Communication has always been a cornerstone of human evolution. As human kind evolved over centuries, our means of communication followed suit. Starting from primitive cave paintings and sign languages to modern day cell phones and video-conferencing facilities, we have come a long way in furthering our perpetual desire to devise endless ways to communicate and collaborate with one another.
Enterprises of today have a significant investment in communication technologies which cut across multiple hardware, software, vendors, platforms and geography and this has resulted in added complexity and reduced visibility on the Productivity, efficiency and cost management. Added to this these transformations in communication mediums have also bought along the perils of advanced security breaches which could pose significant threat of compromising sensitive corporate and user data.
Today, businesses are dependent on modern communication technologies that any unforeseen outage adversely affects the productivity and results in business downtime. Thus enterprises need to have a good balance in ensuring the reliability of the communications infrastructure via automated monitoring and real time alerts to proactively managing asset life cycle and utilization for optimal productivity and efficiency.
An organization working in this niche segment of telecommunication industry is Eastcom Systems Pte Ltd, a provider of a wide range of cost management and productivity solutions. The company’s managed services, software development services and professional services help enterprises enhance productivity, maximize profitability and optimize costs. V. Ramasubramanian, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Eastcom Systems, explains, “The evolution in telecommunication space is for better communication and we are here to enhance efficiency of communication by continuous monitoring and alerting on exceptions.”
Building on an Early Success
V. Ramasubramanian, an Electronics Engineer and Business Management graduate, started his journey of building Eastcom Systems in 1992 as a software company. But later in 2000’s, looking at opportunities in the telecommunications industry; he channelized company's focus solely on telecommunication sector. That was when the company's flagship product, TELCAAP came into being. As needs evolved over time and understanding of the industry improved, Eastcom started offering a full suite of products and value added services to encompass Telecom Lifecycle Management. “Today, we are counted among the premier innovators in the telecom space across APAC region,” Ram exalts.
The zeal of this Singapore based firm to develop innovative solutions and to keep upgrading its skill base has helped it retain clients it has worked with so far, albeit it continued to add new client’s year-after-year. No wonder, today, Eastcom’ s list of clients includes some of the most prestigious and leading names in the BFSI, Manufacturing, Education, Healthcare industry. Its constant pursuit of innovation and unwavering focus on client success has earned Eastcom multiple industry awards: 'Telecom Expense Management award, 2014' from CIO Honour, winner of APICTA Merit Award, 2007, Innovation Development Scheme (IDS) Award, 2006, and the Innovation Development Award from NCB. Another factor that vindicates the trust built by Eastcom is that when many corporate tenders come from elite clients enumerate Eastcom's product name as the benchmark requirement.
Real Rime Monitoring: The Trump Card
Advances in telecommunication technology has made a significant impact on how we collaborate with each other. But benefits come with their own set of pitfalls. Same is true in telecommunications space; sophisticated security breaches and a lack of effective monitoring tools impede intrusion detection efforts in most cases and often let impostors escape scot-free. Eastcom's systems offer advanced real-time monitoring tools to ward off such security breaches. Although, the solution initially faced apprehensions from CFOs while convincing them the significance of monitoring communication channels, but they soon realized the hazards of cost leakage caused by both internal and external factors. Capturing data through PBX and auditing the bills also helped clients close some of the loopholes in their deployments. Ram expounds, “Ours is a centralized system with heterogeneous devices from vendors such as Avaya, Cisco and so on, all operating seamlessly in a concerted manner inside an organization, which often span across multiple geographically distributed offices.”
TELCAAP(Telephone Call Accounting and Auditing Package) collects real time data from devices such as router, voice gateways and PBXs and then uses it for analytics to derive meaningful insights. Tools such as GRABBER can decipher various underlying protocols running on the network and collect itemized data. This data is then fed into centralized system running TELCAAP to analyze, manage and store information from various devices.
