Systems integrator Red Man Technologies has signed a R6-million deal with iBurst to implement the strategic integrated business and operations support solutions on which the company will manage its rapid growth in the broadband converged communications market.
iBurst's head of IT, Cobus McQuirk says it was a strategic decision to base the platform on Softline Enterprise's suite of Sage software and commission Red Man Technologies, with its proven expertise in implementing this software in telecommunications companies, to manage the process.
The design phase is underway. It is expected to be completed by mid-September, with the first phase of the project – implementing basic accounting applications and customer records – due for completion by 1 December 2008.
The second phase – implementing Sage's SalesLOGIX CRM System, Sage Line 500 ERP systems and the FTS Leap Billing system – is due for completion by 1 April 2009.
McQuirk says that iBurst's dynamic growth over the past four years means that it needed a more powerful system that could take scalability in its stride as customer numbers – and the variety of voice and data service offerings – increased. The company is expanding its market from its starting blocks of home-based customers and smaller businesses to the enterprise market.
"This is a total systems replacement and must take place without interrupting current operations. Our new system will enable our customers to have a better quality of service, plus enable us to better manage all levels of our relationship with them."
Before opting for the Red Man/Sage solution iBurst thoroughly examined its strategic needs and requested vendors to propose systems solutions. These were evaluated and Softline Enterprise's Sage software suite was chosen because it has proven itself in the southern African telecommunications industry.
In turn, Softline Enterprise chose Red Man Technologies – with its track record of implementing enterprise-wide solutions in telecommunications companies – to lead the integration and implementation project.
Red Man's Jarno Loubser says business operational systems – and specifically billing processes – for telecommunications companies are extremely complex because of the volume, speed and diversity of interactions continuously taking place.
"Our team's experience in the telecommunications sector has enabled us to put together a vertical business unit to offer exceptionally skilled integration and implementation services to this sector. With the Sage software suite and the Israeli-developed FTS Leap Billing system, we believe the iBurst implementation will entrench our position as a leading system integrator in this sector in southern Africa."
Softline Enterprise's MD Ashley Ellington says the sale of the Sage software suite into as dynamic an organisation as iBurst "confirms our strengths in the telecommunications industry.
"The software has proven itself in MTN and Vodacom and, by joining forces with Red Man Technologies as the system integrator, we are in a very strong position to dominate this sector in the region."
He adds that the software's strength comes from its ability to run on multiple platforms, the ease with which it integrates with other applications and systems and its scalability which ensures that the customer does not outgrow this robust solution.