Delivering Growth In The Last Mile - The SES ELEVATE Programme Accelerating DTH Growth On The Ground
For any business, the last mile is critical, as that final leg of customer delivery can make or break a customer relationship. At the same time, it offers a promising space to explore new opportunities, as has happened with the Direct-to-Home (DTH) installer training programme that is being rolled out by SES.
The world’s largest satellite operator, with a fleet of over 70 satellites, has a primary focus for its video customers, and that is to make sure they can receive TV signals via satellite. In addition to operating satellites in space, and ensuring that signals can be reliably uplinked and downlinked, the last mile for its DTH business is to ensure the proper installation of a satellite dish on someone’s roof, so that the end user can watch satellite TV. To achieve that last mile in Africa SES created the ELEVATE installer programme in 2012, to train dish installers, and in doing so support the broadcasting business and digital switchover in Africa.
The ELEVATE programme is vital as many countries in Africa have experienced challenges with their digital switchover deadlines. It is contributing to the roll-out of digital broadcasting by indirectly addressing this challenge, as it enables a wider audience to access better TV programming.
Another key objective of the programme has always been to empower individuals and enable business growth through skill development. Those who participated would become part of an engaged network of installers, essential to supporting the development of satellite broadcasting and connectivity in the continent. In this respect, what started as a simple idea grew into so much more. At first the programme was only intended to give a technical overview, but due to the high demand – 8,500 installers across 15 countries in Africa have been since been trained -- ELEVATE quickly evolved into a more elaborate programme.
“Once we had the programme running and started training the installers their enthusiasm and ambition made it clear we could do more,” said Clint Brown, Vice President, Sales & Market Development for Africa, SES Video. “We decided to expand the programme to include things like business planning because the installers were so driven and we wanted to do give them a complete set of tools not just for doing the installations, but running their business successfully.”
Delivering Economic Growth
ELEVATE now covers a complete curriculum that gives participants an impressive set of dish installation and core business skills, including marketing. By offering a curriculum that is so diverse the ELEVATE programme ensures that participants have the complete capabilities needed to build a successful career and flourishing business. In doing so the programme has evolved from simple technical training into an advancement and self-development programme.
Today, ELEVATE has grown into three individual modules:
• ELEVATE for direct-to-home (DTH) – a basic installer training
• ELEVATE for VSAT - VSAT training with GVF accreditation
• ELEVATE for MDU - Advanced DTH training for hotel and apartment installations
With ELEVATE SES is helping to promote entrepreneurship, by providing the framework for individuals to set-up their own businesses within the satellite industry. In Africa, where small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the biggest contributor to economic growth, ELEVATE does so much more than expand DTH reach.
“SES is committed to bringing positive impact through its business in Africa,” said Clint Brown, Vice President, Sales & Market Development for Africa, SES Video. “By focusing on the last mile of DTH we have been able to not only grow our business but also empower individuals, grow local economies, and progress the digital switchover; some powerful results to have in the simple act of a satellite dish installation.”