The Silicon Review
Telecom Expense Management (TEM) is basically a program that is used by enterprises to proactively reduce the expenses, improve visibility, bring in new efficiency, and provide better control for the telecom services. The distinction between telecommunication and IT is becoming very thin, so in some cases, TEM is also used to manage the expenses of IT. Wireless Expense Management (WEM) is a part of TEM which deals with employee-related procurement for mobile services and devices. TEM was first started to control costs; later, it evolved into a management system. TEM helps you understand the factors that influence costs and keep track of the various voice, wireless, and data services used by the enterprises. If a business is working with more than one device and various data services (including the wireless setups), it requires a complex expense management plan to be in place. TEM will give visuals on where the resources are spent, and this will also give you a chance to evaluate your spending.
For a business, TEM can be very complicated; to overcome this, they will need a platform. Network Control is a firm which specializes in delivering best-in-class TEM platform for enterprises. The TEM solution delivered from Network Control is both unique and more robust than other companies in the industry. It is unique in the level of workload they take over from a company including quotes for services, ordering and terminating lines, managing the contract lifecycle, providing professional reviews and benchmarking of contracts to auditing, allocating and paying the bills, and 24/7 technical help desk support for wired and wireless services – no other companies deliver as much service and support.
Network Control was founded in 1998, and it is based in Waverly, Iowa, with other offices around the US.
In conversation with Mark Hearn, CEO of Network Control
Q. Why do you think there is a need for a dedicated platform to manage telecom expenses?
Without someone managing the inventory, contracts, services, and expense, an organization finds itself paying for services that should have been disconnected, being charged rates that are not at “Market Pricing”, and cannot identify all the services at a location, making it very challenging to manage. Additionally, Sarbanes-Oxley requires organizations have a detailed list of all IT/Telecom expense items. If the telecommunications services and expenses are not tracked and managed, you may not be fully compliant.
Q. Do you provide tailor-made solutions depending on the clients’ requirements?
Absolutely, no two client’s workflows, processes, or systems are the same. As such, we remain nimble and flexible in tailoring our solution around the clients’ requirements and expectations. Some organizations require we hook into their Ticketing system (Service Now, etc.), where others require, we interface to their ERP and AP/GL systems. Some companies want to maintain the wired trouble tickets internally, where others want Network Control to manage this laborious duty.
Q. What is the current market landscape of telecommunication/ wireless sector?
The Telecommunications industry is ever-evolving with new technologies, services, and all the inherent issues that go along with an evolving industry. From billing errors to implementing new SD-WAN, SIP, IoT, and VoIP technologies, the telecommunications teams are challenged with trying to stay atop the constant changes while “keeping the phones on” at the same time. With 5G being deployed globally, new opportunities arise with wireless replacing wired technology in the office, much as it has at homes where the traditional landline at your house no longer exists.
Q. Modern technology offers the promise to advance and make telecommunication/network management easier and more effective. Do you adopt new technologies to improve your service efficiency?
Network Control never rests and is in constant change and improvement. Our TemNet® application has new releases deployed into a test environment weekly to deliver the reports organizations require and new automated features and functions that help streamline a very labor-intensive function. Additionally, telecom vendors constantly change their billing information and deliver more detailed inventory & expense reporting requiring Network Control to pivot in order to provide better analysis, which drives more significant cost savings to organizations.
Q. Transparency and hidden charges are the main concerns of customers in the telecommunication/wireless industry. How do you manage to overcome this issue?
From a billing perspective Network Control always seeks the most detailed inventory and billing reports from the telco’s in order to unearth those nasty hidden charges where companies have no idea what services and features they are paying for – and shouldn’t. Having immediate access to all the telecom services at a location is paramount when a disaster strikes or services are impacted. We have all seen the travesty network attacks or outages can have on an enterprise. As a retail company, if your Point of Sale (POS) service goes out, you may not be able to process credit card transactions. If the Internet goes down, you may not have access to corporate information or financials.
Q. Many internal teams lack the experience and expertise to deal with the complexities of telecommunications and mobile technologies. This is one of the reasons why telecom audits take longer and become stressful. Do you have qualified individuals to overcome this challenge?
Network Control’s team of subject matter experts has combined hundreds of years’ experience reviewing, auditing, and scrutinizing telecom bills and services. We know where the skeletons are in the closets of AT&T, Verizon, Century Link, Comcast, and others and, as a result, find millions in cost savings annually for our clients. We find more cost savings than our fees, which essentially makes Network Control’s services FREE!
Q. How do you market your services?
Through the web, trade shows, conferences, and industry groups. However, most of our client growth is organically in that when a person leaves one company and moves to another; their first call is to see if Network Control can help them save time and money for their new team. One CIO has brought us into 4 different large enterprises here in Silicon Valley alone.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We are rolling out new Employee and Manager Reporting, which identifies the company’s wireless and other “user services” (Pagers, Conferencing, Licenses, etc.) inventory and expense. Companies cannot manage what they don’t know about, and since Wireless data consumption and expense can now be more than wired, it is important that organizations know it is well managed and optimized. We typically see savings of 20-35% in the first three months when we engage with a company. Additionally, we will be releasing enhancements to our TemNet® Web reporting tool this quarter.
Q. What are your trajectories for the next 5 years?
As it has been for the past five years, we will continue to grow our client base 10-15% annually as well as our revenue and staff. In 10 years, we have doubled the revenue and size of Network Control and must be doing something right because we appear in more RFP’s as well as Industry Research reports from Gartner and others.
Meet the leader behind the success of Network Control
Mark Hearn is the CEO of Network Control. He has been in the Technology Inventory and Expense Management (TEM) Industry for over 33 years, founding one of the first TEM companies in the space. In 2010 he sold his interest in another TEM Company and purchased Network Control. Mr. Hearn speaks at conferences and trade shows on the topic of managing companies’ inventory, services and expense with an emphasis on a detailed inventory in order to drive cost savings via audit and optimization practices. With Mr. Hearn’s vast industry knowledge and experience working with Fortune 100-1,000 companies, he has a keen sense of what organizations need in order to achieve success with a TEM company.