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Z-Consulting Group is an independent professional services firm. Our philosophy and general practice are to provide unbiased analysis and solutions for our clients. In order to avoid any conflicts of interest, we offer no products for sale; we do not accept gratuities or have any monetary exchanges with a supplier, manufacturer, or vendor; and we do not provide operational outsourcing services.
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San Diego State University Adopts a New Rate and Funding Model


San Diego State University (SDSU) was founded in 1897 and has grown to become a nationally ranked research university.  Renowned for its academic excellence, the university is home to top-ranking programs in education, international business, social work, speech-language pathology, biology and public administration. Overall, San Diego State students can choose from 85 undergraduate majors, 75 master’s programs and 14 joint doctoral degree programs and two independent doctoral degree programs.

Business Challenge

The University’s Enterprise Technology Services had not revised the rates charged to departments for voice and network services in 20 years and needed assistance with a comprehensive cost analysis of telecommunications, network, SDSU Card, server hosting, server storage, and security services.  The University was looking to create a practical and long-term, sustainable, cost recovery model for current and future services.


Working closely with the University, Zahid Masood and Karen Mattis structured a collaborative process addressing the costs for 476 lines of service.  There were four processes performed with a defendable audit trail addressing 1) cost for services, 2) activity level by customer groups, 3) peer and market comparisons, and 4) three alternative rate methodologies.  Each process step built the foundation for a practical cost recovery method in support of the delivery of ETS services now and in the future.  The involvement of stakeholders during each of these major milestones provided them a better understanding of the voice and network services provided by ETS as well as the cost to provision these services.


SDSU was able to recognize true cost of its services and adopt a rate and funding model that offered long term sustainability in the current shrinking state budgets.

California County: Unified Circuit Strategy Lowers Operational Cost by $1 Million


This California County is often referred to as the American Riviera and is a top destination for locals and tourists from all over the world.

Z Consulting helped the County optimize their monthly spending on Telco Circuits and other services.

Business Challenge:

The County had a long-term relationship with its provider of Telco Circuits and was looking to cut costs and improve operational efficiency, without compromising the quality of service delivered to its internal customers and resident citizens.

The County wanted to ensure its existing contracts were performing to expectations and were competitive in today’s market places. 

How Z Consulting Helped:

With internal County resources already running at maximum speed, the County decided Z Consulting, with its deep experience in both contract negotiations and in Telco Circuit Analysis at public sector organizations, was the right partner to assist in the analysis.

Z Consulting worked collaboratively on a Telecom Circuit Audit.  This examination helped Z Consulting and the County identify specific areas of cost reductions.  

First, Z Consulting reviewed existing contracts to determine if vendor invoicing was according to the contract rates. Discrepancies were found and Z Consulting collaboratively worked with the provider to correct them.

Second, Z Consulting identified inventory for each County facility – T1s, ISDN PRIs, DIDs, POTS, as well as inbound and outbound usage.  A Technology Sizing Model was created to document these services. Then, these services were benchmarked with market rates to determine their competitiveness with the existing contracts.  During this process newer emerging technologies like SIP Trunking were also analyzed and compared.

A financial model was created to show various alternatives and their cost effectiveness.  Cost savings ranged from 20% to 60%.


Today, the county has implemented the documented changes both in contracts and in cost effective circuits strategy without compromising the quality of service being delivered to its internal customers and citizens.  The county has benefited from newer circuit technology as well as gained features like caller ID when receiving external calls. More than a $1 Million savings over the life of the contract was music to the County’s management’s ears.

Amid a tight budget environment, many government agencies are looking for pragmatic ways to assess their cost structure, realize accelerated cost reduction without reducing service quality.  There exist excellent opportunities in the Telecom and IT areas to reduce costs through optimization, enhancement, and innovation.

State of Tennessee: Peer Benchmark Improves NetTN Costs

The Office for Information Resources (OIR) had a vision is to deploy a robust unified statewide network to urban and rural Tennessee communities by leveraging the buying power for all branches of government, higher education, local government, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, K-12 districts, and nonprofits state wide.

Business Challenge 
In 2009/2010 the State spent $40 million for AT&T services.  The Department of Finance and Administration retained Z Consulting Group to conduct a Benchmark Analysis comparing the Tennessee (NetTN) Contract (FA0925220) telecommunication rates with public and private peer institutions.  The benchmark was used to leverage the State’s negotiations with AT&T to decrease costs for future and current Lines of Business (LOB) on the NetTN Contract.

Working closely with OIR, Z Consulting structured a collaborative process addressing the costs elements for a competitive price assurance Benchmark Analysis of the State’s NetTN contract.

There were three processes performed with a defendable audit trail addressing 1) cost for services, 2) activity level by customer groups, and 3) peer and market comparisons.

An overview of the benchmark analysis with the NetTN Executive Steering Committee provided the Team direction on prioritizing the Lines of Business to be re-negotiated with AT&T.

Many government agencies are facing a tight budget environment and are looking for pragmatic means to assess their cost structure, realize accelerated cost reduction without reducing service quality.


Zahid Masood and Karen Mattis provided our Team with the methodology needed to compare the costs elements for each line of business for the Benchmark Analysis conducted with 9 southern states. The Benchmark analysis gave Financial Services the leverage needed to improve our costs for many of the services on the NetTN Contract.