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Avaya helps Polaris cut 70% of its collaboration costs

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VoicenData Bureau
New Update

Polaris engaged with leading collaboration technology providers in search of a solution to reduce their communication costs. The company leveraged its extensive experience with global IT players and tapped its dedicated information and communication technology (ICT) vertical practice to study and assess its business needs. Based on the RoI assessment, AGC recommended Polaris to implement a scalable in-house conference bridge. The solution would exploit the recently implemented MPLS based global data network of Polaris for all inter-office calls and conferences using VoIP technology, and reduce the usage of third-party bridges while offering a consistent collaboration experience to users across the organization, and across the globe. The solution provided Polaris with Avaya meeting exchange in India over its IP network and allowed users to dial in from across the globe over IP, thus reducing the conferencing charges as well as international calling expenses. The solution helped in assisting Polaris to successfully shift users to the in-house bridge, thus reducing their communication expenses significantly.

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The Collaboration

Since the employees at Polaris had been using a third-party conferencing bridge for a significant period of time, the new in-house bridge would see adoption and higher usage only if it offered improved quality of experience at a good RoI. Polaris identified that it would go ahead with a solution that, at a broad level, offered:

Homogeneity of employee collaboration experience

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Ease of management of infrastructure

Ease of cost monitoring through reports and analytics

Good technology capability and solution architecture robustness

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Total cost of ownership and RoI

The Solution

Avaya GlobalConnect provided Polaris with a robust optimal design for reducing the conferencing expenditure of Polaris at optimized investment. The solution gave Polaris an Avaya PBX connecting to the existing infrastructure at Polaris via PRI trunks from the existing router that in turn connected to the conferencing server via SIP trunks. Avaya Bridgetalk, a bridge management console provided Polaris with a variety of monitoring and analytical reports on conferencing bridge use.

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Apart from the bridge, AGC also provided IP softphones for Polaris employees to connect to conferences from their roaming notebooks in remote locations over an Internet connection. Other features that the bridge provided are: conference scheduling and management; additional privileges to a conference moderator like dial-out, participant hang-up, adjusting volume of conference, roll calls, lecture mode, etc; privilege to participants/administrators to also schedule individual conferences through a web based console; internal recording facility for playing back conferences at a later point of time; and better managed participant and moderator codes for security purposes.

A Win-win Engagement

Polaris' assessment and choice of Avaya meeting exchange was the first step of the Avaya GlobalConnect Polaris winning engagement. The next challenge was to ensure successful implementation of the collaboration platform at Polaris and to shift users from the expensive third-party bridge to cost-effective and better quality in-house bridge. Polaris' knowledge of its employees concerns with collaboration platforms and Avaya GlobalConnect's knowledge of the technology came together to take Polaris to the desired business benefits. The technology teams from Avaya GlobalConnect and Polaris came together to eliminate various possible QoS issues. The teams worked together on:

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Topology improvement

TDM — IP conversion, compression issues management

Bandwidth requirements and allocation

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Codec compatibility issues resolution

Legal compliance issues management

Enhancing organizational coverage of the solution

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While the above steps ensured technology readiness to offer the best user experience irrespective of location, Polaris undertook change management internally to bring people on to the in-house bridge. All the internal conferences, accounting to 70% of total conference calls were successfully shifted to Avaya meeting exchange. Balakrishnan V, partner and CIO, Polaris says, “Avaya GlobalConnect has delivered a working solution and also has demonstrated their responsiveness in resolving problems in a business critical manner. Thus proving to be a dependable partner in evolving effective business solutions. We see more potential for growth in our engagement, in terms of scope of solutions as well as usage volume.”

Business Benefits

Polaris successfully implemented the in-house conference bridge to achieve the desired business benefits. It reduced its expenditure on communication, saving Rs 20 lakh per month, by shifting all internal conferences (70% of total third-party conference bridge use) to Avaya meeting exchange. It enhanced the collaboration experience of its employees and made it homogeneous across the organization. It implemented a solution that is easily scalable at low incremental cost, thus ensuring a longer useful life for the investment. Through communication expense reduction, provided payback on investment in less than six months. It achieved better monitoring of collaboration platform usage and effectiveness.

Balakrishnan says, “Polaris business calls for globally dispersed experts and accounts managers collaborating to provide the best solutions to their global customers based on the intellect product suite. The solution has created a cost-effective audio conference platform for the globally dispersed teams of Polaris working on common projects. This facility works on a self help mode without the need for call set-up assistance or bill and payments handling with external service providers. Since the internal conferences work on IP, controlling durations/access points or managing costs have ceased to be of any concern.” The engagement of Polaris and Avaya GlobalConnect continues to reduce communication costs further to help Polaris focus on providing best services to its customers at enhanced profit margins.

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