Huge Telecom announced on Monday the launch of Huge STS, a “telecommunication standby service” aimed at South African corporate enterprises for which voice services are mission critical.
“In today’s market conditions, companies can ill-afford being “cut-off” from their customers. Huge STS, a back-up voice service, allows corporate enterprises to have alternative outbound voice services up and running in a matter of minutes after the failure of their primary voice services,” says CEO, James Herbst.
Service failures appear to be a way of life for some operators, and copper cable theft is one reason services often fail. The scourge of copper cable theft has been well documented and it can take days, weeks or even months for operators to re-establish services in affected areas – if at all. Some areas have been termed “unviable” and services are simply not re-established.
Business customers who find their fixed lines suddenly “dead” have no option but to call the help lines and log line faults with the operator concerned. This might be challenging when the very services needed to log the fault have failed.
“It is important, however, to note that each incident of cable theft needs to be handled uniquely. Some cases allow for the replacement of stolen copper cable, while others need alternative access technology. Importantly, both cases entail a process of assessment, funding, planning and deployment,” says Telkom spokesman, Pynee Chetty.
“In general, fixed-line services work well,” explains Herbst. “However, when problems occur, many businesses have found themselves out in the cold for unacceptably long periods.”
Huge STS is a wireless voice service that can be used as a back-up to carry calls when fixed-line voice services (including VoIP) fail. Should the customer encounter any faults on their fixed-line, from degradation of quality to complete line failure, they can simply switch over to Huge’s wireless solution and continue making outbound calls, with minimal impact on business operations.
“The cost of downtime, especially in tough economic times, is significant,” says Herbst. “Just imagine the potential loss of cash-flow because your debt collection department can’t make calls for a week or the loss of sales because your outbound call-centre is offline. With Huge STS, the cost to protect against these risks is minimal.”
Huge STS can either be installed and attached directly onto spare ports on the PBX, or installed and simply connected when required. Huge also has a stand-alone version of STS whereby wireless “desk phone” devices can be rapidly deployed to affected areas ensuring business continuity.
“This type of stand-alone service is particularly useful in instances where part of an internal voice network goes down, or where additional outbound lines are needed for a short space of time. Often companies will be relocating premises and there will be a delay in commissioning and transferring their usual fixed-line voice services.
“Huge STS is perfect in this situation, as the stand-alone phones can be quickly distributed for use, with no interruption to normal business operations,” explains Herbst.
Of course, Herbst concedes that he would far prefer customers to be using Huge’s voice services as their primary service in place of traditional fixed-line technologies, but says he is happy working alongside other providers in a back-up capacity in cases where this is required.
“There are many cases where companies will appoint a primary and secondary provider. Banks for example will make use of two auditing companies, and that’s not to say that the primary provider will always enjoy that position.
“The choice of primary and secondary provider depends on variables inside the organisation and the customer’s preferred choice of technology or brand. Both providers ultimately have crucial roles to play in ensuring the customer receives the best solution possible.”
Huge’s service can be tailored to suit any sized organisation, and is priced as low as R199.00 per month.