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How Bajaj Power curbed travel expenses and saved revenue with telepresence

Eric Ernest | Dec. 21, 2012
Dinesh Kumar, CIO, Bajaj Power Division, reduced the company's travel costs by 70 percent by turning to telepresence

The Organization: The Bajaj Power Division has made a significant contribution to the Indian power sector and is gearing up to do more. Now a privately held organization--previously a subsidiary of India's largest sugar firm, Bajaj Hindustan till March 2012--the company recently set up five power plants in Uttar Pradesh.The Business Case: Poised to set up power plants with a capacity of over 4,500 MW, Bajaj Power Division, is also working on a number of other power projects in parallel. With so many different projects happening at once, the ability to manage and monitor them effectively--during their construction, operation and maintenance phases--is of prime importance in the power business. This meant that top executives--including the vice chairman--and some junior employees needed to travel to these sites, which drained the company's coffers. It also delayed decision-making. Also, employees at remote sites faced challenges in communication and project execution due to their isolated locations. "We needed to find a solution that would save time and costs--and reduce travel at the same time," says Dinesh Kumar, CIO, Bajaj Power Division. Kumar knew what he was looking for.

Dinesh Kumar, CIO, Bajaj Power Division, reduced the company's travel costs by 70 percent by turning to telepresence.

The Project: Kumar realized that only Telepresence could help him kill two birds with one stone. He turned to Polycom's Real Presence video solution. Though getting the project off the ground wasn't easy, Kumar handled it tactfully. Since most of the company's sites were in remote locations, connectivity could be an issue. To tackle this, Kumar set up an MPLS network in just a month--when it usually takes two to three months. Another potential threat in a telepresence project is convincing management to invest in the technology. Fortunately for Kumar, that was a bullet he easily dodged. That's because, he says, the entire process of obtaining the telepresence solution had the backing of the company's Vice Chairman Kushagra Nayan Bajaj. Bajaj ensured that funds were available for the project. Today, the company runs two Realpresence systems and seven full HD executive collection video conference systems that provide immersive telepresence. The IT team has also implemented video clients on iPads, desktops, laptops and mobiles.

The Benefits: Armed with telepresence, senior management at Bajaj Power Division has been able to monitor the developments at its sites without visiting the plants, saving costs and enabling faster decision making. This has helped the company cut travel costs by 70 percent. The solution also helps the company train its staff and recruit people. Also, a record utilization of the system--128 hours a month--has encouraged the company to expand the scope of the solution. The system is also used to interact, collaborate and communicate with vendors and other companies of the Bajaj group. Video phones have also been installed in the homes of key personnel of the company to aid faster decision-making. More importantly, users of the system are enthused. The solution, believes, the company's vice chariman Bajaj, has made his life very smooth and productive.


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