Saicom Voice Services adds Data Management solution to stack

02 September 2019, Johannesburg – Saicom Voice Services has added a data management solution to its evolving product stack, driven it says, by customer demand for world class services that are customisable to local business requirements and realities.

“Our clients have come to rely on us for customisable solutions that deliver best-of-breed capabilities, and our data management solution is no different.  We bring a customer-first, consultative engagement approach to our data management offering that goes beyond just back-up,” says Josh Grunewald, cloud hosting manager at Saicom Voice Services.

The company believes that while backup is a critical business requirement, it is only as good as the last restore, and that the key to successful data management, is understanding what you can do with your business data.

Says Grunewald, “we wanted to make sure that our clients are clear on how their data can be used to make their businesses better through testing in non-production environments; mitigate risks by eliminating ransomware in backed up data and using that to restore production environments.”

Grunewald adds that before embarking on data management Saicom works with clients to develop a plan that addresses issues like when and how data is backed up, how often it is accessed and managed once backed up, how they are planning on using their data, and most importantly, how quickly they want or need to be able to restore data.

“The plan should be a blueprint for the organisation and should not be seen as just an insurance policy in the event of data loss or corruption, but as an opportunity to test, run reports and do integrity checks in isolated environments,” adds Grunewald.

Saicom data management is built on Veeam Software capabilities, and is backed by highly skilled technical support services and data management engineers.

Concludes Grunewald, “we want to ensure our clients get the most out of the services and solutions they partner with us for, and we believe that differentiates us from many of the larger providers.  We are here to help!”

Saicom bolsters voice services offering with intelligent virtual agent solution

18 June 2019, Johannesburg – Saicom Voice Services has launched an intelligent virtual agent offering to automate common interactions between its clients and their customers. Developed by Inference Solutions and integrated across its Broadsoft platform, the virtual agent platform allows Saicom to couple services with its hosted PBX that are not natively provided or usually expected from a cloud-hosted PBX.

“Automation, especially on repetitive tasks, is becoming a business requirement, and the integration of Inference Intelligent Virtual Agents on our platform means we can assist our clients to redeploy live agents elsewhere in the customer service cycle,” says Charl van Vollenhoven, Infrastructure Manager at Saicom Voice Services.

Available to all Saicom clients, the Inference Solutions integration currently leverages Text to Speech (TTS); Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities, all geared towards making it easier for businesses and their customers to interact with the system. Furthermore, Inference Studio makes it easier to add services without having to go through subsequent development cycles.

“We’re pleased that Saicom chose to build its intelligent virtual agent capabilities on the Inference IVA platform,” says Callan Schebella, CEO at Inference Solutions. “Saicom can now offer its business customers a ready-made virtual agent solution to automate common interactions, with a drag-and-drop workflow that enables them to further customise their customers’ IVA capabilities without the need for additional development resources.”

Biometric capabilities enable customers to authenticate users without requiring a passcode, or asking multiple security questions.

“In addition to the interaction capabilities, the ability to run outbound campaigns enables notifications and reminders to be sent to a customer base. For example, using outbound campaigns Virtual Agents could notify customers of a network outage, as well as capture their response to the notification and/ or transfer them to another agent (virtual or live) based on their response,” adds van Vollenhoven

Saicom selected the Inference Virtual Agent solution because it is HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and PCI-DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant and as such are able to collect sensitive customer data without revealing any information to human agents.

Concludes van Vollenhoven, “we are all about finding a better way to help our customers automate parts of the business, which in turn drive cost and resource efficiency and ultimately deliver client service excellence. If we can do this through the technologies that we integrate onto our platform, then we believe we have delivered a success trifecta.”

The synergies of sales and cycling – the will to win and the currency of consistency

Having recently competed in, and won the veterans category of the Sani2C and the 167 km Race to the Sun adventure mountain bike race, I came to the conclusion that sales, like cycling has a fair amount of science behind it.

Successful sales, like cycling, starts with preparation.

The good old days of selling where you just pick up the phone are almost extinct and in most industries, a non-starter. Today, you need to know your customer – understand their current supplier; their pain points and requirements. It is about asking the right questions and understanding if there is an opportunity to sell, or not.

