The beginning of the year is traditionally a time of reckoning, and while people mainly focus on what they’re going to change in their personal lives in the coming months, there’s no reason not to do the same thing for a business — especially when it comes to getting more mileage out of your budget.
So if looking at how much your business spent last year on telecom has you saying, “New year, new me,” here are some ways to get more out of your 2020 budget.
Take inventory of your IT services (cloud, mobile and telecom) to ensure you actually need everything you have.
It’s all too common for a business to have services and applications that it doesn’t use or even need. For example, the cloud has helped business make great strides over the past decade, but there’s a dark side to this progress: It’s almost too easy to spin up new cloud instances (e.g., new products, additional data storage, moving apps to the cloud, etc.), and that means cloud spend can quickly burgeon beyond what a company wants or needs to pay for.
Decommission what you can. This is only an option if CIOs have a clear idea of what in an organization’s inventory is critical and what is not. Sometimes it’s not clear who owns or uses a specific service or application, and so no one wants to decommission it, in case it’s mission-critical. This leads to inflated architecture, which burns money.
Put some of the onus on employees. For organizations that provide employees with mobile phones, tablets and laptops, it can be helpful to decrease the cost of replacing lost devices by placing some of the responsibility on the employees. There have been instances at some companies where employees “lose” their mobile phones right when the latest iPhone becomes available, which means the enterprise has to shell out for new devices unnecessarily.
This applies to data overages as well. Organizations that pay all or some of their employees’ data costs sometimes end up paying too much because an employee uses a lot of data for non-work purposes. (Think of a parent who hands their child a company-owned tablet to stream videos during a long car trip.) Calculating approximately how much data an employee needs in a month and telling the employees any additional charges are on them can help reign in unnecessary data overages.
Monitor contracts and invoices closely. Larger enterprises often have multiple contracts across various carriers for multiple global offices, and it’s hard to manually keep track of all of them — but losing sight of contracts often means spending more than necessary. There have been instances of a company shutting down or moving an office location, but continuing to pay the location’s bills for fixed telecom services like phones and fax lines for years — simply because there wasn’t a clear way to see that a certain portion of the bill was allocated toward a shuttered location.
Carriers are never going to reach out to an organization and tell them they’re overpaying, making it critical to audit contracts and bills frequently, and attempt to renegotiate whenever possible.
Get outside help. If all of these things sound complicated, it’s because they are. While it’s technically possible to perform tasks like auditing inventory and managing bills and invoices yourself, it’s an onerous process that takes up hours of employees’ time each month — and it’s not a one-and-done thing, either. Performing an audit and cleaning up overages and unused devices doesn’t fix broken processes or billing confusion, which means these issues keep coming back.
Partnering with a company like Tangoe can help an organization remove some of the complexity behind tasks like maintaining an inventory of the vast amounts of devices across an organization and determining what applications/services are truly necessary, and which aren’t.
Tangoe also has experience auditing invoices and billing, helping companies determine how much data employees are using versus how much they need, and ensuring what is being billed matches what the contract says. And with so much intel on various global carriers’ contracts, Tangoe can help companies renegotiate to ensure they’re getting the best deal.
With Tangoe, enterprises get a partner who monitors and manages telecom expenses and services 24/7, allowing an enterprise to maximize their budget spend and save on costs — this year and well into the future.