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4 min read

Why the ‘T’ in ‘TEM’ now stands for Technology

Nov 18, 2016

Though their respective purposes can be vastly different, IoT devices still fit naturally into Telecom Expense Management (TEM) solutions. Both services use sim cards which then have corresponding invoices, and Telecom Expense management is predicted to have as significant an impact on IoT spend as it does on Telecoms.

“ The increase in connectivity expenditures for Internet of Things solutions is growing rapidly. CFOs that leverage existing TEM services to manage IoT connectivity services can reduce the cost impact by at least 30%. ”

Source: Gartner - Telecom Expense Management Reduces the Cost of IoT Connectivity Services

The explosion in the number of IoT devices has been the catalyst for the transition from Telecom Expense Management to Technology Expense Management.

Though the monthly cost per IoT device is significantly lower than that of a single mobile voice and data plan, the sheer number of devices opens up possibilities for TEM providers. Previously, knowing a company's total employees would provide a good indication as to whether a TEM Vendor could cover its own costs and make its client more savings on top of that. Depending on the industry, the majority of workers would perhaps have a desk phone and a mobility device, and a small percentage might have a tablet or a data dongle/hotspot.

Now, the number of employees in an enterprise has less of a bearing on whether a TEM solution is feasible; devices don't necessarily align with a single employee -  sims are being used 'extrospectively' (don't worry, we looked it up) utilized in consumer products e.g. connected cars, rather than as a means of employee communication. Smaller companies with a large number of IoT devices now have potential to make significant savings through TEM. 

“ the number of connections will be multiples higher than the current corporate base of smartphones and tablets. In fact, some companies are now managing hundreds of thousands, and millions, of IoT connections spanning cellular and satellite technologies ”

Source: Gartner - Telecom Expense Management Reduces the Cost of IoT Connectivity Services

For MDSL, managing technology expense goes beyond telecoms and IoT. The same core platform is used to manage the expenses for a number of technology categories, as well as financial sector reporting solutions such as MDSL's Market Data Management tool.

MDSL's Extensible Platform

  • Print
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Telecoms
  • Cloud Services & Hosted Applications
  • Networks & Infrastructure
  • IT Hardware

New capabilities on MDSL's platform are commonly driven by requests from existing clients, who MDSL then partner with to adapt the platform to meet their needs. As Chariman Ben Mendoza said at MDSL's recent TEM Showcase: 

‘The conversation I’m having with customers – They say ‘We love TEM. It’s delivering the results we hoped we’d get, but why can’t we use it for our cloud services or our co-location costs or our other lease agreements and so on. They’re just technologies, they all have invoices, they all need workflow. They work very similarly.’

Expense Management: Universal Important Outcomes

  • Accurate Inventory - Knowing what you've got, why you (still) have it, and where it's located
  • Usage Analysis - Knowing how (or if) it's used, whether you're being billed as agreed, and if usage is optimal
  • Lifecycle Management - Controlling maverick purchasing (non-approved or 'off-plan' items and services), and safely decommissioning and disposing of/recycling devices
  • Cost Control - Achieved as a result of the above outcomes
  • Transparency -Understanding the Total Cost of Ownership - does a department or initiative justify its technology costs?
  • Compliance - Knowing if you are compliant with national data protection laws and regulations 

As the categories under management diversifies, it's important that there is a willingness to tailor the solution to the customers' needs - or provide them with the ability to do this themselves with custom fields and relationships.

It's MDSL's ambition to provide software tools and services “as a platform” that will encompass all of your important technologies and deliver the same important outcomes across your entire technology estate.


Click here for Gartner's paper 'Telecom Expense Management Reduces the Cost of IoT Connectivity Services'.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Written by Joel Sadler