Cold calling, or shotgun selling has its place in the sales mix but needs to be dovetailed with a rifle approach. This is a cherry-picked vertical or horizontal approach and matches products and services to industries and businesses. Not dissimilar to picking races – having an A and B race, and having clarity on who is competing and how best to tackle the course.

Sales people, like cyclists become creatures of habit – and not in a bad way. Consistency is critical. Just like you can’t stop training or competing, sales teams cannot stop calling, or having meetings or engaging with clients or importantly, not use the tools at their disposal. If you are consistent, the one out of ten ratio will yield leads; it will become a sale and it will mean a race win.

The currency of successful sales (and winning races) is consistency.

Any successful cyclist will tell you that success is about using the right tools. For riders, this is the right bike, the right tyres, suspension setup and nutrition (amongst others) and for successful sales teams, this is everything from effective lead generation to CRM; white space planning and incentives, it is about identifying the right commission structures.

I remember when I started racing, it used to be a case of packing five bags before a big race to account for EVERY eventuality – today, it is a single bag, packed with the essentials, and knowing a work around or a make-do situation may be required. The same applies to sales. Organisations will give you access to a range of tools that are geared towards success – and you might need to think on your feet, to make the most of these.

From an ‘in race’ perspective, there is the same type of will to win and that is how you push yourself as hard as you can to make it to the finish line. It is the same in sales – ask yourself what it will take to close a sale, to win over a client. Is it pricing; the proposal; solution or technology? How and when do we push and when do we back off? In racing terms, it is a case of when do we sit up on the bike and say, today is not my day.

Cyclists talk about cadence all the time. Cadence is in cycling terms, the rate at which a cyclist pedals (or pedal revolutions per minute) and it can quite easily be applied to sales. It is about repetition, building a rhythm, momentum and speed. In sales terms, cadence talks to using all the tools at hand, often and consistently. And this cadence effect means deals start closing quicker; the sales pipeline remains optimal and the sales team works in sync with the business and its customers.

When the cadence is off, or the sales team can’t find its rhythm, it might mean the business is looking in the wrong places for sales, or not generating the right types of leads for success. We call it wrong gearing. And you if you leave it for too long, it is that much harder to find the cadence again.

It is imperative at this point, to do a mental reset. You don’t win all the deals (or races); you can’t win them all. By taking a step back and evaluating the sales cycle; the leads and the processes, the team can learn critical lessons for future success. It is always important to have clarity on which parts of the process you can control – and have you done the utmost to maximise those.

Successful sales, like cycling takes endurance, persistence and an ability to reset the parameters of what it takes to succeed.

American cyclist Steve Larsen said it best – “you can’t get good by staying home. If you want to get fast, you have to go where the fast guys are!”

Post written by
David Cooke,
Chief sales officer at Saicom Voice Services

Architects of the future required – apply within

Whether the market (or country) is ready for it or not, the fourth industrial revolution is here and the pace at which technology is moving is astonishing. And according to Greg de Chasteauneuf, chief technology officer (CTO) for Saicom, software developers are the architects of the future.

But why does that matter to South African businesses?

According to Ekanekt Recruitment, the most high-in-demand skill and one of the most difficult to secure is software developers. And the increase in skilled resources leaving the country, especially in the 25 – 35 year age group, is contributing to the scarcity of the skills.

The software developer brain drain can be likened to the exodus of doctors, teachers and accountants. Unlike these professionals, developers have easily transportable skills, with no bridging qualifications or entrance exams required to work.

For companies that know that in order to scale up, they need to automate, and in order to automate, they need developers, this presents a catch-22. One could say that you can match salaries in Euros or dollars and let the developers do what they do, from abroad. But, local businesses transact in Rands, and it becomes unsustainable.

Some businesses forego the developers and the automation and hire more people to continue with manual processes. For the short term, this is perceived as a good thing, because employment is being created, but it doesn´t offer the scale a business may need which inevitably means it cannot be sustained.

The flipside, is that many organisations, ours included, go the outsourcing route to alleviate immediate business pressures and enable some scalability through automation.

What we gain in expertise and skills, we lose in fluidity and on-the-fly creativity and innovation. Water cooler discussions and impromptu whiteboard brainstorms are replaced by scheduled meetings and project managed interactions.

You just cannot schedule innovation.

