Between the savings from a new contract obtained through competitive bidding and the optimized call routing, Retreat is now experiencing 58 percent to 63 percent savings per month in its voice network. Its monthly bills have dropped from around $18,000 per month to about $6,000 or $7,000 per month, Lincoln said. "I was surprised at how much could be saved when you went over it with a fine-tooth comb. It was an unbelievable amount of savings," Lincoln said.MSI also found that Retreat was billed for taxes it wasnt supposed to pay as a tax-exempt nonprofit; learned that a requested frame relay restructuring was not executed properly, although Retreat was billed as if it had occurred as agreed; and discovered that some line disconnects did not take place in a timely manner, which also resulted in billing errors. MSI was able to create "a paper trail" to prove it to the carrier. "Very often you have to construct a very technical argument about why its a refund issue. You have to keep the process moving. The follow-through is very involved," said Passafiume. Despite the advantages larger enterprises have with larger staffs and access to greater WAN and voice expertise, MSI finds that the problems grow exponentially with the size of an organization. "When theres more cooks stirring the pot, it tends to obfuscate the internal activities. Each [person] does what they think is right, and they dont always look at the big picture. Then the various behavioral properties of the network start to diverge, and the result is that on a global basis, you get a suboptimal solutioneven if in the small picture it appears to work," Passafiume said. Check out eWEEK.coms Server and Networking Center at http://servers.eweek.com for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
In addition, MSI also found in its investigation that Retreats previous carrierAT&Thad overbilled Retreat. MSI, armed with the necessary data and bulldog persistence, managed to wrestle a $25,000 cash rebatenot a credit.