Friday, January 30, 2009

SPOTLIGHT ON FINANCE: The Critical Need for Call Accounting During Poor Economic Times

The financial crisis around the world has more than ever highlighted the need for accountability and transparency in every enterprise. Increasingly credit costs can ripple through the entire organization to affect longer-term plans that are essential to growth. Transparancy in operations and providing audit trails of day to day operations have increased the need for management reporting. Managers must be confident that communication facilities, the lifeline of every organization, does not leave the business in a vulnerable financial position.

Often managers are unaware of misuse, erroneous telecom billing, detrimental quality of service and or system hacks that can cause irreparable damage to the reputation of the organization and the bottom line. The old adage rings true – you cannot manage what you cannot measure!

Call Detail Records (CDR) have long been used across vertical markets to provide valuable metrics in regards to long distance costs, productivity, efficiency and misuse and abuse. Recent events have created an additional requirement for CDR records; providing an audit trail for inbound and outbound calling patterns.

An audit trail of inbound and outbound activity may be as basic as monitoring inbound and outbound calls by duration – and can be as complex as measuring bandwidth, grade of service and peak periods of activity and their correlation with important events within a business operations.

Most organizations facing recessionary pressures look to eliminate waste, increase productivity and improve the bottom line. Often major spending is postponed to deal with economic realities.

It is imperative to ensure that telecom expenses are not left unchecked. The administration must be performed by a system that can seamlessly span across multiple vendors and platforms to analyze, optimize, consolidate and reconcile communication expenses and ensure long term stability and success.

Billing reconciliation is often overlooked since customers trust their carrier to bill based on contracted tariff plans. Howerver, according to analysts at Gartner, “Organizations can routinely save more than 10% of their annual telecommunications expenses by systematically checking their carrier bills against equipment and services in use.” But it is no longer effective to look exclusively at your traditional telephone invoices and compare them to the call accounting system in the back room.

Often fraudulent calls may be routed through corporate facilities without the knowledge of the company. Hackers can find faults in improperly designed networks, infrequently used extensions, voice mail ports and tandem trunks. A call accounting watchdog should always be monitoring activity for irregular patterns. Modern call management systems utilize SMS, pager, email and web interfaces for instantaneous reporting.

When asked what business problem they are trying to solve, 32 percent of large-enterprise respondents to a recent Yankee Group survey say "lowering the overall cost of voice and data networking" is the objective. Survey respondents say domestic long distance calling, international long-distance and local telephony connections are the three areas that would deliver the highest cost savings.

Corporations concerned about securing sensitive data require monitoring solutions that highlight possible breach from would be spies, hackers and malicious personnel. CMS systems can trace obscure or unusual behavior and alert authorized personnel.

Resource Software International Ltd. (RSI) is recognized as an industry leader in the field of total unified communication management specializing in multi-platform implementations. RSI is uniquely positioned to offer broad based solutions that span multiple platforms or vendors. RSI is recognized as an Avaya DeveloperConnect Gold Member, Cisco Technology Partner, Nortel Developer Partner and similar relationships with many others.

Visit for more information about protecting your communication investment during turbulant economic times.