After spending more than a decade working on implementation of Tangoe technologies with our clients all over the world, one common subject emerges as a key differentiator between how Tangoe Clients implement and benefit from our technology for TEM: System Integration.
Tangoe typically has three points of integration with our client’s enterprise technologies. In this article I’ll briefly outline what these are, models in which they are applied, and value-ads from integrating.
AP/GL or Payment Feed
The AP/GL or Payment Feed is the product of cost allocation completed within Tangoe. The product or output is most often a file which is used to post expenses and/or make payments to your telecommunications vendors.
An APGL file can vary in complexity. It can be a simple report; for example, an Excel Spreadsheet that is emailed to a person or distribution group within the client’s organization. Habitually, the client works directly in this document and manually posts recurring GL entries and/or assists with the creation of AP Payments from the client’s financial system. This file can also be a flat CSV or TXT file that is transmitted in a standard Tangoe system format or a custom format as defined by the client. APGL files can then be directly imported into a client’s financial system, such as SAP or Oracle, from the Tangoe SFTP site. Tangoe has also configured AP/GL in formats in .xml or other Web Service formats.
So which model is best? Tangoe believes clients will have most benefit from having an automated APGL integration because it does not require manual intervention. Using this file type can save and reduce the risk of errors or incontinency by human keying or typos, and ultimately help tighten controls around your financial process.
Check Feedback File
The Check Feedback File is a simple, yet integral part of the Tangoe invoice lifecycle. Tangoe systems work together with the client’s enterprise financial systems to manage the telecom expense process. The Check Feedback File (or simply Check Feed) will complete the AP lifecycle of an invoice and advance invoice records to a completed or paid status within the Tangoe system
The Check Feedback File process is developed by the client during the implementation, and can be as simple as a report sent via email to Tangoe which can be used to update invoice status on a predetermined basis. Proper integration involves developing a simple .TXT file with information from the Client AP System such as Check Number, Amount Paid, and Remittance information.
Having this information allows Tangoe to proactively query your vendors on things as late payments fees, disconnection notices, and credit requests–without having to ask the client for further information. This can be a time saver and help our client focus their valuable time on the important items.
Human Resource Information Systems, or HRIS, is an integration methodology that allows Tangoe to populate and maintain accurate employee records within Tangoe. HRIS also insures association of Financial (e.g. Cost Center |BU | Department), Physical (e.g. Address or Site ID), and Organizational (e.g. Manager) attributes to the employee record in the database. HRIS can also include an integration which updates Hierarchical Financial System information used to maintain status of Allocation String information in Tangoe. HRIS can be a very valuable addition to your Tangoe solution set and makes it possible to:
- link employee assets and insuring that these assets are not active and linked to an inactive employee
- provision and track assets against employees
- track upgrade eligibility for employee mobile devices or web conferencing accounts,
- categorize employees (e.g. work from home users or contractors)
- synchronize Cost Center or Allocation information with the Client Financial System without manual intervention, preventing allocation of costs to closed cost centers
- provide distribution of End-User Usage reports
- identify high use employees
Enhancing Solutions with System Integrations
Planning for and improving System Integrations as part of your TEM Implementation project, adding on System Integrations to the existing solution, or enhancing capabilities of your current solution can be game-changing value add-ons and maximize the overall success of your Tangoe solution. We are committed to upgrading and improving the System Integration experience for our customers, so If you are not sure if your current integration instance has all of the latest improvements in technology and methodology, contact your Tangoe representative today.