The Telecom Expense Management (TEM) Industry Has to Change
Scroll to read the overview of this article series.
It's hard to believe...
And yet we can't seem to get...
Of course, there are successes...
As we watch many other industries become multi-billion-dollar industries,
from the CRM industry to the bill payment industry to ITSM with ServiceNow growing to nearly $6 billion in 20 years, the TEM segment of our telecom, mobility, and IT management industry just continues to struggle. That’s concerning given the significant opportunities on both the buyer and seller side, which in turn drives the investor side. There are so many growth opportunities however they are offset by so many inhibitors. It all just says, as buyers and sellers, we just haven’t yet figured out how to execute. There is no reason we can’t work together and have billion-dollar telecom and mobility management vendors serving world-class telecom and mobility management Centers of Excellence, with both sides making a much more significant contribution to overall business results.
The question is: how do we move the industry forward?
How do we move to a new level? Or can we? If not, what happens to the industry? Does the waste and inefficiency just continue, and we live with it? Do we just continue to make marginal improvement? Do we continue in the very fast-moving hamster wheel we live in? After all, we do have a lot of great vendors and a lot of great buyer environments, but not enough to make an industry out of the huge opportunity sitting in front of our eyes.
Given the multi-billion-dollar industry opportunity, offset by the significant growth inhibitors, we had to do something. We had to start. It will be like moving a mountain, but for the good of the industry, we had to take the first step. We started with two articles, the first focused on vendor recommendations for buyers followed by buyers’ recommendations for vendors. Then, in July, we held our first Industry Solution Showcase where we re-imagined how buyers and sellers connect. Now we are going to take it a step further and explore the industry, the challenges, and the opportunities, all in an eight-part series to be published in AOTMP® Insights. And there will be more to follow.
The TEM Industry has to Change; An Eight-Part Article Series
- So much has changed and yet so much has stayed the same.
- $4+ trillion in products, services, and solutions … a huge industry.
- There is a reason we can’t get more than a handful of $50 million plus TEM providers.
- Why is it that many other industries have gone from nothing to billion-dollar industries … but not TEM?
- The service provider environment – carriers, mobility providers and others.
- Call it technology, cloud, SaaS, network, or anything else … it doesn’t fix the problem.
- Why is there so much churn in this industry?
- We’re stuck in the past – the hamster wheel
- The impact of private equity – what it has helped and what it has not.
- Opportunities are everywhere … for businesses, for vendors and for financial partners.
- When will enterprises place value on other aspects of TEM, and not just cost savings?
- Is there value on just having an accurate inventory?
- Is there value on just getting your invoices processed and ready to pay on time?
- Is there value on leveraging the buyer knowledge with seller technology?
- How do vendors better demonstrate value other than hard-dollar cost savings?
- A great presentation with not one word of hard dollar cost savings … would a buyer buy it?
- How do organizations like Salesforce or ServiceNow sell without a focus on hard dollar savings?
- What must change in the selling and buying process?
- Procurement has a role, but it’s not to stop all communications between the buyers and the sellers.
- Communications must change, be more transparent and open throughout the process.
- The fishing expedition – why do enterprises send out 300 question RFP’s, make the TEM vendors jump through hoops, when they plan to stick with what they have, or they don’t even have budget approval?
- What do the vendors gain by pitching smoke and mirrors and saying they can do everything, even when they can’t?
- You’re looking for your 4th, 5th, 6th or even 7th TEM provider. Isn’t it time to look in the mirror?
- You’re pitching to an organization on their 4th TEM provider? That should prompt a different discussion.
- Say What? The $30 million annual spender who saves $1 million each year. Soon it should be free?
- The more spend I manage, the more I need to charge versus the more savings I create for my customer, the better I am.
- My TEM provider is no longer saving me any money and therefore I can’t justify the cost and need to change providers? Is the provider doing a poor job or a good job?
- Save Me Money? Yes, but not so much that it makes me look bad.
- What do you mean you found me $5 million in savings? That’s going to cost me my job.
- The CIO of a $100 million spender who said “if you save me more than $1 million a year, you will be fired”
- It’s Ground Hog Day. I keep saving the same money over and over again.
- What about the root cause? Where is the focus on the core challenges?
- When will there be real partnerships created between buyers and sellers?
- Why is it that buyers and sellers can’t seem to communicate at the first sign of trouble … and it only gets worse from there?
- When will the enterprises realize that there is no perfect solution in this very complex and difficult industry?
- When does an accurate inventory become the most important discussion point?
- Everyone wants a great relationship, but enterprises oftentimes don’t let the vendors talk to the business owners during the initial sales process. How does that create a foundation for a successful relationship?
- The Quarterly Business Review (QBR) … the focus needs to change. It’s not about all the great things we have done. We just love to drive from the rear-view mirror and you know how that ends up.
- What is a Telecom and Mobility Management Center of Excellence anyways?
- Vendors and business customers really can work together to build a world class telecom and mobility management environment.
- Who are the critical stakeholders on the vendor side and what role do they play?
- Who are the critical stakeholders on the enterprise / buyer side and what role do they play?
- Telecom and mobility management functions don’t need to be the support organization in your company – position it to be a driver of business results.
- How do all parties show more value and contributions to the business?
Our top five recommendations to buyers.
Our top five recommendations to sellers.
AOTMP University delivers online training and certifications to the Telecom, Mobility, and Cloud / IT management industry.
After 20 years in business, w know what works and what doesn’t. We see the great relationships. We see the churn. We hear about the great buyers and the unreasonable buyers. We hear about the effective and the ineffective vendors. We see the buyers who will never have a successful TEM program until they change internally. We see the sellers who will say anything and go beyond reasonable ethics to get a deal. We hear the vendors who say they have never lost a customer, yet we can easily dispute it. We see the enterprise buyers who put 100% of the blame on their vendor, yet the greatest challenge is within their own organization. We see the many happy relationships and we see the many relationships that just exist because it’s too painful to change. And we see the investor wins along with huge investor losses in the tens of millions. We see it all.
Armed with this experience, we have decided to author this eight-part series, not to just point out all the challenges, but to bring awareness to all the growth opportunities right in front of us if we can work together to affect change. It must start, and it starts with one vendor and one buyer, then two vendors and two buyers and builds from there.