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The Invisible Hand: How Automation Drives Efficiency and Cost Savings

Nearly two-thirds of businesses surveyed by New Vantage Partners planned to invest more than $50 million in big data, AI, and other automation initiatives in 2020—a number that skyrocketed up from 39.7% in 2018. Are you getting left behind?

The word “automation” may sound modern, but the concept of automating tasks formerly done by hand to enhance productivity and reduce errors isn’t new. In fact, automation technology was mentioned as far back as Homer’s Iliad, written around 762 B.C. (In case you’re curious, Homer talks about the power of “automatons,” self-operating robots made of gold that assisted the god Hephaestus in his workshop.)

While most mere mortals don’t have golden automaton helpers assisting us with our work, we can still leverage the power of automation to expand our capabilities, identify opportunities, reduce costs, and—of course—increase productivity.

Tangoe’s take on automation

The International Society of Automation (ISA) defines automation as “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” That’s quite a mouthful, so let’s break down that definition a bit. At its core, ISA’s interpretation is that we’re outsourcing tasks to technology to make them run more smoothly, efficiently, and accurately.

In Technology Expense Management (TEM), automation means creating repeatable, standardized processes and investing in mechanisms that simplify (and automate) the process of retrieving, transforming, and analyzing expense management information. 

When it’s working as it should, automation fades into the background until it’s hardly noticeable. That’s because you’re able to turn your attention to less repetitive and more engaging work, doing what you do best while the administrative side of your device management just runs.

And the results speak for themselves. With the right automation in place, you have reliable data, key insights, and actionable recommendations at your fingertips.

Here’s an example. Tangoe combines the use of robotic process automation (RPA) with machine learning to retrieve billing information at the optimal moment, allowing our customers to identify billing errors as early as possible. Using these cutting-edge tools in tandem with our proprietary capabilities allows us to react to the dynamic and varied elements of each vendor billing system at high-volume scale.

Additionally, Tangoe uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology and natural language processing (NLP) for our mobile users in the form of virtual assistants to enable always-on self-service capabilities.

Phew—that was a lot of acronyms! For more wireless mobility management acronyms you need to know, check out this post.

Why automate? 

Each year, our customers save millions of dollars through automation alone—and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. More than 90% of our processes are now automated, and our customers continue to reap the benefits of Tangoe’s suite of automation services: industry-leading RPA capabilities, workflow and business rules engines, AI and Application Programming Interface (API) automation, and others.

Wondering exactly how automation might save you money? Here are just a few examples.

  • By extending RPA across telecom platforms, Tangoe can now download nearly 11 million invoices annually (up from 7.8 million), and our overall invoice processing time has been reduced by four days. This allows us to identify and act on savings opportunities for our customers more quickly. 
  • Using a combination of predictive and prescriptive analytics to examine mobile usage patterns compared to carrier contracts, Tangoe offers our customers automated savings recommendations. We saw over $340 million in identified savings for customers in 2021 alone.
  • Our automated cloud data usage reports give customers real-time insight into usage data so they can make quick decisions and better leverage their cloud deployments. We saved our customers $12 million last year by eliminating cloud waste from daily usage.

Better automation = better performance

Today’s businesses depend on high-quality financial insights and operational efficiencies more than ever before. These insights give finance teams, management, investors, and board members more control over budgets and a deeper understanding of your organization’s financial health.

Tangoe’s best-in-class telecom, mobile, and cloud platforms—all driven by automation—enable you to track expenses easily, optimize efficiencies, proactively identify risks, and keep abreast of your business without spending hours drowning in redundant administrative tasks.

Learn more about how automation can reduce costs and improve productivity for your business. Request a demo today.
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