Telecom Expense Management (TEM)

The Simplified Guide

No matter how big your company is, chances are you are using technology to keep up with your daily tasks and ensure good communication between employees and business units.

With that in mind, it can be quite taxing to:

  • Manage your inventory in your technology environment
  • Keep track of your expenses
  • Know where your assets are
  • Generate reports and make sure there are no billing or contract errors
What is TEMConsidering a TEM SolutionChoosing the Right TEMTEM RFPs are ComplicatedGetting Started with TEMQuestions about TEM

TEM ensures you save money, save time, and maintain an accurate inventory.

But right now, if you don’t know what TEM is, or even what a technology environment is, you might be asking yourself a lot of questions. We are here to help you gain a better understanding.

Let us guide you through answers to all the questions you may have concerning Telecom Expense Management. We’ve even prepared a few customer success stories that will further your understanding of TEM.

What is Telecom Expense Management?

It is one thing to know what TEM could bring to your company – money savings, time savings, and an accurate inventory – but it is another thing to really grasp the actual meaning of TEM. The name itself is quite self-explanatory. Though, Telecom Expense Management is far more complex, since each company also uses its own flavor of software and managed services depending on specific needs. To which extent does your company want to manage its telecoms? Only wireline, only wireless, both, or even IT assets?

TEM is defined by Gartner as the management of technology costs encompassed by IT and finance departments. However, TEM means more than just telecom, it now includes all wireless and wireline, data and infrastructure as well as the management of IT, M2M, IoT, IaaS, and even cloud subscriptions.

TEM came about with the arrival of new telephone and telecom networks. With the constant evolution and growing markets, companies had and still have trouble managing these services and keeping their technology in check — this is where TEM helps.

With TEM, you are dealing with many things at once, such as managing processes, technology, policies, etc., all within the inventory — this is the key to TEM. Having a good TEM starts with having a good inventory of your services and assets. When you have a good inventory, you know where everything is and what is being used and what it is being used for. It also allows for visibility into billing discrepancies.

Best practices to getting started with TEM:

  1. IT and telecom inventory management – Keeping good inventory is key for successful TEM.
  2. Order management – Have a formal process that’s aided by your software to help you and your employees place orders.
  3. Network and incident management – By ways of automation, to help you visualize usage or breakdown patterns of your network, devices, and services.
  4. Invoice and contract management – Use electronic invoices fed into a system that is automated for ongoing analysis and reports on usage and expenses.
  5. Business intelligence – use a TEM tool to create reports of all sorts and see trends before anyone else!

Why should I consider using a Telecom Management Solution?

Now that you understand more about Telecom Expense Management, you may be asking yourself: “But how can TEM benefit my company?” Well, for starters, it is a great idea to understand your needs and evaluate how a Telecom Expense Management solution could come into play to help you. What are your costs, how are you actually keeping track of every contract, which daily tasks are your IT team concerned with while managing your company’s telecom? Here are 7 reasons you and your organization should consider a TEM solution.

7 reasons to consider Telecom Expense Management:

  1. Automate workflows, work orders, and approval processes
  2. Accelerate invoice processing
  3. Maintain an accurate inventory
  4. Keep track of the money and time you’ve saved
  5. Alter consumption behaviors
  6. Track disputes to resolutions
  7. Streamline procurement with your provider

Choosing the right Telecom Expense Management provider

You are now considering getting a TEM solution for your company. Great! But you are now confronted with a new challenge: choosing your provider, and that is not an easy choice, we understand. There is a way to make the right choice. Consider every option, clarify the kinds of services you are looking for, compare providers, read customers’ stories, and, most importantly, take your time.

Your TEM provider should offer cost visibility and control, asset management and inventory tracking, invoice processing, and be able to increase cost savings through service optimization and cost avoidance.

There are many other aspects to evaluate as well when considering a TEM. Do they provide you with an ROI dashboard, self-serve IT, configurable reporting, user statement scheduling, and offer regular releases? If your current provider does not offer these options, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your TEM provider.

TEM RFPs are so complicated!

Ah… RFPs, a process that never gets old! Still, RFPs are an important step to take before making a final decision. When correctly done, RFPs are absolutely relevant and allow you to make the best possible choice. It is one thing to know what you want, and another to ask for it, but we have you covered on this. Our RFPs series addresses everything you need to know to facilitate the process and ask the right questions. Requests for Proposal for choosing your new TEM will have never been so easy!

What requirements should you consider including in your RFP? Before launching an RFP, gather some details about your current environment and about the TEM vendors you will be inviting to bid. Things that you should gather details on are:

  • Services and assets – What type of different assets/services need to be part of the scope?
  • Organization hierarchy – Does your TEM vendor offer the ability to organize the inventory by business unit, cost center, departments, and by employee?
  • Life cycles – Can your TEM vendor or potential TEM vendor track your entire lifecycle of an asset and automate the inventory changes over the span of an asset’s useful life?
  • Providers – Can your TEM vendor track the service contracts with all the information related to a provider and its services?
  • Processes – Do you have the possibility to manually enter new inventory items, perform mass uploads of inventory, and map existing fields?

How do I get started with TEM?

You have made the decision to go ahead and buy a Telecom Expense Management solution like Cimpl. Congratulations! Now, where do you start? A good approach would be to prepare well for the implementation. Setting up the platform is quite easy, though the verification and validation of the data in the platform will take more time – depending on the services included – so you might want to establish a few basics to help you through the process. Another great start would be to learn about best practices. Those are some tips and tricks to help you get full value out of your TEM solution.

5 things to consider while getting started with a TEM solution:

  1. Do I want to take a fully managed or self-managed approach?
  2. How do we get started and what’s expected of me?
  3. How will I be supported?
  4. How long should I expect implementation to take?
  5. How will everyone get onboarded?

Questions about TEM you forgot to ask

You want to push your knowledge further? Awesome. Whether it is to further your general knowledge of Telecom Expense Management – or even Technology Expense Management – or simply to learn more about how to accomplish certain weekly or monthly tasks in your platform, you need to ask yourself if you are ready for Telecom Expense Management.

  • Start by identifying the problem that can be resolved with TEM.
  • Next, set goals for yourself – What are you expecting from the implementation of TEM? What tools do you expect your TEM provider to offer? What changes do you want to see in your organization?
  • Integration and configuration – What systems should be sharing data with your TEM system, who can help you with that information in your organization?
  • A roadmap beyond Telecom Expense Management – Planning is key when talking about getting started with a TEM software.
  • Implementation time – Some things may take longer than others. Don’t forget: Your “go-to” will be your plan throughout this process.

To help you out with your next steps in achieving your TEM goals, check out our TEM self-assessment checklist if you haven’t already. Or if you’re feeling ready, why not request a free demo? And feel free to contact us today if you have any questions about TEM or even Cimpl itself!


A publicly traded construction company with over 10,000 employees decided it was time to switch TEM providers when they felt their needs weren’t being met. They were convinced after seeing Cimpl’s platform in action. Not only would they have a clear picture of their ROI and create a culture of cost transparency, but they were able to do this all on one platform

Read More »

Take back control of your technology costs with Cimpl

We’ve got the platform you need and the services that go with it. Cimpl provides what you need to go beyond Telecom Expenses Management. In this 30-minute demo, you’ll see how we can help you manage the following in one platform:

  • Save Money
  • Save Time
  • Accurate Inventory

Are you ready to try Cimpl?