Only 17% of companies could say they have predictable telecom monthly costs

Without proper visibility of device usage, companies can often be hit with bill shock due to overage charges and roaming, Forrester study reports

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  • Enterprises tend to focus on reducing telecom bills (which comprises 33% of mobility TCO), but must also consider the larger assets and services management costs (nearly 50% of mobility TCO).
  • One in four companies is still using manual spreadsheets to track devices and assignments, resulting in almost 20% unused devices every month.
  • Over 50% of service-change requests are made at the last minute. These changes take hours or days to complete.
  • Nearly 90% of companies have experienced overages or unplanned mobile charges in the past year.
  • Automation helps alleviate most of the current mobility management challenges and optimizes TCO.

Mobile devices have become an integral part of an employee’s business life in today’s connected world.

Forrester data shows that companies that invest in mobile devices and applications for their employees see improved customer service, customer satisfaction, and process efficiencies.

Mobility Management TCO Is More Than Just The Bill

Providing mobile devices and applications to employees is important, but it can be a significant expense. This is especially true for larger companies with more than 5,000 liable devices of which more than a quarter are spending over $5M (USD) on mobility total cost of ownership (TCO) each year (over $1,000 per device). However, controlling cost is not just a matter of finding the best plan and most affordable devices.

Instead, mobility management TCO must be totaled from a combination of subscriptions (averaging of 33% of budget), hardware (27%), support and management (20% ), and security (20%).

› Subscription costs — includes monthly telecom bills, overage, reporting, and billing analytics.
› Hardware costs — includes procurement of new devices, management of device assignments, managing unused devices, upgrades, and repairs.
› Mobility support and management costs — includes asset management, service management, employee support, reporting, and analytics.
› Security costs — includes mobile device management (MDM), security personnel, and security breaches.

Once a company understands more fully where costs are coming from, it can then begin the task of determining how to lower its TCO. But this is not as straightforward as it sounds.

From Forrester survey, respondents identified 4 of the most challenging areas for reducing mobility TCO:

  • – Internal operations/support costs for manual operations. Many companies do moves, adds, changes, and deletions (MACDs) manually, which requires more internal personnel to manage. Thirtyone percent lack the online tools to quickly make these changes, which is why MACDs take hours or days to complete for more than two-thirds of companies.
  • – Vendor support costs, e.g., telecom expense management (TEM) or managed mobility services (MMS) vendors. Vendors can provide key support capabilities, but companies need to be cognizant of the cost-benefit ratio that these companies provide.
  • Unused devices. Devices can go unused in three primary ways: when a device sits in employee drawers or on inventory shelves (32%), when an employee leaves without returning a device (27%), or when a device is lost or stolen. Our survey found that, on average, nearly 20% devices go unused every month.
  • Domestic and roaming overages. Without proper visibility of device usage, companies can often be hit with bill shock due to overage charges and roaming. In fact, 50% of companies reported overages on nearly half of their bills in the past year.

Subscription Fees Are Unpredictable And Costly

Seventy-six percent of the companies we surveyed said they have mostly consistent telecom service costs month over month, but only 17% could say they have predictable monthly costs.
Overages are common: In the past 12 months (or billing cycles), nearly 90% of companies have faced unplanned charges. In fact, 50% of companies reported having overages on nearly half of their bills, in the past year. The likelihood of overages occurring increases as the size of your devices fleet increases: 20% of companies with 5,000 or more devices reported having overages on every single bill. This can add up to a substantial business expense if not managed properly, especially if occurring every other billing cycle.

The inability to predict costs can stem from multiple issues, primarily:
– Lack of real-time visibility into mobile usage. Seventy-five percent of companies have no real-time visibility into how much their employees are using their phones right now.

Most rely on reports they receive at the end of billing cycles. Without a live view into mobile usage, companies can only request ad hoc usage reports or request alerts when employees reach their usage limits. Neither way offers reliable outcomes to completely prevent overages.
– Insufficient mobile reporting. Even if companies are reporting on  mobile usage, they need to ensure the reporting is in a clear, usable format, and that the data is available to the right people, at the right time. Many companies do ad hoc reporting by piecing together multiple spreadsheet files or have no reporting at all.

Contact ALERT for the professional and efficient telecom expense management services for your business needs.

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