Old platforms do not work as promised, management shakeups at providers create uncertainty and financial challenges hold some TEM companies back. This chaos demands a re-evaluation of the initially transactional goals of TEM. This three-part blog series will help enterprise leaders understand the challenges of TEM, prepare their organizations for TEM transformation and describe the steps to unlock TEM potential.
Changing enterprise telecom needs and recent disruption within the Telecom Expense Management (TEM) industry have brought TEM back into the spotlight after years on the back burner. TEM is a tedious and time-consuming process that, for many enterprises, has turned into an exercise focused on merely getting the bills paid instead of enabling continuous business intelligence to improve technology decisions.
As the approximately $2 billion industry approaches its third decade, it represents a confusing and volatile playing field for enterprises. Old platforms do not work as promised, management shakeups at providers create uncertainty and financial challenges hold some TEM companies back. In addition, according to Gartner, competitive bidding and prominent acquisitions that consolidate software and services have further disrupted the industry. Finally, most TEM sourcing and inventory management solutions are similar, Gartner says, and differentiation is only apparent in the user interface experience and service delivery model.*
These factors contribute to one of the biggest challenges that enterprises have when dealing with TEM: a broken promise. They hear about TEM systems that will provide deep insights into sourcing, ordering and provisioning, inventory, invoices, contracts, usage, and dispute and reporting processes, as well as cost savings. But when the software is implemented, they only see a platform that helps them process invoices. How can Enterprises avoid the field of “lost dreams” with this potentially powerful tool? That will be discussed in “The Broken Promise of Telecom Expense Management – Part 2: What is the Challenge?”
*Gartner: Competitive Landscape, Independent Telecom Expense Management Providers, 2016