If you’re a family of 3 or 4 people, it’s pretty easy to figure out if you’re spending too much on your phone bill. Pop into something like Billshrink, plug in your credentials, and away you go.
If you’re a company with 20,000 employee phones to your name, it’s a different story. Running BillShrink 20,000 times probably isn’t going to cut it, so shaving costs usually requires dumping anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand bucks into a specialized “Telecom Expense Management” (or, as the cool kids call it, TEM) service.
This morning, a company called Xigo is looking to turn that TEM market up on its head. Beginning today, they’re offering a free, automated service built to analyze the wireless bills of companies with as many as 50,000 phones under their belt.
Now, Xigo’s not new to this. In fact, they’ve been around for around a decade — they’ve just been operating under a different name: Invoice Insight. They’re taking the product they saw as most profitable over the last decade, automating it, and making it free.
Now, why would they go and do that? It’s all about capturing a market, and as they put it, “building that initial set of trust”. Right now, the vast majority of their customers — and the majority of the TEM market’s customers, really — are Fortune 500 companies. The small-to-medium business market, they say, has gone untapped. So they’re providing the tools for these smaller companies (again, “smaller” being defined as 50 to 50,000 cell phones) to get what they need now, in hopes that one day they’ll need something more customized or larger scale and come right on back.
As of this morning, Xigo will offer three services:
As another route to bringin’ in the cash via the free products, Xigo also mentioned that they’ll be able to monetize the (non-identifiable) data they bring in via the free products. There’s “very little data on mobile spend” out there, they say, and companies will pay to know things like how much their peers in the industry are paying on average.
(And for those wondering, because I know I was: there’s no fun story behind the Xigo name. They brainstormed on branding for a few months, then eventually went all “blank canvas” with a name that doesn’t mean anything)