO), Performing a Physical Inventory: Uncovering Buried Treasure Within Your Enterprise, demonstrates how undertaking a visual survey of communications infrastructures can uncover hidden savings. Tangoe’s timely reminder of this oft-forgotten tool has given companies that are committed to cutting costs a “Eureka!” moment. Galvanized to rummage through those proverbial dark supply closets, businesses have turned to Tangoe products and solutions to shine a light on forgotten communications infrastructures, disconnected circuits, and other opportunities for savings.

On the conferencing and collaboration front, For Business™ has similarly been rooting out ways to tally up enterprise savings. The company has learned that a surprising number of enterprise conferencing and collaboration service users get caught paying for unused ancillary services. Enterprise conferencing invoices reveal what the best-laid budgets can’t account for: Actual spend is based on the fine print, full of additional fees and expensive add-ons that employees probably aren’t using.

As Tangoe’s Global Product Marketing Manager Anne Marie Murray asserts, understanding this difference between budget and spend is key.  “When the check is written, the money is withdrawn and if you write too many checks, you will eventually see an empty account. As opposed to managing budgets, managing spend can require a more active and vigilant approach. Upon analysis, you may realize that you are spending real money that could be spent in other places, for other projects,” says Murray.

So if a company is ready to be proactive about conferencing spend management, what does a conferencing inventory entail? Look at your last invoice. Somewhere among all the line items for actual usage, you will probably find charges for any number of things, including:

  • Conference minimums (both number of participants and call duration)
  • Summary reports
  • International access
  • Professional services
  • End-user support
  • Admin portals
  • Recording line and set-up
  • Archive playback
  • File storage
  • Telecom surcharges
  • Mailed or paper invoices
  • Bridging fees
  • Service charges
  • Licensing fees for features that aren’t used

What kind of savings could the fine print add up to? As an example, let’s take the last bullet point citing licensing fees for unused features from an agreement between For Business and a recently signed global enterprise. With its incumbent conferencing and collaboration provider, the company was paying for active conferencing licenses that covered screen sharing and web-based audio controls in addition to a per-minute audio rate. Turns out that only 15% of employees were using the screen sharing product; the majority were using the web to control their audio calls. Because the provider grouped these features under one license, the company was wasting money on unused ancillary services. For Business focuses on managed services — not expensive licenses. That means web-based controls for audio conferencing, screen sharing, and video conferencing features are all included in a flat monthly rate. This new customer now pays for exactly what it’s using – with an estimated $1M per year in conferencing savings. Not too shabby.

Whether it’s time for a physical inventory, a conferencing inventory or both, enterprises need a dedicated tool that takes in not just financial or budgeting information, but actual spend. As a leading global provider of IT Expense Management (ITEM) software and related services, Tangoe is positioned to help companies unearth that buried treasure. Partnering with For Business allows Tangoe to offer enterprises best-of-breed communication services to make their business more agile while also helping to improve their bottom line.