Beer giant hands over phone bills to bean counters

Liquor and brewing giant Lion Nathan announced today that it deployed number-crunching software to try and cut its mounting telecommunications costs.

Liquor and brewing giant Lion Nathan announced today that it deployed number-crunching software to try and cut its mounting telecommunications costs.

The company revealed that its telecommunications spend had risen to over AU$6 million between its Australian and New Zealand operations, prompting it to commission a telecommunications expenses management (TEM) regime.

Jim Duffy, IT services director for Lion Nathan, said the company had partnered with Quickcomm to automate and audit its telecommunications billing and invoices using TEM software, which will identify discrepancies and redundant services across each line item — from fixed line and mobile voice services to data and PBX.

"Lion Nathan's a big enough company with big enough bills to have this sort of thing running," said Geoff Johnson, research VP with analyst firm Gartner.

"The biggest problem for companies like Quickcomm is that more than half of the large enterprises out there simply don't know that TEM services like this are available," said Johnson.

Quickcomm CEO, Mark Evans said that the brewers decision had been influenced by the desire to exert "greater control" over its various carriers.

"Companies normally enlist these kinds of services towards the end of a contract when they find they've got to negotiate again with a carrier," said Gartner's Johnson.

"The mistakes tend to come from the carrier at a ratio of about two to one ... using this kind of software can clean things up and save large enterprises between five and eight per cent on its total telecommunications spend," he said.