A Primer on TEM Vendor Solution Delivery Configurations

Timothy C. Colwell Timothy C. Colwell
SVP, Efficiency First® Adoption

A Primer on TEM Vendor Solution Delivery Configurations

An ongoing point of confusion in the telecom expense management (TEM) market revolves around vendor solution delivery models. Not all vendors deliver the same solutions and there is not a single delivery model that’s right for everyone; enterprise business requirements guide selecting the right TEM solution to satisfy business objectives.

When exploring TEM solutions it is important to understand the scope of the solution and the delivery method proposed. The delivery method plays a role in determining the party responsible for the various telecom management work streams; the responsible party may be the vendor, the customer or responsibilities may be shared as specified in a statement of work.

There are five TEM solution delivery configurations. Use these descriptions to differentiate TEM vendor proposals and to clarify the services and technology being proposed.

  1. Technology-Only (software only, not very common). The vendor provides software-as-a-service (SaaS) or on-premises software, the enterprise performs all the work.
  2. Technology plus Host-and-Load (most common software only configuration). Via SaaS, the vendor loads carrier invoices while the enterprise handles all other work.
  3. Technology and Managed Services (partially managed). Through SaaS or on-premises software, the vendor does everything specified in the statement of work, while the enterprise handles whatever the vendor does not.
  4. Business Process Outsourcing (fully managed). The vendor assumes all TEM work streams such as invoice processing and the enterprise receives the results.
  5. Professional/Consulting Services. This is an add-on to TEM lifecycle management whereby the vendor completes specific telecom management tasks (contract negotiations, technology refresh, project management, etc.) on a project basis.

Learn about the Efficiency First® Framework best practice methodology.

Timothy C. Colwell is a telecom management industry thought leader exploring the impact of technology as a business accelerator and social capital enabler.



  • Timothy C. Colwell leads AOTMP’s Efficiency First® Adoption practice, which establishes performance scoring standards, issues enterprise and vendor Efficiency First® Certifications, and manages Efficiency First® Framework development and evolution. He is the lead innovation architect for AOTMP’s Efficiency First® Framework, a disciplined, best practice-driven approach to managing fixed and mobile telecom environments.