Expense Management’s Critical Role in Scaling IT

This syndicated post originally appeared at Zeus Kerravala, Author at eWEEK.

Tangoe CEO discusses the evolution of expense management from telecom to cloud and all things services.

Complexity in enterprise expense streams is growing exponentially every year and much of it has to do with telecom, mobile, and cloud.

On the fixed side, going to multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) and software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is a major transition. Applications have moved from on-prem to the cloud and workers have moved to a hybrid model, which increases the amount of broadband and mobile being consumed. The technology needs to be managed, processed, and controlled by teams with specialized skills – which adds still more costs.

In sum, as the technology has become more complicated, the complexity of managing costs has jumped even more.

Mobile Management: More Than Service Costs

Mobile has its own complexity related to managing costs – not only devices, but also SIM cards, mobile programs, and much more. Another major expense category for businesses is cloud. In multicloud environments, using various platforms creates additional expenses.

To address this challenge, Tangoe, a leading technology expense provider, developed a platform that simplifies and optimizes costs and inventory across fixed, mobile, and cloud technologies.

I recently chatted with James Parker, Tangoe’s CEO, to understand how Tangoe is helping businesses save money and resources. We also discussed the changes that business are going through with their technology spending. Highlights of the ZKast interview, done in conjunction with eWEEK eSPEAKS, are below.

  • Tangoe started out as a telecom expense management (TEM) provider, recently adding mobile and cloud to its portfolio. The provider’s Tangoe One artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform simplifies, manages, and optimizes technology expenses. Tangoe has more than 13 million mobile devices under management and processes $15 billion in expenses for customers. The company operates in 200 countries and integrates with 400 carriers around the world.
  • Businesses of all sizes are at an inflection point. In the past, it was all about saving money, whereas now, it’s about having people equipped with the right devices to do their jobs. Tangoe is looking to provide more holistic services, as well as sophisticated data insights and intelligence that enables companies to make better decisions. This requires the integration of software plus services coming together across different expense categories.
  • Optimizing expenses has gone from a nice-to-have to a must-have. Macroeconomic issues—such as workers leaving their jobs in the Great Resignation, a shift to hybrid work due to COVID-19, and a potential recession—are impacting technology spending. For example, hybrid work is driving the adoption of technologies like SD-WAN and 5G, as an alternative for wired connectivity.
  • In the era of hybrid work, there’s a lot of onboarding and offboarding. When an employee gets onboarded, they get a mobile phone, access to various software as a service (SaaS) apps, and some type of fixed device. Businesses want to be able to shift and move that inventory as their workforce changes, which means they have to start managing expense categories together in new contexts.
  • Businesses need data insights across categories to drive better decisions and manage expenses more efficiently. It’s difficult to do without the right tools. Tools can provide a modernization benchmark based on spending, so companies can understand where they’re lagging compared to others in their industry. Cloud consumption, SaaS licenses, and mobile are just some examples of expense categories that can give companies valuable insights and a greater view of the business.
  • What differentiates Tango from other providers in this space is its scale. Tangoe uses a vast amount of data that flows through its platform to build out the expense categories. There are core services within the Tangoe One platform, such as reporting and data analytics, which are specific to fixed, mobile, and cloud. This provides businesses with actionable views on how to save money, deploy resources, and achieve savings.
  • New Tangoe customers typically see savings of up to 30 percent. Existing customers that go through a renewal process every year typically get additional savings. On top of that, cost optimization is happening continuously as Tangoe ensures expenses are tracked and traced correctly during the lifecycle of a customer’s contract.
  • A common misconception is that Tangoe only serves large multinational businesses with complex buying habits. However, within Tangoe’s user base of 1,500 customers there is a broad spectrum of companies, from Fortune 100 to midsize enterprises. Midsize enterprises are facing difficulties similar to large enterprises but with fewer resources. Tangoe offers a midsize enterprise-specific service that provides the same value, while taking into account what a company can afford.
  • Tangoe continues to invest in three core areas: 1) Building out platform services that include connected edge devices and bringing more of that inventory into its catalog; 2) Managing a diversity of devices, not just Internet of Things (IoT); 3) Driving more value through cross-category insights that enable companies to take meaningful action.

Author: Zeus Kerravala

Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his clients in the current business climate and long term strategic advice.