TEM industry group launches for the second time

Telecom Expense Management Industry Association officially launched last week

It's far from one of the largest industries in IT, but a group of telecom expense management vendors has announced its second industry association group in less than a year.

Telecom Expense Management Industry Association (TEMIA) officially launched last week with 23 of the better-known TEM vendors in the industry.

The group plans to develop statistics based on information gathered from all of the members about user experiences and to help educate the market, says David Spofford, chairman and president of the group and also CEO at Invoice Insight. Spofford says the statistic will not include private customer information, but instead will be looked at for overall trends.

"Our initial goal is to promote the value of TEM as something that every organization should have in place," Spofford says. "What we are not trying to do is to tell [users] what type of solution to choose." The statistics will come later. The group is working on exactly how it will collect the data and preserve customer privacy.

The TEMIA members are: AnchorPoint, Asentinel, Avotus, BBR Wireless Management, BroadSource, Cass Information Systems, Control Point Solutions, Information Strategies Group, Integrated Mobile, Invoice Insight, MBG, MDSL, mindWireless, MobilSense, Paetec Communications, ProfitLine, Quickcomm, Rivermine, Symphony Services, Tangoe, Telesoft, Traq and Vercuity.

The first group, Telecom Expense Management Association (TEMA), launched in August with only two of the vendors mentioned above: Avotus and Vercuity.

Vercuity says it officially withdrew its membership to TEMA in November, but the group still lists the company as one of its six members.

Although Avotus may not have officially withdrew from TEMA, Alan Gold, chief marketing officer at Avotus, says the vendor decided to join TEMA and then TEMIA to see which would gain steam. But now its money is on TEMIA, Gold says. "The industry can't afford to have more than one. TEMIA is the group everyone takes seriously."

Steve Perkins, director of TEMA, did not respond to voice mail or e-mail messages to get an update on the group. Although members are still receiving e-mails from TEMA, the group seems to have lost most of its momentum despite its ambitious start in 2006 with plans to rate the carriers billing, dispute resolution and overall customer service.

TEMIA is taking a different route and is hoping for a more cooperative relationship with the carriers. Carriers involved in TEM are also welcome to join the group.

"We want everyone associated with the industry in any way -- carriers, value-added providers, resellers, auditors and contract negotiation firms," Spofford says.

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