Five Critical Steps to Performing a Telecom Audit

Monday, October 20, 2014

So you’ve been tasked with performing a telecom audit for your company. It can be done manually, which is long. tedious process.  Based on our experience, we recommend that you use some sort of Telecom Expense Management software to help you create files that self-reconcile so that your audits aren’t static – that information gathered from one audit informs the next.  This can be outsourced quite easily, and the results analyzed by professionals who are trained to catch carrier errors. However, you may wish to perform your own audit, and you should be applauded for it – often telecom Audits (Assessments) uncover multiple billing errors, enabling you to reduce and recover costs right at the bottom line. The question is, where to … Continue reading »


Help us build a valuable and educational CIO Roundtable

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Avema’s goal is to provide a forum where CIOs and IT Leaders can meet to share ideas, and learn from each other’s experience.  To achieve this goal, we are asking you to help guide the conversation for our upcoming CIO Roundtable.  Once we have gathered your answers, we will provide a forum where these ideas can be explored and discussed. The tentative date for our first CIO Roundtable is Tuesday, December 2nd.  Please join us.  


Other benefits of VoIP

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

We recently discussed what telecom and IT managers think about voice over IP. The consensus, no matter whether your opinion is that it’s a good thing or not, is that VoIP is here to stay.   There are certainly many benefits of VoIP, including cost-savings on both long distance and move/add/change requests.  But what are some of the other benefits of VoIP?   The following list highlights added features and functionality that are only possible, or that are more readily available, with VoIP: Unified Messaging – Having voicemail, e-mail, and faxes all stored in one place can increase productivity by making all this information more easily available, and in different formats. For example, some people like the idea of being able to “listen” … Continue reading »


What is the Verdict on VoIP?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

To date, it is difficult to get a comprehensive overall view of the benefits and disadvantages of VoIP. There are so many articles and studies published that give different, often conflicting, statistics about the rate of adoption and how VoIP is being used in many companies. What is the verdict on VoIP anyway?   The one thing that seems clear to just about everybody, is that VoIP is here to stay, and is without a doubt the technology that we’ll all be moving towards. Of course, everyone has a different opinion and sometimes a bias, but here is what the consensus amongst many managers, vendors, and analysts indicates: The main reason for migrating to VoIP used to be cost savings … Continue reading »


The Evolution of VoIP

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Over the past 10 years, we’ve witnessed a huge evolution in voice over IP.  In the mid-00s, VoIP had telecom managers apprehensive, excited, and mystified all at once.   In an Avema survey conducted around the same time, most telecom managers acknowledged that the evolution to VoIP is inevitable, but were not enthusiastic about this change. Most telecom managers who handled voice, but not data communications, were extremely cautious about VoIP and IP telephony. Voice managers were justifiably proud of the almost-always-on capability of their systems, and almost bomb-proof reliability even in the face of power outages, as well as the relative invulnerability of the traditional telephony system to worms, viruses, hackers, deniers-of-service and other nightmares that face computer systems. One telecom manager, Lana Norkoski, said … Continue reading »


10 Tips to Help Business Combat Wireless Costs

Friday, September 12, 2014

Cell phone usage within the corporation has increased significantly over the last ten years, yet few companies have implemented wireless spend policies and are struggling with how to manage this growing workload.  Wireless costs can be difficult to control partly because service providers have a confusing range of usage plans, with many bills arriving in paper form to various corporate destinations and this can make it difficult for a company just to grasp how much they spend.  In May 2002, Gartner Research estimated that the average enterprise overpays telecom bills by 5-10%.  Another issue in many companies is that no particular department has ownership of wireless, with oversight shared by Information Technology, Purchasing, and Telecommunications departments.  Also, companies are providing … Continue reading »


What to Consider When Choosing Wireless Plans

Monday, September 8, 2014

While it is important to keep your telecom pricing as simple as possible, this can be even more important when dealing with pricing for wireless services.  With volume wireless plans, there are currently several pricing schemes available including individual price plans for each user, pooled pricing, and flat rate pricing.    As we already discussed in our previous posts, consolidating vendors, electronic billing, and negotiating vendor contracts can drive down costs.   Once you’ve addressed simplifying your wired and data contracts, you can turn your sights to your wireless pricing. By keeping the pricing as simple as possible, it will be easier to manage costs and handle invoice processing.   Types of Wireless Plans Individual wireless plans mean that in order to maximize your savings, you will … Continue reading »


Simple Price Structure Better for Managing Telecom Costs

Friday, September 5, 2014

Commodity Services Mean Lower Prices As I am sure you are aware, many telecom services have become a commodity. There is virtually no differentiation from one long distance service to another, or even Internet access from multiple providers with the same technical specifications. This has caused pricing to come down dramatically over the years, and it continues to come down. This is the lowest hanging fruit available to increasing your telecom management ROI.  Even if you may have already reduced costs significantly, there may still be room for improvement.  For example, consolidating vendors, electronic billing, and negotiating vendor contracts can drive down costs.  One thing to remember to help manage telecom costs more effectively, is to keep your price structure as simple as … Continue reading »


Negotiating Telecom Contracts to Reduce Vendor Charges

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

We recently discussed what can go wrong if telecom costs aren’t managed, highlighting a very public case that happened in the mid-00s.  We’d like to provide you with some tips on how to reduce your vendor charges.  Even if you may have already reduced costs significantly, there may still be room for improvement.  Our first post on this topic discussed how important it is to consolidate vendors, and our second post highlighted electronic billing.  Once you have addressed these issues, there are a few other things that you can do to reduce vendor charges, such as negotiating telecom contracts.   Negotiate the Best Contracts This may seem obvious, but a lot of money is left on the table when negotiating telecom contracts.  However, it is a … Continue reading »


How Electronic Billing Can Help You Reduce Costs

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Electronic Billing Another useful method of gathering data to analyze spending and usage patterns is to get your billing electronically whenever possible. Having consolidated your vendors will also help here, as each one has their own unique billing format. Some vendors have multiple electronic billing formats, particularly those that have been amalgamated from numerous smaller companies over the years. We mentioned in our previous post how important it is to consolidate vendors.  Once you have completed that step, electronic billing can significantly impact how you manage your telecom charges. Typically, vendors provide their own proprietary software to analyze the billing data, so more vendors means more electronic billing portals to work with.  Another good reason for vendor consolidation is to minimize the number of … Continue reading »