The most effective way for an organization to manage its telecommunications resources is to treat wireless the way most organizations treat wireline services and other business productivity services. This means that users contract for centralized billing for business lines and allow for some incidental personal usage. Currently, only 44% of employers use this approach.
The problem is that there are several schools of thought on how organizations can minimize the resources associated with the incidental personal calls of employees. Many employers vigorously defended their approach to avoid paying for these calls. The schools of thought include requiring employees to review phone bills, submit expense reports for business calls, or not pay for wireless services at all, leaving the bill to the employee. Unfortunately, none of these approaches work. The result is wasted administrative effort, lost productivity, decreased competitiveness for user organizations and lower ARPU for carriers.
Half of the respondents to In-Stat's recent survey of 1,023 business professionals indicated that they were in a “Corporate Liability” situation, where their employers provided wireless service. Another approach companies take is to have the individual employee negotiate a contract with a wireless carrier. The other half of respondents indicated that their employers utilize an “Individual Liability” approach where employees either submit expense reports for all their calls or are stuck paying this business expense.
Significantly, the value of the administrative time spent completing expense reports and reviewing bills, etc. exceeds the costs of the personal calls that employees would have made if the employer was using a Corporate Liability approach. The remaining one-quarter of all employers that do not reimburse business calls have employees that spend two-thirds less time making business calls.
Carriers should educate customers on the costs of administering anything other than corporate liability. In addition to being the best option for clients, it will increase revenues for both voice and data services.
These data are in the In-Stat report, Wireless Billing for Organizations: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish available in March 2007. This report will be available online