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Mobile Expense Management

Mobile Expense Management

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Published by: quocirca on Mar 11, 2013
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07/24/2013

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 Copyright Quocirca © 2013

Rob BamforthQuocirca LtdTel : +44 7802 175796Email:
Rob.Bamforth@Quocirca.com
 
Clive LongbottomQuocirca LtdTel: +44 118 9483360
Email:
Clive.Longbottom@Quocirca.com
 
MobileExpenseManagement
Takingthebigpictureviewtoensuremobilebudgetsarespentwisely
March2013
Managingmobilecostsisachallengeforallorganisations,especiallyasresponsibilitiesandbudgetauthorityoftensitinseveralplaces—IT,finance,personnel,managersand,ofcourse,theemployeesthemselves.Thissituationbecomesevenmorecomplexandproblematicforthoseorganisationsthatspanmorethanonecountryorhavetousemultiplesupplierswithinonecountry.Gettingtogripswiththesecostsinawaythatdoesnotunderminethevalueofmobileflexibilityisparamount,andorganisationsneedtogathersufficientdetailtoeffectivelymanageandanalysetheirmobilecosts.
ThispaperwasfirstpublishedinMay2010,buthasbeenreformattedandupdatedtoreflectrecentindustrytrendsandchanges.
 
Mobile Expense Management
 © Quocirca 2013 - 2 -
MobileExpenseManagement
Takingthebigpictureviewtoensuremobilebudgetsarespentwisely
Formostpeople,mobilephoneshavebecometheirprimarycommunicationstool,whetherathomeoratwork.Itisnotonlyatoolformakingphonecalls,butalsoaccessingtheinternet,corporateapplications,newsservices,communicatingwithsocialnetworksandevencheckingtheweather.Thelinesbetweenpersonaluseandworkhaveblurred,butsomeoneisstillliableforthecosts.
Thegrowthinmobileuseisaccelerating
Everyonehasbecomecomfortablewiththeirmobiledevices,infact,morethancomfortable,dependent.Theirusespansfarbeyondtheworkingdayasconsumerattitudeshavedrivenupadoptionofthelatestmostpowerfuldevices,bandwidthhungryapplicationsandexpectationsofconstantconnectivity.Workandpersonalusehasblurredwithmanyincreasinglyexpectingtobenefitfromthetrendtobringyourowndevice(BYOD)touseforwork.
Bigbillsstillsurprise
Whenindividualsareresponsiblefortheirownbills,theyquicklyrecognisehowtheirmobilebehaviourtranslatesintoincreasedexpense,butgenerallyonlyaftertheevent.Fororganisations,costscanbelostbetweendepartments,costcentreandalackofvisibilityoftenmeansalackofcare.Howeverwhenbillshockshappenorthereisaclampdownoncosts,theconsequencesaftertheeventcanbehardertodealwith.
Responsibilityuncertaintyremains
Telecomspurchasinganddecisionmakingmightoncehavebeenseenasastraightforwardresponsibilityofthefacilitiesdeptartment,butthevariabilityofcostdependingonusage,impactonsecurity,datamanagementandhowpeopleworkmeansthatitisnolongersosimple.ManydifferentpeoplehavesomeinvolvementfromfinanceandlinemanagementtoITandHR,butnoteveryonehasaccesstothedatarequiredtosupporttheirdecisionsorunderstandingofthedetailsoftelecomsspending.
Detailsareattheheartoftheissue
Itisthedetailsofwho,whyandforwhatthatdeterminethecost,butmoreimportantlythebusinessvalueofcommunicationsNoteveryoneneedstoknowthebreakdownbasedonanindividualuser,buttheoverallorganisationalbehaviour,costsandbenefitsgainedwillbevaluableforplanningandthisbigpicturecanonlybebuiltupifallthecoredetailsarecapturedandintelligentlyassembled.
Conclusions
Organisationsneedtogetagripofmobilespending.TrendssuchasBYODmightbeleadingtoareductionincapitalexpenditure,butthereareoperationalcommunications,softwareandsecuritycostsandmanywillbegrowing.Increaseduseofmobiletoextendandimprovebusinessprocessesshouldnotbeinadvertentlyrestrained,butnobudgetsarelimitless.Itisfarbettertocollectasmuchdataaspossiblesothatabigpictureviewcanbeestablishedandintelligentdecisionscanbetakenonwhatisbestforthebusiness.
 
