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Easy Calling - Wipro BPO adopts improved and scalable telecom infrastructure

May 15, 2009
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The IT and IT-enabled services market in India has grown at a rapid pace. The domestic IT market reached $23.1 billion in 2007-08, up from $16.2 billion in 2006-07, a growth of 43 per cent. According to a study by Springboard Research, in the coming years, the market is estimated to grow at over 16 per cent to be worth $132 billion.

The growth momentum had spurred companies such as Wipro BPO to pull out all the stops and establish a communications infrastructure to streamline communications and operations, meet business requirements and reduce overhead costs. tele.net takes a look at the development of the company's communications infrastructure...

Background

Wipro entered the BPO services industry in 2002 by acquiring Spectramind. Wipro BPO currently has over 19,000 people, and operates out of nine different locations in India and East Europe.

The company caters to customers in various sectors including banks and capital markets, insurance, travel and hospitality, manufacturing, telecom and healthcare. It also delivers process-specific solutions in areas like finance and accounting, procurement, human resource development, loyalty services and knowledge services.

Legacy system

Initially, Wipro's call centre operations had a relatively simple communications infrastructure. The telecom backbone comprised ATM switches, which formed the core network. However, as technological development took place and multiple cable systems began to get connected to India, better routing and high scalability became a necessity.

The old telecom infrastructure used by the company was inadequate in the face of the new requirements. Not only was the network incapable of handling a major increase in the number of employees, it also provided low speeds to users due to the backbone routing infrastructure.

The shift

The IT major had a multiple-point agenda while switching to the new communications infrastructure. First, the company wanted a highly scalable infrastructure as it anticipated an increase in business due to the customers' demand for new and innovative technologies. Therefore, the new network had to be one that could be easily expanded, thus offering a long-term solution. Second, capital and operational costs had to be lowered. Third, the new infrastructure had to offer high manageability.

Keeping these objectives in mind, Wipro BPO opted for a hybrid environment for its hosted contact centre. The company asked its service provider to set up a multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) network as well as add-on components including gateways, loggers, executive support systems and routers at overseas locations which would work in connection with the voice infrastructure in India.

The operator provided routers and MPLS connectivity with two last miles for diversity and redundancy to connect to its multiple cable systems backbone. This has enabled the company to add or reduce the number of seats easily. Moreover, as this infrastructure was based on an opex model, Wipro BPO did not have to make any investments upfront.

Advantages and challenges

The hybrid communications set-up offered several advantages. First, the company underwent technology migration without disturbing its critical businesses and existing customers. In addition, the capex on technology infrastructure was reduced to zero as the company paid on a per seat basis. Moreover, the cycle time for deployment was reduced and the cost model was standardised. Wipro BPO also gained the flexibility to maintain a balance between old and new technologies, which fitted well with the company's business strategy.

There were a few challenges in implementing the new infrastructure. The team involved was initially apprehensive about the deployment and maintenance of the system by the service provider. Seamless integration with the existing infrastructure proved difficult and there was initial resentment to the change within the company itself. Moreover, several areas had to be managed during the implementation process and, therefore, extra focus and meticulous planning was required.

However, by overhauling its communications infrastructure at the right time, Wipro BPO has managed to put in place a flexible platform that has provided the company with enough scope for expansion to meet its new business requirements.



 
 
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