Steria halves mobile phone expenditure and rationalises communications strategy using iC suite

Steria halves mobile phone expenditure and rationalises communications strategy using iC suite business intelligence software


Steria, the IT enabled business services specialist, operates across 16 countries and employs 20,000 people worldwide, a large proportion of which carry mobile phones provided by the company. Keen to control its escalating mobile communications bill, Steria appointed Tollring, leaders in business intelligence, to rationalise its current system, implement a cost-effective communication management solution and halve its costs.

The challenge

Day to day activity for Steria’s commercial services and accounting teams presented itself as a constant challenge. As a direct result of the company’s aggressive acquisition programme, the team had been forced to manage multiple telecoms vendors with multiple billing dates, multiple billing periods, incompatible bill formats, numerous tariffs and numerous inventories and structures. It urgently needed to control its expenditure, bringing different billing methods into one platform.

This was no easy task for its UK arm, who had over 4000 mobile lines requiring complex manual processes to recharge and administer the phones. These manual processes, along with extensive data entry of billing data from two different telecoms networks, took up the valuable time and effort of six people. The data then needed to be formatted, analysed and processed.

Manual paper-based personal call tagging - which required each user to highlighted personal calls on paper bills and post a personal cheque to the HR department - presented a further challenge.

The solution

The solution came in the form of iC suite from Tollring, a business intelligence solution that takes data underlying a company’s operations and transforms it into actionable intelligence, to help users visualise, understand and better manage their resources. iC mobility, the mobility module of iC suite, was implemented over an eight-week period. The technical, data and IT-related aspects of the project were provided by Tollring as part of a managed service, reducing the involvement of the Steria IT department and analysts as much as possible. Once installed, Facilities and Finance were, with just a few minutes training, able to use the solution immediately.

Using powerful software and database technology, iC mobility automatically gathers complex and unmanageable billing data from various sources, standardises/validates it, then outputs it to internal Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and payroll systems. User-defined reports help manage and drive down cost.

Steria has benefited from the solution in the following ways:

  • It can now maintain an accurate inventory of all network elements
  • It is able to implement just-in-time provisioning of telecom equipment
  • It can dispute invoice charges with carriers more easily
  • It can understand the true cost of operating the telecoms network
  • It can negotiate optimal tariffs with providers based on visible detailed usage data
  • It can pay bills on time
  • It can measure internal and external service level agreements
  • It has centralised its telecom data into a single repository for analytics and business intelligence
  • It can reduce training time and costs as the platform is highly intuitive.
  • It can reduce the staff count - six full time heads have been reduced to 1.5
  • It has enabled managers and users to run their own reports using the solution’s rich dashboards

The results and the return

iC mobility from Tollring had a significant and positive impact on day-to-day business from day one, helping the company to realise immediate and substantial continuous savings. Commenting on the new solution Simon Tibbles, Senior Consultant at Steria said; “iC suite is a truly self-funding solution. Not only has our monthly mobile telecoms expenditure been halved, but iC suite paid for itself in just three months.”

In just four months, lines were consolidated from 4264 to 3584, tariffs were changed and un-allocated lines and subscriptions were re-assigned or ceased. Billing between the various telecoms providers was harmonised and Steria had one common platform for inventory management. Processes were automated, such as cost re-charging, resulting in a reduction of headcount and the HR department managed personal calls using a single paperless solution.

The PA to an executive board member said “The new call tagging system is excellent! Whoever chose the system should get a major pat on the back. At last we have a system that is easy to use, clear concise, to the point… superb!”

Steria experienced a three- month return on their investment, achieving 67% of annual savings in the following areas:

  • Policy management 15%
  • Staff awareness of reporting & tracking tools 10%
  • Billing errors and overcharging 5%
  • Tariff optimisation 5%
  • Personal call management (cost recovery) 15%
  • Hardware / device lifecycle management 5%
  • Zero use lines 5%

Reducing costs for customers is of paramount importance to Steria, demonstrated by its decision to ‘white-label’ iC mobility and sell it to their customers.

Tollring recently scooped the ‘Business Intelligence and Analytics Solution’ Award in the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) category in the IT Europa European IT & Software Excellence Awards 2013 . This category is for Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management applications that have enabled businesses to gain an advantage from understanding and capitalising on the information they already possess in the organisation. The Steria case study was entered to demonstrate the capabilities of iC suite. For further information please contact Carl Boroman on 01895 478 899 or visit