With XR Technical Consulting, post-merger company takes charge of its telecom and data spend
In a perfect world, all of the things you care about in your business are top priorities for everybody else, too. In a perfect world, when money is being lost, alarms sound and red flags go up.
When Rocky Wiggins served as the CIO of a large commercial airline in Atlanta, it was not a perfect world, but he was wise enough to know it and to start asking questions.
“We were focused on delivering low-cost flights and a great customer experience. As CIO, I had to make sure we were doing everything possible to deliver on those promises,” Wiggins says. “Uncovering ways to cut IT costs and become more efficient without jeopardizing performance was critical, but we didn’t have the manpower or expertise to do it on our own.”
While he didn’t want to interrupt a well-oiled machine — the billion-dollar airline was consistently beating out big-name carriers for corporate travelers — he wanted to find a way to bridge internal gaps that could be hemorrhaging money, money that could be invested back in the company.
Wiggins contacted XR Technical Consulting to perform a complimentary billing audit, and to create an inventory of which data and telecom services the company was actually using and which services it was paying for. Essentially, XR got neck deep in the airline’s business, researching manual and online portals of its telecom carriers, and tearing down silos among IT, procurement and accounts payable teams to see where improvements could be made.
One major finding was that the airline had a significant number of leftover services and unnecessary contracts as the result of a recent merger. It had assumed the billing unknowingly and was continuing to pay.
XR identified erroneous billing, uncovered contracts in which carriers were in violation of conditions and found contracts that could be improved so that, going forward, the airline wasn’t paying for unused services.
Following the audit and inventory, XR helped the company make internal buying decisions in a way that complements how the airline empowered its own savvy customers to purchase flights.
“Often, the biggest brands aren’t the ones delivering the best customer experience and value,” Wiggins says. “Our company was proof of that. XR knows the data and telecom players — big and small — and provided us with options and recommendations that could bring the most value to our company.”
Because XR has extensive relationships with traditional and niche players in the industry, it was able to vet vendors, make recommendations on the best fit for the airline and assist in implementation. XR wrote RFPs, negotiated contracts with telecom carriers and helped the airline identify a TEM (telecom expense management) solution so that its expenses would be regularly monitored and audited to discourage future breaks in its new system.
Wiggins’ initiative to engage XR led to a 53 percent reduction in the IT department’s local monthly billing making available major dollars to boost the next fiscal year’s budget.
“If there are gaps between your IT, procurement and accounts payable teams, you can bet you’re missing opportunities to save money and invest back into your organization,” he says.
Following its risk-free audit, major areas where XR Technical Consulting found gaps to save its client millions of dollars included:
- Inequitable Contracts
- Redundant Services
- Obsolete Network Technologies
- Poor Vendor Accountability
- No Telecom Expense Management