Business Solution

Both BUI and global chat pioneer Clickatell have recently turned 21. While they haven’t worked together since day one, their longstanding relationship has, in recent years, gone from strength to strength. Both firms agree the best is yet to come.

“BUI’s services are exemplary, their technology is great, and their expertise is fantastic,”

Frans de WetSenior Manager for IT Shared Services at Clickatell

“But, it’s their people who really set them apart. Clickatell has a strong moral compass; we would rather do the right thing and forsake some profit. We appreciate vendors like BUI that do the same thing.”

PROJECT

Clickatell makes the move to Azure and makes use of Microsoft Subscription licensing

CUSTOMER

Clickatell

YEAR
2021
WHAT WE DID

Azure Migration

Microsoft Subscription licensing

What does Clickatell actually do?

When it was established in 2000, Clickatell became the first company in the world to send an SMS from a website. Since then, the company, which now has offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, and the United States, has established itself as a global pioneer in enabling companies to communicate and transact with their customers with a simple text or chat, making commerce in chat accessible for everyone, everywhere. This might entail enabling a customer to apply for a new bank card via USSD or to purchase a new pair of shoes on WhatsApp.

“Many modern consumers don’t want to download yet another app,” explains Nadia Louw, PR and Events Manager at Clickatell. “We make it easier for companies to have their brand listed in people’s contact lists, alongside their friends and family members.”

Where does BUI come in?

BUI first provided technical support to Clickatell in 2016, but the strategic relationship between the companies kicked in some time later as the cloud became a strategic business enabler. Clickatell had been working on adopting a security framework that took into account GDPR, POPIA, and other recent developments. “We realised that we needed an overarching security strategy,” says De Wet.

“Security is not just about getting a certificate, we wanted security to inform everything we did. And the BUI team were the right people for the job.”

Frans de Wet,Senior Manager for IT Shared Services at Clickatell

While BUI’s role as a strategic partner has seen them get involved across the business, their biggest contributions have been in the following spheres, according to Thys Janse van Rensburg, the General Manager at BUI:

  • MICROSOFT SUBSCRIPTION LICENSING. BUI manages Clickatell’s entire Microsoft licensing suite.
  • FORMULATION OF THE AZURE ENVIRONMENT. When Clickatell decided to move to Azure, BUI consulted on how best to achieve the move and implement the solution, while also helping Clickatell to save money.
  • LEVERAGING AZURE TO IMPROVE SECURITY. Used correctly, Azure can provide a ton of security services, including identity, data and hybrid infrastructure says Janse van Rensburg. Clickatell leaned heavily on BUI’s understanding of global best practice to deliver a cutting-edge solution that was also cost effective.
  • OPTIMISING HOW CLICKATELL USES OFFICE 365. In recent years, Office 365 has changed from being a classic productivity suite into a secure platform with enhanced capability for compliance. BUI is involved in continually optimising how the company uses Office 365 to drive efficiency and keep costs down by providing Clickatell with a licensing management platform for optimised self-service.

“Clickatell works in a Lego block world,” De Wet explains. “BUI is key not only to providing the blocks but also for helping us design how they fit together and building and running the system. In the old days we would have had to create an IT department of 40 people to do what BUI does for us. Now we can purchase it as a service.”

It’s all about the people.

Working with BUI has enabled Clickatell to enjoy significant savings without compromising on quality. This has been made possible by BUI’s model, explains Janse van Rensburg.

De Wet describes this willingness to take a knock for its customers as “admirable” and cites it as “one of the reasons we’ll be working together for many years to come.” The other reason? “When I request a new product BUI will invariably ask ‘why?’” I might initially push back, but as they continue to ask questions, it often becomes clear that I actually need something else. With BUI we often get more value than we ask for.”

And as for the future? “We’re soon going to be taking the plunge and getting that security certification,” says De Wet. “That is always a gamechanger for any organisation, and I can tell you already that BUI will be involved at every step of the process.”

“Here’s to the next 21 years”

Janse van RensburgGeneral Manager at BUI