Jul 30 2013

How to Avoid Excessive BYOD Costs

A strategic, cost-effective approach to mobility.

Reimbursing employees for telecom costs under BYOD mobility arrangements means an enterprise is paying retail — or more — per user. One recent study by Nucleus Research of Boston found that by negotiating bulk rates for voice, message and data services, organizations could reduce per-user costs by $80 to $90 per month, achieving actual per-user costs closer to $65 per month (at 2013 rates).

Assuming users spend at least a portion of their allocations on personal use, organizations may find that a flat $40 per-month, per-user reimbursement is the most economical system, in part because it saves the overhead costs of invoice submission, verification and processing of expense reports. That cost alone can be as high as $20 per user, per month, according to Nucleus Research of Boston.

What about situations in which some workers participate in BYOD and others have enterprise-supplied devices? Organizations need ways to simplify budgeting and get a better handle on reimbursable expenses to ensure that actual enterprise expenses can be measured and forecast.

An organization might reimburse any combination of voice, international, roaming, text message and data download charges, for instance. Another option is to pay a certain percentage for each of those categories rather than excluding some.

In many enterprises, policies will vary by user or group. In those situations, consider available tools (such as software packages) that import wireless carrier invoices, intelligently parse them into management reports and generate reimbursements based on the policies associated with each line item on an invoice.

Beyond direct telecom expenses (which offer the most obvious paths to cost control and regulation through use policies and carrier negotiation), don’t overlook the hardware side. A total expense management solution, whether acquired as software or as an outsourced service, is a worthwhile investment. Large organizations report savings in the tens of millions of dollars per year, representing triple-digit returns on their investments in telecom expense management (TEM) and mobile expense management (MEM) solutions.

When enterprises start with the goal of reducing costs, then ensure full visibility into the elements of costs, they put themselves in a greater position to optimize both mobility policies and costs to achieve greater efficiency. Above all, given constantly changing costs and technologies, an organization’s mobility strategy should be one of continuous monitoring rather than set-and-forget.

Download our Mobile Expense Management white paper for more information.