tiscali business


  Tiscali Newsletter
Tiscali Business Services newsletter
 January 09
Lance Spencer Welcome to the first issue of the Tiscali Business Services newsletter for 2009.

The highlight for January is an interview with Danny Sullivan, Director of Customer Operations for Tiscali Business Services. Since joining the company in January 2008 there is no doubt Danny and his team have brought customer service to a whole new level. In fact, faults affecting Tiscali's resellers have fallen by 20% over the past year. As Danny points out, this equals less work and reduced costs for resellers and their customers, a true win-win situation in today's turbulent economic environment.

Delivering better products that help our resellers to reduce cost is at the heart of our strategy and thanks to Tiscali's Next Generation Network we are able to stay true to our mission. In the second article, Product Manager Sonia Hanson, gives an update on Tiscali's Annex M and SDSL (M). Born out of ADSL2+, these extremely cost effective products have really taken off and Sonia is delighted that resellers are increasingly benefitting from them as more than viable alternatives to BT's SDSL and leased line services.

In the last newsletter we promised a few more details ahead of the launch of Tiscali's Next Generation Ethernet portfolio. Finally, Warren Potts, Head of WIPVPN, shares some insight into the potential for wholesale Ethernet products in the UK.

Lance Spencer

Lance Spencer
Product and Marketing Director
Tiscali Business Services


A satisfying performance with more improvements due in 2009
Interview with Danny Sullivan, Director of Customer Operations.

ADSL2+ products on the up and up
Sonia Hanson, Product Manager, gives an update.

Ethernet promises to drive down costs through greater competition
Warren Potts, Head of WIPVPN, shares some insights into the potential for Wholesale Ethernet products.

Next month's edition

Warren Potts looks at the benefits of Migration Gains as a more cost effective way to win business.

If you have any queries regarding Tiscali Business Services Products or to unsubscribe, please email marketing@tiscali-business.co.uk.

Copyright 2009 Tiscali. All Rights Reserved.

 A satisfying performance with more improvements due in 2009
Your business
Danny Sullivan "Last year was such a frenetic yet exciting time for Tiscali Business Services; by comparison we are now in a settled period where we have more time to plan for new product launches and further customer service improvements over the coming months" says Danny Sullivan, Director of Customer Operations for Tiscali Business Services.

Since joining Tiscali in January 2008, Danny has overseen the addition of more than 40 new technical staff, movement of the Wholesale and IPVPN support team to the new Technical and Customer Support Centre in Stoke Mandeville, migration of Pipex and Nildram customers to the Tiscali core network and introduction of the first phase of the new CRM web front end which meant knitting together four legacy systems.

"We are now seeing the fruits of these labours" explains Danny. The most recent customer satisfaction surveys show an overall year on year. This is a significant achievement given that we have been so busy launching new products, migrating customers, whilst consolidating our systems and growing our customer service operation.

"And if you compare our performance with industry averages over the past 12 months, we are not only better at first time fixing of faults, we are also fixing them much faster."

In fact, faults affecting Tiscali's resellers have fallen by an average of 15-20% over the past 12 months. This percentage, says Danny, is largely due to improvements in network operations and working closer with resellers to improve processes. He predicts this will continue on an upward curve in 2009.

"We have made improvements in all areas of the operation which have had a direct and positive impact on our customer service capabilities and performance," says Danny. "This will continue, particularly as we are also working more closely with BT Wholesale and Openreach to ensure a smoother and better experience for resellers." One example for Tiscali is that with BT Wholesale it has been able to introduce a Knowledge Based Tool which helps to fix faults even quicker.

Tiscali also plans to bring back onshore call handling for provisioning.

Looking ahead to 2009, Danny is also mindful of the uncertain economic environment and highlights that Tiscali plans to do everything that it can to help its resellers ride any financial challenges they face and give them even more reasons to sell differentiated higher margin products.

"We recognise that our resellers and their end user business customers generally need cost bases to be as low as possible during turbulent economic times." By reducing faults and fix times as we will continue to do, this equals less work for resellers and that means lower costs for all. It also means they can get on with their business and focus on development, sales and improving their margins."

Indeed, improved performance and cost reduction continues to be at the heart of Tiscali Business Service's strategy, extending from new products such as ADSL2+ and Annex M (as well as the forthcoming introduction of Ethernet), right through to the company's customer service operation.

"Tiscali is about innovation, delivering better products and processes that help our resellers to reduce costs. Our customer operations must continue that theme during 2009. We have come along way and what I am really pleased about is that we now have more time to polish things a bit," concludes Danny.

 ADSL2+ products on the up and up
Your business
Sonia Hanson Sonia Hanson, Product Manager for Tiscali Business Services, brings us bang up to date with Tiscali's ADSL2+ product infrastructure.