Businesses that want to cultivate an in-house development ecosystem, just don´t have access or the means to find, attract and retain the right skills. Instead, businesses try to bootstrap it by hiring one developer, who does as much as possible and when he/ she is at capacity, the hiring cycle starts again. The downside, is that younger developers will look for senior skills and expertise to learn and grow, and when they can’t find that, they look to move organisations, or consider emigrating.

Aside from the reality of emigration and the challenge of a workforce that continues to move for growth and opportunities, there is a need to build a deep, broad skills pool for the future. And despite the initiatives that are in play and being rolled out, training the next generation of developers is tough.

Lynsey Chutel, in an article for Quartz Magazine said it best: ¨while many talented programmers are trained by South Africa´s globally competitive universities, the gaps in South Africa´s public education system means so many potential geniuses may never get to code a single line.¨

Industry and government has to find a way to retain critical skills in country – it is not just about creating a digital economy, it is also about enabling the kind of innovation that put South Africa on the map historically.

For now, businesses are grappling with ways in which to maximise the skills that are locally available, retain them and cultivate an ecosystem that will enable the true power of the fourth industrial revolution.


Written by
Greg de Chasteauneuf
Chief technology officer (CTO) at Saicom

Saicom extends its offering with managed SD-WAN service

18 April 2017, Johannesburg End-to-end telecommunications and networking solutions provider Saicom, has extended its offering with a fully managed Software-Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) service. Saicom’s SD-WAN service, powered by VeloCloud, is suitable for businesses of all sizes, but specifically those with multiple sites.

“SD-WAN is of particular interest to businesses that are moving their applications to the cloud and those with multiple branches that want to utilise high speed off-the-shelf internet connectivity but still want to have a service level agreement (SLA) or control over those links,” says Greg de Chasteauneuf, chief technology officer at Saicom.

The company selected VeloCloud as a preferred vendor because its solution is an over-the-top service that can operate over any existing IP connection, independent of the provider and has a rich set of APIs to enable the integration of SD-WAN into existing business systems. It also has a simple interface from a provisioning and analytics perspective.

“In terms of ease of use and speed of deployment, VeloCloud is hard to beat,” he says.

Saicom’s end-to-end SD-WAN service includes all aspects of running an SD-WAN network.  From initial design and MPLS migration consultation, or a hybrid model, to a fully deployed and managed network regardless of the network providers currently used by businesses or the providers they prefer to use. “We manage the network end-to-end and can install and manage third party links on a customer’s behalf,” says de Chasteauneuf.

While Saicom’s SD-WAN offering can run as a network function virtualisation (NFV) instance, the company also provides a fully managed hardware option – a small form factor customer premise equipment (CPE) or an edge device that is purpose-built to offer all the necessary WAN / LAN ports and integrated 802.11ac/n Wi-Fi.

“Our SD-WAN offering is easy to use thanks to a central orchestrator and one-click provisioning, which is the ability to take a device out of the box and within ten minutes have it fully functional and the site up and running,” he says.

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 30% of enterprises will use SD-WAN products in all their branches.

Adds de Chasteauneuf, “Locally, uptake is dependent on when customers’ MPLS contracts will phase out, but we predict that thirty percent of enterprises will switch to SD-WAN within the next three to five years.”

Enterprises currently locked into MPLS contracts could consider hybrid architectures that allow them to use off-the-shelf internet links while still using their MPLS links.

“The advantage of SD-WAN is its ability to leverage existing links and over time, as the ease and usability of the system becomes apparent, and as the SLA matches that of MPLS, the MPLS links can be phased out,” he says.

Saicom urges caution when considering extending existing or signing new MPLS contracts.

“Enterprises may receive some immediate savings by renewing their MPLS contracts, but the cost, inflexibility and slow time to delivery is making MPLS an archaic technology and one which inhibits cloud migration and future growth,” warns de Chasteauneuf.

In the South African market where MPLS pricing is high and in the rest of Africa where MPLS connectivity is difficult to obtain in remote areas, SD-WAN becomes an attractive alternative. It is a technology that enables businesses to take off-the-shelf internet links, including satellite links, to connect a site to their wide area networks in minutes.

Saicom has both MPLS and SD-WAN experience with the ability to consult on a hybrid environment that meets a business’s SLA criteria.

