Phase One

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2004-04-26 Print this article Print

: Voice Services"> In the first discovery phase of the Knight Vision service—which includes extensive scrutiny of the network topology, usage patterns and billing, and an assessment of the organizations goals—MSI focused its efforts on the hospitals voice services. Consultants found thousands of dollars per month of waste in several areas.

"We look at billing, contracts, the tariff side and actual activities. On the data network we measured Internet usage, traffic over the frame relay network and internal traffic to get a base line for future reference. We looked at their trunk groups, routing patterns; looked at how they forward calls. We looked at usage patterns by day of week and on a month-by-month basis. We used their data to feed our proprietary models and looked at whether they were using resources correctly, looked at—based on their usage patterns—projections of required resources and looked at actual resources to see how they matched up. We looked at calling patterns for incoming and outgoing calls. We looked at any and all available patterns to see how they have their PBX provisioned and how they use their resources in terms of trunking," said Passafiume.

"After we put all this raw data into our model, it tells a story about whats really going on and whether there are any route pattern or trunking issues—separate from how much they pay for services," Passafiume said.

MSIs sleuthing uncovered problems in the way the Avaya Definity PBX was programmed "at every step of the way," said Passafiume. "There were a large number of call route patterns that could be consolidated, and we found the actual call processing was incorrect, which drove costs up considerably."

"Some calls were going out on long-distance that didnt really need to," said Doreen Lincoln, director of IS at Retreat. "[MSI] did a great deal in helping us clean up some of the routing paths calls were taking. They were really a mess."

Although Lincoln knew the PBX and carrier services she and her staff had "inherited" in 1997 needed scrutiny, they lacked the time and expertise to uncover problems.

After MSI completed its discovery and analysis phase, it set out to gather quotes from competing carriers for a new long-distance contract, helped create the appropriate selection criteria and negotiated a new contract with the selected carrier: Sprint. MSI also had a hand in managing the transition.

Although Lincoln knew that the Avaya PBX needed to be updated, Passafiume saw no need to replace it.

"Thats a consistent result," Passafiume said. "We often see that the existing equipment may need to be reconfigured so it uses resources in an optimal way. We dont often replace it. The world seems to solve problems by throwing new equipment at things, but we get the required information to make what you have work the way its supposed to work."

Next page: Unbelievable savings.


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