When deploying a third party service, there will always be pros and cons to consider. If the benefits outweigh the costs, then you’ve reached a verdict. However, determining which items impact your business the most can truly make or break it.
The same goes for choosing a telecom expense management (TEM) provider. Your company will need to decide if the return is worth the cost. If you have already rolled out a TEM solution whether it is a third party or DIY, you will have to decide if it is worth keeping or finding a better way. Several enterprise leaders are faced with TEM challenges and that is the number 1 reason why complete transparency between both parties is key when making the final decision.
According to Gartner, pricing is a major challenge as well as hidden fees and the time to implement. Many corporations feel that what TEM providers do not always follow through with their promised offerings. Most selections are based on price reductions, expected performance, scalability and more. Expectations are a key factor and once trust is demolished, it is very hard to get back.
In a recent study conducted by Gartner, enterprises felt that time to implement services is higher than expected, there were hidden costs, and processes and SLA’s between vendor and organizations were poorly defined, generating more workload for everyone.
While there are many areas to refine, these five areas below are most important and challenging to an enterprise selecting a TEM vendor:
While Enterprises feel TCO reduction is important, it isn’t the driving factor or a deterrent. It is in the top 10 concerns, but it is a willing trade-off for the generation of greater value from system-wide optimization, full transparency, enhanced process development, and efficiency in scalability. It is important to assess thoroughly the difference between internally deployed and operated software, the associated pitfalls, and a fully outsourced TEM solution.
By a healthy margin, the greatest value is a fully outsourced TEM provider with a robust software platform and the trained staff to optimize usage of this platform. The TCO must be examined from the basis of the onboarding, or the company setup, and the monthly operation of the solution. TEMS, by its very nature, should not be a monthly liability, but it should be a powerful asset to the bottom line, as it should be ROI driven.
Some TEM companies may offer an ROI percentage for their clients but can they provide proof? Return on investment is such an important piece in providing these services as anyone would want to know what they are receiving in return for their compensation. If they offer a guaranteed ROI but after the first 6 months, cannot follow through, it’s time to move on. Make sure your TEM partner provides accurate and true information. Ask for samples and other work to ensure the numbers are real and also ask for client references to verify their word.
At RadiusPoint, our ROI has been trending upward each quarter and last year we had an average ROI of 1076% for our clients! Each month, we put together an exceptions report that details any overcharges and errors due to vendor mistakes which are sent to clients to validate. This allows us to compile these numbers into one large report that totals the ROI amount. Read our most recent ROI report for Q4 of 2018 here.
Clear Communication and Implementation
This is a big deal when TEM partners do not accurately represent the timeframe of implementation. Gaining control of vendor information and cost center location info takes time but not that much time. Having transparent communication from the very beginning is so crucial during the setup phase. Multiple meetings and phone calls with the key individuals on board is what will truly set the stage for the rest of the deliverables. Some enterprises are realizing that a TEM vendor will promise the sun moon and stars in under a month but then fail to timely put it in motion. If you cannot keep your word before the project actually begins, you can be sure the rest of the partnership will soon follow suit.
At RadiusPoint, each of our clients is assigned a project management team who is on board the entire duration of the setup process and will even be on board after the team handoff to ensure everyone is on the same page. The statement of work and weekly follow up meetings are conducted to also ensure each individual knows their responsibilities and duties for the remainder of the project. We hold monthly client calls after everything has been implemented as well to offer the chance to ask questions and clarity where needed.
Flexibility & Solution Innovation
Each solution should have the option to be tailored to the client’s requirements. This is not saying each company will be given a completely different service, but overall every enterprise has different goals and desires. Having the flexibility to customize the solution or alter based on certain needs, so to speak, will allow all objectives to be firmly met and completed on time.
With RadiusPoint tiered solutions, we offer a similar concept in that each tier offers an overall solution but we can modify each service and add to our software to encompass whatever the client needs. That’s the beauty of allowing clients to also offer questions/solutions to the software in our monthly surveys so we can better serve not only their needs but remain innovative and cutting edge in technology.
Commit to SLAs
The importance of maintaining a solid SLA is just as important as the delivery of the service. Not only are expectations/responsibilities of client and provider clearly defined in an SLA, but it also explains who, what where, when and how pieces. When outsourcing any service to a third party, you want to make sure all expectations of both parties are visibly outlined and there is a clear understanding of how issues will be prioritized.
For RadiusPoint, sustaining a secure and compliant SLA is vital to our workflow process. Priority #1 is to ensure you not only receive a service that fits your business model, but you also receive a service that exceeds expectations in its delivery. While we provide expense management in different areas, our method is the same when managing the entire lifecycle of the invoice and our job is to effectively communicate how our automated processes will deliver savings to clients.
If you are looking to deploy and DIY or third party TEM solution, make sure you keep these areas in mind. Once you prepare and understand the risks and benefits, the decision will be that much easier and you will have peace of mind it is the right one.
For more information on RadiusPoint TEM services, visit our website or contact us to speak with one of our representatives today!