Case Study - Bandwidth Consolidation and Optimization

Bandwidth Consolidation and Optimization

Various Essel group companies utilize bandwidth for their day- to-day operations and bandwidth can be regarded as the backbone of operations of Essel group. Bandwidth optimization exercise is an initiative to make the bandwidth architecture more robust and at the same time reduce the bandwidth cost for the group.

Who was the client

Client

Essel Group is among India's most prominent business houses with a diverse portfolio of assets in media, packaging, entertainment, technology-enabled services, infrastructure development and education. The Group started business in 1926 and has since then metamorphosed into a conglomerate that is a symbol of the ingenuity and power of Indian entrepreneurship, with worldwide operations and a workforce of over 10,000 dedicated employees. Today Essel Group of Companies is a vast conglomerate of Media, Technology, Entertainment, Packaging, Infrastructure, Education and Precious Metals companies.

What was the situation earlier

The Situation

Essel Group and EBEX were targeting to make the cost of similar types of links consistent across various partners, identify links which are no longer being used, develop a robust architecture for bandwidth across the Essel group companies and ensure seamless connectivity and support for business operations for group companies.

What were the challenges

The Challenge

One of the major challenges was the absence of a common repository of links. This repository should ideally contain details of all the links which are currently commissioned and live across the various Essel group companies.

These links were spread across various cities and catered to different technologies.

The absence of a framework for commissioning and discontinuation of links resulted in various links not even being used. However, the companies were still being charged for these, due to asymmetry of information across partners, entities and EBEX.

Due to business criticality of some of the links, it wasn’t possible to consider all links equally while designing the To-Be architecture.

What approach was taken

The Approach

Bandwidth optimization was carried out by working around 2 facets – Price and Network Redesign.

Price was optimized by ensuring consistency in pricing across various partners and through negotiation of rates. Network redesign was carried out by developing a To-Be architecture ensuring robustness of the network and reducing the number of links while keeping the bandwidth unchanged.

The exercise started with development of a common repository of all the links which would include all the relevant details for the same. To begin with, information on each link was gathered from entities, followed by further information obtained by the procurement team at EBEX. An exhaustive list of links was prepared from this information and was shared with the ISP(Internet Service Providers) partners in order to validate it. Discrepancies were identified and addressed and a final list of live links across all Essel group companies was established.

This was followed by development of a high-level To-Be network architecture design ensuring a robust To-Be network with a smaller number of links but unchanged bandwidth. This was done by merging the links of similar technology connecting similar Point A and Point B locations.

CIOs of all the entities were provided a walk-through of the proposed To-Be network architecture to apprise them of the proposed solution and seek their feedback. After incorporating the feedback from all entities and receiving their go-ahead, an RFPwas prepared to be shared with the ISPs.

Value Drivers

Value Drivers

Price and Specifications were the 2 main value drivers on the basis of which key opportunity areas were identified to carry out bandwidth optimization.

Business process improvement solution suggested by EBEX team

The Solution

This creation of a repository of links was the fundamental step in this exercise. There were different sources of links’ information but no common repository where all the details regarding commissioned links were captured.

Information from different sources were collated and further validated to develop an exhaustive repository of links.

Various rounds of discussions were carried out with the entities in order to capture information related to links pertaining to individual entities. Further,the list of links provided by the procurement team was analyzed, and missing links were added to the master list. This information was then collated and shared with the ISP partners for validation from their end. Any discrepancies highlighted by ISP partners were then taken up with respective entities and a final list of links was prepared as an exhaustive repository of links.

Some of the fields which were captured in this exercise are –

  • ISP
  • Parent Entity
  • Legal Entity
  • Circuit ID
  • Type of Service
  • Bandwidth
  • Point A location
  • Point B location
  • ARC
The results achieved

The Results

Following were achieved

  • A dedicated backbone ring for Essel Group keeping security on priority.
  • Access layer from gateway offices.
  • Shared pool of internet cloud.
  • Unique MPLS cloud connecting all entities/locations with multiple VRFs
  • Redundant links at every location
  • Centralized monitoring from our Delivery Centre, Bengaluru
  • Meeting 99.5% SLA

Problems Addressed

  • Multiple links.
  • Multiple repository.
  • Varying cost ISP to ISP.
  • Rental cost at multiple locations
  • Unique defined Bandwidth Procurement to Termination Policy

Conclusion

Bandwidth consolation exercise led to a more robust network architecture offering increased reliability to end consumers (entities). Since in the To-Be solution considerable reduction is expected in the number of links therefore it will be easier to manage, maintain and monitor the reduced number of links. Cost optimization of approximately Rs.70Mn is expected through this exercise which is around 35% to 40% of total bandwidth cost.