Presented by Fixed Mobile Telecoms

The Power of Three: Three men, One objective – Solve for the Customer

The Fixed Mobile story

“We are a networking company that really focuses on two things: We want enterprise CIOs and Heads of IT to get what they really need in terms of networking, network security, private and Internet connectivity, while getting a good night’s sleep, AND we help ISPs stabilise their networks and grow their revenues, like we’ve done for many in the past,” says Eduard du Plessis, CEO of Fixed Mobile Telecoms.

“In the end, these are just ordinary people trying to establish or maintain great service for their businesses, but we understand that it’s sometimes hard for them.”

“It’s almost as if the “go-to” service providers that sell them connectivity solutions don’t care about solving their real needs, but rather try to lock their customer’s into long-term contracts that end up becoming comparatively expensive a few years down the road, offering less and less value, and being totally inflexible.”

“How are you as the customer supposed to provide your own downstream customers with a quality service and value when you must deal with that sort of set-in-stone, one-size-fits-all, lock-in that completely ignores what you need?”

Du Plessis and Rikus Jansen co-founded the business to answer one simple question, “What can we do to help these people?”

Their answer? “Fresh thinking for tailored connectivity solutions for enterprises and ISPs via flexible contracts that help them generate business value.”

“It sounds easy,” says du Plessis, who also engineered the network design along with some of the best network engineers in SA. “But making it simple for customers requires sophisticated engineering in the back end.”

Easier said than done

In 2018 when they started the business, all they had in their toolbox were 20 years of solid history creating some of the country’s most innovative service provider networks, including SA’s first broadband satellite Internet service in 1998 and SA’s first open access carrier network in 2009.

Less than four years later they’ve gathered among the finest technical skills in the country, built a national network with guaranteed uptime and flexible contracts and brought into the leadership fold their old secret weapon to helping customers unlock value, Delfim Alves.

After decades of competing against one another and also working together, the trio had launched several successful brands such as Abacus Microsystems, Ventura Systems, and Africa INX that became EOH Carrier Solutions.

“We had been able to build a successful business because, we had done one thing right. We listened to what customers wanted and we gave them exactly that,” says du Plessis.

Now they are back together.

Listening really hard

What they heard in 2018 was ISPs asking for reliable, guaranteed connectivity, services they could tailor to their needs, and flexible contracts.

CIOs also want guaranteed connectivity, with flexible and agile services based on up-to-date technologies, in modern architectures that help them find new value for their companies.

And they don’t only need it in infrastructure-rich urban settings either, often requiring it in South Africa’s “dorpies” and other remote places.

“We know the market, we know there are real people out there with real lives, real concerns, real challenges,” says Alves.

“They don’t need to take it or leave it, they need someone who will give them a service that works for their business and, if it all goes south, someone who will figure it out and get them up and going again – because they also have customers and people depending on them to keep the wheels turning.

Where else can they go?” concludes Alves.

In 2020, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recognised Fixed Mobile’s fresh, innovative thinking that zeroes in on solving customer challenges.

Fixed Mobile was the only South African finalist for its global connectivity awards for a solution it created to help customers transition to the cloud with a total agile network approach.

Our customers are people

“It was pretty incredible to be acknowledged for simply understanding that customers have evolving needs before, during and after their move to the cloud and we created a solution to help them make that transition as painless as possible,” says Jansen.

“Our customers are people, they face challenges, and we provide the network and the skills to help them.”

It’s the type of challenge that drives Du Plessis, Jansen and Alves.

“When we focused on solving problems for our customers, by listening obsessively, constantly wearing our thinking caps, and understanding that our customers are serious about providing quality connectivity services to their customers and their organisations, we knew we had the formula to help them succeed,” says Du Plessis.

“That’s our mission. Fresh thinking that delivers connectivity options for customers, with flexible contracts, that help them offer new business value to their own customers.”

Do you want to get solutions that work for you from people who care about your business?

Get over to our website at Fixed Mobile Telecoms and let’s see what we can do for you. Take me now.

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The Power of Three: Three men, One objective – Solve for the Customer