The telecoms industry moves at such a fast pace it is sometimes difficult to keep up. Cloud services are continuing to dominate the channel and are constantly changing, often meaning companies face a number of obstacles ahead of cloud adoption. For TFM Networks, they believe preparation is the key to keeping up. They are confident the progression of cloud services presents the next stage in the development of business telecoms enabling the convergence of Voice, Data and applications over one network.
TFM’s cloud preparation began a long time ago and is a constant focus of their work…
The first stage of TFM’s preparation was to take more control of their telecommunications services to ensure they could provide secure, resilient, high performance solutions that were significantly distinct from other providers offering consumer-grade services. One of the major benefits was that speed of performance was not compromised – many ISP’s and telecom suppliers noted increases in traffic during the Olympics of up to 3000%. TFM’s network traffic increased on average by 1.5% over the same period, but because TFM is a business only provider, they delivered an uncompromised level of performance. As part of this preparation, the team built their own MPLS core network from scratch, with full geographical equipment, supplier and connectivity reliance. Key to this was the stipulation that TFM’s core network would be a ‘Business Only’ platform with no consumer users.
Connectivity has commoditised amongst consumers. However, TFM believed that as their customers moved into the cloud, reliance on connectivity would increase – no network, no work.
TFM’s core platform is now resiliently interconnected with 22 providers across the UK, Europe and the world and they can provide at least ADSL anywhere that it is available. The core platform has had 100% availability since its launch in 2009.
The second stage of TFM’s cloud preparation was to build their own version of an ERP solution that could handle everything from their product lists, quotes, provisioning, support and financials with the overall aims of improving the speed, efficiency and accuracy of every aspect of delivery. Today, the quote to invoice process all happens within a single integrated system. This system has also been integrated into many of TFM’s client ticketing systems, with more than double the number of connections and customers and with the same number of people as in 2008.
Between 2008 and 2012; during a recession and against strong on-going price competition, TFM’s revenues grew by 59%. The team believe their 2008 strategic direction is as relevant today as it ever was – the challenge is what to do next…
In 2013 TFM will be delivering a number of innovative solutions that have been developed in the last 2 years to help meet the challenges and issues that many businesses face today around compliance, incident management between organisations and meaningful visibility of the wider IT supply chain.
COO David Heyes comments: “While TFM’s focus is to be a highly effective and efficient telecommunications provider, to be able to support an anything; anywhere world, we will be expanding our horizons to look at supporting IT solutions by expanding everyone’s view of what’s possible and achievable.”