Cloud migration has increased the urgency for transforming wide area networks.

“Companies that continue to resist change may not only end up spending more than necessary on legacy networks, but also face being leapfrogged by competitors using SD-WAN to enable new digital strategies and provide better customer experiences,” he says.

For more information complete the online form to request a demo or contact 010 140 2222.

Speed dating with vendors and three key trends from Mobile World Congress 2017

Mobile World Congress, hosted in beautiful Barcelona, is the perfect platform to spot trends, determine the maturity of a technology and to network with vendors. This year was no different. With two thousand plus exhibitors one has no choice but to speed date through the halls whilst trying not to trip over one of the 108 000 attendees.

Here are three key trends and common themes that stood out this year:

5G application enablement

Even though 5G has not yet been ratified as a standard, one could not ignore the 5G theme throughout MWC2017. 5G promises transformative speeds, low latency, lower battery consumption and significantly enhanced spectral efficiency when compared to 4G / LTE networks.

Initial trials have shown sub-1ms tests with download speeds in excess of 10Gbit/s (around a 1000 times faster than 4G networks). This enables new applications on mobile networks and devices that will be able to communicate to each other in near real-time, and make very quick decisions.

Self-driving cars can specifically benefit from 5G’s low latency.  An example could be when a car receives a digital signal, in sub milliseconds, from a traffic light to confirm that it is red or green, which means that the car’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) is able to make split millisecond decisions that could mean the difference between life or death.

5G holds big promises and mobile operators are looking at moving that way in the next couple of years. While the marketing hype certainly rung strong at MWC2017, the truth is that 5G is still far from a reality. Estimates vary, but operators and manufacturers are settling on 2019/2020 as a possible date.

IoT maturing

The Internet of Things (IoT) was a common theme and an observation is that the industry is maturing. Vendors now have definitive roles and are finding their groove, whether they are manufacturers of devices, managing connectivity or provisioning services.

Founder and CEO of SoftBank, Masayoshi Son gave an intriguing keynote on the reasoning behind his recent acquisition of ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ: ARMH) for $23 billion and his vision for the next 30 years.

Son spoke of singularity, the day AI will surpass the human brain’s intelligence. He reasons that the average human’s IQ is around 100 while outliers like Einstein and da Vinci had IQs of over 200. He believes that the average computer’s IQ in 30 years’ time will have a super intelligence of 10 000 IQ.  He goes on to compare neurons to transistors and describes their similarity. Son estimates the human brain to have around 30-billion neurons while the average computer today still lags behind. His logic though is that while humans have always had 30-billion neurons and always will, computers are growing in their transistors (hardware) at a rapid pace, in fact so fast that he believes this growth will be a million times in the next 30 years and will be the birth of what he calls “Super Intelligence”.

To bring this back to ARM, he estimates that the chip manufacturer will ship 1-trillion IoT chips in the next 20 years, that is over 100 IoT devices/chips per human being on planet earth and he believes these chips will eventually be super intelligent!

Son sees the growth for ARM in IoT, not in mobile phones, as this market is starting to plateau. This is certainly not the case with IoT.

As we observe this explosion in interconnected IoT devices, security will become a critical component of these chips and this is where ARM is focusing a lot of its efforts – on the next generation of chips.

Common themes

The Mixed Reality (MR) / Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) applications present were mostly around consumer electronics and entertainment with very little practical use in the business world as yet.

The number of vehicles and accompanying software at this year’s show can indicate that software may become more important than the car itself. Can a future scenario include basic hardware cars with a choice of relevant software to deploy?

Although consumer electronics reach our shores almost immediately, there is an interval of about eighteen months to two years before we see a local adoption with regards to business technology. Enterprises are generally quite cautious and want to see new technologies mature before they bring them to South Africa, which can be a double-edged sword.

One key tip when attending the next Mobile World Congress is to research vendors and the technology that are up for exploration before arriving. This allows you to schedule one-on-one time with vendors to unpack their offering as there is limited time to do a deep dive into their tech at their stands.

Post written by Greg de Chasteauneuf (CTO)

Saicom Voice Services (PTY) LTD

Saicom Voice Services partners with Thinkst Canary to offer managed honeypot service

30 January 2017, Johannesburg End-to-end telecommunications and networking solutions provider Saicom Voice Services has entered into a strategic partnership with Thinkst Canary to offer a fully-managed honeypot network security service.

