Managing corporate telecoms spend in a converging world

Managing corporate telecoms spend in a converging world

Robert Kirby
Robert Kirby

Robert Kirby, CEO at Spendvision, on the importance for operators to help corporates manage telco spend

For global organisations operating in areas with fragmented markets and multiple providers, the need to understand and manage increasingly complex telecoms costs is more important than ever. Transactions can include anything from congestion charges through to stationery supplies these days, and many organisations are struggling to maintain an accurate view of what is being spent.

Generally speaking, organisations are increasingly trying to get a better handle on telecoms spend in order to control the rising number of mobile payments, tackle compliance issues and equip their employees with tools for better expense reporting. But how can organisations best reign in this array of telecoms transactions?

 

Perfect incentive

Well, most operators have a perfect incentive to rise to the challenge. In the current climate, it’s no secret that they are suffering high levels of customer churn and declining transaction volumes. The key to success undoubtedly lies in rekindling lasting and valued relationships. 

By providing software services that help corporate customers to manage their telecoms spend, operators could rebuild loyalty and even generate additional revenues in the process. 

 

The premise is simple; by making it easier for organisations to carry out, monitor and manage telecoms transactions, they’ll ultimately be encouraged to use their accounts more. This will boost profits for the operator, while also helping to attract and retain corporate customers.

As far as customers are concerned, the introduction of comprehensive telecoms transaction management services would bring a wealth of benefits to the table, especially if they are capable of fully integrating with their existing finance systems. 

For example, customers could use such systems to reduce the administrative overhead associated with processing bills. Furthermore, by providing customers with detailed reporting tools that allow complete analysis of phone activity across the business – from global statements to individual call level detail – operators can put customers in full control of their telecoms spend.

 

Tech savvy

For increasingly tech savvy customers, the ability to access transaction management capabilities anywhere and anytime is an appealing prospect. By delivering a solution that allows customers to easily perform cost allocation and reporting, as well as improve their overall management control, operators can maximise their exposure and encourage mobile activity. In turn, this would significantly increase ARPU.

Why not provide the facility to generate a single online statement for phone usage across all countries that can be viewed in any language (or currency) the customer chooses? This would make it much easier to enable a single payment of a global statement to the operator, while giving the customer complete control and a global view of their total telecoms spend.

From the end users point of view, the ability to split individual and enterprise spend on telecoms bills is also becoming important. Most employees only want one mobile device, yet organisations have long been reluctant to pay for personal mobile use and still opt to equip employees with separate work handsets.  Not only is this inconvenient for employees, it is inconvenient for operators, who heavily subsidise handsets to tempt new customers into signing on the dotted line. 

 

Bridge the divide

Fortunately, transaction management technology can actually bridge this divide and enable bills to be accurately split based on individual versus enterprise spend. This allows organisations to pay their own share and deduct the extra from employees’ pay, and also eliminates the need to provide employees with additional handsets.

However, the challenge facing operators is that few have the resources or time to develop competitive transaction management solutions inhouse. For this reason, it often makes more sense to establish partnerships with major technology players.

This approach enables operators to leverage their customer base and brand without tying themselves to ongoing software development and maintenance of best of breed solutions. Operators can then deliver branded solutions straight to a customer’s handset, and furthermore, working with software vendors significantly speeds up product development and go to market times.

 

Need to diversify

With high levels of churn rife across the industry, there is no question that telecoms operators need to diversify. By offering sticky services to their customers, they will better retain customer loyalty and gain market share. The introduction of services such as these can add real business value for customers, and serve as a strong differentiator from competitors’ offerings. In this way, operators can capitalise on a rare opportunity to rebuild loyalty and forge longer term, more profitable customer relationships.

Spendvision is one of the worlds major expense management software firms. http://www.spendvision.com/

 
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