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Timely Overhaul: Telecom upgradation improves Infosys BPO’s operations

May 30, 2011
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Founded in 2002, Infosys BPO (formerly Progeon Limited) is the business process outsourcing (BPO) unit of Infosys Technologies Limited.

The company provides credit and debit card services, check processing facilities, mortgage loan servicing, collections, customer account management, claims processing, transaction and reinsurance accounting, and annuity processing. It also offers customer support, chat monitoring, tax processing, client account management, benefit processing and technical helpdesk services.

Infosys BPO was founded in 2002 and operates in India, the the Czech Republic, China, the Philippines, Poland, Mexico, USA and Brazil.

Faced with the dual challenges of manageability and increasing costs, Infosys BPO overhauled its communication infrastructure. The overhaul was undertaken in order to establish a cohesive communication network across multiple global offshore delivery locations.

tele.net tracks the development of the BPO’s telecom infrastructure...

Legacy system

According to Srimathi K. Swamy, head, technology infrastructure group, Infosys BPO, when the company started operations in 2002, it used internet-based IP-SEC tunnels for data communication, where dedicated customer links were set up for start-up and ramp-up.

The BPO was also using international private leased circuits to connect its offshore delivery centres in two models – directly to the customer premises, or to the company’s points-of-presence (PoPs) in the US and the UK – and then to the customer premises. However, most of the company’s offshore customer businesses were isolated BPO centres. Also, most of the customers were using offshoring services for the first time.

As Infosys BPO’s business grew between 2002 and 2005, the need for building a new telecom infrastructure was felt. More so, because the company was using multiple autonomous networks dedicated to each client and spread across several offshore locations. Also, the practice of reselling bandwidth capacities as compared to owning complete submarine cable systems was prevalent then. Thus, manageability became an issue as there were multiple vendors with different service contracts.

This led the company to consolidate its connectivity infrastructure for each offshore delivery centre by logically isolating all customers’ offshore local area networks (LANs) securely. This also addressed clients’ security concerns.

Thereafter, Infosys BPO started to look for service providers who offered end-to-end managed services that entailed a single service level agreement (SLA). “By this time, we also realised that both internet and multi-protocol label switching (MPLS)-based infrastructure in the country had advanced substantially and we were confident of providing these models to our clients,” says Swamy.

The shift

According to Anantha Radhakrishnan, head, business transformation and technology services, Infosys BPO, “Our core objectives while leveraging technology were to standardise, simplify and enhance the user experience; optimise costs for our clients; as well as ensure sustainability, scale and security.”

As part of the overhaul, the company replaced traditional point-to-point IPLC links with an MPLS-based connectivity model sourced from international and domestic players.

Infosys BPO also deployed both Ethernet and DS3 last mile access that connected to multiple PoPs of the service provider’s MPLS cloud, with dedicated virtual route forwarding for multiple clients. This, according to the respondent, met the clients’ security requirements.

For internet services, Infosys designed and implemented the shared internet facility for multiple BPO customers with logical isolation and security monitoring, and an alerting facility, which can be scaled up across locations.

Infosys BPO’s security applications include firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, URL filtering solutions for EDGE-based networks, vulnerability scanning tools, log analysers and data leakage prevention solutions.

To manage its offshore client connectivity infrastructure, the company deployed a network monitoring system at its integrated management centre, which monitors Infosys BPO’s connectivity/LAN infrastructure globally.

Today, around 15,000 employees from various geographies have access to this network to service customers across the world.

Challenges and benefits

The company faced a few implementation challenges. These included critically reviewing telecom operators who offered managed services, especially for incidence of downtime. Aligning such incidents with the SLA expectations of a BPO delivery unit was an issue.

However, there were several benefits too. According to Swamy, the standardisation and simplification of the connectivity infrastructure at the delivery centre resulted in simpler and faster deployment of communication infrastructure, standardisation of infrastructure and cost optimisation.

Net, net, the new communication infrastructure helped the company meet its business goals while streamlining operations and maintaining business continuity.


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