Covid-19 Spikes Mobile Phone Bills

Written by: Jamie Martino: Technology Expense Management Strategic Partner

The explosion of the “Work from Home” movement, spurred by the Coronavirus Pandemic, is having some troubling effects on already stretched corporate budgets. Many firms lacking a professional Mobile Expense Management and Rate Plan Optimization program are receiving bills this week that are busting budgets and spurring a fire hose response. Worse yet, the pain won’t stop until these plans are professionally optimized to align with the new usage patterns. Since patterns won’t stabilize anytime soon, as the workforce ebbs and flows, it’s imperative that Enterprises put in place a real time Mobile Optimization strategy.

Since many corporate mobile plans rely on Pools of Minutes and Pooled Data Usage, designed for the typical office environment, the shift to a mobile workforce is driving volatility in usage patterns and pushing enterprises above their historical pool maximums and into the realm of expensive variable usage charges. The result is big increases in invoices and an emergency response to re-write the Corporate Mobility Policy to stem the bleeding. These on the fly rewrites of the policy impact Employee Engagement at a time when spirits are already under stress and rarely achieve the goal.
The budget busting goes well beyond the inventory of Corporate Liable Devices (CLM). Suddenly, employees who had little justification for a Corporate Phone, are expected to work from home using their personal devices. Since their patterns and usage has changed, they too are seeing an increase in billing and many are looking for their employer to reimburse this expense. This creates “tail spend”, which shows up in the corporate expense reimbursement process rather than the IT infrastructure budget….. masking visibility.

The answer may be for firm’s to partner with experts in the Wireless Device Management industry or reassess the partnerships they currently have, if the current vendor was unable to mitigate these WFH costs early in the process. Such programs tend to be highly effective at mitigating cost and ensuring that firm’s are prepared to support and manage a mobile workforce quickly. Most quality vendors will provide SLA’s, that ensure the CFO that the program costs will be significantly lower than the savings. This is a process which really benefits from an outside partner, who has the time and expertise to keep up with all the mobile plans and monitor usage changes on a daily basis.

The key glide path for developing a strategic Mobile Spend Program, which enhances savings and visibility, often looks as such:
1) Audit
2) Inventory Build, Analytics and Reporting
3) Invoice Management, Validation and Payment Processing
4) Consolidated White Glove Employee Help Desk
5) Device Procurement, Decommissioning and Kitting
6) Contract Evaluation and Negotiation Support
7) eSourcing and Tender Development

Enterprises can enter the glide path at any time and with the preferred mix of in house and outsourced functionality. Savings expands as the glide path matures. The initial Audit and Optimization components can often be designed on a risk free, % of savings model.

The Author, Jamie Martino, is an expert in Technology Expense Management and can assist you in determining if professional management can benefit your firm. Please contact your Elemica Representative or Stefano Cancellara (stefano.cancellara@elemica.com) to arrange a demo on the services and plan your Mobile Assessment free of charge* to assess the level of savings available.

* Offer valid until July 31st 2020