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Frost & Sullivan Commends XLink for Enabling Retailers to Seamlessly Switch between Network Connections

- Switching between SIM cards of different operators further enables companies to improve the speed of its support services

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, Feb. 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent research on the machine-to-machine (M2M) in retail and finance market, Frost & Sullivan presents XLink Communications with the 2014 South African Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership for its VersaLink platform. This is just one solution in a line of 3G routers offered by XLink for primary or backup communications in the point of sale (POS) electronic funds transfer (EFT) space.

With the larger retailers increasingly adopting integrated EFT connectivity solutions, VersaLink has grown in stature. It gives customers who use asymmetric digital subscriber (ADSL) lines as their primary connectivity network a seamless handover between fixed networks to the 3G network. This ensures high-uptime, a crucial advantage for retail customers.

VersaLink runs on the Virtual Redundant Reroute Protocol (VRRP) which sets it apart from most other competing products in the market. Based on this protocol, XLink creates a virtual IP address for entire sets of customer till points, to which all transactions are directed, regardless of the communication channel - ADSL or global system for mobile communication (GSM).

In 2007, Vodacom's acquisition of stakes in XLink gave the latter access to the operator's funds, as well as expertise in the European M2M market. XLink subsequently implemented the Global Data Service Platform (GDSP) developed by Vodafone, Vodacom's parent company. This platform enables enterprises to control and manage their M2M devices across different countries.

The GDSP platform allows a Vodafone SIM to roam on networks in which it has a presence directly or through subsidiaries. It also / roams on the networks of mobile operators with which it has partnerships. As a result, if the network fails, the SIM can switch to a partnering network through roaming. This is an especially important feature for M2M solutions that do not use dual SIM technologies.

"It was this feature of seamless connectivity that encouraged XLink to adopt the platform, as South African banks were losing the on-site redundancy of their mobile terminal by migrating from dual to single SIM technologies," said Frost & Sullivan Information & Communication Technologies Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela. "It is expected that Vodafone SIMs in M2M devices will be able to roam on Cell C by 2014 and on MTN's by 2015."

XLink has made the most of the expertise offered by partners such as Vodafone, WRP Consulting Engineers, KT Utility Forensics, Baobab Technologies and Device Insights to not only become a key provider of M2M solutions in the retail and financial sectors, but also expand its solutions beyond its traditional sector-focus. The strength of these key strategic partnerships, coupled with a highly adaptable portal that offers device tracking and monitoring, has enabled the company to expand the application of its M2M solution.

"Another outstanding feature of XLink's system is the MIS solution, which was designed to monitor the signal strength in the network, connecting the remote device, the date and time of a transaction as well as the success or failure of the transaction," noted Mokenela. "Using a web portal to monitor the status of devices and quality of the connection to the devices allows the XLink technical support staff to remotely diagnose technical problems."

By leveraging the MIS portal, the support staff can make intelligent decisions, minimising the need for on-site support visits while simultaneously reducing the lead time for problem resolution. This has seen the company deliver improved support services, achieving a first-line problem-solve ratio of nearly 85 percent.

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has demonstrated uniqueness in developing and leveraging new technologies, which significantly impacts both the functionality and the customer value of the new products and applications. The award lauds the high R&D spend towards innovation, its relevance to the industry and the positive impact on brand perception.

Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.

About XLink

Now in its tenth year, XLink has proven resilience and best practice within the machine-to-machine (M2M) payment space and has received the 2014 South African Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership. Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.

XLink Communications was established in 2004, pioneering GPRS-based EFT data communication solutions in South Africa and is currently the largest carrier of electronic funds transfer (EFT) services across the GSM network. XLink currently manages M2M solutions for over 56 000 businesses in Africa, facilitating 35 million M2M connections through the XLink Portal monthly. Our seamless communication service and products provide businesses with the capability and intelligence to remotely provision, track, maintain and monitor over 125 000 sims and 80 000 units in the field.

XLink has expanded its product range to provide specialist machine-to-machine data communication solutions for the retail, fuel, financial, hospitality, entertainment, travel, security, transportation and healthcare sectors.

For more information visit www.xlink.co.za or call 011 438 3000.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

Our "Growth Partnership" supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including: research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector and the investment community. Is your organization prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics and emerging economies?

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Contact:

Samantha James
Corporate Communications Executive, Africa
Frost & Sullivan

[email protected]
P: +27 (0)21 680 3574

www.frost.com

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