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Vodacom Business

ABOUT VODACOM BUSINESS

Vodacom Business was launched in 2008 and has grown into a leading services provider in South Africa, across the African continent, and globally under the umbrella of the parent company Vodafone.

Vodacom Business is a fully-fledged technology company that equips our enterprise customers to work smarter whilst keeping pace with the rapid changes that digitisation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings. As we are moving from a telco to a techco, our brand ambition is to be Africa’s leading digital Techco, co-creating for growthful outcomes, and a technology partner that supports business to connect for a better future.

We collaborate with our enterprise customers to create a combination of services that meet organisations’ needs and support the security of their business. Our primary aim is to help them to become more efficient, reduce costs and protect their data.

Vodacom Business offers connectivity services to multinational organisations operating across the continent and the world, supported by industry experts on the ground in over 16 countries. Our 24/7 customer service operations centre ensures that our customers have visibility of their operations nationally, on the continent and globally.

Along with our best-of-breed partners we provide customised solutions for the retail, logistics and transportation, public sector, Industry (mining), health, agriculture and education verticals.

Factoids:  Accounts for 23% of the overall Group revenue, at R90.1 billion. 55% market share of IoT. Service revenue up 4.8% to R14.7 billion.

  • Our Strategic Pillars

Vodacom Business adheres to the following principles as part of our purpose:

Digital Enablement: To grow into new verticals of digital services to better serve our customers.

Digital First: to become a digital first technology company that is innovative and agile.

Customer Centricity: to develop a deep insight into our customers’ needs and provide solutions so that they can lead in their sector.

Business support: to enable businesses to succeed in a digital world.

To this end, we have five strategic pillars that inform our actions in the market.

  1. Defend and Extend the Core – This is accomplished by mining our base and driving data usage, transform pricing structures; engaging radical simplification to reduce complexity for our customers; providing segmented offerings and ensuring that digital first and convergence are top of mind.
  2. Accelerate Fixed network – Achieved through partnering so as to extend our reach, offer differentiated industry solutions, accelerate convergence with next generation networks (Software Defined Wide Area Networks), and offer innovative and disruptive propositions.
  3. Platform of Choice – This entails offering digital platform for small office, home office, SMEs and extending Vodacom Financial and Digital Lifestyle Services, along with partnering with OTT operators for best SOHO/SME products and services.
  4. Scale IoT – This is achieved by extending GDSP and Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT), scaling the Mezzanine platform and offering differentiated IoT edge capabilities (gateways/sensors & applications).
  5. Intelligent Business – We have initiated this through a Hyper-Scale Cloud Partnership with AWS & Azure; optimising traditional cloud services including hosting, backup, storage, network and compute and Enhancing a Cloud First approach

1.2 Our Innovations

  • We are currently rolling out next generation (5G) networks along with Wireless, Fixed, Mobile and Fibre connectivity.
  • Vodacom Business was one of the first companies to launch Internet of Things (IoT) in South Africa, now offered as a managed mobility service.
  • In October 2018, we launched Software Defined Wide Area Networking (SD-WAN) into the market.
  • Vodacom was presented with the Frost & Sullivan 2018 Africa Technology Innovation Award for our narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology deployment. This was specifically developed to enable IoT connectivity for a range of devices over large areas, including devices that are underground.
  • We were the first company to launch 5G in Lesotho

Hospitality Connected Ships

Customer: Travco

Need: Travco needed to improve the onboard experience of its 22 cruise ships on the Nile.

Solution: IoT SIMs in 4G routers created free wi-fi for guests while the consumption of bandwidth was monitored remotely from its headquarters

Insurance Data Centre Services

Customer: Ava

Need: Ava’s old data centre has reached the end of its life, with the company requiring data and application hosting.

Solution: Converted their old data centre into virtual private hosting, with full security in the cloud.

FMCG Fleet Management

Customer: Nestle

Need: Nestle required a way to automate their fleet journey management system across the country’s different distribution points.

Solution: Vodacom Business provided the company with a stable reporting portal with all the relevant details meeting their group H&S guidelines

Finance Customer branch insights 

Customer: Credit Agricole

Need: Credit Agricole have a large number of branches and desired insight into customers entering the premises and their experiences while transacting.

