As published by The Aberdeen Group, the average Fortune 500 Company reported that telecommunications and related network service costs have escalated to the point that they are a top line-item expense and now represent 3.6% of their revenue. Furthermore, the report goes on to state that enterprises forfeit 12% to 18% of telecom expenditures if they “do not have a proactive approach to cost management that leverages technology and process improvements through business process outsourcing…” More than 50% of all companies surveyed have less than 50% of their telecom cost centralized and nearly 60% indicated that their greatest challenge was a lack of visibility into what they were spending and why. All pointed to the benefits of gaining increased visibility into spending.
The report also goes on to describe additional challenges:
According to The Aberdeen Group, the average Fortune 500 Company spends more than $100 million annually on telecom services – up to 12% of these are erroneous and result in an estimated $8 million a year in lost profits. Supporting this, Gartner Research estimates that billing errors could represent as much as 14% of telecom spend. And, in a recent internal survey of telecom consulting firms, reported that billing errors were discovered in a whopping 81% of their client base – and in multiple cases these errors exceeded 20% of invoice. Yet 85% of a typical enterprise’s telecom bills are not audited internally – they are simply paid in full. And for bills that are validated, audits are only conducted on a subset of invoices associated with the largest spend areas.
Recovering billing errors follows the 20/80 rule says the Meta Group. Finding errors requires 20% of the effort – the other 80% is spent documenting the case, convincing the carrier of responsibility, and negotiating the issuance of a credit. Detailed documentation; a thorough understanding of the carrier’s contract, tariff, and surcharge structure; coupled with a good measure of tenacity and a personal relationship with the service provider are mandatory in successfully recovering credits. Very few IT or administration departments have the time and the knowledge to even attempt error identification, let alone recovery. Rapidly changing organizations – those that have charges for deactivated lines, unused active lines, and duplicate charges for moved lines – are the most likely candidates for savings. With growth rates on the order of 2% of circuits per month, and deactivation rates at about 1% per month, organizations growing or shrinking at 5% or more during the past year can expect to have significant billing error frequency, unless the MACD process has been rigorously managed. In addition, organizations with decentralized procurement processes or those that have grown by merger and acquisition will have a greater likelihood of significant billing errors.
Conclusion: billing errors can be significant. They cannot be ignored and their impact on the bottom line cannot be overemphasized. They are difficult to identify and require a significant amount of time and level of expertise that is best handled by an expert.
Bell & Watson has a proven track record of reducing telecom costs by 20-50% for our clients with a current average of 34.4% savings. We estimate that we have saved our clients over $90 million. Results of that significance are not easy to come by, and we work hard to find them. How do we do it? At Bell & Watson, we find errors, overcharges, or discrepancies on 85% of the invoices our analyst’s audit; then we go to bat for you. We take those errors back to the providers and correct your bills for accuracy.
Bell & Watson offers our clients the kind of benefits that only come from experience: stability, proven processes and highly refined methods. We believe that nearly two decades of familiarity with both the industry and our clients' needs is a key ingredient in the recipe for our success in finding savings for clients.
When deciding on a Telecom Expense Management provider, you do not want to go with inexperience. We know the industry, the service providers, and ways to find you the most savings possible. Our longevity in the telecom industry is because we provide quality service, deliver on our promises, and find lasting savings for clients like you.
Bell & Watson is an independent vendor, which means we are not motivated by financial incentives from telecom carriers and service providers. Our motivation comes from wanting to establish an ongoing relationship with you as a client. This objectivity allows us to provide the best services, solutions, and savings in the best interest of our clients. Further, we have good working relationships with a number of service providers; which allows us to truly find the offerings that best suit your needs at reasonable prices and significant savings.
We recognize that helping our clients gain visibility into and control over their telecommunications spend is vital. Accessing necessary information through clear, concise, and accurate reporting is crucial to the decision-making process. To that end we have heavily invested in our technology platform, which includes CLARiT , our proprietary world-class TEM software tool that features a client web portal with customizable reporting and desktop functionality.
At Bell & Watson, we are constantly striving to make our technology the best it can be. Current clients are encouraged to provide feedback regarding CLARiT's functionality and new clients are welcome to participate in a demo to see how CLARiT will work for them.
We do a great job at telecom audit and telecom expense management, but what sets us apart? What makes us different from every other provider out there? Leveraging advanced auditing tools and the skills of experienced telecom professionals, Bell & Watson focuses on your telecom bills with one main Objective - providing savings. Our Audit revolves around identifying exactly what services you have, which ones you use, and which are unnecessary or obsolete. You can then act upon the information and reap the savings without losing the functionality your company requires.
In comprehensive, end-to-end fashion, Bell & Watson manages the entire lifecycle of your voice, data and mobile communications assets, applications and costs. This Telecom Lifecycle Management (method provides the control, visibility and proven best practices to address critical business needs within your organization's telecommunications environment. By providing you service through the lifecycle, Bell & Watson is able to fully understand your needs and integrate the most beneficial cost saving techniques for you.
Bell & Watson's full lifecycle methodology includes, but is not limited to, invoice audit, invoice payment, payment processing, CLARiT access, cost allocation, asset management, follow-up audit, CSR analysis, test calls, network optimization, wireless optimization, contract compliance, tariff review, contract negotiations, order fulfillment, and RFP.