Executives at PricewaterhouseCoopers believe there's still a compelling opportunity to provide services to telecommunications service providers, despite a tight market. But they are advocating improving operations rather than costly upgrades.
The firm's consulting arm announced this week the Telecom Cost Minimizer practice, which focuses on doing more with less, said PwC partner Paul Gaynor.
"We take a [telco's] embedded assets, its network, people and systems and make them work better," he said. "It could be optimizing a network, putting more capacity over pieces of fiber or making sure every bill comes in the door."
Gaynor said many telcos that are still operating with legacy systems are missing billing opportunities that are costing them millions of dollars. Others are using lines in the most effective manner. By dedicating employees to monitor these areas, telcos can achieve cost savings without have to implement costly system upgrades, he said.
For example, in previous PwC engagements, Gaynor said telcos were found to have provisioned lines without charging the customer. Or, conversely, cancelled lines were never terminated, so in effect, the customer was getting free bandwidth.
Gaynor said PwC has found a total of $1 billion in unbilled revenue over about 80 worldwide engagements in two years.
"You don't have to go out and make more money to improve the bottom line," he said. "You need to operate more effectively."
PwC is bringing a number of unique tools to its customers, Gaynor said. Among them is a routing tool that analyzes traffic and determines the most optimal path from one point to another at the lower possible cost. In addition, he said PwC brings tools that can help telcos aggregate several customers' T1 lines into larger DS-3s to save money.