The feature helps reduce cost and enhance the visibility as customers scale their businesses across geographies and deploy multiple PBXs in the process.Ram elaborates, “TELCAAP is a unique product to handle distributed PBXs and its features provide competitive edge against other vendors.” For one of the MNC clients, TELCAAP is currently monitoring more than 20 locations in ASIAPAC in a single system.
GRABBER is yet another powerful tool in Eastcom’s repertoire. In an automated office, the software talks to photocopy machines, printers, energy meters and many other devices to collect multitude of data including Microsoft's Skype for Businessusage data, a popularunified communication software. The data collected by GRABBER is used to identify the areas of likely resource wastage and send out alarms to system administrators. It also generates reports on calling pattern, applicable tariffs, and tries to identify the service provider which is cost effective and suits the business needs. For one of the leading banks, having more than 10000 users and no monitoring system, Eastcom's system identified and recovered more than 400 unused extensions within 2 months of deployment.
In addition to usage data, GRABBER collects exception data, which is used by CAMS, another flagship product from Eastcom's stable, which processes alarm from router, PBX, Voice gate ways, UPS', and switches. CAMS monitoring system classifies alerts into major, minor or critical alarms. Delivery is through SMS, E-Mail or Dashboard.
In a Unified Communications (UC) environment connecting data, mobile, and voice, some of the data can be picked up from the network, whereas second set of data comes from the Service Provider Billing system. Eastcom's CCAAP(Comprehensive Cost Analysis and Allocation Package) reads Bills through MAPPER tool and allocates data to hierarchy, based on deployment scenario of an organization. The software ensures that there are no discrepancies between data captured from the network and data received from the service provider bill. While TELCAAP captures usage data, CCAAP manages the bill static data such as rental and subscription charges, applicable discounts, taxes and other financial data to meter the usage. It is an automated process to cut down on manual involvements and, thereby, increase accuracy.
COSTIMISER: Cost Optimized Product Line
Business undertakings are always expensive and can ruin organizations if operations are not well optimized. The growing uncertainty and numerous options in IT products can further exaggerate the scenario. So, as businesses grow, cost optimization remains at the top of their agenda. Eastcom's offerings are in synergy with today's market needs. For the cost conscious customers, the company delivers products from its COSTIMISER brand of products and it has trademark on the brand. Several optimizations such as Mobile Plan Optimization (MPO) and Mobile Roaming Optimization (MRO) based on Data analytics are provided. Ram says, “We understand the value for money. Our COSTIMISER lines of products are developed to be cost effective for customer.”
Eastcom fosters a culture of innovation. So far, it has 12IPs registered. Knowledge sharing and brain storming sessions are common practice at the company. The development and the delivery teams work closely for faster resolution of customer issues. Being vendor agnostic allows the company to customise services as per the client’s business requirements. EPASS on Microsoft Skype for business platforms and toll fraud are the two unique innovations of the company. While, the former help customers to authenticate the pin number before dialling an international number, the latter helps to track the unnecessary calls as well as send alerts and reports to administrators through mobile devices
Strategic placement of products helped Eastcom grab a substantial market share and build deep trust with the customers
Partnerships with HP, National Computers Systems, Avaya and othertelecommunication equipment vendors have helped Eastcom grow its customer and solutions reach exceptionally. The company intends to further diversify its partnership in the future and foray into newer markets. To fuel the growth in its telecommunications offerings, it plans to upgrade GRABBER for IOT. Strategic placement of products helped Eastcom grab a substantial market share and build deep trust with the customers. Apart from presence in Singapore and Malaysia, it is planning for geographic expansions in Asia Pacific, Australia, Middle East and other markets. Ram explains, “We have a single-minded focus on creating long term relationships and sustained business value for our customers, partners, and investors.”
Given the economic benefits, time and cost optimization advantages that Eastcom products bring to the table, there lies no doubt that the company is at the cusp of making it's mark in the Unified Communications industry and poised to grow further. Eastcom’s growth prospects look even more promising as it embarks on developing products for mobile devices, an area where the whirlwind of innovations is sweeping the telecommunications industry more rapidly than possibly any other technology in any other industry.