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" The combination of AnchorPoint
& MTS establishes the company as a leading provider of TEM
solutions worldwide offering a full TEM solution suite for voice, data and wireless through various delivery models including software license, managed service, and fully outsourced."
6 Ways You Can Benefit from Telecom Expense Management
Telecom Expense is also known as :
Telecom Expense Management,
Telecom Cost Control,
Telecommunications Expense Management,
Telecom Cost Management,
Managing Telecom Expenses,
Telecom Expense Info,
Telecom Expense Solutions,
Reduce Telecom Expenses,
Telecom Asset Management,
Telecom Expense Technology,
Telecom Cost Reduction,
Telecom Expense Program,
Telecom Expense Services,
Telecom Expense Software,
Controlling Telecom Expenses,
Budgeting Telecom Expenses,
Telecom Expenses Yields,
Telecom Expense Auditing,
Telecom Billing System,
Telecom Expense Analyst.
With almost $4 million in telecom spend and more than
3,000 employees spread across the Northeast, a leading
national health insurance company faced growing
concerns over its inefficient, spreadsheet-supported
telecom management process.
Lack of spend visibility and control led to an
overstretched staff who was forced to spend far too much
time performing daily processing tasks versus analyzing
and solving problems.
Looming on the horizon were pressures to prepare the
telecom function for upcoming merger activity, streamline
current processes, and meet Sarbanes-Oxley
requirements. Acknowledging these concerns, but unsure
of how to best address them, the not-for-profit HMO
with over 1 million members turned to AnchorPoint to
develop a solution that would net immediate cost-savings
as well as to arm the company with a technology-enabled
process that would ensure long term Telecom Expense
Management (TEM) success.
Defining Telecom Expense Management (TEM)
According to Gartner1, Organizations can routinely save more than 10 percent of their
annual telecommunication expenses by systematically checking their carrier bills against
equipment and services in use. Best practices include implementing telecom expense
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is the integration of knowledge and technology to
create the tools and processes that manage, control and forecast the costs and expenses
associated with enterprise voice, data and wireless networks.
In this context knowledge refers to a expertise in performing network audits, resolving
vendor billing problems, identifying the most cost effective service alternatives,
negotiating vendor contracts, and redesigning business processes.
TEM knowledge is a specialty. This specialty is similar to the knowledge possessed by a
tax accountant, whose experience in a certain industry or knowledge of certain complex
tax laws produce a better result - say, a lower tax bill, than someone without special
knowledge of that industry or set of circumstances.
TEM technology refers to an integrated set of applications that creates streamlined,
efficient processes for maintaining accurate inventory, processing vendor invoices,
facilitating business analytical reporting and dashboards, providing complete chargeback
information to end users and delivering cost trend analysis.
On average customers who implement TEM solutions can save an average of 10% - 40%
of their annual spend when combining results from automation, chargeback visibility, and
Where to Begin - An Approach
At AnchorPoint we strongly believe that a
successful TEM solution begins with
understanding a client's specific business
needs, and results in the development and
implementation of an integrated people,
process and technology solution that is
aligned to those needs. Our approach
ensures that our clients' solutions are
implemented in accordance with business
priorities, maximize the use of internal and
external (outsourced) resources, and yield
During an initial on-site assessment at this
leading health insurance provider,
AnchorPoint focused on assessing the
processes currently in place to manage
telecom expenses. Existing documentation
and analysis provided us with the
information needed to effectively project
cost savings and efficiency gains as well as
benchmark this client against others in their
AnchorPoint's consulting methodology
centered on defining the specific metrics associated with the customer's goals and
objectives so we could design a solution that enabled them to achieve their goals and
easily measure progress along the way.
With facilitated input from a cross-section of internal staff, AnchorPoint and the
organization determined we would focus on the following strategic goals:
- Implement a TEM solution that will enable the effective incorporation of other
entities acquired through merger and acquisition activity.
- Assess and define the process improvement, contract audit and on-going cost
savings potential that will result from solution implementation.
During this process specific, operational objectives were mutually developed that
included reducing the overall cost of telecom services; establishing a common centralized
technology platform for voice, data and wireless cost management; allowing staff to focus
on core competencies and providing data-gathering/ business case analytics capability
to objectively evaluate VoIP.
After setting and documenting strategic and operational objectives, our focus was twofold.
In a coordinated effort, we focused on the assessment of our client's telecom
management processes, and on auditing their current contracts.
With input from the "process operators" the current process was documented and
benchmarked against best practices. The result was a future TEM -supported process
that met or exceeded the client needs while optimizing process performance. At the
same time, AnchorPoint's Contract Audit Team focused on gathering current contract
data and analyzing it against our database of contract market rates for companies of
similar size and needs. The contract audit savings we found were significant and, as
typically occurs, were used to self-fund the overall TEM solution purchase and
The efforts of both teams were later combined into a single, concise deliverable that
calculated both financial and non-financial savings. AnchorPoint was able to project the
client's savings using data from our large customer base, external data sources including
studies from Gartner and Aberdeen, and specific information gathered during the client's
initial discovery. These projected savings represented ongoing savings in addition to the
more immediate savings that are typically found when a contract audit has been
Solid Improvement Opportunity Throughout the Organization
With TEM goals clearly defined and the required information gathered, AnchorPoint's
consultants conducted a thorough analysis of the organization's infrastructure,
contracts, resources and processes. Six areas of significant improvement opportunity
- The greatest benefit of the AnchorPoint TEM solution was the use of a
centralized technology platform and processes to manage telecom. The client was
using spreadsheets and email to track and control voice, data and wireless. Although
effective for getting the basic job of ordering and operating telecom services
accomplished, current processes and spreadsheets did not provide telecom management
with the tools needed to effectively analyze and truly manage telecom operations.
