Hi, I'm Nick and I'm an Operations Manager in the Customer Support Centre. So here I am in Durban, South Africa, the largest city in the country and the busiest port on the continent. What leads me here? Well, some of you will be aware that last year our owners BT purchased another communication provider known as Brightview which ran several successful brands including 'Madasafish' (MAAF). The long and short is that this company was based in London but out-sourced its customer support to South Africa. Outsource: a word which makes many a consumer tremble.. But for no good reason in this case - this operation has won several industry awards for quality of service over the last 3 years, having set itself a clear goal to be the most customer-focused team around. Unlike many off-shore call centres, the guys here speak English as their first language and have a culture not entirely dissimilar to the British. In some ways this difference is actually advantageous - politeness and respect are two of the more important cultural values here! :-) Anyway back to the buy out by BT - this culminated in PlusNet being tasked to integrate the company and migrate all the existing customers onto our Workplace platform. This meant wholesale system and process changes for the call centre and a whole new UK business with which to interact. Over the last 6 months or so we have been sending various staff from Sheffield out to the Durban office to build relationships and assist with the transition - even though there is a multitude of modern technologies designed to enhance long distance communication, the value of face to face conversations should never be underestimated. Clearly not everyone can make the trip however - my job is to bridge the gap so to speak - helping the guys here learn who to contact in the UK, and how to drive things forward. So much time and effort can be saved if we use the right channels and go straight to the right people - the result in a support centre environment is a quicker and more accurate response for our customers. I've only been out here for a few weeks and am just finding my feet but I hope to keep you updated with news and information from South Africa on a more regular basis. Cheers for now. Nick.