Successful Project Management Enables Rapid Implementation for an Immediate Profit Increase of $5 Million

Successful Project Management Enables Rapid Implementation for an Immediate Profit Increase of $5 Million

Through an aggressive merger and acquisition phase, one of the broadband industries largest Multi-System Operators (MSO), found themselves needing help in systematically migrating their subscriber billing and workforce automation systems. To reach this goal, the client enlisted the help of experts at Cliintel to both maintain service levels as well as improve efficiency in the field.

The Client:

The MSO was the world’s largest provider of cable television, high-speed internet and local telephone service to 14 markets across the United States.

The Business Issue:

The Atlanta market consisted of over 100 dispatchers and over 500 technicians, all serving 600,00+ subscribers. This market utilized multiple groups of contractors to assist in field installations, service and audit functions. Atlanta was also the last of nine markets to be on an older, outgoing Workforce Management tool. Severe contractual penalties were associated with an extensive data center being kept on-line to support these tools. If the system was not shut off within 60 days from project initiation, the previously pro-rated cost to the market would exceed $1 million a month. The problem was particularly precarious in this case because the Atlanta market division of the MSO was highly dependent on the outgoing system that was actively utilized by the routers, dispatchers and field technicians.

Due to the success of this migration, increases in the efficiency of in-house labor allowed for the reduction of contract labor, allowing the MSO to realize an immediate profit of over $5 million, with a gross savings of over $300,000 in the first 90 days.

The Approach:

The Atlanta market’s staff had grown accustomed to change and transition. The decision to utilize Cliintel was based upon the team’s ability to execute the project plan utilizing the best practices identified from lessons learned from the prior deployments to successfully overcome the risks and issues brought to bear during the implementation. The urgency to sunset the old system and avoid the associated costs was extreme, mandating that the deployment of the new solution be on time, on budget, and fully available in production. It also had to be deployed with performance
reporting and cost/benefit trending analysis capabilities.

The Solution:
Discovery meetings were held by the project team to gather information from the market’s staff, vendors and management. The meetings engaged upper management in making high-level decisions on configuration, and to gain buy-in. Meetings between upper and middle management were held to assess criteria for these two levels and to achieve goal alignment between upper and middle management. Finally, meetings were held with front-end users and supervisory staff.

The goal of the meetings was to properly size the level of effort required to deploy the work force automation platform into this system across the four key departments: routing, dispatch, field technicians, and administrative.

Normally, training was held in a phased format utilizing one team of trainers to work through each department. In this instance, training was required in parallel in a “just-in-time” fashion. This approach required exacting coordination between the project management staff, market staff from dispatch, routing and field supervisors and both the corporate and market training staffs. Coordination would also have to occur in parallel with the wireless hardware and service provider, as well as the vendor for the work force automation platform itself.

The field, including that day’s routing, dispatch and all phone, radio and internet communication, would have to make a hard cut from the old workforce automation system, cellular phone and radio, to one handheld device in the same day. Technicians would hand in their hand held device on their way into training and leave to deliver their portion of the day’s production, with a new handheld device, having been qualified as proficient – all in the same shift.

The Results:

Cliintel was highly successful in coordinating the entire span of this endeavor and moved from field service to implementation and utilization by the network maintenance and outage dispatch teams. The rapid implementation schedule throughout the affected departments, and fast utilization of the handheld devices were attributable to unwavering executive sponsorship with consistent reinforcement. Logical, focused processes helped to achieve buy in, goal-alignment, and participation in training and meetings where the players were able to see the commitment from upper management. If resistance was noted, issues could be addressed on the spot and be immediately resolved.

The solution was deployed on time and under budget. All departments were successfully using the new system on day one. The outgoing product was smoothly replaced and the client was able to shut down the data center without incurring the $1 million per month penalty.

Due to the success of this migration, increases in the efficiency of in-house labor allowed for the reduction of contract labor, allowing the MSO to realize an immediate profit of over $5 million, with a gross savings of over $300,000 in the first 90 days.

We’re proud to help our clients solve tough problems and achieve stunning results. To see what kind of results Cliintel can deliver for you, please visit or e-mail

Creating Competitive Advantage – Business Process Automation: More Bang for the Buck

Creating Competitive Advantage – Business Process Automation: More Bang for the Buck

In the never-ending pursuit of productivity, process automation is often an appealing solution for a business department or company division seeking greater efficiency and lower expenses. The ideal approach to the problem is often software that addresses the user’s unique issues, ensuring better fit, smoother deployment and easier adoption. But paradoxically, organizations in greatest need of such a solution may not have the budget for the process automation tools that will make the biggest impact, or have a culture that embraces change.

A smart process automation consultant can help you spread the cost, share the benefits, and become a company hero by extending the use of your department’s software to other user groups. After all, the same process automation tools can most likely support a variety of related processes.

