Qwest Communications takes control of network tracking and saves the company millions of dollars each month

By utilizing the CMP® software solution from Coastal Technologies Group (CTGi), not only can Qwest track every one of the more than seven billion monthly calls on their network, they can apply a cost to each call.

After recognizing a 300 percent increase in call volume over a two-year period, Qwest Communications recognized the urgent need to make call tracking and cost allocation a top priority. The company was relying on an in-house system to monitor network traffic, but it did not associate costs to calls, and this capability was now critical. Recognizing that they did not possess the resources or the necessary expertise in-house to efficiently create an appropriate solution, the company turned to the experts.

Searching for a solution
When Qwest began their search for a network tracking solution, they had a stringent set of requirements that needed to be met. “When we began the vendor review process, we had billions of calls on the network with no good way to track them,” said Kevin Klotz, Manager of Facility Cost and Systems Management. “One important requirement was to track each call going across the network and apply a cost to it on a call-by-call basis. We found that other vendors could track the calls, but could not tell us how much the transactions were costing us from an operational standpoint. This capability was unique to the CTGi solution,” he said.

CTGi worked in partnership with Qwest to tailor their CMP software specifically to meet the needs of Qwest. “We had pre-determined formats for what we wanted to see in our reports and how we wanted them to look,” commented Klotz. Because Qwest was light on IT staff to handle this project, CTGi created the application to automatically send usage data to Qwest on a daily basis so that the information is available whenever it is needed.

“The information we receive in the CMP reports is critical to our company’s operations. We rely on it for a multitude of uses and appreciate its ease-of-use. If we do need to manually manipulate the data, it can be done with a simple software program such as Access or Excel,” said Klotz.

The business impact of a complete network tracking solution
Since the initial implementation over two years ago, call volume has increased by more than 300 percent. The CMP solution allows Qwest to perform a true cost analysis on this massive network to monitor all traffic, providing Qwest a significant advantage over its competitors. “We’ve never before been able to calculate a true cost analysis,” commented Klotz.

The data derived from the CMP reports was the impetus for several significant business decisions within the Qwest organization. “The reports demonstrated very clearly to us that we needed to change the way we were accruing for cost. Another very significant change that was made based on this information was our pricing model,” said Klotz. After comparing our pricing with the actual costs involved in processing transactions, we made several changes to ensure our pricing was in line.”

The company also uses the data from the CMP reports to audit bills from other service providers. The data allows them to identify how much they should be billed per month. Armed with that information, the company has created a department whose primary responsibility is to compare the CMP information with the bills they receive from other service providers. The discrepancies can be significant, and Qwest now has the information they need to dispute these inaccurate bills. “Having this information available makes the dispute process much more efficient and arms us with the information we need to prove our case,” said Klotz.

“The CMP data is critical when other vendors audit Qwest as well. It provides us with good, verifiable data so that we have proof of our records and can substantiate any bills we send out,” noted Klotz.

The value of a reliable business partner
As part of the next phase, Qwest is requesting that CTGi add a feature to the software to change the current accrual process and to transform some of the data in their reports. “We rely on CTGi to make the necessary adjustments for us so that we can focus on what we do best,” said Klotz.

“CTGi is always very responsive to our requests. They have an extremely knowledgeable staff that is diligent about keeping up with telecommunications trends. They are often aware of new trends before we are,” commented Klotz. “We rely on their expertise.”