Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Trends of 2012

by Maddy Miller

Gartner released a new report this month entitled, “Market Trends: Telecom Expense Management, Worldwide 2012” which delves into the key trends observed in the TEM industry this past year.

Telecommunications Expense Management (TEM) software provides companies with a centralized audit and inventory system, simplifying management of wireless, voice, and data spend. The implementation of TEM software allows IT managers to centralize their technology silos into one collaborative tool utilizing standard best practices to manage telecom costs and procedures. Gartner reported that, in 2011, prices had dropped for the software but stabilized in 2012.

According to the report, TEM customers changed their demand and buying habits in 2012. TEM providers observed an increase in demand by customers who desired (TEM providers themselves to include) staffing as a part of the engagement model, not just the software. With the influx of mobile devices in the workplace, TEM providers have expanded their mobile device management (MDM) features to encompass IT and process management services. This allows the company to plan, procure, provision, manage, and support mobile devices that have integrated wireless connectivity. Customers are attracted to MDM due to its cost-effectiveness, scalability, and flexibility.

Due to the relative immaturity of MDM as a service, those vendors capitalizing on this trend are seasoned providers who have already grown their remote-hosted or cloud-based TEM platform offerings. Companies are now looking to bring in providers to assist with mobile costs, and then add fixed services on the back-end, contrary to what has been seen in recent years. The report indicates that buyers are looking to implement the fixed-line side of TEM and therefore are increasing their trust in TEM vendors to provide services including ordering and provisioning management of wireline assets such as circuits, supporting the commissioning and deployment of network services.

According to Sr. Project Analyst Danielle Rosato who has served on many TEM deployment projects at Source One Management Services, LLC:

“In relation to our TEM experiences this year, clients’ are seeking a central tracking system to manage telecom expenses in a meaningful way in order to fully capture and understand all charges in a line-by-line comparison. Some of our clients found their TEM providers didn’t offer this kind of service and desired additional help from our telecommunications team to create a more efficient process for managing their telecom spend.”

To sum up the future of TEM, the Gartner report states: “The telecom expense management market is positioned to grow by 16%, reaching $2 billion globally by 2016.”

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