The famous writer Aldous Huxley said “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored”, but what if facts are not known? Our journey started at that point – unknown data “blindness”.
In 2011 we started a project to consolidate the mobile contracts for 42 countries across EMEA to obtain the best rates by pooling the volume. It was common knowledge that no information about the existing contracts, spend, volume, tariffs and usage profile, etc., was known.
So how do you negotiate without knowing what to negotiate?
That was the question that motivated the team to propose the implementation of a Telecom Expense Management solution that could bring the light to the darkness. Much needed light to the facts, the needed transparency to obtain cost savings.
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is known in the market as an Analytic solution that processes carrier invoices (mobile, fixed voice, network links, etc.), perform invoice audits, proposes optimizations to achieve cost savings and helps to execute a corporate policy based on data transparency. In other words, the processing, simplification and translation of endless mobile invoices with thousands of entries into knowledge that generate value to the business was our goal.
With the mission of transforming this unstructured data to knowledge, the project started at a slow pace due to big challenges during the discovery phase.
Challenges varied from the ‘easy to fix’, to the most difficult topics such as ‘getting 12 month of contract data into any level of consistency in order for it to be analyzed’. Compliancy of data privacy regulations is always an ongoing challenge country by country.
Internally we focused on communication, transparency and change management to help drive the transformation of roles and responsibilities of across all areas of the business.
18 months after the first project kick-off meeting, we were able to look back and smile proudly. From the incredibly challenging starting point, we have generated and continued to increase the value of the company by achieving as of today:
• 148% ROI
• Implementation of 55,000 mobile connections across 35 countries
• A footprint of 97% of SAP’s global mobile fleet
Now we continue the transformation from a reactive operational telecom expense management solution (optimization based on carrier invoices), to a proactive end-user centric platform (cost avoidance before actual incurrence).
… And what about the multimillion Euro savings from the EMEA Mobile contract consolidation project… Well that is for my next blog.