Midmarket companies say they're clueless about controlling wireline and wireless costs. That seems like a clear call for agents and VARs.

Kelly Teal, Contributing Editor

April 13, 2012

2 Min Read
New TEM Stats Should Have Partners Banging on Clients' Doors

If you’re a channel partner on the hunt for new revenue streams, here’s a prime opportunity: telecom expense management (TEM) aimed at midmarket companies reporting revenue of $25 million to $500 million.

New research from consultancy CCMI shows that 62 percent of these enterprises fail to actively oversee their wireline and wireless telecom costs, citing lack of technical and industry expertise as the main reasons. And let’s be honest  such statistics should have agents and VARs running out the door for client visits. Whether it’s through a master agent or direct supplier, partners have a number of TEM  or, more accurately, life cycle management platforms available to them to sell.

And with the onslaught of the bring-your-own-device phenomenon, companies are realizing they have implemented few security or expense controls. They also tend to lack the people, processes and time to put such controls in place. Here’s where partners come in. Show the customer a comprehensive TEM platform that supports oversight from procurement and assignment to roaming and retrieval. Then, provide these as professional services so your customers don’t have to take on the responsibilities, and charge for these efforts. That’s a solid business model, particularly in light of the following CCMI findings:

  • Forty-two percent of survey respondents say they process 10 or more invoices each month, with some tackling 25 or more. Takeaway for partners: Help these companies streamline providers and billing. To that end, see the second bullet point.

  • One-third of companies surveyed use three or more wireless providers. Takeaway for partners: Make sure those carriers actually are a good fit for customers, and show options when they are not. Many times, CLECs and master agents offer far better bundles than do the Big Three wireless operators.

  • Almost one-half of the CCMI respondents are not sure they have the best mix of services and lowest possible prices, and more than one-half believe they can do better. Takeaway for partners: Absolutely they can, and agents and VARs are the people to help them achieve those goals.

  • Just 9 percent of firms use automated tools to track and manage their telecom expenses. Takeaway for partners: Demo TEM platforms that give your clients the resources they need. In other words, help them handle as much or as little as they want. When they want you to oversee the majority of the TEM work, charge for that, and cushion your own top line.

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About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, editor and analyst, with longtime expertise in the indirect channel. She worked on the Channel Partners magazine staff for 11 years. Kelly now is principal of Kreativ Energy LLC.

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