Vox Telecom is to invest R550m in three key areas of the business, namely extending the Vox fibre rollout through its wholly owned subsidiary Frogfoot Networks, bolstering job creation and improving efficiencies through enhanced automation.
“The capital injection into our operations endorses our conversion strategy,” says Jacques du Toit, CEO of Vox. “We are moving away from being just an Internet service provider (ISP) into a Telco that provides connectivity and integrated services. We are laying the foundation to secure market share and growth in key geographic precincts around South Africa.”
Vox will deploy the bulk of the investment to fast-track its fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business programme. In the past 18 months, the company says, it has secured 86,000 fibre-to-the-home and just over 10,000 fibre-to-the-business opportunities.
“We now have more than 300 coverage areas where we are able to provide fibre related services,” says Du Toit.
Vox will also invest in growing its sales force across the country from 280 to 450 people in the next 18 months. Over the last 24 months Vox has invested R50m into the first phase of its sales expansion programme.
“This programme has proven to be extremely successful and we will continue with this approach. We have broadened our horizons and don’t necessarily focus on individuals from the ICT industry, but passion for technology, ambition and personal commitment to success are amongst the key attributes we are looking for.
“This means we will have the largest direct sales force in the South African telecommunications sector and will continue to take market share from the incumbents. To further bolster our sales strategy, we have embarked on an extremely aggressive drive to recruit channel partners, which includes, agents, resellers and wholesale partners.”
Du Toit says that the company is acutely aware of the massive ICT skills shortage locally and has seen the sector grow faster than people can be developed and upskilled.
“With the planned increase in the sales force, we know that a large amount of money needs to be allocated to train field engineers so that from a technical perspective they are able to deal with everything from a copper installation all the way through to fibre installation and maintenance.”
To demonstrate its commitment to transformation, Vox says, it has identified 24 previously disadvantaged individuals who will be invited to participate in its 14 month executive management development programme.
“We believe these building blocks will go a long way to not only guaranteeing growth for the business, but in showing our commitment to the future of the industry and South Africa.”
Vox will continue to focus on the automation of its internal processes. This includes the migration to a new OSS/BSS platform that has been developed over the last two years.
“This investment comes at a critical time for us, especially when you consider the current South African economy and as such, it demonstrates that our shareholders believe in what we are doing and how we are doing it and it also shows that investing in fibre is the right thing to do.”