Wireless Expense Management (WEM) programs are a special category of Telecom Expense Management (TEM) programs with a focus on wireless services and mobile devices.
The goals for WEM programs are similar to TEM programs. They seek to proactively reduce expenses, establish new operational efficiencies, increase visibility and provide better control for mobile voice and data services.
Client demand for specialized services to address mobile expenses, which are distinct from TEM, and the complexity of mobile services led to adoption of the WEM acronym. Each focus area for the WEM area has components that are unique for wireless services.
- Client portals for mobile services require an intuitive design for use by employees to manage selection of carriers/operators, mobile devices and service plans. The portals assign different entitlements and privileges to employees for mobile devices and services based on corporate policy which aligns with employee job roles in an effort to manage costs and provide automated work flow for assigning different options.
- Sourcing initiatives must evaluate service coverage, plans, types of smartphones that are available to employees, and replacement costs for damaged devices.
- Matching the monthly service plan to employee usage is critical. Ongoing optimization must ensure that employees are on the appropriate service plans to avoid overage charges, unused voice minutes or data allotments.
- Carriers may offer pooling for voice and separate plans to pool employees’ data services. The most cost effective plan depends on employee consumption and comparisons of pooling to unlimited service plan costs.
- When traveling outside a mobile device’s home network, foreign network roaming agreements provide voice and data services with roaming charges which can lead to bill shock from unexpected charges. WEM programs can proactively find more cost effective service providers, alternative technology or use real time reporting to proactively warn users of expenses avoid bill shock.
- Call tagging with a WEM program enables employees to identify personal and corporate calls. This information can be used for employee payroll deductions and reimbursement. Call tagging is also critical in countries that have Value Add Taxes (VAT) taxes. Firms need to show that personal use is either not permitted or separated from business calls for recapture of VAT taxes.
- Reporting on individual consumption and chargeback can raise employees’ awareness of costs and get them to reduce their usage.
- WEM programs can use data from HR feeds and wireless carrier usage to identify unused lines and disconnect services when employees leave the company.
- WEM programs identify and proactively notify managers of devices assigned to former employees that have no use at 60 or 90 day increments enabling organizations to disconnect the device, saving the company additional money.
- Some WEM programs manage retirement or devices with recycling programs to help enterprises wipe corporate data from the device and recoup funds through the resale of retired devices.
The next post will focus on all the acronyms related to WEM.