Solution: Vodacom Business deployed Wi-Fi in branches, supplemented by data analytics on the customer profile, their activity on the internet, the purpose of their visit and how they rated their branch experience.

FACTOIDS: 4.7 million IoT connections. Connecting more than 150 million vehicles to IoT by 2025.

1.3. Our Partners

IoT.Nxt

IoT.nxt technology allows businesses to create a digital overview of their entire organisation, including both old and new technology, equipment and processes, and draw insight from the data.

Its data abstraction model further translates anything and everything from the edge, supporting a subscription based big data model. This creates a single integration point between all protocols in the industrial system.

Mezzanine

Mezzanine uses market leading expertise in the digital environment to develop mobile solution platforms. It provides technology and advisory services for products in the industries of Agriculture, Education, Health and Utilities.

These include Connected Farmer, an enterprise mobile solution which digitises the value chain and DigiFarm, which furthers the success of smallholder farmers.

It is responsible for MyFarmWeb, a cloud-based platform that offers visualization and comparison of data points for farms.

XLink

XLink is a provider of connectivity for the retail and payment sectors. It has secure, managed network capability, a national contact centre and field support. It offers solutions for small office/home office, SMEs and large businesses.

These include Point of Sale payment solutions, Integrated Payments and security services for the payment space.

Nexio

Nexio is a digital systems aggregator that links together different systems within an integrated digital platform. This offers organisations visibility into every technology, system, and process employed by the business.

This results in reduced complexity through improved visibility and lowering of IT costs. Nexio further automates the IT environment by identifying and managing areas where competitive advantage can be gained. Additionally, Nexio’s digital platform creates an environment that allows the business and IT to collaborate better.

AfriGIS

AfriGIS is a leading practitioner within the location sensitive data and solution world. It offers a suite of web-based tools and APIs for access to data, ensuring that clients of any size and from any industry are able to securely enhance their own, or third-party data, with verified and validated location information.

AfriGIS addresses the entire location data value chain internally and uses open source software wherever possible. This allows its risk and security sensitive clients to engage with Afrigis’ services in closed and dedicated environments, enjoy high levels of response and security, with a single point of contact for support and development. The company retains a focus on the public sector in particular, as it is a significant beneficiary of quality verified and validated data, as well often being the source of primary data. AfriGIS has a broad relationship with the public sector based on independence, ethical behavior and balanced value propositions that recognises the partnership models, standards development and the principle of fair exchange.

1.4 Vodacom Business Africa

Vodacom Business Africa is a leading pan-African service provider offering total communications solutions to enterprises across the continent. As a business enabler, we empower businesses to grow beyond borders.

We offer connectivity through various access mediums, hosted services across geographies, enterprise communications services and mobility. Supported by on-the-ground presence in over 16 countries, our network footprint provides reliable connectivity to over 42 countries. We provide a 24/7 Customer Operations Centre is available to support our customers’ service needs and can track connectivity regionally and globally.

1.5 Our Footprint

Coverage Areas

Country               Coverage (%)     Customers

South Africa:         99.9%                 43.2 million

Tanzania:              88.3%                 14.1 million

DRC                        49,7%                  12.2 million

Mozambique        55.8%                   6.8 million

Lesotho                  98.5%                   1.5 million

Safaricom               96.0%                 31.8 million

Vodacom Business Africa operates in:

Africa:

Algeria

Angola

Benin

Botswana

Burkina Faso

Burundi

Cameroon

Cabo Verde

Central African Republic

Chad

Côte d’Ivoire

Democratic Republic of Congo

Dijbouti

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Ethiopia

Gabon

Gambia

Ghana

Kenya

Lesotho

Liberia

Libya

Madagascar

Malawi

Malaysia

Mali

Mauritania

Mauritius

Morocco

Mozambique

Namibia

Niger

Nigeria

Republic of Congo

Rwanda

Senegal

Sierra Leone

South Sudan

Swaziland

Tanzania

Togo

Tunisia

Uganda

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Vodacom Business Africa also operates internationally:

France

Singapore

United Kingdom

Vodacom Business has points of presence in these countries: 

South Africa: 9 135 (formal), 61 877 (informal)

Lesotho: 7 415 (formal); 9 838 (informal)

Ghana: missing stats

Tanzania: 121 393 (formal); 18 174 (informal)

Mozambique: 26 796 (formal); 8 809 (informal)

Egypt: missing stats

Democratic Republic of Congo: 24 770 (formal); 345 429 (informal)

Kenya: missing stats

  1. OUR EXPERTISE

Vodacom Business employees in the Customer Service Operations Centre (CSOC) have a combined 420 certifications across 31 industry standards.

