By Mani Zarrehparvar, Chief Customer Officer of brightfin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing expenses can be tricky for any business, especially when it comes to tracking technology tools and their associated monthly and yearly plans. IT department heads often have disparate systems for tracking expenses like phones, tablets, laptops, software, and staying on top of mobile data plans, requests for new or updated telecom equipment, as well as security and access for new and departing employees. Technology expense management (TEM) and IT finance management (ITFM) are often stratified across more than one system and overlooked in terms of efficiency and accuracy.
According to a study by Gartner, any company with 500 or more employees that doesn’t effectively manage their mobile telecom expenses could be spending up to 30% more than necessary for voice and data services. The average cost per year per user for mobile voice, data, and messaging hovers around $840, according to the same study. On top of that, it’s estimated that 20% of telecommunication invoices are inaccurate and could result in overspending if not properly monitored.
Manual Data Collection Methods Lose Money
Imagine a large company trying to figure out where their IT spend is going and which departments, locations, and people are driving it. It may be hard to believe, but the majority of large companies are still doing this manually. They are exporting invoices for mobile devices from one piece of software, exporting fixed telecom invoices from another platform, cloud invoices from another, and so on. Then, they are trying to match up that invoice data with departments, locations, personnel, projects, and other information stored in their IT Service Management system or their ERP.
It’s critical for IT teams to wrangle all that information in order to understand the big picture. Just the expense of additional employee hours involved in the manual work of tracking adds up substantially. You want your employees doing work that improves the company, like tracking down mislaid hardware or overseeing proper unified endpoint management — not performing data entry and tracking tasks.
Smart TEM & ITFM Solutions Can Save Hundreds of Thousands
Comprehensive telecom expense management and IT financial management software platforms offered by companies like brightfin are the answer. Systems that automate and merge your IT Service Management data with your IT invoices allow enterprises to manage all facets of expenses, assets, and services in one place so that they can see where their money is going and make strategic adjustments.
How does an integrated TEM and ITFM solution save you time and money? There are five ways:
- IT Finance Management capabilities help save money by allowing users to access centralized data through automated processes. This provides a complete picture of IT services’ total cost and value, including allocations and chargebacks. This also includes:
- Bill pay for self-funding IT bill payment on time (and avoiding late charges).
- Procurement for new or replacement equipment enabled by a mobile ordering process with an approval engine, automation, and out-of-the-box workflows (avoiding delays and rushed shipments).
- TEM services like negotiating wireless contracts, matching plans to usage, and watching for unused services (unused software alone costs U.S. companies billions in wasted funds).
- Immediate data availability is essential. Once information is integrated with solutions like ServiceNow (such as HRIS or ERP), it is available immediately for review.
- One central view where users can view all mobile, fixed, and cloud spend allows companies to get the whole picture at once rather than trying to combine different reports from carriers and platforms.
- An automated workflow engine allows users to create custom actions based on business needs to become more efficient.
- Security is already built-in. Well-developed TEM and ITFM systems are built for business, meaning security concerns are considered and set in place. ServiceNow, for instance, comes with the security tactics of a publicly-traded company. And no coding from scratch means that someone else has already figured out and implemented the security.
Eliminating avoidable expenses is critical to maintaining profitability. Seemingly small costs, like an unused software license, an unaccounted-for tablet, or an incremental incorrect charge on an account, are compounded the larger the organization becomes. Worse, many companies don’t know how much these account for because they don’t have the insight or big picture view.
Implementing a comprehensive platform that automates IT invoice management, Telecom Expense Management, and IT Financial Management is the key. Preventing unnecessary expenses results in a healthier bottom line for your company.
Mani Zarrehparvar, brightfin’s Chief Customer Officer, has over 20 years of experience in the technology and telecom space. He previously served as the CEO for Visage Mobile and held leadership positions at AT&T and Asurion. Mani received his bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.