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IT and Telecoms: Outsourced Telecommunications Management Advisory Services

 





Recent Gauteng Business News

More demands on corporates to address an increasingly complex telecoms landscape, plus a huge shift towards knowledge-based fulfillment is driving the need for outsourced telecommunications advisory and management services in SA.


This is according to Daniel Nel, CEO of Nebula, a local independent professional services company in the ICT and telecommunications sector, who says that telecoms fulfillment has seen a complete turnaround from 80% operational versus 20% knowledge-based, to now 60% operational and 40% knowledge-based.

“Corporates spending between R20-million and R1-billion per annum are more likely to utilise the services of professional management services firms to bridge the knowledge gap and to help obtain strategic advantage,” says Nel.

This is in line with analysts’ global predictions that the telecom sector will lead all other verticals in outsourcing engagements, with a 10.7 percent compound annual growth rate by 2010.

The total SA business telecommunications services market, including fixed, mobile, internet and other data, was estimated to be worth R99bn last year, and the South African telecommunications market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 14%, with corporates spending the most on fixed voice at 60%, data services at 35% and mobile services at 5%.

Nel says that the biggest cost-driver to corporates is voice spend at an annual growth of between 40% to 60% the main driver for the high fixed voice spend is the cost of fixed to mobile calls.

The percentage-spend on data services can largely be attributed to companies that grow their footprints with new sites, branches and stores. Nel says that costs will come down as more entrants give more choice, especially with regard to broad band internet where we are seeing the cost per kilobyte reducing.

Over the coming years, Nel predicts that broadband demand will increase and will need to become much more affordable to enable new business models such as; video on demand, video stores online and to make virtual offices and meetings a reality. “This reality will allow mobile devices to become more dominant.”

The likely growth for the telecommunications sector will be seen in broad band and mobile communications (data, voice and video). “This growth is dependent on the affordability of services and hopefully for South African’s we will see more competitiveness around service offerings and therefore which will allow more affordability.”

Nel says that the major trend in the corporate market is still to get value for money covering all delivery angles including mobile, WAN and Fixed voice. “Companies are questioning what they pay and what value they get,” he adds. “The major drive is to purchase services on a non exclusive basis. This means the clients want services without the long term commitments and flexibility to switch if service levels are not up to speed. This is forcing the corporate to relook at the way they operate and structure their business divisions.”

Having said this, Nel points out that many organisations are not mature enough to make this transition, therefore for this reason an outsourced trusted advisory firm is sometimes the best solution.

“Better telecommunications will enhance South Africa’s ability to deliver improved quality of life,” he adds. “Telecoms innovation is a key factor in determining global competitiveness. In an increasingly information-driven world, our competitiveness will depend on our ability to access and exchange information globally.”

Nel explains that SA could become a major destination for outsourced call centres and back-office processing centres, therefore telecommunications is critical for these ventures to work and be profitable. “Telecoms is an essential part of allowing companies in SA to become technologically advanced and to compete with the likes of China and India.”

With regard to sectors that rely heavily on telecommunications to service their customers Nel says that currently the most dominant players are those in the retail and financial sectors. “However, there has also been massive growth in the banking and tourism sectors with regards to telecommunications contributing to SA’s local gross domestic product (GDP).”

He adds that technological advances and affordability will also increase the capabilities to offer services in telemedicine, education, internet access and usage.


 
 
 
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