With the SACCI Business Confidence Index remaining low, there is increased pressure on organisations to tighten their belts and manage their operational expenses more effectively. However telecommunications remains a relatively high expense item for business as it forms a critical component of the survival of an organisation.
“We all understand the basics of bringing monthly operational costs down, but in order for it to be sustainable you have to manage your telecommunications spend effectively as well,” says Anton Potgieter, MD of Huge Telecoms. “Least cost routing, while very effective, is just the starting point in this battle.”
Many organisations are looking towards least cost routing as the next silver bullet to bring costs down and make organisations more profitable. “While prices are beginning to drop, we need to use more technology than just LCR, to drive telecoms costs down even further,” says Potgieter.
Huge Telecom, a managed telecommunications company, has designed proprietary technology to drive down costs in a normal business environment. By using least cost routing organisations can save on average 35% of their telecommunications costs on a monthly basis. By implementing a managed telecommunications service backed by proper service level agreements, this can be escalated to include savings of up to 50%.
“In business we are all striving to improve our bottom line,” says Potgieter. “In rand value terms, if you are spending R10 000.00 per month on telecommunications, a R5 000.00 saving goes a long way.”
Managed telecommunications goes further than pure least cost routing. Various technologies come into play including short messaging services (SMS).
“Think about an almost intelligent telecommunications service – we determine the cheapest possible route for your message to go, which in some cases may not even be the voice route, but an alternative, more effective form of communication” says Potgieter.
In a world where telecommunications costs impact tremendously on business efficiency, least cost routing has become a well-known term.
“Least cost routing has a role to play, but in essence it just provides a cheaper rate-per-minute – and that is only really relevant once an organisation has sorted out its other, more wasteful inefficiencies,” he says.
As with the IT security industry, the biggest threats to an organisation’s costs often lie with internal resources. Costs can be driven down by determining the “risks” upfront or by identifying alternative technologies to route communications through.
“You can either re-route communication through sms technology or utilise an automatic call back service,” he says.
The call back service is a service that can be administered through an online portal that allows organisations to pre-determine which calls should be reversed.
“Take your sales force, for example. When they use their personal GSM handset contracts and a company has to administer reimbursements – these take time and money – but if the call is re-routed through our call-back service, you do not have the additional administrative costs and you can manage what calls are going through your network and what charges you are incurring – and moreover, at your contracted least cost,” Potgieter adds.
“By identifying and managing your inefficiencies, you can lower the cost of communications, streamline administrative processes and effectively create an organisation that can weather the storm of the current negative economic sentiments."