Operational overview



  Nashua ECN


“The number of BusinessCall voice minutes made by ECN customers, among them several blue-chip corporates, currently exceeds 2,5 million minutes per day.”

Following the Competition authorities’ approval of Nashua’s acquisition of ECN in mid-2011, teams from Nashua Mobile were deployed to ECN’s offices to assist with the swift and efficient conversion of the Nashua LCR base onto the ECN VoIP platform, a process which continues. To date this acquisition has been extremely successful, with ECN contributing R136,3 million to revenue in the four months it was part of the Nashua group.

The number of BusinessCall voice minutes made by ECN customers, among them several blue-chip corporates, currently exceeds 2,5 million minutes per day. We endeavour to convert an average of 100 existing Nashua Mobile LCR customers per month to ECN’s VoIP service through the collaboration of the two businesses’ sales teams, while continuing to add new clients at historical take-on rates. The issuing of ECN telephone numbers and the opportunity for inbound call traffic growth is a key project for the coming year.


Primary brands, products and services ECN is SA’s leading next generation internet protocol network and a major player in the delivery of voice services to corporate customers.  
Operational areas ECN has data centres in SA’s major metropolitan centres (Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Vereeniging and Bloemfontein). These centres are connected by a high capacity, redundant fibre network.  
Market sectors Corporate, small and medium businesses and call centres.  
Current BBBEE level 4  
2012 target 4

With LCR steadily becoming an unfeasible source of revenue, ECN’s role within the broader Nashua value offering is critical. The ability to provide IP connections at customers’ sites will enable us to deliver a host of value-added products and services. With these services increasingly hosted online in the so-called “cloud”, and with companies becoming more comfortable with the concept of accessing software and hardware as a service as opposed to outright purchase, ECN’s network has the reach to grow its share of the market for converged voice and data services. Projections for ECN’s minute growth are in the order of 40% to 50% for next year, while the new next-generation product set will ensure substantial additional revenue growth well into the coming years.

While ECN’s physical network has proven its robustness, the business envisages continuing to lease rather than build, except where there is sufficient critical mass or the nature of traffic requires that network infrastructure be owned. Similarly, any participation in the envisaged unbundling of South Africa’s local loop, as well as other deregulation opportunities, will be reviewed as these unfold.

  Andy Openshaw (47) 
  • Managing director: ECN Telecommunications
  • BSc Pharm, AEP
  • Appointed to the group 1 June 2011


  Nashua Communications


A salient feature was the strong market growth of


This year represented the first full year that Nashua Communications – the consolidation of the Siemens Enterprise Communications and Panasonic Telecommunications – operated as a single entity within the group. For this reason year-on-year comparison of results is not meaningful. Results for 2011 indicated a decline in sales compared to budget of around 8% due to a constrained and intensely competitive market, while margins also followed this downward trend.

Communication servers sold     3 529  
Telephone devices     137 861  
Customer base     17 195  
Ports under managed services contracts     310 348  

A salient feature of 2011 was the strong market growth of 17% in converged voice and data, while services offerings grew by 7% – well above the market average – now representing more than 40% of Nashua Communications’ revenue.

The short- to medium-term outlook for Nashua Communications remains positive. The business’ traditional strength in voice appeals to its large and loyal customer base and its technology and in-depth technical expertise, inherited from Siemens, position the business well in its strategy to become South Africa’s leading unified communications solutions and services provider. As PABX sales continue their steady decline, opportunities for converged communications solutions are increasing – a demand we are already capable of meeting.

Managed services, which is a complete offering whereby we design, build, implement and service a customer’s full internal communications requirements, continue to be a key focus for Nashua Communications. This is anticipated to become an increasingly prominent feature of the business. A major highlight for the year was the re-awarding of a five-year contract to service Old Mutual Group, our largest managed services client. We have built a proven track record in this area and demonstrated our strong capability to successfully service clients looking for a converged, managed enterprise communications solution.

Primary brands, products and services A leading communications provider using Siemens and Panasonic technologies. Following an open communication approach, the company provides enterprise communication services and products, including software, network components and end-user devices, consulting and system planning and integration.  
Operational areas Head office in Gauteng and regional offices in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern and Western Cape and partners in Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.  
Market sectors Customer base in excess of 17 000 enterprises, which include most of South Africa’s leading corporate companies.  
Standards & Verifications ISO 9001: 2008; 14001:2004. Products are Icasa and SABS certified.  
Current BBBEE level 4  
2012 target 4

Nashua Communications is a level 4 BBBEE contributor and holds both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 accreditation. The company takes full responsibility for the end-of-life of products supplied to clients, recovering old systems and ensuring that they are recycled by an accredited service provider.


  Office Automation


“This year some 60% of all tender bids were successful.”

Office Automation achieved positive growth in sales of multi-function devices and, in particular, of printers. Our Solutions operation, however, returned disappointing results.

Market share grew marginally but turnover was slightly down on 2010. This is explained by extremely competitive market conditions and the continuing strength of the rand. In December 2010 the business took out extended exchange-rate forward cover, which had a positive impact on results. Operating profit for the year rose 13% on 2010.

Strong growth was achieved in the area of managed print services (MPS). There is a growing demand for such services, especially from larger corporate clients. To meet this growing opportunity, head count at the MPS team was doubled this year.

Office Automation continued to enjoy exceptional success in bidding for, and winning, tenders. This year some 60% of all tender bids were successful. Office Automation management is acutely aware, however, that its BBBEE contributor status will increasingly impact on its ability to keep winning public-sector tenders and has set itself the objective of improving from a Level 5 BBBEE contributor to Level 4. Nashua Kopano will endeavour to improve from its current Level 4 to Level 3.

Organisational and management changes within the Nashua group and at Office Automation created widespread uncertainty this year, not only amongst staff but amongst franchisees as well. These are now being addressed. The announcement that Office Automation would continue as an independent operation – announced after the year-end – was extremely well received by the channel.


Primary brands, products and services Nashua is the market leader in the supply of copiers, multi-function printers, laser printers, consumables and digital software solutions in the southern African market.

Products are sourced from leading international suppliers of office automation equipment. Nashua remains one of Ricoh’s largest independent distributors worldwide. In different categories, products are complemented with products from HP and Samsung.  
Operational areas Nashua’s footprint consists of 64 franchise and company-owned outlets in South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.  
Market sectors Mainly corporate  

Standards & verifications ISO 9001: 2008

In process of obtaining ISO14001 accreditation.  
Intellectual property rights Trademark and naming rights for NASHUA in Southern Africa region  
Major awards past year Laserfiche Winner Circle for 2011 (4th time in a row) 
Current BBBEE level 5  
2012 target 4

In 2011 four franchises were repurchased with Cape Town and Durban being the largest. Office Automation now has effective control over 60% of its channel. It is envisaged that a further three franchises will be bought back, but that franchisees will continue to be of critical importance to Office Automation’s future success.

The business embarked on an ISO 14001 environmental management certification. Office Automation envisages offering a much more sophisticated recycling service, which will entail stripping out and recycling different components including plastics and electronic components.

  Dave Coutinho (48) 
  • Managing director:
    Nashua Limited (Office Automation)
  • MBA
  • Appointed to the group
    1 September 1987