Keeping telecom costs in check
Although telecom prices have come down substantially, telecom cost management
is still a major concern for the average enterprise. This aspect concerning
the telecom segment was in focus at the Second Annual Workshop on Managing Cost
of Telecom organised by tele.net recently.
Alok Shende, Director, ICT Practice, Frost and Sullivan opined that enterprises
should focus on activity-based costing to manage costs effectively. According
to him, one of the reasons for increased costs is the existence of inconsistent
Service Level Agreement (SLA) measurements with no transparent mechanisms for
this activity. SLAs should be comprehensive in terms of services and technology.
In such a scenario, consolidation and single point of accountability by having
a single service provider (SP) also helps reduce costs.
However, having a single SP means that the enterprise becomes dependent not
only on one SP but also on technology and upgradation. One way out here is to
opt for convergence i.e. aggregation and consolidation of multiple channels
and electronic resources so that the cost of management comes down. Shende also
warns corporates to recheck agreements for indirect costs such as paying for
services that have not been asked for.
Neeraj Satpall, Vice-president, GTL elaborated, To begin with, select
the right SP, outline the expectations that you have from the SP, have an effective
SLA with clearly defined objectives, demand root cause analysis in case of a
problem and insist on compliance. Monitoring of expenditure and billing
is essential along with negotiation of discounts. Enterprises can also reduce
costs by having reports based on usage patterns.
Sandeep Mathur, President, Tata Indicom Enterprise Business
Unit, VSNL gave the SP perspective to reducing costs by having an outsourced
model of managed servicesa usage-based model such as bandwidth-on-demand,
and convergence of telecom and IT.
There are many applications driving connectivity such as ERP, CRM and e-mail
and voice. Lt Col H S Bedi, VSM, Managing Director, Tulip IT Services stated,
Always use an alternate SP for back-up. Availability of last mile connectivity
is no longer an issue. Today corporates can go beyond branch connectivity and
scale up the bandwidth from 64 Kbps onwards.
Pankaj Gupta (PJ), President, Amtel stated, Corporates
are increasingly shifting from landline to mobile devices. The latter have become
a corporate asset. As a result enterprises need to have company-wide mobile
policies in place.
D Purushothaman, Manager, Telecommunication, Apollo Hospitals, Chennai said,
Our per capita expense is on the increase to keep pace with rising bandwidth
demands. It is necessary to have an ISDN backup to provide the required redundancy.
He suggested using the right EPABX, shifting from analogue to digital lines
and implementing a call monitoring system to help reduce costs.
Fixing the problem and solving it for good is the need of the hour. Ask
questions to reduce costs, says Rajiv Gerela, General Manager, Technologies,
Vivek Joshi, Vice-president, IT, HDFC Bank was of the opinion that the CUG approach
works better than VoIP in terms of cost reduction.
The meet concluded with the thought that multiple SPs help
in offering competitive pricing to large enterprises, and discounts depending
on required redundancies, and enable to reduce costs depending on the size of