These include 111 CCNA, 58 CCNP, 41 ITIL, 49 A+ and 43 N+ holders. 20 of our engineers hold ITE diplomas and 11 have MCP/Microsoft certification. Other certifications held by our engineers are CCDA (12 employees), MCSA (9 employees) and ComptTiaSecurity+ (5 employees).

  1. OUR OFFERINGS

We provide connectivity as well as internet and virtual private network services to our customers over a variety of wireless, fixed-line, satellite, microwave, mobile and converged technologies. We also offer hosted cloud services, combining our experience and track record in delivering both traditional and utility-based services with the latest emerging technologies.

Our lines of business encompass Mobile and Fixed Connectivity, Internet of Things, Cloud Hosting and Security, Extended Reality and Applied Intelligence and lastly, Wholesale and Carrier Services.

We cater to an array of sectors and industries. These include:

Public Sector – state owned entities, national, provincial and local governments.

Production and manufacturing – Oil and Gas, Utilities, Manufacturing, Agriculture

Retail and logistics sector – Restaurants, consumer goods, retailers and spaza shops

Services sector – Financial services, health, information and communication technology and conglomerates.

Vodacom is a first-tier connectivity and network provider with cloud facilities. We make it possible to manage bandwidth requirements seamlessly over guaranteed fixed-line and wireless connections.

This required us to adhere to several conditions. These include operating a private core national network, and having nodes in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban at a minimum.

Another requirement entailed operating an international SDH network, as well as a national voice interconnected network with other first tier providers.

Finally, first tier providers must have metro core rings that can cater to uniform traffic demands, in place upon which to build and deliver their services. While almost all providers leverage other last mile suppliers, the majority of the last mile backhaul has to be done on their own metro core. Vodacom meets all of these requirements and is one of seven first tier operators in the country.

3.1 Cloud 

As a multi-cloud provider, Vodacom Business offers customers access to a full stack of advanced technologies, that are integrated and consumed from a single provider. We provide managed and cloud backup, disaster recovery, managed hosting, server load balancing, and co-location. Services includes:

Platform as a Service

Provide client’s their choice of SAP HANA, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Huawei Cloud Services.

Software as a Service

Microsoft Office 365, BoardPac, Mobile Workforce Management, Google Suite and IBM Mass 360.

Security as a Service

Penetration testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Threat management, Establishment of Information Security Management Systems.

Email security via Vodacom in house solution with anti-virus and anti-spam, and Mimecast Services, including advanced threat protection, archiving and business continuity.

  • Cybersecurity

With Cyber Security rated as a Top Risk across all Vodacom markets, Vodacom Business takes Cyber Security seriously and backs this up with Cyber Security training from board down to staff, annual increases in Cyber Security budget and headcount.

We have deployed a world class Cyber Intelligence Centre (CIC) that services all Vodacom markets.

This includes 24/7 Monitoring, Detection and Response to Cyber Threats. It offers Threat Intelligence capabilities; and Vulnerability management Programme and Penetration Testing.

As well, the CIC implements the Secure By Design Process, which assesses all projects before they go live for cyber security, technology and privacy risks.

The result is a reduction in the Vodacom attack surface by reducing the number of internet facing systems and remediating perimeter vulnerabilities as a priority. This ensures the maturation of the Vodacom Cyber Security Baseline Framework and improve our defences against hacks.

Vodacom Business has employed security at a network level with the rollout of a Securenet capability. Our aim is to protect all customers on our network and contribute to the reduction of malicious code on the internet.

Retail and Payments environments, as well as all partner payment processors, are compliant to the latest PCI-DSS standard.

