This is an interesting and important discussion (though somewhat frustrating at the same time): TEMIA has recently published a listing of all the acronyms that fall under the umbrella definition of TEM.   The list of acronyms is long, and some of them overlap.  But they are all important elements of a successful management of a telecommunications environment.

ICOMM has long been an advocate of renaming our “industry” Telecom Management instead of the more narrow Telecom Expense Management.  We know that in order to manage a telecommunications environment, an enterprise must have a TEM application in place and dedicated analysts (either in-house or from a service provider like ICOMM) to run the various tasks of TEM., but that various other elements are necessary to insure that environment is managed to best practice standards.  These other elements would include things like carrier order management, contract and RFP services, MACD activities, support services and in general efficiency and streamlining clients overall operations to allow internal staff to focus on core business functions and strategic initiatives.

ICOMM’s focus for our clients is around analytics, contract benchmarking and business intelligence (garnered out of the data we produce as part of the base TEM function), and those staff efficincies and streamlined operations that only a Complete Telecom Management initiative can bring.


Here are TEMIA’s thoughts on the various acronyms that fall under TEM (Also available here:

TEM programs once concerned themselves specifically to the telecom lines and bills of an enterprise. As the telecommunications world has expanded so has the discipline, and a number of sub-practices now fall under the umbrella of TEM.

 TEMIA has introduced the term Telecommunications Management to convey all the activities that enterprises manage as part of overseeing mobile and fixed telecommunications networks, and is the term we’ll be using in these posts. Other terms used include Communications Lifecycle Management (CLM), Communications Expense Management, Communications Service Management and others to differentiate their offerings and demonstrate services or software that offers additional capabilities. It includes savings, visibility and control for global communications services, TEM, Wireless Expense Management (WEM), Mobile Device Management (MDM), Mobile Application Management (MAM), Managed Mobility Services (MMS) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Mobile Security Management (MSM).

These variations on TEM reflect effort by the industry to explain its offering and value proposition more effectively because

  • A “one size fits all” focus on expense reduction that is often associated with TEM does not meet every client’s needs.
  • Expense management is reactive and tactical while Telecommunications Management is more strategic.
  • TEM does not address the full value proposition from supply chain management and employee enablement with more effective communications that drive productivity.
  • These Solutions Providers seek to re-position themselves in a more strategic role with customers and compete in a larger market with more opportunities.

Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in…

The future appears to lie in adoption and use of a new broader term, but people continue to use TEM when searching for Solutions Providers and issuing RFPs. As a result, what is included in TEM is changing. With the convergence of IT and Telecommunications, TEM and Telecommunications Management will help organizations run their telecom network as a business. These programs can provide a proactive best practice framework. In the future, analytics, performance benchmarking and business intelligence will drive value which exceeds the investment cost for Telecommunications Management.

TEM is attracting new customers, and Solutions Providers are selling more services and functionality to clients. Organizations need TEM to get the most value from their network and to run it in the most efficient manner, from a cost and performance perspective.”

ICOMM could not agree more.