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Blog, Press & Events

Access the latest blog, news and events content from Calero-MDSL.

3 min read

What’s Next for Technology Expense Reporting and Maintaining Data Integrity

By Paula Seddon, Richard Flisik, Jasper Gray and Viral Patel on Jan 5, 2021

Opportunities to waste money and spend needlessly abound in your budget line for telecom and related technology expense, mainly because there’s so much to keep track of, and so many ways to look at it.

It used to be that every employee in your company had a desk phone that you needed to keep track of. Today, they may still have a deskphone, but they also have a mobile smartphone, a tablet, a laptop computer, and perhaps even a desktop computer. Multiply by your company’s total headcount and you have one very substantial set of fixed assets to keep track of. But that’s just the beginning.

Most of these devices have telecom services associated with them. Users that travel or work outside the office may have a wireless access account. 

Then there are the data and cloud services each user requires. Each needs a datacom service account as well as voice. You’ll want to provide the same productivity, communications, and collaboration platform to each so they can conference, work on documents together, and see each other no matter where each of them is located. Any cloud user must also have security, data backup, anti-malware, and other utility services to operate safely.

Do Nothing

The easiest way to waste money is to do nothing, that is, do nothing when an employee is terminated. Leave their mobile data, voice, and cloud accounts open. Don’t reassign their devices to anyone and instead go ahead and buy new ones. After a relocation, just leave the services at the former location fully provisioned so someone can pay a bill for services that are no longer in use. When you stop to think about it, many of these things can easily go unnoticed and remain completely invisible to you, perhaps until audit time. It happens more often than you’d imagine.

Depends on How You Look at It

Today’s technology expense management (TEM) solutions are rapidly developing an enhanced ability to interact with all this data to produce the kind of reports that will help you streamline your communications operations in every way possible. Reports can readily be scheduled with proactive alerts for stakeholders based on release or specific thresholds, and are refreshed whenever data is updated.

One dashboard can show you many things:

  • Registered users who have zero activity but you’re still paying their bill
  • Services with zero activity by location, including some you no longer occupy
  • Which departments are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • Which projects are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • Which individuals are consuming the most voice, data, and cloud services, including those for which you pay based on consumption.
  • How close you are to exceeding your committed quota for cloud and other quota-subscribed “consumption based” services after which you’ll start running up overage charges.
  • The performance of the “pooled” minutes programs you’re using. Are you oversubscribing? Undersubscribing?
  • Which carriers and vendors are you patronizing most? This information will be useful the next time you’re negotiating rates with them.
  • Key Performance Indicators (KPI) including total mobile spend, total landline spend, total cloud spend, top talkers, and more.
  • Activity by user, by geographic region, by period of time, by department or business unit, by carrier, and more

These dashboards enable those responsible for management of telecom and datacom expenses to drill down into any given data point from a variety of different perspectives or views. Once they’ve found what they’re looking for its easy to generate a report that answers the specific questions they have.

Sharing Insight

Nobody has a corner on all the good ideas, so the best TEM providers are sharing innovative report formats among all users of their dashboards, making it easy for other managers to explore their own data in new and perhaps more productive ways. Technology continues to grow as a proportion of your balance sheet. The more it grows, and the more your company grows, the more vigilance you need to maintain over these expenses. Talk to MDSL to learn more about how a quality TEM provider contributes to your bottom line.

Topics: Technology Expense Management telecom expense TEM smart dashboard telecommunications reporting data
3 min read

Ditch Manual Processes to Give Your Business a Boost with Automation

By Felix Lau on Jun 12, 2019

Automation makes our lives easier. It gives us clarity and consistency, eliminating many laborious manual tasks (and the accompanying, inevitable human error).

We know that technology professionals are increasingly strapped for time and resources as pressure mounts in a competitive, fast-paced environment. Much of that pressure on IT teams can be alleviated by automating their technology expense reporting and business intelligence, enabling enterprises to more quickly access insights to get in control of – and cut down on – costs.

Topics: Technology Expense Management information technology TEM business intelligence smart dashboard BI telecommunications Automation
4 min read

Five Business Intelligence Trends to Help IT Finance Teams Organize, Visualize and Respond

By Marc Straussberg on Apr 22, 2019

You might have plenty of data, but what are you doing with this data? Moreover, what is the data doing for you and your enterprise?

Data and analytics ultimately the drive spending decisions of future cloud, network, mobility and the overall IT budgets — so it’s imperative your enterprise is up-to-date on the latest capabilities. When used right, business intelligence (BI) can reveal your technology infrastructure’s pain points, illuminate where expenses are occurring and where they might be reduced, support benchmarking, and provide predictive and prescriptive analytics. BI can empower organizations to gain insight into new opportunities, assess demand and measure suitability of different services.

But what BI developments really have a measurable impact in streamlining and improving everyday processes — while also reducing costs? We narrowed it down to five of the most game-changing trends in BI for IT Finance teams.

Dynamic and Visual Reporting

With the ultra-modern capabilities offered by some BI platforms, digesting, analyzing and sharing relevant, real-time business insights is becoming easier and more intuitive. Today’s dynamic dashboard interfaces are able to simplify and display enormous amounts of data with applicable and responsive visual aids, such as:

• At-a-glance, easy-to-digest charts and graphs presenting a quick overview of usage and account activity.
• Map-based visualizations that allow enterprises to keep tabs on services spanning cities and other geographies. If a company is undergoing a major re-organization, this perspective can help your enterprise see where services are still active — and eliminate unnecessary recurring expenses.
• Calendar visualizations that offer visibility in terms of deadlines, contract renewals, invoicing and delivery dates.

Self-Service

Dashboards are increasingly designed with a self-service mentality, allowing users to build reports to display the data exactly how they want. IT teams can adjust the dashboard to fit their preferences — aesthetically and functionally. Personalization saves time, as users won’t need to sift through piles of irrelevant data to extract the information they need.

Without self-service capabilities, users need to export raw data into Excel spreadsheets so they can manually manipulate the data and distribute it to others. This a time-consuming, non-reproductible process that slows decision-making. Further, some BI vendors charge additional fees to create specified reports time-consuming and non-reproductible, slowing down decision-making.

Role-based Visibility

Topics: Technology Expense Management telecom expense TEM business intelligence analytics smart dashboard BI
2 min read

Bughunt evening for new HTML 5 Reporting

By Rob Stratton on Oct 14, 2016

 This Wednesday, MDSL held a testing evening to help the development team power through the beta stage of our new HTML 5 Reporting Platform. Employees from all departments were compelled to stay behind after work through sheer intrigue and dedication... and some free pizza and beer. But mainly the intrigue and dedication.

Topics: News Company News smart dashboard

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