  1. OUR CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATIONS CENTRE (CSOC)

The CSOC is the Vodacom Business Technical Operations centre, offering customer services 24 hours a day 365 days a year. Its primary aim is to deliver high quality management and support services, managing contracted service levels across Vodacom Business’s offerings.

It has a staff complement of 195 employees, and services more than 10 000 customers. This includes 27 000 sites, which are monitored and supported continuously.

The CSOC consists of a Technical Services Desk, which is the first port of call for support and troubleshooting. This team is responsible for providing accurate initial assessments of reported incidents and service requests including their categorisation and prioritization. The services desk runs numerous shifts, ensuring that its one of its 68 technical officers are available to customers at all times.

It is complemented by the Assurance Team which specialises in Networks, Security, Hosting and VOIP.

The third support team for customers at the CSOC is the Monitoring Team. This specialist monitoring team constantly monitor alarms triggered by possible service affecting events. These alarms are followed up with customer notifications and calls to determine affected site electricity availability.

The types of devices that are monitored include Routers (CE/PE/P), Switches and Hosting Servers. On routers and switches, CPU, Memory Usage, Buffer Utilization, Saturation and Availability are watched.

For Managed Hosted Environments, hardware components of the hosted servers are similarly monitored. To assure continuous uptime, customer edge nodes, provider edge notes and hosting servers are pinged every 20 seconds for availability. Should a ping fail, the frequency is increased until the device returns to a normal state.

  1. TECHNOLOGY MILESTONES

1994 – 1st to launch a GSM Network in South Africa (2 sites per day)

1996 – 1st Globally to launch IN-based pre-paid services

2000 – Vodacom launched in Tanzania

2002 – Vodacom launched in DRC

2003 – Vodacom launched in Mozambique

2004 – 1st to launch 3G in South Africa

2008 – Deploy Single RAN modernisation

2012 – 1st to launch 4G in South Africa

2013 – Accelerated investment into 3G and 4G rollout (Project Spring)

2015 – 1st to launch with VoLTE in South Africa

2015 – 4G launched in Lesotho

2016 – Cyber Intelligence Centre

2017 – 4G launched in Tanzania

2018 – Launched Vodacom’s video on demand service, VideoPlay

2018 – Launched 4G in DRC and Mozambique

2019 – Begin transformation into Technology company

2020 – Tanzania becomes the 1st Vodafone market to achieve 3.9 Security Baseline

Vodacom Business recorded the following connection in Fibre to the Endpoint (FTTX), Fibre to the Business (FTTB) and Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Under Fixed and Digital connections (as of December 2019).

FTTX

End Points passed (own):

  •       99 445 cumulative passed YTD
  •       FTTH Passed – 94 037 cumulative;
  •       FTTB Passed – 5 408 cumulative;
  •       16 057 YTD Net Adds Households Passed;

End Points connected (Total Base):

  •       YTD Total FTTH Connected Base:  50 180
  •       YTD Net Adds Connections: 9 138 Self Build; 12 426 Bitstream
  •       FTTH Self Build YTD – 25 780 cumulative; Connection Rate: 27%
  •       FTTH Bitstream – 24 400 cumulative
  •       Average distance per connection – 42m vs. 45m in FY19

Service Delivery

  •      50% YoY turnaround time improvement from 10.3 days to 5.1 days
  •       Build and Transfer pre-connected drops
  •       Improve Self Scheduling App with better performance
  •       Same day installation

Mobile Advertising Renewed Stack

  •       Multimedia Advertising Sales Solution (MASS) tool integrated and operational since March ’19.
  •       Audience Targeting with billing integration for Self Service Portal capability delivered.
  •       Programmatic PCM (Advertising Channel – real time advertising) launched 12-December ’19
  •       Capabilities such as Rewards delivered

API Gateway

  •       Two partner facing APIs (Direct Charge to Bill and Communication SMS) APIs Live in production since 02 September 2019 carrying traffic with four partners consuming.
  •       Q3 APIs delivered in Production by December ’19 include payment (Credit Card recurring and M-Pesa, EFT and Credit card payments for South Africa with tokenisation).
  •       By end-Nov, five partners successfully migrated
  •       LBS, Consent, MobileID, OTP and North facing APIs under UAT (User Acceptance Test) due to be operational by end of Feb 2020