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Microcell Increases Productivity with MEGA Software Suite

  • August 01 2002, 1:00am EDT

Microcell Solutions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microcell Telecommunications Inc. The company is a national provider of personal communications services under the Fido brand name and serves more than one million customers in Canada. Microcell offers GSM roaming capabilities in more than 100 countries and more than 6,000 U.S. cities.

Microcell is trying to maintain its edge in this highly competitive market. The company's challenges include rapid customer and employee growth, coupled with the need to standardize internal company procedures.

Microcell's organizational efficiency department is responsible for publishing all procedures on the company's intranet. The department's output is very important to the company because the faster procedures get implemented, the better Microcell can perform overall. Prior to implementing the MEGA Software Suite from MEGA International, our documentation process was manual. Each modification of processes took two weeks. To stay competitive, we needed to increase operational efficiency and reduce costs associated with this task.

To address the situation, Microcell formed a multidisciplinary team of users, trainers and operators to analyze the needs of the users and operators. After identifying the requirements, the team researched and presented the various options to strategic management. During the presentations, the team provided the solution, the costs and the business case for each. The strategic management team ultimately gave approval to implement the MEGA solution.

To evaluate the success of our strategy, we measured productivity time before and after implementation of the MEGA solution. Productivity dramatically increased as documentation process time for each procedure was cut from two weeks to two hours. We also analyzed the numbers of hits on the intranet and saw that there was an increase since the implementation. User feedback was all very positive.

In retrospect, we should have performed a pilot before the actual implementation. We did plan one; however, because of our intranet structure, it wasn't feasible. We tested the solution in the development phase, but not in the production phase. In addition, we should have taken into account the impact that the training would have on our customer service. We allocated 90-minute training sessions for the users, but ended up reducing the time to 20 minutes because of customer service complaints. Lastly, we underestimated the time and resources that it would take to transfer 400 procedures to the new system. As a result, we worked more hours transferring information than originally anticipated.

MEGA was chosen because it was the only solution that met our criteria. In addition, each of MEGA Software Suite's operations is independent of the procedures; this is important to us.

MEGA Software Suite's modeling capabilities help teams of business and systems analysts design, improve and support strategic business processes.

Microcell's strategy is to expand its services and standardize on internal company procedures. MEGA Software Suite has enabled us to integrate all of our documentation processes into one database so that they can be accessed via the intranet by all company departments.

We chose MEGA for its strong repository, its compatibility with our existing intranet and its multi-language capabilities. The system has been set up to allow Microcell to comply with Canadian regulations for internal documentation, which must exist in both French and English. MEGA Software Suite allows users to capture different languages while ensuring consistency between the languages. This is a key feature for global companies managing consistent process and procedure descriptions in multiple languages.

Practical advice: Involve your end users from the beginning; allocate the necessary time to plan and transfer existing procedures; communicate the changes to end users via an intranet or other easily accessible means; train the final users; treat the entire project as if it were for an external customer; and solicit feedback.

By using MEGA, Microcell's Organizational Efficiency Department has ultimately been able to reduce the documentation process for each procedure from two weeks to two hours. Because of the improved efficiency, the company has also been able to publish double the number of procedures online using the same number of employees, thereby increasing productivity and reducing costs. Ultimately, this means the company is able to launch services quicker with better customer support.

MEGA Software Suite is targeted at teams of business analysts and IT developers that need to improve organizational efficiency by connecting fast-changing business processes with IT development efforts. The solution enables stakeholders to drive bottom-line profits, unlock new customer value and minimize the risk involved with changing critical business processes.

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