Azzurri says UK businesses waste £240m a year on telecoms spend

Employee misuse of the telephone, being signed to inappropriate tariffs and continuing to pay for unused lines and equipment are the key reasons why UK businesses are wasting approximately one fifth of their telecommunications expenditure.

That’s the finding of leading communications and technology company Azzurri Communications, which offers businesses a free audit that will identify where efficiency and cost savings can be made across their telecoms infrastructure.

Azzurri has audited 1,200 corporate UK customers with a combined telecoms spend of £300m per year and has identified £60m worth of achievable savings across all these companies. Based on the fact that there are approximately 4,800 large corporates in the UK, British businesses are wasting £240m on excess telecoms spend.

“Most companies don’t make regular checks on how they are using their telephones, whether they are paying the cheapest rates or if they are continuing to pay for unused lines,” said Azzurri Communications’ managing director Central Region, Jason Standerwick.

“We also see an incredible amount of employee abuse of company phone systems. One of our customers employed a security officer who had run up a bill of £8,000 calling relatives living overseas – and this is far from uncommon.

“Another member of staff employed by a national car dealership was running up high bills due to him operating a separate business in his employer’s time.”

Another major finding of the survey is that most companies are committed to buying services on price and seek out the best pence-per-minute (PPM) deal from their network provider. However, they neglect fixed costs such as people, line rental, equipment rental and maintenance costs.

“It’s like having really cheap petrol and making unnecessary trips. Why do people in the US drive big SUV and Cadillacs and drive everywhere? Because the petrol is cheap. It’s the same principle here. As long as people think that they are getting really cheap PPM rates, they think they are saving money. What they don’t look at is whether their employees are making unnecessary calls or wasting money on rental for lines that they don’t use,” continued Standerwick.

The key findings from Azzurri’s audits are:

– 6 out of 10 companies are on the wrong tariff
– 9 out of 10 companies could save money by switching provider
-10 out of 10 companies are paying for unused telephone lines
-10 out of 10 companies could benefit from tighter control on telephone usage.

House-builder George Wimpey is one of the first companies to have benefited from the audit process. George Wimpey’s operations demand the frequent opening and closing of site offices and show homes as developments progress. “Working with Azzurri we have eliminated ‘forgotten lines’, reduced fixed-to-mobile call costs, removed unauthorised premium rate and international calls and raised awareness among staff of the true costs of making calls,” said Jolyon Ingham, IT director, George Wimpey UK.

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