Benefits of Fixed Mobile Convergence
There are three types of savings an organization can make from a convergent solution: call costs, infrastructure, and productivity.
Savings delivered through convergence
Although call cost savings are the easiest to measure, they provide the least scale for savings. More benefits can be derived through infrastructure efficiencies and productivity.
Infrastructure savings are delivered through fixed-line replacement strategies and greenfield site deployments. This impacts the CAPEX and ongoing OPEX requirements of owning a fixed and mobile fleet.
While providing the greatest opportunity for organizations to derive benefits from convergence, productivity and improved business processes are also the hardest to quantify. For example, while a converged voicemail solution may save an employee five minutes of effort a day, the real benefit may not directly be derived through having an extra five minutes for ‘productive’ work. The benefits may, in fact, be delivered through customer satisfaction and repeat business as a result of improved response times. However, most businesses now measure customer satisfaction as a key performance indicator. Therefore, the increase in productivity and potential process re-engineering that can be achieved will positively impact customer satisfaction levels.
Extending fixed-line call features to mobile handsets
Reducing call costs
Improving the responsiveness of the business
Delivering control – for instance, for compliance with FSA regulations
Ease of extending the capacity
The use of converged solutions also enables the workforce to be more productive through mobile access to direct-dial extensions and conferencing. For example, employees can respond faster to voicemails and benefit from reduced telephone tag as they can answer more calls the first time. The following examples illustrate specific productivity gains:
Consultants within a Healthcare Consulting company achieved a 10 to 15% productivity gain due to reduced telephone tag.
Carers at a Home Care Services company achieved 60 minutes each day per employee due to fewer voicemails, more calls answered the first time, and reduced telephone tag.
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A specialist call center within a Travel Insurance company handled 25% more calls due to the increased responsiveness of the staff.
A Universityachieved one hour saved per day for IT support staff, minimizing delays in reaching colleagues to issue job instructions or resolve issues.
Within a Hospital, nurses were able to save at least 10 minutes each time they retrieved patient results by accessing and checking results irrespective of location within the hospital.
Productivity benefits can be relatively difficult to quantify and are best addressed on an individual basis. However, financial savings can be found by calculating, for example, the number of minutes saved per day through enhanced communications and business processes (e.g., time wasted unnecessarily visiting the office to pick up desk-based voicemails or job schedules). In addition, the ability to rapidly and consistently answer inquiries and client calls can ensure that a client is gained and maintained owing to a better standard of service.
Although more difficult to measure, research has shown that softer benefits can lead to quantifiable revenue, customer satisfaction, customer retention, and work rate or cost-saving improvements for enterprises.
One simple solution is a feature-rich Business SIM enabling Voice, SMS & Data 3G, and HSDPA whilst roaming. This mobile SIM provides the business with full control over calls and texts nationally on the hosted network and whilst Roaming. In addition, the SIM provides connectivity to defined private mobile networks and access to a common core for application activation.
The mobile is enhanced by providing short code dialing to other extensions in the business and support for the same feature dialing provided on fixed-line handsets, enhancing application integration.
The MNO or MVNO provides for number portability and ensures that users can maintain their existing phone numbers, and avoids any disruption to the dialing experience for the end-user; no user training is required.
Ideally, the network fully supports data options providing internet and mail connections. Access Point Names ( APNs) are provided for network-supported applications such as Push-to-Talk (PTT.
Subscribers naturally expect the same service capabilities when traveling abroad as they do when registered onto their home network. Therefore, we aim to avoid complicated methods to make a call while ensuring subscribers can use their accounts when roaming internationally. Ideally, they want to be able to dial straight from their mobile contacts list without editing numbers to specify the correct country code.
CAMEL Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic support means that the user dials as normal as long as the international network supports CAMEL. When CAMEL is supported, we can guarantee a seamless prepaid roaming experience. Costs are typically less than normal call rates, and this solution ensures that call recording as required for FSA compliance is still delivered while traveling in CAMEL countries.
CAMEL Call Back This solution means that the caller calls as normal, and the call is directed to the platform. The call then drops for a short period. The platform then immediately rings back both the caller and the destination number and connects the two parties. This solution is CAMEL dependent and ensures a lower call rate, but it also incurs a slightly longer connection time.
Roaming will enable connection even when no CAMEL network is available. The call is made over the local macro network selected for the strongest network signal in the area. Call charges are at the standard country rates. This solution guarantees connection but will not ensure call recording within FSA regulations and will, potentially, incur the highest call rate.
Landline Number in the SIM
The SIMs can support mobile and landline numbers, enabling a mobile phone to host both a standard landline DDI (number) and a mobile number simultaneously.
Choice of Handset
It will support a wide range of handset models and, since it is independent of Smartphone operating systems, it is unaffected by operating system changes.
Short Code Dialling
As a result of the call routing presentation at the PBX or hosted data center switch, shortcode dialing, and feature dialing (i.e., number tagging to request a feature or application support such as record/don’t record or identification of private calls) are supported.
Removing Business Costs Mobile phone software applications raise several management, cost, and support issues for businesses. Furthermore, it is possible for mobile applications to be bypassed, even if this requires the mobile phone to be rebooted. All applications are delivered and supported centrally from the core; there is no need for support on the individual handsets, all that is needed is a New SIM card.
Savings on Mobile Costs
The outbound call leg is under the control of the business and will, typically, be configured to avoid Mobile Network Operator (MNO) charges for national and international calls. Additionally, calls, at the discretion of the business, maybe placed:
FOC over internal, national, and international business networks if they remain on-net or at landline contract rates for off-net calls over PSTN or the business’s chosen carrier
Inbound calls to mobiles are presented at the PBX and receive a share of the Media Termination Credits (a credit to the SIM) paid to the Mobile Network
In addition, this can provide significant savings, over 70%, on international roaming charges. This is provided by:
Use of professional mobile operator Call Back
Reduced costs as the outbound call leg are under the control of business
Application Integration from the Core
Will route all calls and messages (SMS) to a common core for switching. This common core may also route calls or messages to or through an application platform which, in turn, will activate the required service for that call or message. This enables Fixed and Mobile calls and messaging to use a common applications platform and, for the first time, ensures that the business requirements are met without requiring applications on mobile phones.
Third-Party Business Applications
The common core provides a rich capacity for application integration. For example, the ability to dial shortcodes will enable an integrated application to be activated with the dialed digits feeding the application, avoiding the need for the user to enter additional digits. For example, a time registration for, say, Time and Attendance or flex time recording or for security staff arriving at a location might dial a number which indicates the application and the location – the Calling line ID can identify the caller – all completed in one call.
Push-to-Talk (PTT) PTT is a mobile application enabling mobile phones to be used like Private Mobile Radios (PMR) but with more instruments, including ruggedized phones. PTT is a Hosted Service but available locally with a private mobile network. PTT also provides for Health & Safety Lone Worker requirements to locate using SMS and GPRS.