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Our today's guest is OÜ Top Connect presented by Anthony Rivshin
This article is about a world wide known company: OÜ Top Connect and was realized thanks to its representative Anthony Rivshin who was interviewed and was pleased to share more details about it…
First of all I want to ask you about your company name: whence it has occurred, who had the idea to name it so?
TravelSIM was the most appropriate name we could give our international roaming solution. We gave everyone in the company a simple objective, the name for the new service had to have an emphasis on Travel and Cellular Phone Roaming and it had to be simple! Naturally, TravelSIM was the most logical and appropriate name to use. Not only does it emphasize Travel but also a GSM SIM card and Simplicity!
Please, tell us what are your company’s main activities, what services does it provide?
CSC Telecom along with TravelSIM are brand names, the holding company which possesses all of the necessary Telecom licenses in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania is Top Connect OÜ. CSC Telecom has three modes of business; Retail sales, Wholesale and Value Added. With respect to retail sales, this primarily involves providing a full telecom solution to the corporate market in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (including installation of PBX, Avaya equipment, all necessary wiring and circuits, Internet and voice traffic of course!); we also have a calling card solution for travellers coming into the Baltics. The wholesale business involves providing international carriers with premium quality termination into the three Baltic states and some surrounding areas. Our Value Added component included the TravelSIM service along with various media related telecom services.
Why had your company decided to provide the given spectrum of services?
Everything that our company offers stems from our mission statement: Access to fairly priced high quality communications should not have limits or borders. To accomplish this we had to become a wholesale carrier and purchase our own premium termination and become a fully licensed carrier. This gave us the ability to provide premium quality to our corporate clients as well as to our wholesale clients. Naturally, our corporate clients asked us for travel related savings, this is how TravelSIM came about! TravelSIM took over 3 years to develop, which involved establishing our in house software department; however, we now feel confident that TravelSIM is the highest quality international roaming solution in the market.
How do you appreciate the role of your company in the given sphere of services?
Our company strives to stay within our given competencies and strengths; quality telecom service and customer satisfaction. This is why we have positioned TravelSIM as a distributor based product. Namely, we are very comfortable with allowing our distributors to white label the TravelSIM and build on their established brand. Therefore, we do what we do best and our distributors focus on what they do best!
How long have you been on this market? Please, tell us a little about your company history?
CSC Telecom has been providing Telecom Service from 1995. In the beginning the services were limited to Estonian corporate clients. However, we have expanded to Latvia and Lithuania and are now the largest alternative telecom provided in all three countries. After large demand and 3 years of development TravelSIM was launched in 2006, as of June 2008 there are over 500,000 TravelSIM users world wide. CSC Telecom has interconnects with the largest Telecom Carriers in Europe and Scandinavia.
Probably, your company has achieved certain successes during this period. Can you say something about these successes?
CSC Telecom has indeed accomplished quite a lot. Originally due to market regulation the only telecom service being offered by our company was call back! However, with deregulation CSC Telecom quickly mobilized to become the most successful alternative telecom provider in the entire Baltic region. Similarly, in an industry which has falling prices and falling margins CSC Telecom has remained cash flow positive and privately held. CSC Telecom has also grown from one small office and a handful of employees, to 70 employees in 3 countries.
Has your company participated in fairs and exhibitions? If yes, tell us where, how and when.
We have been attending and participating at the GTM shows in Washington, DC since 2001 and have attended the new ITW show in Washington. Similarly, CSC Telecom is present at most wireless and prepaid exhibitions world wide.
With which countries do you work? Why especially with these countries?
We have offices in: Tallinn Estonia, Riga Latvia and Vilnius Lithuania. In these counties we service our corporate telecom clients. Expanding within the Baltic countries made perfect sense for us, given that many companies have branch offices in all three countries. Similarly, given the small size of each country it became important to expand in order to keep growing! With respect to TravelSIM clients/distributors we have presence in: UK, USA, Canada, Australia, Ukraine, Russia, India, Israel, Croatia, Greece and various other countries. Our TravelSIM distributors have various target markets and there is potential in every country around the globe in which to start distribution. Namely, users of TravelSIM range from business travellers to leisure travellers to freight companies and there is no country in the world which does not have at least one of these categories of users!
Please, enumerate the main principles of your company, and let’s talk a little about your company’s policy.
Our main principles and policies all revolve around the same issue: proving the highest quality service at the most reasonable possible price. We provide our TravelSIM clients with the same quality and price as demanded by our most stringent corporate clientele. Therefore, we may in some cases have higher rates than our competitors, but we have the best quality and no gimmicks. We know that when a client is overseas and needs to make or receive an important call it is our responsibility to provide the best possible service.
Which principles listed above is fundamental in the work with your clients?
This might sound redundant, but quality! TravelSIM is a prepaid roaming GSM service. Therefore, no corners can be cut, when combining GSM roaming and international termination the quality of all facets of offering must be exceptional and this is what we strive to provide.
What advantages do your clients have when using your services/products?
1. Best Quality call completion
2. Prepaid service means no contracts and no hassles. Users can plan their mobile roaming expenses in advance. This can be used by companies who want their employees to adhere to a budget or parents who want to keep their children’s expenses in check.
3. No gimmicks. TravelSIM does not expire; there are no call activation charges or other complicated tricks. Rates are extremely easy to understand.
4. Prepaid GPRS. Is allowing customers to keep track of their emails and news on the go.
5. Various value added service: Voice Interpretation allows TravelSIM users to have access to a live voice interpreter by just dialling a short code on their phone. If a traveller needs to tell a waiter in a foreign country about an allergy or a taxi driver the address he ca do so using this service. Mobile miles program allows TravelSIM users to earn loyalty points and rewards by using their TravelSIM.
6. TravelSIM distributors have full back office support via XML and API interfaces, along with a complete white label solution.
In your opinion, what distinguishes your company from a great number of others, your competitors?
We are primarily focused on delivering the telecom service and backbone for the TravelSIM. We allow our TravelSIM distributors to focus on their core competency of marketing the service. Our competitors try to do both the telecom aspect and the marketing aspect which has generally led to poor results. Similarly, TravelSIM is based on many years of Telecom experience and a very detailed approach to corporate offerings; we know that quality is key and know how to leverage our past experience and partnerships to provide this. Whereas many of our competitors have very limited experience in the telecom industry, this results in them often having sub par quality in service and support. With respect to our Baltic market, we are the ONLY telecom provider who has licenses in all three countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, this gives us the ability to provide service to the numerous multi national companies who have a presence in each country.
Maybe your company has a different philosophy?
Our philosophy revolves around providing great service at competitive prices and without borders. We are flexible to new technologies; however, before we launch any new service or product we always make sure that it fits with our philosophy. Therefore, we do not jump at every new fad that occurs in the telecom industry.
Does your company have any traditions?
I would have to say that the main tradition that we have is expansion! Whether expanding into new regions or countries or expanding our product and service offerings, we are always striving at moving forward!
And at the end of our interview can you tell us something about your plans for the future?
We have numerous plans for the future, some we can discuss some we cannot just yet! Part of our plans we have just accomplished, by launching prepaid GPRS service. We are actively moving in the direction of expanding this service and educating our distributors to the benefits of offering this to their end users. We are also actively looking for new distributors in various regions around the world. With regard to TravelSIM, it is our objective to make TravelSIM use as enjoyable as possible, this is why we are always evaluating new services and features to add.
Thank you Anthony for your time! We wish you good luck!