TEM: A Strategic Opportunity for Procurement

When it comes to enterprise telecom, cloud, and other IT expenses, today’s procurement departments must balance mandates for operational efficiency, cost reduction, and supply chain and risk management. That’s particularly true within large enterprises.

According to Deloitte’s recent 2021 Global Procurement Officer Survey, achieving operational efficiency seems particularly important. The survey results even suggest a turning-point of sorts. “In this year’s report,” Deloitte states, “for the first time in its 10-year history, CPOs did not name ‘reducing costs’ (traditional spend reduction) as their top priority. New entrant ‘driving operational efficiency’ is on top….” [i]

One gets the sense there’s something important going on, a fundamental shift of priorities away from prioritizing cost-containment toward something even more consequential. Procurement is being asked to help foster value like never before.

An Opportunity for Procurement to Drive Efficiencies in TEM

At a time when new technologies and hybrid workforce support are impacting an increasingly complex telecom estate, businesses seeking to drive operational efficiencies need to be more focused than ever on finding the right telecom expense management (TEM) partner. Such a partner can help automate processes while providing specialist teams that augment enterprise IT, Finance, and Procurement departments.

And the ramifications of such improvements could be considerable. After all, telecom services – including network, mobility, and associated devices – are estimated to account for over 30% of the typical IT budget.

In addition, consider that a quality TEM provider can help enterprises manage diverse carriers and their respective systems, from pricing and billing to customer support. Such a partner can help clients better comprehend their TEM lifecycle process, from contracts and ordering to inventory and invoices. And a valued TEM partner can help a client better leverage a clean, updated inventory to enable superior strategic sourcing activities.

Quality TEM also provides automated workflows, a clear route to operational efficiency – from invoice processing workflow (including bill payment, with global carriers), to quote-to-order workflow for new devices and services, including integrations with enterprise systems.

Making the Shift

So perhaps now is the time for Enterprise Procurement to stop, get its bearings, and implement a smart TEM strategy. This would include finding the right strategic partner, conducting a thorough audit of the entire network, and assessing organizational implications of associated automation. Such are the opening moves in bringing order and efficiency, less redundancy, and lower costs to the telecom environment.

Ultimately, any procurement department that’s serious about overcoming complexity and improving efficiencies must become more strategic. Indeed, according to Gartner’s new report, “Leadership Vision for 2022: Sourcing, Procurement, and Vendor Management,” IT SPVM professionals are, “Shifting their role from acquisition tacticians toward strategic advisors on key technologies and providers of technology services and solutions.” [ii]

It seems times are changing. Or as Deloitte notes at the opening of its own procurement report, “We face an increasingly volatile world, but in adversity lies opportunity.” [iii]

[i] From: Deloitte, “Deloitte 2021 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey,” p. 7.

[ii] From Gartner, “Leadership Vision for 2022: Sourcing, Procurement, and Vendor Management,” p. 2.

[iii] From: Deloitte, “Deloitte 2021 Global Chief Procurement Officer Survey,” p. 2.

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