The term ‘Telephone Management System’ or ‘TMS’ is best described as a Software application which interconnects to a Telephone System and enables detailed Telecoms calling expenditure for the organisation.  The TMS comprises of computer hardware and software but can also be cloud-based where the in some cases the only onsite hardware is a buffer box which collects Call Detail Records (CDR’s) and submits to the system when a link is established.

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A TMS system controls telephone costs by automatically keeping track of telephone usage along with the following parameters:

– Incoming or Outgoing call
– Caller ID (when available)
– Extension number / User ID
– Time of day
– Number dialled
– Trunk used (which line the call went out on)
– Duration of the call
– Cost of the call

A TMS can also provide departmental telephone bill allocation for budgetary purposes and project tracking through the use of client or account codes. The functionality extends to indicating whether a call was incoming, outgoing or transferred to another extension, and where Caller ID is provided will also be listed in the reports.

A valuable function of the TMS is the indication of call traffic volumes.  Reports also indicate the number of times the switchboard rang before the caller was answered and provide a detailed list of abandoned calls.

Advanced functionality is made available to the market includes Budget Barring and Quotas, where users are allocated a budget which once reached, can either alert an administrator via email or block the extension user from making any further calls unless the administrator unblocks the extension.

The most popular reports are:

– Top 20 most expensive calls
– Top 20 longest calls
– Top 20 most-dialled numbers
– Costs for Inter-branch calls
– Calls exceeding a certain length of time/cost (e.g. > 10 minutes/ > R 20.00)
– Report per extension/user
– Departmental reports
– Abandoned call reports
– Monthly total cost summary reports (to compare with Telkom account)

A Telephone Management System is a valuable business management tool intended to assist companies in reducing the misuse of Telecoms facilities and related costs thereof.  A TMS also helps organisations to manage their resources and provide an improved level of customer service by identifying call traffic volumes and listing abandoned call details.

From a cost-saving perspective, fewer calls for shorter lengths of time result in a better bottom-line and greater productivity for the company.

Telephone Management System providers in South Africa include:

– TNG / TES from Datatex –
– RAMpage from VSA –
– MAN3000 –
– Adapt IT – 

Some TMS’s are evolving to provide the same level of Reporting per user but tp include Web tracking, eMail, Fax and Photocopier usage, and can also be Centralised, where reporting and management for multiple sites are collected and accessed via single interface – even when all branches have different PBX solutions.