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Telecom Upgrade - MIPL re-engineers its telecom Infrastructure

March 15, 2010
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Mahagun India Private Limited (MIPL) is engaged in real estate development in the residential, commercial and hospitality segments.The company's service portfolio encompasses all phases of construction from pre-planning, budgeting and scheduling to design and construction.

Over the years, as the company's business grew and expanded to different locations, it felt the need to upgrade its traditional telecom infrastructure system to a more robust and flexible one. The underlying idea was to do away with the numerous files and documents collected over the years and integrate the company's business processes into a unified system. tele.net tracks the development of MIPL's telecom infrastructure...

Legacy system

The company's initial IT and telecom infrastructure was fairly modest. It comprised plain old telephone lines, a fax machine and mobile handsets. The company opted for a closed user group plan with customised calling rates provided by Reliance Communications as it was a costeffective solution.

In addition, it used an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system primarily for financial transactions and customer bookings, while data and information related to the projects were handled manually using Microsoft Excel and other applications.

In keeping with its vision of growth, the company carried out an internal assessment of its capabilities and decided to re-engineer its telecom infrastructure to achieve these goals. It felt that it needed a new, scalable and robust network that would help it increase efficiency levels and decrease costs.This could be achieved by adopting solutions that would help the company in gaining a competitive advantage, and provide tools for managing and effectively controlling the enterprise. It, therefore, sought to adopt industry best practices by establishing a solid platform that could be banked upon for further growth.

The shift

The company zeroed in on network components such as an integrated services digital network (ISDN) and the internet for wide area network connectivity. Alongside a 2 Mbps internet connection, which was the backbone of the company's telecom infrastructure, ISDN provided fast connectivity at a high bandwidth, which reduced download time. In addition, the company could simultaneously transmit voice and data through this medium.

DSL was used in conjunction with WiFi for last mile connectivity. The company deployed a distributed set-up, which meant that internet connectivity came from one central point and was later broken down or channellised to several points within the premises. Wi-Fi also helped create several secure hotspots within the company's premises to enable internet access from all locations.

Keeping in mind that a large proportion of the company's workforce was mobile, and was out of the office for a significant period of time, the company provided BlackBerry handsets to a section of employees. Several enterprise mobility applications including mobile email, mobile data connectivity, conferencing and access to the corporate intranet via the smartphone were also used.

For security, the company installed firewalls, provided by Juniper Networks, and other software, the most important of which are antivirus packages. A relatively simple redundancy option, a server backup, was also put in place. In fact, whenever the construction major experienced downtime, it resorted to data cards for instant and reliable connectivity.

Challenges and benefits

Although the company has not faced any significant challenges while upgrading its telecom infrastructure, the benefits have been numerous. The solutions have helped MIPL standardise and integrate all its processes across various locations.

The interconnected system automatically updates all related data upon entry, providing reliable and up-to-date information. It has not only put an end to the long-winded process of entering, reentering and checking data for each calculation but has also enabled the company to significantly cut down its bandwidth requirements.

Net, net, MIPL has taken the right steps at the right time and is now reaping the benefits offered by a centralised and simplified network. Going forward, the company plans to integrate its ERP set-up with the rest of its infrastructure in order to further streamline its business processes.

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