Three Reasons for Outsourcing

Karl McDermott
On: 25 May 2017
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Outsourcing and UC and IP Telephony

My interview with Alex Meehan, as featured in the Sunday Business Post.

As the world becomes increasingly connected, it’s a short leap from outsourcing telephony services to outsourcing a whole lot more.

While best known as a communications specialist, Three also has a thriving managed services division and this grew organically out of telephony services. We started into managed services probably about six years ago when we started to offer Cisco telephony as a managed service. We saw there was a gap in the market and companies wanted to move away from legacy phone systems and into the new world of internet protocol (IP) telephony and unified communications (UC). They wanted to get access to the next level of comms services, things like video conferencing, presence and instant messaging, as well as voice and email. But they couldn’t afford it because there was a big upfront capital investment to build that out for yourself.

The solution was for Three to build these capabilities into its own data centres and then offer them as a fully managed service to its customers. This meant that at the beginning, it was basically offering Cisco unified communications as a service. We termed it Evergreen and built it around the idea that it would involve no hardware on site. It’s just phones – nothing else and in fact, if the client doesn’t even want phones, it’s just headsets. But we found that once we started offering that as a managed service, our customers started asking us to do more. They wanted us to provide the network over which this was happening, so we evolved up into providing the local area network and the wide area network as a fully managed service for customers. Take Peter Mark – we started doing its IP telephony, and then ended up running its network as a managed service with a local area network in every salon and now we do the wide area network that connects all of the salons together.

When you’re providing the network then you also need to be able to meet the security concerns of your customers, so providing security as a service is also something we do. Again to take the example of Peter Mark, it’s not a technology company and doesn’t want to have to worry about that kind of thing. It wants to be able to outsource that to a company such as ourselves. A lot of the appeal of managed services boils down to this issue of allowing companies to focus on their core competencies.

Another example from our client list is Applegreen, which grew from a relatively small number of sites to over 170 in the Republic of Ireland in the last couple of years. When this company started, each of its sites was separately connected to the internet. That system certainly wouldn’t scale at the rate it needed to, so we took over the management of all of its infrastructure from its local area network to its wide area network. Now when it’s bringing a new service station online, it just phones us up to place the request and it’s done. It doesn’t want the headache of having to try to do all of these things, whereas this is our bread and butter. Applegreen’s bread and butter is selling petrol, coffee and running service stations and it wanted to be able to outsource to some company that could just take that tech headache away from it.

For companies which are growing really quickly and making acquisitions, they need to be able to move quickly and the only way they can do that is if they get a managed service company to do that for them. But that cost has to be right. There are a lot of managed services out there that can become prohibitively expensive, so making sure our costs are competitive is one of the things we did.

We have worked with companies with multiple locations that are using PSDN lines and have phone lines going into multiple locations. These kinds of companies are usually spending huge amounts of money on line rental and if they move to a managed network upon which can be placed IP telephony or unified communications, the savings they’ll get are massive. A regular figure I see is that 70% of such a company’s cost would be line rental and only 30% would be calls. You can take that 70% away by moving it all to IP telephony, but to do that you need to have the proper IP network in place and the best way to do that is get somebody like ourselves to put it in.

For more information call a member of our Business Advice Team today on:

1800 200 017 or request a call back.