New Itec division positioned to be a major player in SA telecoms landscape
Office automation and communications group, Itec has acquired a majority stake in Songimali Communications, a licensed telecommunications provider. The deal positions Itec as a tier one provider, which, through its recently formed division Itec Communications, will offer customers a full range of communication technologies.
Itec Communications will offer voice, video and data solutions ranging from voice over IP, video and hosted cloud solutions through to MPLS network services and converged GSM and fixed-line services. Itec will now be able to offer its 18 000 customers access to high-quality converged voice and data solutions that it controls, manages and develops itself.
Songimali holds Individual Electronic Communications Services (i-ECS) and Individual Electronic Communications Network Services (i-ECNS) licences and serves over 400 existing customers. The company is a partner to a range of the best upstream operators and telecoms equipment vendors in South Africa, including MTN, Vodacom, Telkom, Mitel and Polycom.
Says Itec Chief Operating Officer Ryan Miles: "Itec has played on the periphery of the telecoms market as a reseller of solutions from other service providers for a couple of years and we have learnt a great deal about what the market needs in the process. The time is now ripe for us to enter this space with a solution that we own and drive ourselves."
The group decided to fast-track its entry into this market space by acquiring a company with well-established infrastructure, a strong customer base, and its own intellectual property, he adds. Songimali was a perfect match because it owns the customer experience in its space and brings to the table a wealth of its own intellectual property including electronic billing and telephony management solutions.
Says Miles: "Itec Communications will differentiate itself in this fiercely competitive market by taking a consultative approach towards helping clients put a communications solution in place that meets their business needs. We have seen many companies invest in unsuitable solutions that have been recommended only because they are new or popular. Our aim is to provide robust, open VOIP and converged solutions to customers who have been disappointed by the technology in the past."
The Itec Communications team is headed by Managing Director Rodney Taylor, Operations Director Rolf Schurink and National Sales Manager Gwen Goodwin. Taylor says Itec Communications intends to grow the business from its roots in the SME market to include Itec's large, public sector and corporate clients. "With an experienced team of technical experts, a proven track record, and a carrier-grade service, Itec Communications will be able to help customers transform their telecoms environments to achieve significant cost savings," says Taylor.
"We have worked closely with Itec in the past and we are confident that our technology will offer a compelling solution to the Itec customer base," adds Schurink, the founder of Songimali. "We offer a solution that can run over any connectivity medium and PBX, giving our customers flexibility and freedom of choice. We are able to offer our customers a complete managed service that we own and control ourselves."