Telecom spending sucks up a significant chunk of the overall IT budget. According to estimates from Aberdeen Group, the average Fortune 500 company spends $116 million a year on telecom services. With figures like that, there's a lot of room for waste.In particular, wireless costs can be difficult to track. Many of your company's employees may have negotiated their own individual cellular contracts and simply expense the service. An overall corporate contract that lets you pool minutes will surely bring you better rates than a hodge podge of service plans, and you'll be able to better track your assets and make sure departing employees don't take their phones with them.To boost the bottom line by taking control of your cellular costs, start with your contracts. Consult Network World writer Denise Pappalardo's article on wrangling costs, in which you'll learn how Hawaii Home Loans and Bubbles Enterprises documented wireless usage policies, coordinated service and managed costs. Go to https:\/\/www.nwfusion.com\/careers\/2003\/0714man.html.Next, visit Aberdeen Group's Total Telecommunications Cost Management (TTCM) Center of Excellence at https:\/\/www.aberdeen.com\/TTCM. TTCM is an area of business process automation that includes software, hosted application services, consulting, and or business process outsourcing that reduces telecom budget inefficiency.At this free site, you'll find research, benchmarks, case studies and learning modules designed to help you control your telecom costs. The site also contains tools to quantify the financial and performance benefits of adopting TTCM strategies.Telecom Financial Management (TFM) are tools with a different name but the same goal. These products generally provide a database of users and contract terms, a centralized process for change management, auditing and chargeback reporting, and optimization analysis.There are many white papers to educate you about this emerging area. These include: "Best Practices in Wireless Communication Management" from Cobite at https:\/\/www.cobite.com\/brochures\/wp_bestpractices.pdf and a collection of five white papers on cutting communications costs from Anchorpoint at https:\/\/www.anchorpoint.com\/ne_wp.php.In the next newsletter, I'll cite some of the TTCM and TFM tools available.