Wringing Big Savings from Company Phone Bills

Carlson cuts costs as its telecom expense management provider spots unused circuits and expired contracts.

Phil McDonald of CarlsonHospitality company Carlson, which owns such familiar brands as Radisson Hotels, T.G.I. Friday’s and the Carlson Wagonlit business travel service, is reaping vast savings with its new telecom expense management (TEM) provider, whose services go beyond the standard approach of identifying carrier overbilling.

According to a recently published Gartner research note, companies that outsource TEM for their fixed lines could save from 16% to 32% of overall fixed-line spending in the first two years, and from 5% to 11% in subsequent years, by avoiding costs, recapturing overpayments and staff reductions. If a company would rather implement TEM as a managed service, those returns drop to a 4% to 15% savings in the first two years, followed by annual savings of between 4% and 8%.

Selecting a Vendor

Eric Goodness of GartnerWhen Carlson’s McDonald set about finding a new TEM company, he did it in a very systematic fashion. After reviewing a vendor survey on the Association of the Telecom Expense Management Providers’ Web site (www.aotmp.com), he investigated 20 providers before winnowing the pool to Carlson’s current provider.

Look Before You Leap

When a finance department goes down the TEM path, it needs to know that TEM platforms are not just an add-on application.

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