Online system looks to cure provision pain

Debbie Loosemore, telecom manager at the Hamilton Community Care Access Centre (HCCAC) in Hamilton, Ont., can track her organization’s communication-spend, invoice by invoice; she can call her firm’s telecom service provider without lifting the phone; and she has quick access to an equipment list of the HCCAC’s communication assets, so she can scrutinize and confirm the firm’s telephone inventory.

These capabilities mean Loosemore spends less time calling the HCCAC’s telecom provider to find out when technicians will arrive to perform moves, adds and changes (MACs). She spends less time hunting for invoices. And she can get on with the job of helping to connect health service organizations with people who need home care, palliative care, et cetera, as is the non-profit HCCAC’s due.

The technology that Loosemore uses for telecom management comes from the HCCAC’s communication provider, Delphi Solutions Corp., which is headquartered in Markham, Ont. The firm’s Delphi@yourservice (DAYS) program gives customers access to invoices, equipment lists and repair services via the Web. “It saves time,” Loosemore said simply.

When first presented with DAYS a few months ago, however, Loosemore wasn’t all that interested. “I didn’t find it did much for me,” she said, explaining that she had neither the time nor the inclination to learn new telecom management tricks.

What changed her mind? Loosemore said she attended a seminar at which Delphi reps expanded on DAYS’ capabilities. She learned that DAYS would give the HCCAC online access to repair services, so she wouldn’t have to phone Delphi for help. Instead she would be able to send a text-based message to the communication provider. She would receive text-based updates from Delphi about the repairperson’s status: arrived; working; job complete.

She could track problems and repairs, use that info as reference points for future foibles should similar trouble occur. Judging by the words of an industry analyst, the HCCAC might be able to avoid one problem that plagues telecom customers. Samantha Kane, founding partner of Kane-MacKay & Associates Ltd. in Belleville, Ont., said typically telecom bills carry a five to 18 per cent error factor.

She advises companies to scrutinize equipment lists and keep an eye on telecom asset inventories, just as the HCCAC does through DAYS.

According to Clive Huizinga, Delphi’s president, it takes time to educate customers about DAYS’ benefits, which could explain Loosemore’s initial reluctance to use the program. Delphi conducts seminars like the one she attended, so the provider can expand on what DAYS can do and how it can help telecom managers keep control of their environments. Huizinga said the firm sees DAYS as an added incentive for companies to come aboard or stay on as clients.

He added that DAYS started out as an e-commerce platform to sell PBXs and phones online. “That didn’t work,” Huizinga said. “People don’t buy systems online. But it taught us a lot about using the Web.”

Delphi uses DAYS internally to track customer information. “It really improved efficiencies in our credit department,” Huizinga said, adding that the system employs access rights controls and passwords to ensure that just the people allowed to see certain information can do so.

He said Delphi recently added a new function to DAYS whereby customers using Delphi for major telecom equipment installations can scrutinize their projects’ progress online, although few clients are using that feature so far. As for price, Huizinga said DAYS is free for firms that have service contracts with Delphi. For more information visit

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