Telcos pitch outsourcing to enterprises

For the Canadian Department of National Defence, personnel and budget cuts were reasons to take a look at telecom outsourcing. The department was also anticipating an increase in bandwidth demand.

“We were looking for voice, data and IP services, so basically all services,” said Major Winston Sheppard, senior implementation manager for the telecom services renewal project with the Department of Defence in Ottawa. “But we also went up to another layer and included the routers for the IP networks. We also included the PBXs for the voice networks and another system called a multiplexer for our data networks.”

The department went through an RFP process, and ended up awarding its contract to Bell Nexxia.

At the time, the Defence Department had individual networks spread across the country, and it was receiving various services from different service providers. Bell Nexxia took over all of the existing contracts and put everything on its ATM backbone.

Telecom outsourcing is something that seems to be catching on in specific verticals, according to Michael Gelinas, vice-president of Custom Solutions at Telus.

“I would say the areas we’re seeing the most activity in would be the energy, education and what I would call just generally the public sector – the larger type of clients,” he said.

But while these larger-sized organizations might be seeking out services, the average enterprise is not, according to one analyst. Telecom outsourcing has traditionally been something that Canadian enterprises have been offered, rather than sought out, says Brownlee Thomas, a Montreal-based analyst with the Giga Information Group Inc.

But the fact that technologies are ever-changing is something that might in fact make enterprises want to take a look at outsourcing their voice networks and/or applications, says Charles Salameh, vice-president of enterprise data, managed solutions at Bell Canada in Toronto.

“What has happened now with these IP networks is that customers are being bombarded with more advanced and unique technologies because of the expanding networks and are unable to keep up with them, and unable to keep up with how to best leverage these technologies to gain a competitive advantage,” he explained. “And secondly, the resources that they require – these specialized IP resources to manage these infrastructures – are very rare and hard to find in the marketplace.”