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Telecom Expense Management: High Growth Potential, but a Fragmented Market

| June 15, 2011 | Mobility Services
| Analyst: Kathyrn Weldon, Principal Analyst, Enterprise Mobility

Click here to download report (100 KB PDF)

Five years ago, there were hundreds of companies that described themselves as telecom expense management (TEM) providers. The majority of these were providing telecommunication services contract negotiation and management on behalf of companies with multi-carrier wireline voice and data services relationships. These services were often delivered as part of a business process outsourcing engagement, although many TEM vendors also provided software (licensed to run on enterprise customers’ servers) that provided reporting on voice and data service plans, electronic billing records, invoice reconciliation, and plan optimization. Over the last several years, a number of significant changes have occurred in this fragmented ecosystem, which has consisted primarily of small, specialized, domestically focused companies.

Wireless services spending for enterprise communications (voice, e-mail, messaging) and access to line-of-business applications has become increasingly important for companies to manage, and wireline-focused TEM providers have nearly all added wireless plans and mobile devices to their platforms. New wireless-oriented entrants have sprung up to focus specifically on this market. The value proposition has evolved from “billing management” to one of “lifecycle management,” and delivery models for TEM have evolved to hosted and SaaS services offered by TEM vendors or third parties. MNCs have begun to try to understand their wireless spend on a global basis, requiring vendors to handle a growing array of international wireless service plans. TEM is combining with other aspects of mobility management, such as logistics for procurement and approvals, mobile device management (MDM), and mobile application enablement and management, and these capabilities are being offered as managed services by global operators and IT service providers. Last but not least, consolidation through acquisition has dramatically changed TEM market dynamics.

As the market requirements have evolved, so has the ecosystem of TEM vendors changed to adapt to the needs of today’s business customers. Changes have occurred in the makeup (i.e., the who’s who) of the vendor landscape (due especially to acquisitions), the delivery model, the kinds of tools offered, the globalization requirements of the customer base, and in the channel partnership structure. This evolution is described in this report.


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