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Financial institution’s IT chief engages XR Technical Consulting to get control of expenses

IT executive James Nolin knows a thing or two about integration and connectivity, and he knows that when all of the pieces of a process aren’t working together — even when the break isn’t obvious — chances are good that resources are being wasted.

Small losses can be ignored, but when you’re talking about a company with more than 1,000 employees serving businesses that allow consumers to do business at 450,000 points of retail distribution worldwide, losses can reach into the millions of dollars. Such was the case when Nolin joined a large financial institution in Atlanta as its Vice President of IT Operations. The signs of possible waste weren’t glaring, but they were there.

“If a company isn’t looking at a mature system with a holistic ‘from the individual circuit to the total network’ perspective, small stresses on a system can become major problems,” Nolin says.

The company was doing so many things well. It holds more than 150 global patents and has a presence in more than 30 countries in North and South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Its first-rate reputation for innovation and service was, and still is, well deserved, and Nolin intended to keep it moving forward.

Like many IT chiefs at major corporations, Nolin couldn’t look at his entire network and get his arms around all of the vendors being used. And no one else was doing it either; billing and inventory records were incomplete, and contracts went unchecked. Before Nolin joined the company, outside consultants had been hired to help, but the project didn’t produce lasting results.

He was confident that his team was strong on the technology side, but from a business standpoint, he wasn’t confident that money was being spent as wisely as possible.

“I had worked with the XR Technical Consulting team before. They are voracious when it comes to digging up inefficiencies, contract discrepancies and costly gaps in an organization’s processes. I knew they could hit the ground running to make a lasting impact on our bottom line,” Nolin says.

Getting started with XR Technical Consulting was simple and risk free for Nolin and his team. With complete confidence they will uncover ways organizations can save significant amounts of money, the first step XR typically carries out for a client is a free, complete audit of its telecom and network billing and services. XR makes money only when it produces results.

As part of the audit of Nolin’s company, XR identified ways to streamline functionality and reduce major expenses. Two priorities rose to the top: contracts and network modernization.

Following the audit, the XR team tightened rate structures with service providers and renegotiated contracts with Nolin’s vendors to increase vendor accountability by 50 percent and save the company millions of dollars, including an immediate 30 percent rate reduction.

They built in contract clauses to allow for flexibility and to protect the company from future risk. The creation of a system-wide lifecycle management process and documentation of data network and telecom expenses continue to help the company spend wisely and keep vendors accountable.

XR uncovered antiquated technologies that could contribute to outages, and canceled contracts with services that were obsolete. As a result of the audit, the financial institution was empowered to modernize its system, including upgrades, consolidations, network migrations and the development of a newly designed network component.

Once the optimization and inventory were complete, XR didn’t step away. Instead, they leveraged their deep knowledge of niche players through vendor sourcing.

For example, Nolin’s company needed a TEM (telecom expense management) service provider to stay on top of audits so they wouldn’t have to do it manually. XR narrowed the field to three providers, handled the RFP, led software demonstrations so Nolin’s team could test drive the software and then helped the company confidently choose the best TEM before leading the software implementation.

XR carries out a similar process to source providers of fiber, data centers, staffing and more, each time taking into account every nuance of their clients’ situation to find the best fit. Big companies typically have specialized requests that require specialized vendors — beyond the big players — and XR knows the field.

The requests can vary. A company’s data center could need to be on dual power grids within 30 miles of a power center. A concern about security breaches could lead any company that does work online to look for a software and hardware solution. A technology team could be in immediate need of employees with extensive Nexus and Cisco experience.

XR puts clients in a position to consider a wide array of products and brands to fulfill these specialized needs, often without having to increase the company’s stable of vendors. By managing the vetting of vendors in very niche fields, procurement isn’t saddled with trying to reinvent the wheel.

As a leader, Nolin not only saved the company millions of dollars by working with XR, but he also set a precedent for how information technology and procurement interests can collaborate for years to come.

“My team is focused on technology, but we are also very attuned to how we bring value to the company as a whole,” he says. “I knew XR Technical Consulting had the expertise. I knew they would do it right the first time, and we would get the most benefit from it.”

Following its risk-free audit, major areas where XR Technical Consulting found fractures to save its client millions of dollars included:

  • Inequitable Contracts
  • Obsolete Network Technologies
  • Poor Vendor Accountability

Who is making sure your data and telecom expenses are in your best interest?