The Brookside Group, LLC
  The Telecom Consultant Bulletin
Insights, Viewpoints & Facts
from Telecom's Influencer Community

Produced by The Brookside Group
  February 2011

This Month's Theme:
Telecom Expense
Management (TEM):
A Growing Services Segment for Consultants

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Telecom consulting is projected to grow a healthy 8 - 9% in 2011 (based on Brookside's 2010 telecom consulting market study).  Identifying and achieving cost savings has and continues to be a key benefit clients look for from consultants. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is one component of cost savings that represents a growth opportunity for consultants.


Roughly 12 - 14% of all industry consultants provide some type of TEM service, up from 8 percent just a few years ago. Both client interest/demand for TEM services and the range of TEM services provided by consultants are increasing, i.e. audits, asset management, bill payment, reporting, etc.  


This month's bulletin provides some market insight on TEM as a growth opportunity for consultants, and how consultants and TEM solution providers can work together to effectively improve and expand the TEM services they provide their mutual enterprise and SMB clients.  


Contributing to these TEM insights are:

  1. A TEM market perspective from Valicom, a leading provider of web-based TEM software;
  2. Key findings from Brookside's 1Q2011 Consultant Market Insights survey on consultants' TEM interests, perceptions and consulting activity. 
As always, we hope this bulletin provides actionable food-for-thought to help you improve or grow your business.

Happy reading!



Mick Sawka

The Brookside Group

TEM Vendor Insights on Building TEM Services     

How TEM Software Benefits Consultants' TEM Practice

By Nancy Peckham, CEO, Valicom - Provider of TEM solutions 

Being a telecom consultant, we don't have to tell you that telecom complexity is exploding. We've gone from pagers and landlines to smartphones and tablets in a few short years, making managing, tracking and policing costs harder than ever. Add to that the fact that up to 35% of all telecom invoices have some kind of error on them and, in twenty years of doing telecom auditing, we've found that firms are wasting 15 to 40 percent of their annual telecom budget. What that means is that your clients are losing money and need help!

As the need in the marketplace grows for telecom cost reduction, operational efficiencies, expense visibility and reduced business risk, there is significant opportunity for telecom and IT consultants to improve and expand their offerings by providing telecom expense management (TEM) services.

By now, you've heard of "The Cloud" and software-as-a-service (SaaS) tools. Well, SaaS has come to Telecom Expense Management in the form of web-based TEM software tools. TEM software enables consultants to provide many benefits for their clients. First of all, through ongoing, comprehensive auditing and optimization processes, consultants can maximize their client's cost reduction opportunities and minimize billing overcharges and discrepancies. It is not enough just to audit bills on a one-­time basis. With project-­based audits, consultants work hard to clean up all the billing problems and then find it necessary to begin the process all over again within a short period of time. With ongoing audits and optimization, the client's telecom house gets cleaned and remains clean throughout the process. 


Consultants can also assist their clients in creating greater operational efficiencies by taking over the complexities of the telecom expense management process so businesses can focus on their core competencies.


Last but not least, consultants can help their clients make more informed business and financial decisions as better decision making data is made available to them and their clients through the TEM platform.


Making the transition to TEM software is getting easier, as the rise in cloud computing and software-as-a-service tools have led some TEM software providers to license their software and share their intellectual capital with telecom and IT consultants. Although it is cliché, utilizing TEM software is truly a win-­win situation for consultants and their clients. With the many benefits a TEM platform can provide, you can hand your customers a fistful of cash year over year and keep one for yourself as you continue to grow your revenues.


Please contact me at with any questions, comments or to learn about Valicom's TEM software solutions for consultants.  

Telecom Consultant TEM Insights 

Consultant TEM Services and Support Needs (based on Brookside's 1Q11 TEM Services survey responses from 57 North American consultants) 

Among active TEM consultants, i.e., whose TEM services account for at least 40% of their client engagements: 

  • The majority of consultants' TEM engagements are one-time audits vs. ongoing engagements (e.g., audit, asset management, bill payment, reporting).
  • Client interest/need for TEM support is high, with more than 1/3 of clients expressing interest.
  • More than 80% of TEM consultants are looking to expand their portfolio of TEM services. 
  • Consultants' need for more effective TEM support tools is high.
    • More than 50% of TEM consultants who track voice, data and wireless information rely on simple spreadsheet tracking systems.
  • The top benefits of a consultant-specific TEM support tool are:
    • Standard and Customizable Reports - reporting on inventory, accounts payable, contract and invoice information;
    • Asset/Inventory Management - repository for complete inventory of your client's lines, trunks and devices;
    • Graphs and Charts - customizable ways to show data for client deliverables and reports;
    • Unified access - managing both wireless & wireline;
    • Web Hosted - no need to install or support locally, anywhere access.

Contact with any questions/feedback or to request a copy of the Summary of Key Findings from this TEM study. 

Telecom Consulting Market Fact: Did You Know . . .  

SMB Need for Telecom Consulting Continues to Grow

Demand for telecom consultants in the U.S. continues to grow within the SMB market (mid-market and small business), which now represents nearly 60% of U.S. consultants' average client mix. This trend is less so in Canada where enterprise continue to represent more than 50% of consultants' average client mix .

Source: The Brookside Group's 2010 Telecom Consulting Market Study   

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