The service, which complements the company’s existing network security solution benefits businesses that want to consolidate their security services due to the growing complexity of securing the trusted and untrusted network.

“Our honeypot managed service includes the detection of network breaches and extends to forensic investigations to determine the origin of the threat and whether internal devices or systems have been compromised,” says Greg de Chasteauneuf, chief technology officer at Saicom Voice Services.

Cyber attackers are often present on networks for lengthy periods of time before they carry out an attack. Detection and mitigation are becoming important aspects of cyber-security due to the increasingly large and permeable attack surface.

Deception technology, such as honeypots, improves the detection and mitigation of cyber-security breaches. Honeypot devices are scattered across the network and act as decoys. They are designed to look like commercially sensitive information or systems and an attempt to attack or access the fake assets or systems alerts the Saicom Voice Services managed security team.

“Next generation tools such as Thinkst Canary’s honeypots reliably set off an alarm when an active attack is discovered. They are simple and easy to use, can be set up in minutes, even on complex networks, and alerts a company when it needs it most,” says de Chasteauneuf.

Network security is a global risk and enterprises are spending millions on securing their corporate networks, yet they are still being attacked.

The current mindset is very much that of perimeter security – a firewall boarding the trusted and untrusted networks. Today’s threats come from everywhere, not just the untrusted networks, and many of these attacks render the traditional perimeter firewall useless.

Haroon Meer of Thinkst Applied Research agrees. “Firewalls have had a good run but they offer very little to protect companies against phishing or application layer attacks. For most of the more common attacks seen today, firewalls are no roadblock, in fact they barely count as a speed bump.”

Human beings are often the weakest link and it is a company’s own employees who can punch holes in its network. The point is, if an attacker is on a company’s network, it needs to know about it.

“This is where deception technology steps in. The industry will see an important move back to host security and honeypots to detect and mitigate lateral movement within the trusted local-area network (LAN),” says de Chasteauneuf.

Security will continue to be high on the CIO’s agenda in 2017 and in time will become the most important requirement when making any IT decision in the future.

“Forward-thinking organisations will start to deploy deception technologies and adopt managed security services to monitor and mitigate risks,” concludes de Chasteauneuf.

 

Post written by Greg de Chasteauneuf
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Saicom Voice Services

Saicom Voice Services enters into a VoIP, Cloud PBX partnership with SEACOM

22 August 2016, Johannesburg End-to-end telecommunications and networking solutions provider Saicom Voice Services has entered into a strategic partnership with SEACOM, a leading provider of internet, connectivity and cloud based services, to allow SEACOM to provide Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Cloud PBX services over a white-label platform to corporate and SME customers.

“We are looking to build long-term relationships with trusted partners and the strength of our partnerships have been key to the success of our business right from the beginning.

Our strategy is to build our channel platform in order for resellers to partner with us and in turn extend their service offering to their customers with voice solutions,” says Greg de Chasteauneuf, chief technology officer at Saicom Voice Services.

Through the partnership, SEACOM will offer voice services to its growing customer base, in addition to its existing high-speed internet access and cloud services.

“We were looking for a voice partner that uses reliable and high-quality infrastructure, and Saicom Voice Services’ Broadsoft carrier-grade platform gave us the quality assurance that we needed.  Having a full-fledged IP telephony solution completes our service offerings to customers in terms of data and voice,” says Grant Parker, head of SEACOM Business.

“Our platform allows SEACOM to operate autonomously and to support its clients on an end-to-end basis without having to own the infrastructure. The confirmation of the strength of our channel platform is in how quickly SEACOM could sell and deliver services to their customers. They were able to deploy their VoIP and Cloud PBX offering within a couple of months as opposed to a couple of years,” adds de Chasteauneuf.

Another factor that clinched the partnership was Saicom Voice Services’ Cloud PBX portal for customers. “The premise of our offering to our business customers is that they need to have an effortless experience when doing business with us and the Cloud PBX portal is easy to interact with, which was another criteria we had when we evaluated potential voice partners. We want to make sure that we have an outside-in approach, meaning that we look at what customers want, how they want to interact with us, and then we make it easy for them to do business with us,” says Parker.

de Chasteauneuf adds that the company’s strong suit is its ability to deliver what is required to ensure that its channel partners’ customers experience a smooth installation and excellent service.

