It’s easy to ignore plain old telephone service (POTS). It’s relatively low-cost, it’s reliable, and it’s not what you’re using for the bulk of your communications, so in many organizations it never makes it onto the radar of telecom expense management. It’s assumed to be such a small percentage of your budget that it’s almost not worth the trouble.
You might be surprised just how much you’re spending on POTS. In many cases, carriers are pricing them out of the market because they want to make more infrastructure available for new technology. Here are a few things you should know about auditing your POTS lines for telecom expense management:
Assess: Your company may be using POTS lines for gas and water meters, postage machines, alarm systems, elevators, and faxes. Depending on the size of your organization and the number of buildings you have these can add up. They may not be labeled in your database with information about their purpose.
You may even have POTS lines that are no longer being used, but you’re still paying an invoice. This is a common occurrence when companies have merged or when there isn’t a comprehensive telecom expense management strategy across all locations. It is an easy opportunity to identify cost savings.
Getting Past Costs: Once these lines have been identified and disconnected or adequately labeled, you can take additional steps to improve resource allocation. For instance, you may find that you can eliminate modem-based systems used for shipping through FedEx and UPS or that postage machines could be adapted to use a USB connection for online access. If you are using a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications solution, it may be possible to port your fax numbers and eliminate additional POTS lines.
Identifying Renegades: Keeping lines of business from procuring their own technology is a perennial problem for IT, and POTS lines are no different. You may find that individual departments or businesses have ordered their own phone lines and are paying standard rates, possibly even paying for additional features that are never used such as three-way lines or call waiting. These standalone accounts represent an opportunity for additional savings.
In a large enterprise, it’s easy to overlook POTS lines in your telecom expense management or to underestimate the kinds of savings you could achieve through an audit. For more information on conducting your own internal audit, contact us at Diversified Technology Group. We can also help you leverage the best tools for telecom expense management to optimize your technology budget.