Telkom Brings the Kou-Kamma municipality up to speed
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 10:10 Written by ITWeb Informatica Tuesday, 31 January 2012 09:38
When the need for better services called for the amalgamation of previously dispersed municipalities in the Eastern Cape, Telkom was there with a full solution to bring the remote area right up to speed.
Assessing the situation
When the dispersed municipalities of Kareedouw and Joubertina and surrounds amalgamated to form the new Kou-Kamma municipality, covering the Langkloof area as well as the coastal region from Eersterivier to the Tollgate at Bloukrans, change was inevitable.
On the communications infrastructure front, the municipality had a Telkom PBX in place at Kareedouw, along with a PVT PBX at Joubertina. The new offices at New Rest, however, had no services whatsoever. Over time, a solid relationship had been formed between Telkom and the Kareedouw municipal offices but although Joubertina had a Telkom datalink to Kareedouw, other than access lines, the telecoms infrastructure there was nominal.
While the Kareedouw municipality was benefiting from a term agreement with Telkom for its older PBX, which provided upgrades without penalties, technologically-speaking, the hardware offered limited capacity.
Teltrace Call Management Systems
A seamless cut-over
It was time to get things up to speed and the municipality opted for a bouquet of Telkom’s services to get it there. A seamless cut-over meant that new technology could be made available with minimal disruption to the municipality’s daily activities. Following the commissioning of a basic PBX, value add-ons were implemented through a phased approach.
The first critical improvement was in call management. Previously, calls had been a major cost factor for the municipality and were not being managed effectively, but the implementation of Telkom’s Teltrace Office Pro soon addressed this concern, while also offering the municipality the ability to manage their other office calls via their Virtual Private Network (VPN).
A further noticeable improvement was the value added by Telkom’s ISDN PRA (Primary Rate Access) service. Previously, the municipality had eight analogue lines, requiring all calls to be answered by an operator who needed to put the caller through to the relevant person. Using Direct Dialling Inwards (DDI) on the PRA , callers are now diverted automatically, taking a considerable load off the operator. Furthermore, the municipality increased its lines to 30, allowing more callers to get through at any given time.
The addition of Telkom’s Music-onhold MKII allowed the municipality to personalise its holding music to include informative messages, while the inclusion of voicemail allowed further personalisation for each of the municipality’s staff phone numbers. As a result, the operator was freed to perform other, more critical duties for the municipality.
Other value-adds included were VoIP (Voice over IP), which offered improved connectivity between the Joubertina and New Rest offices (dependant on VPN), and DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony) at both Kareedouw and Joubertina, allowing mobile telephony to key officials when not at their desks. The inclusion of Telkom’s Budget Control Manager (BCM) allowed the municipality to allocate pre-determined rand values per extension. Once users exceed this value (near real-time management), their extension is blocked from making any more calls, which allows the municipality to smartly budget their call value. The BCM can be over-ridden by an authorised person, who can open the user’s phone as needed.
Quality of services
Telkom provided Internet connectivity to the municipality via its Direct Internet Service (TI-DIS), which now provides Joubertina as well as New Rest access via the VPN. This allows control of Internet access through an administrator, while the addition of a comprehensive Service Level Agreement further assures availability. Telkom’s Discount Calling Plan (SupremeCall) adds even more value by offering the municipality reduced call rates through per-second billing. The cost savings achieved in this way can be used to offset the costs of the VPN and TI-DIS.
The VPN supplied by Telkom is a fully managed WAN and quality of service allows the municipality to run voice as well as data traffic over a single link. This link is fully up-scalable according to the customer’s needs.
Addressing all needs
Telkom’s total solution approach addressed all of the municipality’s current requirements, with a keen eye on future needs and scalability. The VPN allows the inclusion of Telkom Mobility, which means that key officials can now work remotely. This value-added benefit was not initially foreseen by Kou-Kamma municipality but, once identified was widely accepted as a further rationalisation of the new network implementation.
To date, the majority of the Kou-Kamma municipality’s Telkom solutions have been installed and implemented, with Telkom and the municipality in constant communications regarding additional and ongoing requirements.
The Kou-Kamma municipality’s new total solution allows it to deal more effectively and efficiently both internally and externally with citizens, and has already received the thumbs-up from the community. Being a rural community, Kou-Kamma may have previously lacked the technology of the bigger metropolitan municipalities, but thanks to Telkom’s new network offerings, Kou-Kamma has well and truly entered the digital realm.
C O N T A C T
Executive: Large Business Services (LBS)
Telkom SA Limited
Tel: +27 12 680 7172
Fax: +27 12 680 7415
Cell: +27 81 436 2119
IT Manager: Kou-Kamma Municipality
Tel: 042 288 7204