To achieve success, you have to define success. In the discipline of telecom expense management, success is not universally defined. As a result, many organizations find resources over-burdened and solutions underperforming. Yet, their provider assures them that the “solution” delivered is not only working, but working flawlessly. How could this be?
How could a provider provide a failing solution and still consider it perfect? It’s really quite simple: TEM providers come in different varieties, each with their own definition of success.
Most established telecom expense management (TEM) providers started in the Software category, rather than in Business Process Outsourcing. They invested heavily in software and focused on reaching the Fortune 1000. The platforms were not built for voice, data, mobility and cloud from the start. Other platforms are pieced together as a result of acquisition or merger. Listen closely and you’ll hear clues as to what the product is – your work effort. “This is where you can run reports….” or “Click here to input…” The software demonstration becomes a job training for you or your team.
The Software category measures success in manners such as system availability and uptime. Success with this type of vendor is almost entirely coincidental. Success is predicated entirely on your organization’s expertise, efficiency, and execution.
Telecom Managed Services Provider (MSP)
Most organizations do not want to hire, train and manage highly-specialized technical and administrative resources to manage an internal solution. MSPs provide data management, input and other ancillary services. As the customer’s environment becomes unnecessarily larger and more complex, MSPs can claim to provide greater benefit. While this provides an advantage over software alone, there’s little difference in the success rates of these two types of engagements.
In fact, MSP engagements are often less successful. Under closer examination, flaws in this model become strikingly obvious.
How do you know the services provided will produce the desired results? After all, the desired result is not just to perform a set of services. For example, the desired result is not to process an invoice within 24 hours. What if the goal is to eliminate that invoice entirely? This way the organization doesn’t need to pay anyone – internally or externally – to manage something that doesn’t need to exist.
Often, MSPs are task-based not looking to improve the overall business process. The work is being executed with little or no impact to the organization’s overall goals and objectives.
Complete Lifecycle Solution
Every organization has a different starting point, but the end goal should be the same: A Complete Lifecycle Solution that maximizes overall benefit to the organization.
A common starting place is cost visibility. How much are we spending today and with whom? What is our forecasted budget? Next comes budget-reduction. This starts with a review of all services. What services are we paying for today? Are we being charged correctly? Are these services even being used? If so, for what and by whom? If not, should we repurpose them or remove them?
For these improvements to be permanent, a comprehensive, sustainable lifecycle must exist.
Cost Management Group has been focused for the last 20 years on developing a complete lifecycle solution to drive maximum impact and success that is defined by its clients. At CMG, we perform a Process Audit to identify areas of weakness or inefficiency. We develop and implement strategies to ensure best practices are employed, such as automation, visibility and oversight, program awareness and policy enforcement.
The primary objective of the Lifecycle is the transition to a lean, efficient future-state environment that maximizes benefit to the organization.
Cost-savings is often a critical measure of success. For organizations whose existing lifecycle has gaps, cost savings may be swift and abundant. Gaps can be difficult to see without third-party perspective from resources experienced in evaluating the entire lifecycle.
Organizations should also seek time savings – that is, the reduction in overall work-hours performing Expense Management tasks. It is important to stress overall. It is no measure of success to merely trade one unnecessary task for another. Or worse, to outsource it. Therefore, overall work-effort should be examined. Leading organizations spend time assessing organizational needs, evaluating solutions, and making informed decisions. Leading organizations refuse to waste time in administrative minutiae or to pay someone else to do it.
A Complete Lifecycle Solution does not measure itself against the organization’s current state. Instead, it’s measured against the organization’s vision for the ideal future state. To achieve the ideal future state, all parties involved must have a unified vision clearly articulated and accompanied by a plan of action and resources capable of executing the plan. As we’ve seen, the focus of other TEM companies ends well before this target. At CMG, this is where our discussion begins.
What is your organization’s ideal future state?
We encourage you to leverage partners to accelerate your transition to your ideal future state. Listen closely for clues that reveal their true focus. Do they provide a tool? A set of services? Are they focused on your ideal future state? Focus on results, not just reports.
Contact us for more information on how CMG can ensure results!