Telecom Expense Management Software, Consulting, & Support

Tangoe’s Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solution improves procurement, sources best-in-class contracts, reduces asset expenses, and improves operational controls.

What is TEM?

No matter the industry or location, communication is essential to every business. It’s a means of connecting with clients, the market, and key players. For over a century, telecom has been at the heart of it all, from rotary dials to smartphones and everything in between.

Of course, none of it comes free, and telecom invoices are among the most complex out there. If you’ve ever reviewed your personal phone bill and attempted to determine the cause of an unexpected charge, you know how it difficult it can be to parse these invoices. Now, imagine reading and interpreting invoices for hundreds or thousands of lines. Then, add in international plans, data usage, and BYOD. It’s truly more than a headache; it’s a migraine.

And more and more organizations are realizing that putting these bills on autopilot is a fast track to excess charges and fees. They need a way to manage, monitor, and optimize these expenses, which brings us to Telecom Expense Management, or TEM.

Looking for a quick, bite-sized definition? Telecom Expense Management is a method for viewing, tracking, and (You guessed it!) managing telecom-related costs.

Methods of Managing Telecom Expenses

There are a multitude of ways to handle telecom expense management. To clarify what TEM is (and isn’t), let’s go over some of the most common methods of management.

Ad-hoc solution

This method is typically performed by telecom professionals or an accounting services center of excellence. Most in-house solutions consist of using spreadsheets to track, audit, and compare expenses. This method may work if you only have a handful of lines, but if you’re working hundreds or thousands of them, you’ll find that it fails to deliver ongoing savings due to a lack of visibility into deep invoice details and the huge potential for human error/oversight.


Many organizations request an audit when they’re in the beginning stages of attempting to optimize and reduce expenses. It can help organizations identify areas for potential savings and get clarity about their inventory. This can lead to substantial savings in disputing the “low hanging fruit” such as cancelling lines with zero-utilization, cancelling lines from terminated employees, and disputing cancelled lines still being invoiced. Without a sustainable solution, however, billing errors and overages are sure to crop up again.

Self-managed SaaS

With the right software and expertise, you can handle all of your TEM in-house through automation and achieve maximum visibility. A comprehensive TEM application should enable your team to productively support the complete lifecycle of your inventory as well as auditing, invoice processing, ordering, and business reporting.

Fully-managed SaaS

A fully-managed TEM SaaS can be deployed as vendor-hosted. What makes this method different from self-managed SaaS is that telecom experts employed by the vendor handle the day-to-day management of invoices, inventory, orders, disputes, and service optimization.

Benefits of TEM:

  • Reduce mobile and fixed total cost of ownership
  • Reduce and manage service delivery costs
  • Maintain and improve service levels
  • Focus on core competencies and consolidating suppliers
  • Transform and improve business processes
  • Minimize waste
  • Maximize savings opportunities
  • Audit and validation across your fixed and mobile environment
  • Enforce regulatory and corporate governance
  • Reduce service and support costs
  • Enable enterprise awareness, visibility, and analysis


Why TEM?

An excellent TEM solution is more than a stress reliever. It’s a well-honed tool for uncovering cost savings, which serve as the very foundation for consistently managing and reducing expenses. It makes it easier to understand what you have, if it’s working (or not), and where to go next.

With automation and expertise on your side, you’ll realize all the benefits of telecom (read: easy communication) without dealing with friction, mountains of invoices, and a hodgepodge of spreadsheets. After all, it’s communication you need to get things done and drive your business goals. But you can’t assume invoices for said communication will always be accurate and in line with your contracted rates. The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Telecom Expense Management estimates telecom invoices have a 20% error rate, most of which are in favor of the carrier. When you’re dealing with a spend of $1M+, that 20% makes a huge difference to the financial health of your organization.

Let’s look at a real-life example that illustrates just how vital automated, efficient telecom expense management is. A healthcare giant came to Tangoe after realizing their in-house solution was failing to identify opportunities for savings. Before working with our team, this healthcare service provider processed invoices manually and paid them without any analysis or auditing. While they knew there were likely areas for expense reduction, they had no idea just how much they were overpaying carriers.

Through Tangoe’s process automation, detailed auditing process, and customized reporting, the healthcare service provider generated a whopping annual savings of $750,000 to $1M! That’s major money in the bank that can be used to expand services and improve profitability.

Features of a Telecom Expense Management System

Expense Management

Minimize & streamline costs while ensuring effective spend investment.

  • Invoice Processing
  • Invoice Audit / Validation
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Optimization
  • Contract Management
  • Managed Payment

Usage Management

Identify overspending, align budgets to actual usage, and leverage insight for future negotiations.

  • Call Accounting
  • Split Billing

Financial Management

Optimized, informed decision making by exposing cost / performance risks early.

  • Budgeting / Forecasting
  • SLA Performance / Measurement


Streamlined & centralized management that enforces corporate compliance.

  • Ordering
  • Fulfillment

Get the Most Out of Your TEM Investment with Strategic Consulting

Your first line of defense against increased telecom costs, billing errors, and unfavorable terms and conditions.

Tangoe’s Strategic Consulting Services remove the guesswork from vendor pricing, eliminating the risk of subpar contracts, services, and showing up unprepared at the negotiating table. Our negotiation team uses their extensive experience on both the vendor and client sides to achieve the most favorable contracts.

Tangoe auditing experts conduct thorough historical analysis, document the root cause of each identified problem, recover overpayments, and provide recommendations to prevent reoccurring issues. We’ll ensure that you’re being invoiced for the appropriate services per contract rates while managing the dispute process to recover due credits from the vendor.

Advisory Services | Sourcing | Benchmarking | Contract Negotiation | Rate Optimization | Historical Audit | Deposit Recovery | Physical Inventory

Learn More. Get tips from the pros with The Ultimate Guide Telecom Expense Management.

This vendor-agnostic eBook is the most comprehensive industry resource to date. Jam-packed with insights, the guide covers everything you need to get started evaluating TEM solutions.

You’ll learn:

  • How telecom and its expenses have evolved
  • What exactly TEM is (and isn’t)
  • How to know when you need a TEM solution and which kind
  • Core TEM Services to prioritize
  • Ways to maximize the benefits of TEM with mobility solutions
  • Next steps for you and your organization
  • And more


Simply fill out the form to get your free copy.