From Movies On Demand to Telecom Expense Management On Demand – It’s a Whole New Experience

Once upon a time, movie night meant traveling to the local video rental store and surveying the aisles in hopes of finding the newest release in stock. Today, the combination of rental DVD delivery services like Netflix and movies on demand from your cable or satellite provider has created an entirely new and relaxing way to enjoy movie nights. The rental store is now literally at your fingertips. Netflix delivers DVDs by mail to subscribers via a rental queue created online. The greatest part of these new rental services is that there are no late fees. Subscribers pay a monthly fee for Netflix or a per-movie fee for on-demand services; back-end operations are handled by the Computer Shop Dubai provider. There is no more worrying about if the movie is in stock.

Telecom expense management (TEM) has evolved in a similar fashion. Enterprises that once used premise-based TEM software to handle telecom and IT expense management are now seeing tremendous advantages in utilizing Software as a Service (SaaS). By using on-demand TEM software, companies no longer have to be concerned with loading vendor billing data or dealing with the complex changes of vendor data formats. In the past this was a common cause of failures within premise-based TEM software solutions because it prevented companies from viewing data at the highest level of billing detail. With an on-demand TEM solution, companies can see their data loaded within 24 hours of it being received by the TEM vendor. Companies can then dedicate their full resources to analyzing their billing data rather than managing it. This stress-free solution allows companies to sharpen their focus on revenue-generating activities.

The Opening Credits – Implementation

Most Hollywood summer blockbusters feature action right at the start of the movie, immediately captivating the audience. In the same way, using SaaS for a TEM solution provides rapid implementation times, yielding a much faster ROI. Traditionally, companies with a premise-based software solution lacked necessary telecom expense management experience. Their TEM initiatives were prone to errors from the start – errors that were compounded throughout the course of the TEM program. Just like a summer movie that lacks innovative special effects or a great storyline, their TEM initiatives were doomed to fail from the very beginning. These premise-based TEM software solutions failed to deliver significant ROI after companies made a substantial investment.

The combination of expert knowledge and far less complex software installation can mean smoother transitions and a decrease in the need for troubleshooting. Furthermore, because there is less need for client participation from a technical standpoint during implementation, SaaS TEM providers can offer a project timeframe with a good degree of accuracy and configure the system specific to each company’s dedicated hierarchy. This benefits both clients and service providers by removing uncertainty in the deployment schedule.

In addition, scalability is never an issue. Companies do not have to purchase additional servers or hardware to increase the amount of data that is stored. More importantly, companies do not have to be concerned with developing new processes to handle new data feeds. That is handled by the vendor on the back end and is transparent to end users, allowing them to focus on analyzing data, disputing costs, or running reports.

Preventing Bootlegs – Data and Security in an SaaS Environment

We all know of Hollywood’s struggle to prevent bootlegs, an effort that entails deploying powerful encryption to deter pirating. In much the same way, organizations in the past were reluctant to have data stored offsite for fear of a security breach. With the advent of IPSec VPNs, this roadblock has been removed.

IPSec VPNs offer an extremely high level of data encryption, coupled with hardened data centers that offer economies of scale. Vendors routinely back up data and send it to an offsite disaster recovery facility. Uptime and disaster recovery services are built into SLAs, ensuring that the client can be up and running quickly and that the vendor adheres to the highest level of security standards. While it is understandable that organizations want control, the reputation and feasibility of SaaS depend on treating data with extreme sensitivity.

The Production – Maintenance

With an SaaS solution, any problems that do occur can normally be fixed faster because of the centralized nature of the service. Software-based solutions frequently require an onsite visit, which naturally delays any troubleshooting attempt. SaaS solutions circumvent this delay and reduce downtime. Moreover, SaaS solutions generally have 24×7 monitoring and management, meaning maintenance issues can be quickly and efficiently addressed because the majority of equipment is centrally located. To achieve the same service speed with a software-based solution would require a set of expert technicians onsite, and the resulting cost would most likely be prohibitive.

System upgrades can be managed more easily with an SaaS solution than with a software-based solution. The TEM vendor manages the upgrade and rolls it out when ready, making the transition pain-free. Furthermore, with an SaaS solution, operational expenditures are fixed and predictable, which in turn aids in planning cash flow. With software-based solutions, operational expenditures can spike unpredictably when issues occur.

Data Analysis – The True Blockbuster

The bottom line is that, in the world of telecom expense management, SaaS solutions allow businesses to concentrate on revenue-generating activities and areas of their business that they do well. In areas where their knowledge is limited – such as TEM — businesses can turn over the responsibility to vendors who have real expertise. Once an organization has implemented an on-demand TEM solution, they instantly gain enhanced visibility to their telecom spend and are up and running in a matter of weeks versus six to 12 months. This enables companies to begin analyzing their data to make more informed purchasing decisions and identify areas where more cost-effective services can be utilized. By using an on-demand solution, organizations are no longer struggling with loading data and maintaining systems, but instead spending time on true telecom cost control by drilling deep into data they never had access to before.

 

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