Tools used to route and dispatch the service workforce can also be used for a sales force, often with just a minor tweak. For example, consider the large telecommunications company whose non-pay disconnect group needed help. This team cut off service at the utility pole for customers whose accounts were in arrears. They operated apart from normal field operations functions as well as the field audit group, which detected illegal connections and theft of service. But on examination, a savvy process automation consultant determined that the procedures followed by these three departments had a great deal in common, and that they both shared key elements with activities of the “feet on the street” sales team.

The new process automation tool designed for the field service department worked very well for the disconnect team and the field audit folks. Joining with the sales team, all three groups became a powerful part of the company’s sales force and drove out the cost of redundant systems. Instead of simply cutting off service at the utility pole for non-paying customers, the team began calling on these customers to offer them the opportunity to settle accounts and keep their service. The tap audit team likewise turned service thieves into honest, paying customers. Service technicians earned sales commissions, the CFO was ecstatic, and the department head who initiated the process automation received kudos from all quarters.

Although distinct from process automation, business intelligence software offers another attractive opportunity to spread the wealth – and costs – among multiple departments. This takes very little salesmanship, as staff members notice that their colleagues in the newly BI-empowered department suddenly have valuable data, and are no longer griping about reports that are out of date on delivery. The interest generated by water-cooler chat can easily lead to BI tools that benefit the entire organization.

Sharing process automation tools among work groups inevitably yields another valuable benefit: as information is shared, communication grows between user groups. As a result, departmental silos that may have developed over time begin to dissolve, leading to a more integrated, mission-focused organization.

An experienced process automation advisor can help you uncover opportunities within your organization to extend custom software applications. It’s just a matter of adopting a broad perspective, rallying support for a change to intercompany corporative processes and then preparing for applause.

To learn more about maximizing process automation, please visit or e-mail

Improve Business Processes with Right Professional Services – Creating Competitive Advantage

Improve Business Processes with Right Professional Services – Creating Competitive Advantage

Project management is among the most popular and familiar of the professional services. By keeping a well-defined project on budget and on time, a skilled project manager can make the difference between successful and failed systems development and process improvement projects. While quantitative project components certainly need to be managed carefully, the job becomes much more challenging when project parameters are fluid, not clearly understood and/or not effectively defined. This is often the case in the development of new software or a new business process. In such situations, it is generally advisable to seek out the professional services of an experienced business analyst. BAs focus on the quality of the deliverable – be it software or process. A BA‘s role is to ensure that the final process improvement solution will meet the company goals and that it connects effectively with the organization’s structure, policies and operations.

In an environment where many companies have reduced internal headcount in response to the economic downturn, today’s successful companies are relying more than ever on professional service providers to help with business process improvements. Engaging a trusted advisor is a wise use of limited resources, and ensures that critical new projects will go forward in sync with day-to-day business operations.

The business analyst can be known by many names, including process analyst, project analyst or, in highly technical settings, systems analyst. While the BA’s job description is highly flexible, the professional service provider can contribute a distinct set of skills to business process improvement. Leading the list are the objectivity and familiarity with your industry that he or she can bring to the project. This combination allows an experienced BA to speak with customers and employees, accurately interpret their input, and translate it into practical and specific technical solutions. A trusted business analyst can see beyond immediate process improvement or data management needs to address potential future issues and requirements from an objective, unbiased position.

Effective business analysts are naturally curious and inquisitive. Among the most valuable professional services they provide is the ability to ask the right questions. A well constructed, objective information collection technique can be the key to quickly determining why things aren’t working and how to improve business processes or tools. An experienced technical BA will be well acquainted with the systems development life cycle – the continuous process of planning, analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance that is the foundation of much software development.

Obviously, you can’t improve business processes in a vacuum. Effective business analysts have the flexibility needed to work within the client’s culture and style. Flexibility is also essential as the business analyst must wear multiple hats. At any point in a given project, the BA may be called upon to gather, interpret, or document requirements, design system architecture, support the project manager, or facilitate communication among customer, developer, and the project management team.

When a large business process improvement or data management project is on the line, it’s ideal to engage a support team that includes both a project manager and a business analyst. The team approach offers the most effective balance between quality and budget considerations. But if resources are scarce, and the project is of moderate size, it is possible to find a trusted advisor who is skilled in both professional services – business analysis and project management. Wearing her business analyst hat, your advisor will look at the current state and help determine how it can or should change and the technical requirements needed to get there. As project manager, your advisor can then collect and report essential
information to keep the project on time and on budget. This is a an important, and often challenging, balancing act but the right advisor can make the difference between merely meeting and truly fulfilling your process improvement and data management goals.

To learn more about professional services to improve business processes, please visit or e-mail

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