Businesses – from the smallest one person consultancy to large multinational corporations – spend bundles of cash each year on IT and telecommunications.

Often, considerable time and effort goes into sorting through and making sense of invoices. This (sometimes vast) expenditure of resources means that less time is devoted to optimizing current plans from service providers.

A shame, since ensuring you are buying the right products and services can save significant amounts of money and keep productivity at high levels over the long-term. Ultimately, it comes down to knowing what to look for.

Here are five questions to help optimize your company’s wireless plans:

  1. When was the last time you reviewed your current device plans?
    If you’ve just signed a contract with a Polish company and don’t have a calling plan that incorporates Poland you might be sent into shock next time your carrier drops a bill on you. Regular review of plans ensures optimization.
  1. Are employees using out-of-date assets?
    We’re not suggesting that your staff needs to update to the latest mobile phone every two months. However, the bottom line is that tech moves fast. If your team is not using devices that perform the right functions, you’ll fall behind. You should check the plans you have so that you can determine how frequently your staff can upgrade their hardware.
  1. Can you easily target the IT/telecom assets that need an upgrade?
    Being able to do this typically means you have an inventory of all your IT and telecom assets and have housed relevant info in a central database. Absent this, it’s hard to track the location of the Paleolithic era equipment and the employees who are being forced to use it.
  1. Whither SMS?
    Everyone loves texting. However, when users overspend by using SMS instead of other options like Blackberry’s BBM (which is free) you can get into big trouble. Plans typically have an allotment of free texts but you should make sure you know the level your employees have.
  1. How is device tethering affecting your overall spending?
    Tethering can incur serious costs. You should figure out whether your users have an air card or tether options on their PDAs. Or maybe they should use tethering instead of an aircard or paying ridiculous wi-fi fees at hotels or airports on business trips.

Before you renew or renegotiate with your telecom provider take some time to prepare a clear list that reflects the answer to the above questions, the needs of your workers and your organization.

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