With the ability of fibre to scale bandwidth, SEACOM is well positioned to offer fully-converged services that enable both data and voice, and other value-added services, on one medium. “We own the undersea fibre cable system and supply all Tier 1 internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa as well as all Tier 1 ISPs in countries where our cable system lands, including Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya and now also Uganda. We may look at extending these new services into these markets in the near future,” adds Parker.

SEACOM’s new voice offering forms part of its suite of value-add services that enable businesses to unlock the power of the internet and cloud in order to grow and support their operations. “The feedback we have received is that customers are happy with the service and impressed that the installations have gone so smoothly,” says Parker.

Corporate and SME customers are going to reap the benefits. “SEACOM’s stature gives us added credibility in the marketplace and its fibre coverage across the country allows us to open our voice channel to all areas of South Africa,” says de Chasteauneuf.

 

About Saicom Voice Services

Saicom Voice Services is a leading provider of communication solutions specifically designed to assist organisations in improving their communications and collaboration to grow their businesses. Its best of breed solutions include VoIP, Cloud PBX, Unified Communications, Messaging (SMS and Automated Voice Messaging), Connectivity and Software Defined-WAN to ensure effective implementation and maintenance of end-to-end communications solutions.

Saicom helps organisations change the way they communicate by assisting them in delivering a seamless and unique customer experience to their clients. It takes away the headache of managing and maintaining numerous providers and communication systems by giving businesses everything they need to grow and collaborate.

 

About SEACOM

SEACOM launched Africa’s first broadband submarine cable system along the eastern and southern coastlines in 2009, bringing with it a vast supply of high quality and affordable Internet bandwidth.

Since then, SEACOM has moved beyond being a cable operator to become a major pan-African service provider, offering a full suite of resilient and scalable data services that allow Africa’s growing ICT community to develop and evolve.

Ranging from dedicated IPL transmission services, flexible Ethernet services, to resilient IP Transit service capabilities and accessible Internet connectivity, SEACOM can now provide tailor-made communication solutions.

Today, SEACOM is the preferred partner for African businesses, network carriers and service providers. Through its ownership of Africa’s most extensive ICT data infrastructure – including multiple subsea cables and a resilient, continent-wide IP-MPLS network – SEACOM provides flexible, scalable and high-quality communications services that enable the growth of the continent’s economy.

The SEACOM Business division leverages this infrastructure and last-mile partnerships to provide the African business market with best-in-class connectivity and Cloud services at highly competitive prices. Its offerings include fibre Internet access with options ranging from 25Mbps up to 1Gbps.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, allowing the company the agility to rapidly deploy new services, commercial structures and infrastructure in response to customer requirements. SEACOM is also able to provide true open-access services with no red tape or hidden costs.

Turrito Networks, Saicom enter into PBX, VoIP partnership

19 April 2016, Johannesburg – MICROmega Group company Turrito Networks has entered into a strategic partnership with Saicom Voice Services, a leading provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services aimed at simplifying telephony for SMEs.

“Over the years, we have had discussions with many VoIP providers who promise a ‘scalable’ and ‘robust’ solution for SMEs. However, in Saicom, we have found an ideal partner, one that provides us with a unified Cloud PBX and VoIP offering for the diverse requirements of our clients across industry sectors,” says Brian Timperley, managing director of Turrito Networks.

Companies traditionally had to use the specific PBX and VoIP offerings of their primary network providers, and while this certainly make sense from an integrated solution perspective, not all providers have equally strong solutions in that segment.

“Our core strength is our agnostic approach to connectivity. We work with our customers to choose the best network and solution for their specific needs.

This partnership with Saicom enables us to bolt an incredibly powerful Cloud PBX and VoIP value proposition on top of any connectivity solution we implement,” adds Timperley.

Greg de Chasteauneuf, chief technology officer at Saicom, says that this partnership is custom-fit to their strategy of providing solutions with resellers in mind.

“Turrito Networks can therefore provide a unified offering without customers having to be concerned about what is required on the back-end. We are already seeing SMEs adopting the cloud in all aspects of their business, a hosted PBX and VoIP solution is a natural progression of that.

