IT outsourcing benefits Etisalat DB

by Priyanka Bhattacharya    Aug 02, 2011

For telecom company Etisalat DB, which is a late entrant in the Indian telecom services market with its Cheers Mobile, it was important to be up and operational in the shortest time possible. That is why in late 2009 the company hired IT solutions provider Tech Mahindra to get it up and running in less than six months.Badri Subramanyan

The company had to replicate its international model of operations and that is where Tech Mahindra came in. A deal worth Rs 2,000 crore was signed, and the contract is spread over ten years. The company chose Tech Mahindra because the IT services provider had already worked with Etisalat to set up its Egyptian operations.

The key reasons Etisalat DB decided to outsource IT infrastructure services is because it would give the company a centralised model, technology choices can be made easily without worrying about capital expenditure, and establish a point to multipoint network seamlessly. Says Badri Subramanyan, CIO, Etisalat DB, “We decided to opt for IT outsourcing because it was the fastest way to get our pretty large infrastructure up, and running in few months.”

Since it was imperative for the IT team at Etisalat DB to have no technical complications, getting Tech Mahindra to handle the day to day troubleshooting worked best for the company. “We wanted to ensure that people we work with bring in the right technology knowledge and have right resource management skills. It also ensured that there was a certain speed of deployment which meant we were faster,” he further adds.

Etisalat DB India has a data centre that covers 6000 square ft and 250 people from Tech Mahindra sit here to deploy, monitor and trouble shoot any application put in place. Whenever the need arises the number of people can be increased to about 400. Etisalat DB has its own in house IT team of 60 people.

The prime IT applications involve components in Business Support System (BSS) and Operating Support System (OSS) domain. Etisalat DB is running BSS solution from Ericsson, Mediation and Provisioning solution from Comtel, CRM from Oracle, and Enterprise DB on Oracle as well. “We opted for these particular solutions because of the relevance of these solutions in India. Also trouble shooting issues become easier. Our infrastructure and networking is from Cisco,” informs Subramanyan.

While he agrees that in the long run the running of the IT infrastructure should be with the company, but when there arises the need for fast and error free deployment, then it is best to opt for IT outsourcing. Also there is the issue of getting the right talent pool to make the team which can be time consuming. On the other hand an IT services provider has a full fledged trained team to deal with technology deployment, and handle any technical contingencies.

“We have been able to get 110 percent benefits. In the initial days the technical costs, and implementation costs are very high, this has worked in ensuring that the cost flow is controlled,” the CIO of Etisalat DB explains. What has worked for Etisalat DB is that with an IT outsourcer working for it, it has been able to better handle technology obsolescence, have a strong team of technical resource at hand always and above all have a predictive set up. While the contract is for ten years, every three years there will a phase of review to monitor the benefits gained. The contract also has an exit option which can be taken by Etisalat DB every three years if the need arises.

According to Subramanyan, when opting for IT Outsourcing, it is a must for the client company to have an in house executive to constantly monitor the performance levels. It is also important to have a layered governance structure so that any issue can handled without escalation.