Amtel Breaks Out Biz, Personal Calls - InformationWeek
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3/4/2008
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Amtel Breaks Out Biz, Personal Calls

SaaS app is intended to automate segregation and chargeback of wireless calls and spare companies compliance and audit pain.

The much-trumpeted software-as-a-service model has come to mobile phones, at least where separating business from personal calls is concerned.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Amtel said Tuesday its Telecom Information Management System (TIMS) software has been extended to embrace mobile and wireless handsets.

Since TIMS is sold as SaaS, employees set up a list of called phone numbers that are tracked for personal usage. The service then delivers monthly usage detail, segregating personal and business calls, and handling chargebacks accordingly, said Amtel president P.J. Gupta. TIMS can also accommodate tracking and billing for landline numbers.

The service is available throughout North America; monthly pricing is volume based. Gupta said 250 phones would run about $9 per phone, while 10,000 phones would cost closer to $2. There are no installation or service-initiation fees, and the minimum contract period is a year.

TIMS is agnostic to the carrier, network, and handset vendor involved, according to Gupta. There's also a procurement feature to TIMS, which takes users to an intranet page to shop for preapproved bundles of wireless services and handsets offered through their employer.

Amtel also emphasizes the regulatory compliance aspects of TIMS, describing recent audits by the Internal Revenue Service, in which enterprises have been hit for back taxes because of how they spent or accounted for mobile phone services. The vendor cites IRS Code Section 274, which classifies mobile phones and pagers as "listed property," and thus makes them subject to more stringent "substantiation."

According to Amtel, business use of listed property is excluded from the wages of the employee. Personal use, however, is taxable and included in wages. If substantiation requirements are not met, all mobile usage gets included in the employee's wages and is taxable. TIMS helps fulfill those substantiation requirements, the vendor said.

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