They can remain focused on their business while Turrito Networks and Saicom take care of all their connectivity and cloud requirements,” says de Chasteauneuf.

Timperley likens the partnership to that of over-the-top services (OTT) in the telecoms space.

“Traditionally, companies had to stick with a single telecoms provider for all their connectivity and solution needs. But just as we see in the consumer space with the emergence of WeChat, WhatsApp, and other OTT services, consumers now have a choice of selecting solutions based on their needs, regardless of the network it uses. Bringing this closer to the enterprise, with the Saicom partnership, we are giving our customers the best connection for business, the best coverage for their last mile of connectivity, and now the best Cloud PBX and VoIP solutions over the top of any existing network.”

 

Saicom Becomes First VeloCloud Registered Partner in South Africa to Provide SD-WAN Services

Saicom to Offer VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN to Enable Enterprise-Grade Wide Area Networks with Elastic Transport, Application Performance and Zero-Touch Deployment

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 31, 2016 – Saicom, a market leader in the telecoms industry, today announced a partnership with VeloCloud™ Networks, Inc., the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN™ company, enabling Saicom customers to support application growth, network agility and simplified branch implementations while delivering optimized access to cloud services, private datacenters and enterprise applications.

Today’s distributed organizations struggle with application performance and wide area network (WAN) complexity in their branch offices.  Saicom chose VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN technology based on the unique combination of VeloCloud Dynamic Multipath Optimisation, on-demand remediation across network connections, true multi-tenancy and zero touch deployment. VeloCloud also enables bandwidth on-demand, direct and optimal access to cloud-based applications, and simplified service deployment.

“We are excited to announce that we have selected VeloCloud as our exclusive SD-WAN vendor”, says Greg de Chasteauneuf, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Saicom Voice Services. “We invested eight months evaluating all the players in the SD-WAN space and decided that VeloCloud was a perfect fit for us and our clients”.

VeloCloud Networks also recently closed $27 million in Series C financing led by venture fund March Capital Partners and including an investment from Cisco Investments along with follow on investments from previous investors.

Businesses are encountering challenges advancing key data strategies as application rollouts are inhibited by expensive bandwidth, branch deployments are delayed by IT complexity and cloud services migration is limited due to existing static network architectures.

Saicom’s partnership with VeloCloud gives customers the confidence to reconsider their existing rigid MPLS VPN networks which are more expensive than Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN.  By working with Saicom, organizations now have access to a solution which enables interoperability with and migration from expensive MPLS VPN networks to a cheaper and easier to deploy SD-WAN network which takes advantage of broadband Internet.

“The strategy for companies to migrate data to the cloud is disrupting the WAN as we know it” says de Chasteauneuf.

Saicom enables organizations to overcome the challenges of restrictive application rollouts, delays in branch deployments and cloud migration which are all hindered by traditional static architectures.  Saicom achieves this with flexible connectivity choices (a combination of inexpensive broadband and MPLS circuits into a single edge device) combined with VeloCloud Dynamic Multi-Path Optimisation.  This creates a transport agnostic network with strong features including continuous monitoring, dynamic application steering and on-demand remediation.

VeloCloud business policy configuration enables simple one-click cloud and on-premise service insertion, automatic application recognition, network-wide quality of experience, and the elimination complex network configurations.

“VeloCloud’s leading technology in SD-WAN coupled with Saicom’s position as market leader in VoIP, Cloud PBX and ISP services, means any enterprise employing our services will be in the most capable hands”, says de Chasteauneuf.

Today Saicom is one of the largest VoIP providers in South Africa and one of the most respected, alternate Telecommunications companies in the country. Saicom has moved beyond VoIP to include Cloud PBX, Cloud Call Centre, Hosting, Connectivity and with the addition of VeloCloud, it is the ideal solution for businesses who need to consolidate all their communications.

About Saicom

Saicom, a market leader in the telecoms industry, delivers reliable communications solutions using cloud-based services with a focus on large scale telephony systems for corporations, VoIP operators and international Telco carriers across South Africa and the African continent.  Founded in 2006, Saicom is the preferred partner for many of South Africa’s top 300 companies including government departments, municipalities, financial institutions, call centres and corporations.