This month, VMware, one of the leading virtualisation companies globally, announced the appointment of Axis solutions (a Zimbabwean technology company) as the first ever Premier Partner in the West, East and Central Africa (WECA) region. Premier partnership is the highest level of partnership that a VMware partner can receive, and for Axis to attain this first in the whole region demonstrates advanced expertise in cloud computing and visualization in general but also specialization in VMware solutions.
You can read the full announcement here.
We managed to catch up with Axis Solutions managing director, Brian Mukudzavhu for a quick interview about this development, and his company’s operations in general.
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Techzim: How significant is the milestone for you Axis? What did it take to be Premier Partner?
Mukudzavhu: Axis Solutions, through VMware, is now able to help businesses excite their customers (internal and external) and reduce operating costs. We achieved this significant milestone ,which is the highest conferred on VMware partners, through our dedication to the brand. We embarked on a skills development program that culminated in the certification of individuals and consequently the organisation. Additionally we worked diligently to attain the revenue targets required for this program.
Techzim: What will Axis be able to do now as a Premier partner that it could not as just a partner?
Mukudzavhu: Axis Solutions has adopted the role of the go-to or senior VMware partner in Zimbabwe. We are now equipped to provide value-addition in the form of advisory services, designs, implementation and support. Lower ranking partners can sell licencing but are not permitted to offer value-added services.
Techzim: How is this likely to impact the Axis business locally and in the region.
Mukudzavhu: We have raised the bar and we are predicting an increase in the uptake as well as optimal utilisation of virtualisation and storage solutions in the local market due to the availability of improved skills. We also see new mutually beneficial partnerships developing with OEM hardware suppliers who do not have the skills to implement VMware solutions.
Techzim: We notice Axis is increasingly referred to as a Pan African company, does this mean the company is looking beyond Zimbabwean borders?
Mukudzavhu: Definitely. The logical route is to conquer Zimbabwe first, which is already advanced work in progress, then go into Africa. Our footprint will spread as far as God and our capacity can allow us.
Techzim: In which countries is Axis looking to establish operations? And will this be done directly or through JVs with local partners?
Mukudzavhu: Axis Solutions is registered in Mozambique and Zambia and being a VMware partner for the West and Central African region provides us with the opportunity to explore other lands and climes within that region. Our approach to each market will depend on the nature of that market so in some cases we might opt for partnerships with local companies and in others we could go solo.
Techzim: The Axis of 10 years ago and that of today are drastically different. How has that journey been for you especially as you have thrived through many tough economic periods locally?
Mukudzavhu: Axis Solutions started off as an IT security solutions provider and the company has transformed itself into focusing on assisting organisations serve their customers better. Our mantra “Mobility, Agility, Security” is borne from the realisation that we need to help organisations break the boundaries of the office, respond faster to internal and external factors and in a manner that preserves information integrity. Our ultimate desire is to put ourselves in our customers’ shoes and help them to deliver on their promise as well as to continue being relevant in their spheres of influence
Techzim: What is the health of business locally especially as Zimbabwe is battling another economic challenge of liquidity?
Mukudzavhu: The local market is very slow obviously due to the persistent liquidity challenges that have really come to the fore in the past 6 months. Our message though is that companies can leverage on technology to excite customers, reduce operating costs and remain profitable.