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One-Stop Shop Advantage Communications Brings in Automated Bill Payment


Enterprises have multiple stakeholders within them, who would reach out to different consultants or providers for technology solutions. Procurement teams then negotiate contracts with service providers to get the best rates. Those stakeholders handle telecom inventory, but do not have a tie into invoicing. On the other hand, accounting and finance departments receive invoices, but don’t have visibility into actual telecom inventory. Everything is siloed and chaotic.

Advantage Communications Group, having relationships with 250 service providers globally, simplifies that process as a one-stop shop that  optimizes communications solutions across voice, data, cloud and mobility – from procurement to payment and expense manegement.

“While the enterprises still have those stakeholders, they can come to Advantage for a single-source of expertise,” said Diane Miller, chief operating officer, Advantage Communications Group. “TEM organizations do much of what we do post-project management but we are not a TEM company. What TEMs don’t do upfront is the procurement and sourcing.”

Adding to its services and software that already offer full visibility and trouble ticket management, Advantage rolled out its Bill Pay service to reduce client administrative workload and cut down on late fees, interest charges and unexpected disconnects for nonpayment.

The automated bill payment service consolidates payable information into files transmitted to the bill payment engine for disbursement, after which payments are automatically sent to suppliers based on supplier enrollment preferences.

After the payment is made, the payment information is sent to Advantage’s Command Center portal for full visibility by clients. The Command Center centralizes billing, inventory and contract information across all providers onto a single web-based platform for comprehensive management capabilities.

An example Miller used was a pharmaceutical company with 2,300 invoices from 70 service providers worldwide coming to Advantage for assistance. With those invoices, Advantage would process them, manage the inventory, make sure the client is correctly billed and, ultimately, with its bill pay solutions, reduce the number of payments to potentially two a month, compared to 2,300 separate invoices.

“While we can start the company at that 2,300, as the services go off contract or are ready to renew, we can work with them in our full lifecycle to consolidate, look to get them better rates, shrink the number of invoices and reduce the costs,” said Miller.

With Bill Pay incorporated into its service offerings, Advantage continues to, as Miller said, “take all of that chaos with multiple stakeholders that is difficult to manage and become that one-stop shop.”

Edited by Erik Linask
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