According to the Yankee Group report "Despite Savings, Enterprises are Slow to Adopt Centralized Wireless Voice Purchasing Plans" wireless voice and data services now represent 25% of U.S. enterprises' total telecom spend. However, in contrast to the purchasing of other IT or telecom products and services, wireless frequently is not procured centrally.
"Corporate wireless purchasing is changing for a variety of reasons and the importance of centralizing this function is increasing," says Keith Mallinson, Yankee Group Wireless/Mobile research executive vice president. "For example, purchasing managers must recognize requirements specific to locality and users. Verizon Wireless has worked hard to point out that it has the best overall coverage in the land and Sprint PCS belabors the point that it has a consistent all-digital network, but that does not mean that either is best for everybody in every place."
Forty-eight percent of large organizations do not have centrally managed corporate accounts for wireless voice services. In many cases, decentralized purchasing coexists with centralized purchasing. Personal expense claims for wireless voice make it nearly impossible to measure expenditures, which sometimes go unclaimed.
"From the early days, cellular was seen as a perk for the elite few who could get their company to pay for it. Nowadays, it is more for the masses so the prestige is less, but the corporate cost is magnified with the larger number of users. Worse, the absence of accountability or of an effective review of usage against rate plans suggest many companies are overspending substantially," says Mallinson.