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The Changing Landscape of Telco Expense Management: Achieving Visibility through the APAC Cloud


For years, CFOs, CIOs, IT managers have struggled to gain control and visibility into the nebulous world of telecom expenses. Eventually, a number of businesses took the plunge and moved away from unwieldy excel spreadsheets and ad-hoc inventory lists scribbled onto napkins, to more evolved systems to track and manage telecom expenses. Enterprises immediately benefited from increased visibility, control, audit, and allocation capabilities.

Locally, and in key markets such as Asia-Pacific, businesses are eager to achieve a competitive advantage from these new technologies that are rapidly changing the TEM landscape. We all experienced similar problems with the older model of fixed lines and closed corporate networks. The solutions that worked back then are proving pertinent even today – albeit with some major tweaks.

As businesses look to the many robust cloud services like Azure, AWS, and Google or feature-rich SaaS providers such as Salesforce and WebEx to enhance productivity, we see old TEM problems with a new face rise up with a vengeance. As companies feel the effect throughout various departments, the adoption of cloud tools is proving essential to lessen the impact on budget and management resources.

Many businesses that I speak with spend a similar amount on Salesforce and AWS as they do on fixed voice and mobility. While fixed and mobile spending continues to grow at a steady pace, even the most fastidious experts are having trouble predicting the trajectory of cloud spending. True, for some enterprises, fixed and mobile spending may seem to conveniently mirror their current cloud spending. The difference is the amount we spend on cloud versus fixed and mobile may vary greatly depending on the desired level of visibility. Put simply, we have an excellent idea of the type of lens we need to see view the components of fixed and mobile; cloud technology on the other hand, may require numerous telescopes that are still in development. But how will these new telescopes cost?

You have most likely included plans to utilize new technologies such as cloud services in your business strategies in order to gain a competitive advantage, and hopefully you have taking into consideration the implied expenses in managing these cloud services. Even with the latest tools that increase productivity by leaps and bounds, enterprises will still struggle to keep spending within their reasonable means. Without the proper tools to manage cloud related expenses, you’ll fall victim to charges being allocated incorrectly to the very business units or individuals that are responsible for these costs.  To avoid this, here are a few things to consider:

  • Failure to plan properly now will have you scrambling to create a static spreadsheet in an attempt to track cloud and SaaS expenses by department or project. It’s crucial that you take action now to avoid this.
  • If you have one full time employee managing over 1000 mobile services OR a dozen cloud services it would be impossible for this person to conduct thorough audit and assurance and build usage profiles for optimization.

To address the above considerations, we recommend employing a TEM specialist such as Tangoe to work with your internal assets and offer you the benefits from experience, tools, and industry knowledge. Tangoe can get you on the right track and support your management efforts for the years to come.