TEM Services are Evolving in Both Predictable and Unpredictable Directions

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• TEM Services have been useful for enterprises to track usage and mobile service expenditures, reconcile invoices across carriers, and optimize service plans

• The latest crop of TEM services encompass fixed and mobile, IT expenses, unified communications usage analytics, and usage and expense management for market data by investment firms

A recent set of Current Analysis company reports analyzing telecom expense management (TEM) services by independent providers such as Asentinel, Tangoe, Ezwim, Calero and MDSL show a fascinating evolution. These companies used to offer software that aggregated expenses from multiple mobile operators used by their business customers, and performed invoice reconciliation together with outsourced dispute management and service plan optimization. Looking at these companies’ latest sets of services, it is clear that their portfolios have changed considerably. For example:

• Predictably, TEM providers now offer their platforms as SaaS, which they tend to call lifecycle management services

• Not only do TEM providers analyze both fixed and mobile service usage and expenditures; most providers now offer IT expense management, looking at items such as data center/hosting charges and cloud services.

• A few providers have gone off in more differentiated directions. Calero offers unified communications usage analytics, while MDSL offers analysis of usage and expenses associated with market data used by investment houses.

• A number of TEM providers such as Asentinel and Calero have acquired managed mobility providers, and offer traditional EMM/MDM services as well as mobile strategy and security consulting.

• Asentinel has patented a feature it calls optical invoice recognition (OIR) technology, which enables it to “read and map” data and service code detail from a paper invoice and upload it into the TEM platform.

• Ezwim has added BYOD support, allowing both personal-liable and business-liable device and service expenses to be categorized and managed.

• Providers such as Tangoe are used by operator partners as unbiased third parties, to provide service optimization to businesses that might not trust an operator to provide this function.

Large enterprises and MNCs that use multiple operators for their telecommunications requirements can now expand their usage to include many more expense categories. They also can look to their TEM providers for more strategic consulting services as they plan their future use of transformational technologies such as mobility, cloud services, and unified communications.

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