Existing manual processes and procedures were not sufficiently scalable to support the
larger operation expected to result from merger activity.
Current manual processes caused significant inefficiency and potential for error, made
reporting and management difficult, and prevented the efficiency and effectiveness gains
that were enabled by an integrated system, central database and business analysis
The client benefited immediately from AnchorPoint's centralized database and
application, particularly in the tasks of processing services requests (MACD), auditing
invoices against inventory, and the use of AnchorPoint's data warehouse for reporting
and analysis. Future benefits include chargeback opportunities.
- AnchorPoint software provided the ability for Telecom personnel to manage
invoices by exception, increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of invoice
management. Due to a lack of management tools, Telecom personnel were forced to
first manually process invoices and then look at available data to find problems
(exceptions), leaving little time to effectively address and resolve identified problems.
AnchorPoint software enabled personnel to work from system-generated exceptions,
eliminating time spent searching for problems.
- Current invoice auditing processes manual (no automation) making the
detection of smaller invoice errors ineffective. Considering the volume of invoices
processed, current auditing was adequate for catching most large errors. The small
errors, shown in most industry studies to add up to greater dollars over time, had not
been identified by the existing processes and spreadsheets.
- The client used a number of disparate spreadsheets and e-mail to track, monitor
and control telecom expenses, offering extensive opportunity to centralize and
improve database quality and usefulness for analytics. AnchorPoint's TEM provided a
central database for telecom information, enabling improved auditing, better information
for contract negotiation, improved financial tracking and compliance, , and access to
information for improved analytics, reporting and alerts. AnchorPoint's comprehensive
database enabled our client to capture, analyze and use more telecom data to support
- The client had difficulty implementing a detailed chargeback system with their
current telecom spreadsheets. AnchorPoint's TEM asset ownership assignment and
usage-based chargeback services enabled our client to more effectively manage and
reduce telecom spend by creating an accurate inventory of voice, data, and wireless
assets and respective telecom spend.
- There was significant opportunity to reduce contracted rates. AnchorPoint was
able to identify an average of 25.4% savings on current contract rates.
Solution Design and Implementation
After gaining agreement from our client as to specific benefits and projected cost
savings, AnchorPoint's Professional Service Team used our Consulting Team's Solution
Profile, a detailed document including the key elements outlined below, to configure the
AnchorPoint TEM Application to work effectively with re-designed processes, as well as
to create and execute a detailed project plan.
AnchorPoint delivered the client a TEM Solution Profile defining a solution that
maximizes the effectiveness of people, process, and technology. AnchorPoint's
Professional Services team, using the Solution Profile as a Guide, followed the
implementation methodology and managed to implement the application in accordance
with our client's specific business needs on time and on budget.
AnchorPoint applies its expertise and solution approach to meet our customer's unique
TEM needs and requirements working with them in selecting the delivery approach that
best meets their operating needs and preferences.
AnchorPoint's comprehensive TEM software solution suite designed to reduce time and
automate functionality for this client included: Decision-making graphical Business
Analytics support tools, Usage and Cost Management, Asset & Inventory Management,
Financial & Invoice Management, the AnchorPoint Communications Intelligence Platform,
and Contract Requirements Automation & Sourcing.
The cost savings that resulted from the initial contract audit and implemented solution
amounted to more than $1,500,000 annually and could be broken down into the
- Process Optimization Savings: The results of process optimization enabled by
AnchorPoint technology "freed up" one full staff member's time to spend on analysis and
problem-solving versus invoice processing. As typically occurs, the results in this case
were the more effective use of resources versus a resource reduction, and we did not
attribute a dollar figure with this savings.
- Contract Audit Savings: We initially identified an annual contract savings of
$974,088. After assisting the client with the implementation of our recommendations,
we exceeded the initial figure by approximately $100,000 annually.
- On-going Telecom Spend Reduction Cost Savings: AnchorPoint was able to
achieve the following annual savings in the categories of: Invoice auditing ($71,350);
Business Analysis ($214,000); and Chargeback Visibility ($257,000)
Reporting and cost control were also vastly improved with the new solution. By using
the various Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) available through tools like AnchorPoint
Business Analytics' dashboards--such as speedometers that track how the telecom group
is performing against its annual budget-- the organization is now able to establish
financial controls and gain the visibility into expenses to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley
without the need for extensive processes.
The success of this project was secured in its early stages. By determining goals and
objectives up front, and conducting a thorough assessment of the current environment,
AnchorPoint's consulting group identified and addressed the gaps, holes and leaks that
were causing the most pain. And the resulting solution will result in exceptional savings
for years to come.
Established in 1984 and headquartered in Framingham, Mass., AnchorPoint, Inc. is the leading
provider of integrated Telecommunications Expense Management (TEM) software, consulting
services and outsourcing solutions. Named as a 2005 Innovation Award winner by TMC Labs
and a 2004 Product of the Year by the editors of Communications Convergence, the
AnchorPoint suite of TEM applications is used by such companies as AGFA, Acushnet, BB&T,
Gillette, Pitney Bowes and Ocean Spray to manage expenses and control costs of voice and data
networks. AnchorPoint's integrated Invoice, Asset and Usage Management modules utilize the
AnchorPoint Communications Intelligence Engine and Business Analytics tools to allow companies
to re-allocate or eliminate costs, improve operating efficiencies, and increase ROI from their
Telecom/IT investments. AnchorPoint can be found on the Web at www.AnchorPoint.com.