Doncaster College is the largest provider of further education in South Yorkshire. It is also one of the largest providers of higher education in the region. The College’s Mission Statement is: “Meeting learner needs and aspiring to excellence.” During the last academic year, more than 22,000 people enrolled on more than 1,100 part and full‐time courses. Across its two main campuses, the College employs around 1,200 staff and accommodates students aged 16+. Its main campus is the exciting new £65m Waterfront development in the centre of Doncaster. The Hub, as it is known, opened in September 2006 and is home to some of the best educational facilities in the country. It includes state‐of‐the‐art IT facilities, a 100‐seat lecture theatre, a 200‐seat drama studio, a huge two‐floor Learning Resource Centre and a beauty salon. The University Centre, Doncaster is the Hub’s sister campus ‐ set in 126 acres of idyllic countryside at High Melton, six miles west of Doncaster. The campus is home to many of the College’s higher education courses, and houses Doncaster Business School, the College’s popular Faculty of Arts, the Stables Conference Centre and Britain’s first centre of excellence for relationship studies.
The College’s IT department inherited the support and procurement of telecoms used by the College in 2006. This responsibility previously fell to staff no longer with the organisation and there was thus little surviving or unifying documentation for them to turn to.
The College’s portfolio included in the region of 118 external lines and a smaller number of related external telephony services ‐ spread across five suppliers. The matter was further compounded by the fact that some of the College’s data circuits were mixed in with telephone service bills and the College’s 160 mobile phones were separately managed by the Finance department. The College wished to achieve better value and visibility of its telephony services and to simplify the administration of telephony services by reducing the number of suppliers. Having been a past Client, the College approached PTS to deliver independent consultancy to assist the College in this process.
PTS Consulting provided the College with a ‘Lines and Billing’ review and recommendations report for the telecoms lines, call charges and mobile telephones. This gave the College with a clear picture of the existing telephony provision related to PSTN services, along with options for reducing the cost of this provision. PTS Consulting firstly investigated the relevant information already gathered by the College to discover the telecoms lines it had and to whom and how much it was paying for these services. When this data had been verified it was benchmarked against current market figures and alternative options analysed. From this analysis PTS was able to make clear recommendations for future action. PTS Consulting discovered that the College was paying 1.5 pence per minute for its calls and was able to recommend that by adopting the OGC Buying Solutions outgoing call tariff for its fixed lines, the College could reduce this cost to 0.6 pence per minute
– less than half of that which it was previously paying. PTS also recognised that calls to mobiles could also be reduced from 10 pence per minute to 7.5 pence per minute by routing mobile calls using the PSTN, instead of the GSM gateway.
Overall, the College’s PSTN services were being provided by five separate telecommunications providers. PTS was able to identify that there was an overlap of provision. By following PTS Consulting’s recommendations and switching to a single provider, the College can hope to reduce its overall annual costs of the telephone services by an estimated 17%.
With PTS Consulting leading a fully independent analysis, the College could be confident that the resulting recommendations would help the IT department achieve the best and most cost‐efficient solution to meet its needs.
The key features of the project delivered to the College included:
- A Lines and Billings Review, which gave the College full visibility of its existing costs for telecoms lines, call charges and mobile telephones
- A benchmark analysis against current market figures, which provided a mechanism for comparison and recommendations for options to reduce the cost of provision
- The ability for the College to reduce fixed line call costs from 1.5 pence per minute to 0.6 pence per minute
- The potential for the College to reduce cost of calls to mobiles from 10 pence per minute to 7.5 pence per minute
- The prospect of reducing overall annual call costs of the telephone services of the College by an estimated 17%
Thanks to PTS Consulting, the College’s IT department now has the power to make an informed decision to reduce the number of telecommunications suppliers it uses and achieve much lower fixed and fixed to mobile call costs, as well as significantly bringing down its annual telecoms expenditure.
Eoin O’Cuinneagain, Service Manager, Corporate IT Services at Doncaster College commented:
“I am delighted with the results of the lines and billings review carried out for Doncaster College by PTS Consulting. PTS has helped the College to gain a much greater level of control of our everyday and annual telecoms expenditure.