Article ID:0001 Publish Date:8/15/2000
Case Study: Who’s Got the Number?
With 35,000 phone lines on the PBX, Bill Clebsch was concerned about the cost of long distance Directory Assistance (DA). As head of business and finance for Stanford University’s IT Communications & Networking Services organization, he was looking for a way to cut costs. “We’re heavy long distance users,” he said. “About ninety percent of our students live on campus and most of them are from out-of-state. Between the hospital and the university we have over 10,000 employees.”
When Clebsch asked his colleagues at ACUTA meetings how they handled this problem, he was referred to George Young of Corporate Telecom Solutions (CTS). The Directory Services that CTS offered was an attractive alternative to the major carriers and Clebsch decided to give it a try. Young provided him with an 800 number, and all he had to do was program his switch to route any out-dialed DA calls to access one of CTS’ Operator Centers for servicing . Their maximum rate for DA is $0.48 per call.
Being a cautious man, however, Clebsch made the change a little at a time. “We picked ten area codes and rerouted them to George’s 800 number for a month and watched the reaction. We were especially watching to see if they billed correctly. Let me tell you, these people can bill correctly.! In today’s telecom marketplace, that’s no small feat.”
Convinced, Clebsch converted all the rest of the area codes except for local 411. This was on Young’s advice that a better deal is still in the works. Overall, he is pleased with the results. “I was hoping that the service would be even better than with the major carriers, but this has not been true. We still get complaints, but not any more than before. The big win here is in the cost. I would estimate that we’re getting a 50% savings.”
As far as the users are concerned, there’s been no difference. “We could have set it up to say ‘Stanford University Information’ but we chose to have the generic greeting so the change was transparent to users. They still dial the same number they did before.”
Have there been any problems? Of course. Problems always arise. The value of a vendor is in how well they respond when this happens. And according to Clebsch, CTS responded exceptionally well.
“I was pleased with the constant email notification about the nature of the problem, what was happening, and who was doing what at what time to make sure it got fixed. From my point of view, it was a feather in their cap in terms of how they responded.”
“The great thing about this whole arrangement is that you’re going to save 50% on long distance directory assistance, and with no burdens like T1’s.” It’s a win-win situation.
For more information call 215-793-4880 or visit www.corporatetel.com.