certified company to check everything and tell as which is the problematic part--is it the application, the network, or the server? The improvement was around 30 to 40%, and of course, it cost us money. But that's okay, because everybody is getting this hanging problem with the network and honestly, nobody was able to fix it, they would just reset the switch but not solve the problem. To finally end everything, we hired two good people to fix it and honestly, it was expensive, but it was our billing system we're talking about here. Apparently, the fix gave improvements not only on our billing system, but on the whole company as well. We also outsource the preventive maintenance of our AS/400 servers and SAP applications. There's a big system that we would like to change next year, but as early as now, we are trying to identify three companies who can come in and tell us which way to go. We did that because they know where to go, because they would know better. With vendors, they always tell you all these flowery stuff. But when you have another person doing it for you, you have a very unbiased look on the project. We pretty much outsource a lot of items on our list, and it does help when the company is able to allocate the resources. They have the confidence that you are doing the right thing, because otherwise, they'll just treat it as an additional cost, and they will always ask you why you can't do it yourself.
Sangalanga: We outsourced our business intelligence system for handling the sales of all our branches. We are also planning on a maintenance program for the point-of-sale system down to the branch level.
It's a choice between maintaining people for supporting the projects, along with keeping several IT equipments, versus outsourcing everything. We are still doing some computations and documentation.
Dela Cruz: In our case, majority of the IT services are still being done in-house. That is one of the challenges I have now. We'd like to outsource our technical support team, but it's very much dependent on management approval. But it's definitely on the pipeline. Second would be our data center. This one, our management is very much leaning towards doing. Our office is in Paranaque, near the airport, so it's not very stable near the airport. There could be an effect when an airplane hovers around the area.
Management is very much aware of that, that is why they are very keen in outsourcing or relocating our data center to a third party. Next, we would like to outsource our telephony or PABX systems. I believe the current system we have now is old, but it's still up and running. The fourth would be to outsource our e-mail systems. Right now it is being supported by in-house personnel, and the problem is, when it goes down, we have to search for a solution elsewhere. So we started looking for thirdparty providers. They are very expensive, but we see the importance of getting their services to ensure that our e-mail system will run 24/7, especially now that the company is expanding to other countries. Since we are taking that direction, it's really practical to outsource our data center, to ensure continuous operations. As much as possible, if we see the need for outsourcing, as it would answer our requirement of continuous operations, personally, I would consider outsourcing almost every aspect of IT. That way, the internal IT staff would be more focused on planning, strategizing, and improving our systems, rather than being involved in day-today operations.