10 ways to cut wireless telecom costs

1. Conduct an inventory of wireless devices across the company. Simply determining the types of devices in use can be an eye-opening experience. Many times, departments made these kinds of decisions. Other times, individual employees are allowed to select their wireless device and service plan of choice.

2. Analyze current bill plans to determine whether employees are submitting bills directly to the IT department or are simply putting cell phone bills on their expense accounts.

3. Determine the need. This requires an employee-by-employee analysis of how much service people typically use on a monthly basis, and what type of service -- voice only, voice plus data, SMS, Internet, e-mail.

4. Create policies for the use of wireless devices that are being paid for by the company. Make sure those policies are widely distributed across the company. And make sure they are enforced.

5. Create pools of coverage. For example, if several people in a department use a cell phone sparingly, get them a group plan with shared minutes.

6. Be sure to educate your service provider on your particular needs. Don't assume that your service provider is familiar with the unique usage patterns within your company.

7. Wherever possible, consolidate your service plans, dropping Mom and Pop service providers and hooking up with Tier 1 providers, as long as they can provide the same coverage.

8. Don't consolidate too much. You don't want to go with a single carrier, both for coverage reasons and for cost reasons. Your best bet is to have two or three carriers; that way you can negotiate better deals by playing one off against the other.

9. Don't forget foreign travel. If your execs travel abroad, those bills could be significant. Negotiate a plan that includes international coverage.

10. Drive a hard bargain. Try to get your carrier to include things such as SMS, roaming charges, voice mail and call forwarding, so you won't get nickel-and-dimed to death.

How to cut mobile telecom costs

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