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OVERCOMING BARRIERS WITH TECHNOLOGY

TBM Communications is helping both corporate clients and government become more successful by delivering specific education and training content to their own private TV networks that are fed by satellite.
Initially we offered clients a focused digital advertising solution, but now they can also utilize this powerful communication medium to communicate with customers or train and educate their staff,” says Pierre van der Hoven, CEO of TBM.
“A private business network has many applications – clients use it for staff training, brand building, information services, promotions, competitive advantage, social responsibility, sponsor extensions or strategic alliances.
It is ideally suited to organizations that have multiple departments, branches or offices that are geographically separated and have a need to communicate with staff or customers, or to train personnel at different branches.
“Not only have we attracted attention with our unique technology, we are able to provide a versatile, cost-effective solution with vast reach that can address education and skills transfer needs at a community level desperately needed in the African environment,” notes van der Hoven. TBM currently operates its own network of more than 1 000 plasma and TV screens countrywide. “ The key technical breakthrough is satellite-reach combined with the ability to run unique content at each site,” says van der hoven.
TBM is currently delivering tailor-made content to individually addressable SARS site countrywide for internal training and external communication with taxpayers. A survey undertaken by SARS on the effectiveness of the medium revealed that most of the staff watch SARS TV and say they find it relevant and interesting. The overall satisfaction of staff with this medium is currently high.
Taxpayer also rated the service highly, nearly all of the taxpayers surveyed believed that SARS TV was a worthwhile service. More than half said they learnt something new from the TV screens while waiting. TBM, as a leader in this field, believes its unique technology has even more applications in Africa because of the continent’s circumstances, particularly lack of infrastructure and significant geographical distance. Apart from the company’s vision of using this technology to make a major impact in the education arena, there are various other applications including skills transfer, sustainable development, poverty alleviation and HIV/AIDS awareness programmes.
TBM offers clients two other ancillary services: the generation of revenue from advertising and the creation of content on their behalf. “Not only does content creation earn foreign currency for South Africa, clients get excellent value for money by having it created here at South African Rand prices,” explains van der Haven.
In a retail environment, private TV stations can be used internally for staff training before and after operating hours, and for external communication with customers during working hours. ”The beauty of this ‘hybrid’ model is that once the network is in place, the station can pay for itself through revenue generation from third party advertisers,” remarks van der Hoven. “Each site is individually controllable and can run specially tailored content to address location-specific issues. Changes to content and updating of the information are cost-effective and unlimited.
As a visual medium it overcomes illiteracy and content can be delivered in various languages. It is far cheaper for organizations to run their own network than to buy airtime or advertising space in conventional media.

Source: CEO Magazine