The benefits of IoT are significant and organizations of all sizes are making progress towards deployments that will reap serious rewards.
Married together with data analytics, IoT is fueling supply chain transparency and enterprise operational efficiency. However, knowing the future of work is mobile, it also brings a serious need for Telecom Expense Management (“TEM”) and IT Asset Management (“ITAM”). Both contribute to healthy corporate financial management (i.e. FinOps) for maximum organizational efficiency and optimization.
YOU should be the one that’s asking your customers: do you know what you are spending on telecom, cloud, mobility, and hardware tracking services? Because identifying the scope of telecom expenses is critical to achieving cost efficiencies and retaining a competitive edge.
Do you know where to start? Need help nurturing those leads, asking the right questions or closing the deal?
Bob Faber and Hunter Edmisten, two of our Solutions Engineers and our resident TEM experts, recently presented on the topic in an SE Webinar. In this article they expand on the topic.
Q: What’s the synergy between TEM and ITAM?
Faber: ITAM is key to effective IT security and asset lifecycle management. As with everything related to technology, it starts with the acronyms. Here are the TEM-related ones you need to know:
- ITSM: IT Services Management
- MEM: Mobile Expense Management
- UEM: Unified Endpoint Management
- MDM: Mobile Device Management
- IoT Mobility: Interconnected devices combined with big data analytics
- TEM: Telecom Expense Management
Edmisten: As part of ITAM, TEM provides singular visibility into a customer’s telecom expenses and tech journey. Both IT asset management and TEM play critical roles in the cloud revolution.
Telecom is moving to the cloud and many of the major carriers are either grandfathering analog services or shutting them down entirely, as the industry transitions from analog POTS and copper ISDN lines to Voice-over-IP.
Faber: That right there is how you capitalize on this trend! While the cloud revolution has fueled increased productivity, it has also resulted in cloud sprawl and increased costs. You can leverage TEM to help businesses achieve cost efficiencies in a challenging global economy impacted by supply-chain disruptions and inflation.
Q: So how can you deliver value with TEM?
Faber: Audit, then automation. TEM offers the customer visibility into telecom expenses to trigger better business decisions.
Edmisten: For example, how many hours does it take to process invoices? One of the benefits of TEM is that expense management can be automated. So, businesses don’t have to allocate resource hours for processing invoices.
Faber: This results in hard dollar savings for your customers and cross-sell opportunities for you. We recently learned about a major gas and oil producer in Canada that saved $1.8 million the first year after an audit.
Q: What assets are you looking to identify in an audit?
Edmisten: Mobility devices like cell phones, laptops, and tablets, switches and routers, servers and load balancers and cloud or legacy systems.
Faber: In TEM, we focus on billing, scalability, and elasticity. Is your customer paying for unused data? The most expensive data is the data that’s never consumed. With TEM, you can identify how much data is unused each month and provide business-critical value to your customers.
Q: What objections come up frequently related to TEM?
Faber: Often, customers like the idea of an audit but don’t see the value in outsourcing it.
Yet, the resource hours required for an audit may result in decreased operational productivity. The beauty of TEM is that it’s performed in the background and in real time. In this case automation doesn’t take time away from other IT tasks, as the discovery of services can be done through APIs.
Q: What’s the trick for selling TEM through in-cycle optimization?
Edmisten: Egress charges from cloud suppliers may eat into your customer’s bottom line.
Cloud providers charge to retrieve data. This is where in-cycle optimization comes in. Remote workers often use less data than field or on-site workers.
Faber: Many businesses simply rely on data pools, with a 10-15 percent buffer for data usages. However, the possibility of being in arrears at the end of the month is high. IT personnel often have little time (or the tools) to gain visibility into business expenses or perform in-cycle optimization. What in-cycle optimization does is take snapshots of data use throughout the month, allowing the ability to right size data plans so your customers don’t pay for overages on their current data plans.
Edmisten: This is how you can save your customer money even if you have to raise the data ceiling, as they won’t be paying for overages. Let’s go back to the Intelisys Sales Partner who performed the audit for the oil and gas customer in Canada. Through in-cycle optimization, he saved his client $150,000 a month on IoT mobility.
Faber: Like it or not, you’re the quarterback. 70 percent of CIOs anticipate redefining what productivity looks like compared to how they defined it pre-pandemic. You perform the audits to get visibility into your customer’s business. We’re going to support you by matching you with the right suppliers for your opportunities, negotiating ironclad carrier contracts, and doing the heavy lifting on complex bids.
Q: What advice do you have for #IntelisysNation as they pursue TEM related sales opportunities?
Edmisten: The ideal customer for TEM is one who has about half a dozen locations and $100,000 per month in total telecom expenses. Your goal is to gain visibility into their environment, so you can create a game plan for their tech journey that’s rooted in data.
Faber: Understand the technology blueprint/journey for your customer. Start by finding cost savings in IoT mobility before proceeding to other areas. The customer may have devices that need to be upgraded. Schedule an audit and identify the gaps. The audit opens doors for you. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. The way to measure is to take snapshots. This produces the gap analysis that allows you to help customers create more efficiencies.
Edmisten: Make sure your customers are familiar with the features and functionality of the solution they purchased from you. You can’t manage the journey for the customer if you don’t understand their needs. Listen to your customers and lean into the data with them. Identify who can make the decision to add services in the organization.
Faber: Don’t underestimate the “imagine with me if you will” and “suppose for a moment” statements. “What if we can find a way to save you 30 percent on your mobility bills today? Would that be worth taking a look at?” Or, “Imagine with me, if you will, if we could create a 10 percent efficiency in the way you are paying your invoices today.”
Don’t forget. We don’t want you to do this alone. If you don’t know what to measure, we can provide answers. It’s one of the reasons why we created the Virtual Sales Engineer tool in MyIntelisys. Our engineers can also help with discovery calls, validate requirements for specific solutions, and close important deals for you.