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Apogee Networks is offering businesses a way to monitor and charge back telecommunications expenses to the affected units or businesses. By more careful monitoring and subsequent cost controls, as well as elimination of unused capacity, users can conceivably gain pennies per share in their quarterly earnings, the company says.

Apogee, headquartered in Saddle Brook, N.J., uses probes placed at "strategic crossover points" in a telecom network -- anywhere from 9 to 30 probes in a typical arrangement -- and feeds information to a collection and billing engine, says Chief Marketing Officer Andrew Burroughs. He says that Apogee can routinely collect 95 to 100 percent of the billing information. Implementation generally takes two to three months, including an inventory of the company's network. Apogee has partnered in that process with companies like IBM Corp. -- with which it has an outsourced network relationship -- and Cisco Systems, as well as companies that produce the probes.

Pablo Tapia, then a networking manager at Goldman, Sachs & Co., started Apogee in 1997 when he realized, Burroughs says, that "companies were building these big networks, but they couldn't charge back usage to the actual user -- there was no way to do the accounting and [realize] data transparency." Usage, Burroughs adds, hasn't always been aligned with business objectives.

"You noticed that the issue of cost transparency wasn't big three or four years ago, when times were good; now there's a great deal of pressure to achieve this," Burroughs says. "Companies are asking: 'Who is using the network, and where is the productivity gain?' Finance is increasingly focused on providing answers to the CEO and the board."

Apogee's customer base includes Bristol Myers Squibb, Fidelity Investments, major banks like Citigroup and State Street, British Petroleum and Cornell University.

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Title Annotation:Apogee Networks Inc., services
Publication:Financial Executive
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2002
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