Mobile Expense Management
 © Quocirca 2013 - 3 -
Scaleoftheproblem
Inlessthanacoupleofdecades,themobilephonehasmovedfromaclunkyaccessoryforcitytypestoaubiquitouscommunicationstool.Althoughphonesarecheaperandmorepowerfulthanever,theongoingairtimecostsgrowindirectproportionwithusageandcansoarwhileroaming,despitevolumediscountsandflatratetariffs.Handsetsareeasytobuy,usersarefullyaccustomedtotheiruseso,forbusinessinparticular,costsareescalating.Therearemanyfactorsdrivingthis:-
 
Moreusers
:manydifferentjobrolesnowdemandacompany-issuedmobilephone,orfortheemployertoatleastpaythebill.-
 
Beyondvoice
:nolongerisasimplemobilephonesufficient—themaintoolsaresmartphones,tabletsandlaptopswithmobiledataaccess—sodatagrowthisoutstrippingdecliningvoiceusage.-
 
Fixedtomobile
:evennexttoacheapertousedesktopphone,mostemployeesfindamobilephonemoreconvenient.Notonlyisitalwayswiththem,ithasalltheircontactscontainedineasytonavigatecontactlists.-
 
Consumerimpact
:asaconstantpartofdailylife,themobilehasbecomeanextensionofpersonality.Atonetimeitwassimplypersonalisedringtones,mobiledevicesnowhaveaccesstohundredsofthousandsofapplications.-
 
Operatorpush
:margins—forvoiceinparticular—aredeclininginmanymarkets,andoperatorsareunderpressuretogrowAverageRevenuePerUser(ARPU).Whileitishardtodriveupindividualprices,itisinoperators’intereststobundle,combine,andsometimesconfuse,withtariffpropositions.Employeesrecognisethatmobilephonesandtabletsarepowerfultoolswhichofferthemgreatvalue,butthiscomesatacost.Businesseshavetounderstandandtakecontrolofthosecostsrightacrosstheirorganisationtoensuretheyarenotexcessive,disproportionateorincorrectlylevied.Whileitoftenappearseasytoportraythebenefitsfromthegrowthinmobilecommunicationsflexibility,responsivenessandsoon—theincreaseinmobilebudgetshastobejustified.Wheneconomictimesarerelaxed,unplannedincreasesaremoreacceptedormobilecostsarelostinthenoise.Whenbudgetsaretightandtightening,thisluxurydisappearsandsomethinghastobecut.Notonlydocutshavetobefoundinotherbudgets,butmostorganisationswillneedtocarefullymanagemobilecosts,despitethepositivefactorsencouragingusage.Worsestill,manyorganisationsdonothaveaclearpictureoftheiractualmobilespendand,althoughnotionalbudgetsmaybeset,thetotalrealmobilecostsacrossdepartmentalandregionalboundariesmightnevermatchorbeaccuratelyallocated.Thisisanoftenhiddenordismissedwasteofbudgetwhichhasoftengoneuncheckedorunnoticed.
Badbillscaredays
1
:
1. Personalcallingistypicallyover26%ofthetotalbill,oftenvastlygreater-largestpersonalusedeclaredonamonthlybill–£1729.28
2. Largestspendondirectoryenquiriesbyoneuserinonemonth-£515.09
3. Mostexpensivesinglecall-£3574. Mostexpensivedatause-£3066

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