Teljoy Group transforms network and telephony platform with Saicom

Teljoy Group transforms network and telephony platform with Saicom

Teljoy Group, the South African leaders in consumer appliance rental, service, and repairs through an innovative rent-to-own model, has partnered with Saicom, a market leader in the telecoms industry, to overhaul its network infrastructure and telephony environment as it evolves into a digitally-led organisation.

In the 90s, given its massively distributed branch environment across the country, Teljoy had a significant multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) network. However, the infrastructure was expensive and difficult to maintain.

“As we transitioned into becoming a digital business, the traditional MPLS network was no longer supporting our strategy. We wanted to become a hybrid, cloud-based e-commerce business and needed reliable and stable connectivity at an affordable rate. Furthermore, our network had to accommodate our growth requirements. For example, if we needed to open a satellite branch for three months it had to deliver the flexibility and speed of execution required to do so”,” says Rowan Ziman, head of IT at Teljoy Group.

A change of network approach

To this end, Teljoy identified software-defined networking in a wide area network (SD-WAN) as the preferred technology to enable this. It ticked all the boxes for the organisation as it was cloud-based, flexible, and provided more cost-effective network connections at the branches.

Following a Proof of Concept (PoC) round, Teljoy selected Saicom as its preferred partner.

“Not only was Saicom a VeloCloud partner, but it delivered the relationship-driven approach we wanted. For us, it is about working with a partner who understands our business and is willing to help us get the most out of the technology. From a platform perspective, our engineering team liked the VeloCloud offering and it was very user-friendly.”

The Teljoy Group went live with VeloCloud in the third quarter of 2018 and has not looked back since.

The Saicom SD-WAN solution resulted in a drastic improvement in Internet connectivity across the group and gave it better control of its network when it came to routing traffic, and prioritisation. As this is a fully managed solution, Saicom takes care of Teljoy’s uptime so the group can focus on delivering on its strategic mandate.

“Furthermore, it delivers better redundancy and a broad spectrum of choices when it comes to connectivity at our branch offices. This includes everything from wireless and cell access to LTE and fibre depending on what is the most appropriate choice for the environment. Saicom and VeloCloud have opened up significantly more options for us,” says Ziman.

Cloud-based telephony

Beyond its network environment, Teljoy was also experiencing customer service issues with their existing telephony solution. People were getting ‘lost’ in the system and the business had to rely on a third-party to get the detailed call centre reports it needed.

“We also tested several disaster recovery and business continuity scenarios and the conclusion was that we could not run our business effectively if our call centre was not on-site. This needed to change. As with our approach to the network, we decided that a cloud-based solution would give us the flexibility and reliability necessary. The solution had to be based on industry best practice as we did not want to reinvent the wheel with its implementation”

Teljoy subsequently contracted Saicom to take over its telephony environment.

“There were many good solutions available but the fact that Saicom could guarantee the interoperability of the telephony solution with the SD-WAN environment made it an easy choice to make. This would ensure our voice traffic would be prioritised properly and everything would be housed under one group with the relationships already firmly in place,” adds Ziman.

The head office went live with the cloud-based telephony environment in December 2018 with branches rolling it out on a return on investment basis. With this offering, Teljoy has improved visibility across the entire group and now has the element of control it did not previously have.

“Even though the telephony environment was significantly more difficult to implement than the SD-WAN, Saicom was willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure our systems were working optimally. The company adapts to our needs and manages our network and telephony outcomes on our behalf. 

Saicom delivers us with the partnership value-adds we need to fully transform our business into a digital environment,” concludes Ziman.