Benefits of Fixed Mobile Convergence
There are three types of savings an organisation can make from a convergent solution: call costs, infrastructure and productivity.
Savings delivered through convergence
Although call cost savings are the easiest to measure, they provide the least scale for savings. More benefits can be derived through infrastructure efficiencies and productivity.
Infrastructure savings are delivered through fixed-line replacement strategies and green field site deployments. This impacts the CAPEX and ongoing OPEX requirements of owning a fixed and mobile fleet.
Productivity and improved business processes, whilst providing the greatest opportunity for organisations to derive benefits from convergence, are also the hardest to quantify. For example, while a converged voicemail solution may save an employee five minutes of effort a day, the real benefit may not directly be derived through having an extra five minutes for ‘productive’ work. The benefits may, in fact, be delivered through customer satisfaction and repeat business as a result of improved response times. However, most businesses now measure customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator. Therefore, the increase in productivity and potential process re-engineering which can be achieved will have a positive impact on customer satisfaction levels.
- Extending fixed line call features to mobile handsets
- Reducing call costs
- Improving the responsiveness of the business
- Delivering control – for instance, for compliance with FSA regulations
- Reducing duplication
- Ease of extending capacity
- Improving productivity
The use of converged solutions also enables the workforce to be more productive through functions such as mobile access to direct dial extensions and conferencing. Employees are able to respond faster to voicemails, and benefit from reduced telephone tag as they are able to answer more calls first time. Specific productivity gains are illustrated by the following examples:
- Consultants within a Healthcare Consultingcompany achieved a 10 to 15% productivity gain as a result of reduced telephone tag.
- Carers at a Home Care Servicescompany achieved time savings of 60 minutes each day per employee due to fewer voicemails, more calls answered first time and reduced telephone tag.
- A specialist call centre within a Travel Insurancecompany handled 25% more calls as a direct result of increased responsiveness of staff.
- A Universityachieved one hour time saving per day for IT support staff, minimising delays in reaching colleagues to issue job instructions or resolve issues.
- Within a Hospital, nurses were able to save at least 10 minutes each time they retrieved patient results, by being able to access and check results irrespective of location within the hospital.
Productivity benefits can be relatively difficult to quantify and are best addressed on an individual basis. However, financial savings can be found by calculating, for example, the number of minutes saved per day through enhanced communications and business processes (e.g. time wasted unnecessarily visiting office to pick up desk based voicemails or job schedules). In addition, the ability to rapidly and consistently answer enquiries and client calls can ensure that a client is gained and maintained owing to a better standard of service.
Although more difficult to measure, research has shown that softer benefits can lead to quantifiable revenue, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and work rate or cost saving improvements for enterprises.
One simple solution is a feature rich Business SIM enabling Voice, SMS & Data 3G and HSDPA whilst roaming. This mobile SIM provides the business with full control over calls and texts, both nationally on the hosted network and whilst Roaming. In addition, the SIM provides connectivity to defined private mobile networks and access to a common core for application activation.
The mobile is enhanced by providing short code dialling to other extensions in the business and support for the same feature dialling provided on fixed line handsets, enhancing application integration.
The MNO or MVNO provides for number portability and ensures that users can maintain their existing phone numbers and avoids any disruption to the dialling experience for the end user; no user training is required.
Idealy the network fully supports data options providing internet and mail connections. Access Point Names ( APNs) are provided for network supported applications such as Push-to-Talk (PTT
Subscribers naturally expect the same service capabilities when travelling abroad as they do when registered onto their home network. We aim to avoid complicated methods to make a call while ensuring subscribers can use their account when roaming internationally. Ideally, they want to be able to dial straight from their mobile contacts list without having to edit numbers in order to specify the correct country code.
CAMEL Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic support means that, as long as the international network supports CAMEL, the user dials as normal. When CAMEL is supported, we can guarantee a seamless prepaid roaming experience. Costs are, typically, less than normal call rates and this solution ensures call recording as required for FSA compliance is still delivered while travelling in CAMEL countries.
CAMEL Call Back This solutions means that the caller makes a call as normal and the call is directed to the platform. The call then drops for a short period. The platform then immediately rings back both the caller and the destination number and connects the two parties. This solution is CAMEL dependent and ensures a lower call rate but it also incurs a slightly longer connection time.
Roaming will enable connection even when no CAMEL network is available. The call is made over the local macro network selected for the strongest network signal in the area. Call charges are at the standard country rates. This solution guarantees connection but will not ensure call recording within FSA regulations and will, potentially, incur the highest call rate.
Landline Number in the SIM
The SIMs can support both mobile and landline numbers which enables a mobile phone to host both a standard landline DDI (number) and a mobile number simultaneously.
Choice of Handset
It will support a wide range of handset models and, since it is independent of Smartphone operating systems, it is unaffected by operating system changes.
Short Code Dialling
As a result of the call routing presentation at the PBX or hosted data centre switch, short code dialling and feature dialling (i.e. number tagging to request a feature or application support such as record/don’t record or identification of private calls), are supported.
Removing Business Costs Mobile phone software applications raise a number of management, cost and support issues for business. Furthermore, it is possible for mobile applications to be bypassed, even if this requires the mobile phone to be rebooted. All applications are delivered and supported centrally from the core; there is no need for support on the individual handsets, all that is needed is a New SIM card.
Savings on Mobile Costs
The outbound call leg is under the control of the business and will, typically, be configured to avoid Mobile Network Operator (MNO) charges for national and international calls. Calls, at the discretion of the business, may be placed:
- FOC over internal, national and international business networks if they remain on-net or at land line contract rates for off-net calls over PSTN or the business’s chosen carrier
- Inbound calls to mobiles are presented at the PBX and receive a share of the Media Termination Credits (a credit to the SIM) paid to the Mobile Network
In addition this can provide significant savings, in excess of 70%, on international roaming charges. This is provided by:
- Use of professional mobile operator Call Back
- Reduced costs as the outbound call leg is under the control of business
Application Integration from the Core
Will route all calls and messages (SMS) to a common core for switching. This common core may also route calls or messages to or through an application platform which, in turn, will activate the required service for that call or message. This enables Fixed and Mobile calls and messaging to use a common applications platform and, for the first time, ensures that the business requirements are met without requiring applications on mobile phones.
Third Party Business Applications
The common core provides a rich capacity for application integration. The ability to dial short codes will enable an integrated application to be activated with the dialled digits feeding the application, avoiding the need for the user to enter additional digits. For example, a time registration for, say, Time and Attendance or flex time recording or for security staff arriving at a location might dial a number which indicates the application and the location – the Calling line ID can identify the caller – all completed in one call.