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Monday, April 20, 2009

MTN connects CBN, FCMB with WAN

In progression of the recent deal sealed between the Nigeria’s leading telecommunications operator, MTN, with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and First City Monument Bank plc (FCMB) for the provision of Wide Area Network (WAN) solutions, thereby linking eight branches of the apex bank and 18 branches of FCMB.

Confirming this, the Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, MTN Nigeria, Derek Appiah, said, this marks the successful completion of the first phase of the project, which was accomplished within schedule.

The WAN solutions, Appiah said, would improve the quality and speed of the data network within CBN and FCMB branches, thus enhancing their service delivery to customers across the country.

“Banks in Nigeria today yearn for reliable and dependable services from their technology partners in order to deliver basic services to their customers. Our goal is to be that one-stop technology partner that our customers can rely on,” the officer said.

In addition, Appiah said, MTN aims for partnerships that go beyond just providing solutions that work today, but also consider the impact of future expansion, costs and convergence.

For the Chief Information Officer, FCMB Plc, Mr. Olayinka Oni, though the solution is in its early days, the experience of the first few weeks on the new platform has been remarkable.  “We have experienced increased reliability and quality of service at the pilot locations; indeed it has started to improve the work-life balance of our colleagues at those locations as they are able to achieve tremendously quick turn-around time for all transaction processing which we expect has also started to impact on customer experience and satisfaction at those locations,” he said.

Projecting into the future, Oni said that with this platform, they hope to achieve better and enriched convergence of data and voice for capabilities like video conferencing, voice conferencing, virtual meeting, and unified messaging.MTN Nigeria prides itself as the largest telecommunications company in the country with coverage in over 250 towns, and more than 10,000 villages and communities across the 36 states of the federation.MTN equally claimed to have built in excess of 5,000 base stations nationwide, and its over 5,000 kilometer fibre optics backbone is the largest private infrastructure of its kind in Africa.

In a related development, MTN Nigeria said, all is set for the launching of its latest Mobile Lite, in the six geo-political zones of the country.Mobile Lite is a mobile assistance centres, launched in what the operator said is to take customer care to another level.

Customer Relations Executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr Akin Braithwaite, revealed this recently at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, during a customer forum recently in the city.

He said that Mobile Lite will be rolled out in the next couple of weeks in all six geo-political zones of the country.

As said by him, the mobile centres are the first of its kind in Nigeria, and are intended to assist subscribers with service-related challenges and are part of an ongoing strategy to improve the customer experience on the network.He explained that Mobile Lite, which is essentially a state-of-the-art van equipped with broadband internet access and other essential facilities available in a traditional walk-in centre, will move around communities to assist MTN subscribers.

“It will bring succour to subscribers who, because of distance or their daily schedules, are not able to seek help for their service-related challenges at a traditional Customer Assistance Centre,” he said. Since 2008, Braithwaite noted that MTN has invested millions of Naira into improving its customer care processes and infrastructure, comprising acquiring of the cutting-edge technology that now enables the company to treat its teeming customers as individuals with distinct tastes and preferences,” he said.

“Today, if any customer calls our customer assistance centre he is able to elect to converse in any of Nigeria’s major languages. Subsequently, when the same customer calls again, our intelligent   system automatically recognises him and routes his call according to his language preference.  This is just one of the many changes we have made in the way we relate with our customers,” he said.

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