As part of a multinational group, the reliability and efficiency of international data links are absolutely critical for Apollo Tyres South Africa. In the past the company has relied on a service provider who relied on a third party for the international links, which had a serious impact on response times, service levels and the overall efficiency of the network.
Martin Klein, Chief Technology Officer at Apollo Tyres SA, says the reality in South Africa is that communications providers are forced to find third-party partnerships. “But herein lies the problem. If you have a technical issue, you discover that your network is reliant on a third-party. The local telco doesn’t have control over the network, and it’s the same thing with a configuration change.”
Apollo Tyres SA turned to Neotel as the only true global player with a complete end-to-end infrastructure. Neotel is the only South African telco provider to have control over the entire network, through its Next Generation Network infrastructure and access to all four cable systems.
“If you need the lowest response times possible, the only player that truly has global presence, and not just hype, is Neotel,” says Klein.
“No third party was involved and there was no middle man. When we want the efficiency of the network, we have it. We no longer have to wait while two telcos decide where the issue is and whose responsibility it is: Neotel is the network.”
Apollo Tyres is finding that response times have improved dramatically, from 280ms to 140ms. “We were amazed that our response times were half that of what we were getting,” comments Klein.
“There are certain services that Neotel can provide that no other player in South Africa can come close to – and that’s the international network,” he says.
The speed and hassle-free installation also impressed the tyre manufacturer and distributor. “This team was professional and efficient. It took 14 days from when we placed the order to when we had connectivity.”
Since going live, Apollo Tyres SA has not experienced a single second of downtime. “We haven’t even had to test Neotel’s support – we haven’t needed it to date,” comments a satisfied Klein.
Following on from the success of the first project, Apollo Tyres SA called in Neotel to advise on problems the company was having at its primary call centre in Jet Park, Gauteng. Apollo Tyres SA’s dealer network order tyres via the call centres, which are located around the country. With 63% of SA’s tyre business being in Gauteng, the Jet Park call centre is the busiest, and its smooth operation critical.
Yet the call centre was being severely hampered by excessive voice downtime and ISDN failures at the exchange, as well as problems with copper theft. “Over the past three years, we’ve experienced up to six hours of downtime a month and, when we investigated; we found it to be 80% exchange related and 20% copper theft. Despite this, the service provider was unable to resolve the situation, and we were losing substantial business,” explains Klein.
After consultation, Neotel recommended a microwave-based voice solution to counter the impact of lightning and the copper theft.
The entire infrastructure was installed within days and went off without any issues. This move also involved transferring all of Apollo Tyres’ existing telephone numbers.
“We kept all our numbers and the number portability was seamless, with every aspect being handled by Neotel, we didn’t have to lift a finger,” says Klein.
And the results? “Our days of massive downtime are gone. Microwave is a reliable and stable technology and the voice solution works.
“A huge additional plus, which we weren’t expecting, are the savings we’re now experiencing due to the cheaper rates charged by Neotel. Apollo Tyres is currently considering migrating the entire Apollo Tyres SA operation onto Neotel’s voice solution and is busy analysing this option.
- Neotel controls the network that they install so they have complete control over it.
- Moving to microwave means that downtime due to copper theft is a thing of the past.
- Speedy and hassle-free installation will have you connected in no time.