About two months ago Africom announced that they had partnered MTN purportedly to “to connect Zimbabwe to the rest of Africa and the world” by “delivering leading-edge technology that guarantees exceptional quality of service”. If that’s sounding a bit too vague, it’s ok, you’re not alone. The good news is this though, today Africom held an event to announce the partnership to their business customers. MTN Business Partner Manager Richard Kabeya was present at the launch.
So, yes, this is targeted at enterprise customers. In fact Africom as a whole is enterprise focused as we found out today but more on that in a separate article. The company announced today that MTN will be enhancing and providing some of their cloud capacity. The indication is that the capacity in question is what MTN already provides in other markets as MTN Business.
As for specific services, one spoken about in detail was Hosted Exchange i.e. companies having their email messaging environment in the cloud all hosted at Africom (orMTN in the background most probably). If you’re an ICT administrator, IT manager, or director this is probably something you have been hoping for. Or not seeing how it disrupts the IT department staffing might leave a few techies out of their jobs.
Another hosted service which Africom Holdings CEO, Kwanayi Kashangura, told us will be available is SAP Business One, the cloud based SAP for small businesses that so far has been offered only by 23rd Century Systems locally as Cumulus.
It’s not clear yet how many other hosted services and applications Africom will provide going forward as they are not going into details for now. Other non-cloud services spoken of are the usual enterprise voice communication and data they have been selling for a while now albeit not at this new tempo.
Africom becomes one of the few ICT companies locally to see the opportunity and go into cloud hosted services a deliberate way. The only other company, the one that arguably owns the largest data center in the country is Dandemutande, which this year started hosting a cloud based Sage ERP offering from Chips Computing. We have also been told that it’s Dandemutande that hosts 23rd Century’s Cumulus service.
We’d love to hear from those of you looking to move some ICT business applications to hosted services providers like Africom and Dandemutande. What are some of the challenges you are facing making it happen cost effectively?