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Telecom Mileage: Carzonrent India in top gear following system upgrade

August 21, 2013
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Incorporated in 2000, Carzonrent India Limited (CIL) provides personal ground transportation services in India. It offers airport transfer services, chauffeur- and self-driven vehicle rentals, corporate travel and operating leases  as well as international car rental services. CIL’s objective is to offer customers a safe and reliable mode of travel as well as provide a fillip to the unorganised personal ground transportation industry.

Over the years, CIL took various steps to upgrade its communications infrastructure. The exercise was aimed at reducing turnaround time and meeting business requirements.

tele.net traces the development of the company’s telecom set-up…

Legacy system

According to Sakshi Vij, vice-president, corporate marketing and business development, CIL initially used a very basic  communications system. A few functions were automated through stand-alone applications such as the Tally and Visual Basic software. “Our overall functioning was decentralised. Tally was used for financial operations and Visual Basic software, which was managed in-house, was deployed to simplify day-to-day functions,” she says. Till 2005-06, the company’s operational records were maintained manually in registers.

The shift

In 2005, the company commenced the process of upgrading its telecom infrastructure and shifting towards technology-driven processes.

As a first step, CIL automated its car rental services, followed by the lease and radio taxi divisions. “Immediate results were visible in daily tasks. Moreover, the automation process ensured online support and round-the-clock access to information for our employees,” says Vij.

Thereafter, the transport major integrated these business divisions with its existing financial platform and third-party applications.

Currently, CIL has several high-end servers and makes extensive use of the internet. These servers have been provided by various operators including Sify Technologies, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications. The company also has a data centre in place, which performs functions such as maintaining server uptime and data recovery. It also offers power backup as well as operational and end-user support. In fact, the company utilises this platform to archive data on a weekly or monthly basis.

Further, CIL deploys various web- and mobile-based applications that are integrated with its existing technological platforms. “Within the company, these technologies offer instant information updates and include features such as generating automatic SMSs and allocating employee duties,” says Vij. “For our customers, we have a mobile-based application for new bookings with various options for all customer categories.”

Over 800 of CIL’s employees have access to the communications set-up. The company’s network was deployed by an in-house core and development team. The transport major also opts for third-party management based on its requirement.

Challenges and benefits

According to Vij, the company faced several challenges while upgrading its telecom set-up. “Initially, we hired several third-party companies to automate our existing networks. However, we began facing issues related to infrastructure management and integration of various applications and tools with the existing system. We were also dependent on these companies for implementing new technologies, which often led to delays.”

Nevertheless, the benefits offered by the infrastructure upgrade far outweigh the challenges. “Since most of the organisation’s business processes are automated, employees can now access the network remotely in a secure manner, which has led to increased productivity,” comments Vij.

The company’s applications have been developed in-house, which ensures effective quality checks and controls to meet business requirements. “The in-house team is also well equipped to migrate to new technologies.”

The road ahead

Going forward, keeping pace with the latest technological developments is a key priority for the company. “We will continue our efforts to establish a seamless and technology-driven set-up, with emphasis on web-, voice- and SMS-based applications,” says Vij. These would include applications that are scalable and capable of operating on various platforms to cater to the company’s business needs and facilitate revenue maximisation. In sum, the company’s basic communications requirement is an infrastructure that is robust, secure and remotely accessible, with 99.99 per cent uptime to act as a business differentiator.

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