Telecommunications play a crucial part in any business enterprise and they will typically include local and long-distance phone services, toll-free numbers, mobile and wireless services, email, voicemail and conferencing facility – amongst others.According to the IDC Research Group, telecommunications costs are not only the second largest indirect expense but also the fourth largest expense overall for a business organization. Thus, any business house that wants to save on operational costs, one of the most important areas to economize is telecommunication expenses. If you exercise proper control, you can meaningfully reduce the cost of your voice, data and wireless communications.However, managing telecommunications costs is not an easy task for any business – whatever its size and scale of operations. As a first step, do a research study and work out the level of telecom service that is required to optimally meet the needs of your organization. This simply means that the combination of services you buy should exactly meet your business needs – neither more nor less. You should not buy features that are superfluous and you would never use.To effectively manage telecommunications costs, a business enterprise should have a regular and comprehensive strategy to monitor various plans, services and resources. One of the best ways to achieve this is to work with a telecom consultant who can competently assess your telecom needs – such as commercial long distance and local phone service, high speed internet access, data services or even integrated voice and data services.This consultant will work with the carriers to formulate a plan consisting of a host of solutions that will fully meet your needs as also your budget. Please remember there are telecom master agents who build strong, long-lasting relationships with both the clients and carriers by virtue of their contacts, experience and objective assessment.Another measure a business enterprise can take to reduce telecom costs would be to undertake a thorough audit of all the telecom services it is paying for. A periodic evaluation will help understand if there are any services not being used any longer or are being under-utilized – and these services can be dispensed with to reduce the overall costs.Make it a point to check billing mistakes and ensure they are rectified. Billing errors can be of different types – a line or service that has been discontinued may continued to be billed, the bills may not be in accordance with the rates indicated in the quotes and there could be incorrect assessment of taxes etc. Often, due to lack of time or inadequate manpower, companies do not check the telecom services bills they receive.Another way of saving telecom expenses is to optimize circuits so that they can be used to their fullest possible efficiency. This can be done by consolidating multiple narrow bandwidth lines into a few higher bandwidth lines.When it is time for renewing a contract, business houses should make their contracts competitive instead of just straightaway renewing their existing contract. They can once again seek quotes from various carriers to provide details of specific plans or packages for what the company needs. This way it can be found out who is offering more services for the same price or who offers the same package for a better price.A business enterprise must be continually watchful about the emerging technologies in telecommunications sector and study how any new devices can be leveraged to reduce their telecommunications costs.