"Tiscali's ADSL2+ infrastructure has been an excellent platform for us to deliver new products to resellers, including Annex M and SDSL (M)," says Sonia. "Our intention has been to position these two products as more than viable alternatives to BT's SDSL and leased line services which are more expensive and do not offer anywhere near the level of product features.

"This is all made possible through Tiscali's Next Generation Network which led the way in 2008 and will continue to do so throughout 2009. The introduction of Annex M and SDSL (M) means our resellers can provide their customers with innovative services and a host of features, including higher guaranteed bandwidth for businesses, a doubling of VoIP connections per line and the opportunity to run multiple services such as voice, video and other media over a single ADSL circuit."

Annex M extends the capability of ADSL2+ by doubling the number of upstream bits with a corresponding decrease in the less important downstream. Data rates can be as high as 24Mb downstream and up to 3Mb upstream under near perfect conditions. These speeds vary depending upon the type of Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) being used, local line quality and distance from the exchange. Tiscali products can achieve these speeds if the line can support it, but chose to set expectations and market at a much more realistic 16Mb downstream and 2.5Mb upstream.

The proof of the pudding has been in the eating, as Sonia explains: "ADSL2+ products have really taken off and sales are thriving in both Wholesale Broadband and IPVPN channels. We now have hundreds of lines which are performing well.

"A significant proportion of our target market can achieve SDSL and E1 speeds using cost effective ADSL CPE. Almost half the installed base can achieve a 2MB SDSL (M) service which translates into the capability to carry 40 simultaneous voice calls. Furthermore, nine out of 10 customers can achieve an SDSL (M) 1 MB service which translates into the capability to carry 20 simultaneous voice calls. This is all over a single ADSL line using cost effective ADSL CPE."

In fact, customers are not experiencing a significant drop in downstream. "On the contrary," says Sonia, "if you compare the upstream rates between Annex A and Annex M, a greater proportion achieves more than 16Mb on Annex M versus Annex A" (please see table).

Since launch and the early roll out of Annex M products, enhancements have also been made. Tiscali introduced the SDSL (M) 1.5MB product which enables 77% of customers to achieve 30 simultaneous calls. And a simple product change allows over 25% of resellers to achieve an extra 10 simultaneous calls.

"We have also created additional line profiles which resellers may adapt to suit line conditions, thus offering the customer a stable or greater line throughput," adds Sonia.

"All in all, we are delighted with the take up of the ADSL2+ Annex A and Annex M products as well as their performance. A lot of hard work went into developing and bringing these products to market and we are delighted that our resellers and their customers are benefiting from them in so many different ways."

 Ethernet promises to drive down costs through greater competition
Your business
Warren Potts Warren Potts, Head of WIPVPN at Tiscali Business Services, shares some brief insights into the potential for wholesale Ethernet products in the UK.

"Tiscali is in the process of developing the capability to deliver Ethernet services for resellers based on our high capacity Next Generation LLU Network," explains Warren. "Services will include low cost 10Mb - 100Mb Ethernet access to MPLS IPVPNs, low cost Wholesale Ethernet and Internet access products. It means that, at launch, Tiscali will have the largest Ethernet PoP footprint in the UK.

"Our strategy is to simplify and lower Ethernet costs providing our resellers and their customers with a far more competitive offering than what is available currently through suppliers such as BT Wholesale, Global Crossing, Cable and Wireless and NTL. The fact is, there is now more choice, and this is growing. It's a very exciting period for resellers, not least because everyone is talking about how difficult the economic environment is becoming. But we do believe the entrance by Tiscali will help to drive down costs through greater competition and bring about even more innovation in the market."

Forecasts for Ethernet show almost a doubling in the number of connections between 2008 and 2013, largely due to the requirements for increased bandwidth (see Openreach table). Such bandwidth requirements are being driven by more and more bandwidth hungry applications, including video streaming, voice and data convergence and service hosting. So if you have a need to provide such services, Ethernet will prove to be an extremely popular choice.

For the best coverage and deal, Tiscali's advice to resellers is to work with a supplier with a large numbers of PoPs and high densities in metropolitan areas. This is because the circuit tail is shorter and therefore cheaper for them.

Additional advice is to do some shopping around, seeking new quotes from a range of suppliers when circuits come up for renewal. If a supplier is increasing its footprint, it may work out cheaper to have a new circuit in place rather than continuing with the existing connection.

And finally, Warren recommends: "If choice is on your wish list, then look for suppliers who can operate a Managed IPVPN or provide Wholesale Ethernet solutions. This will ensure that the whole solution can be managed regardless of the requirement."

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