An announcement by Gondwana International Networks (the new owners of iWayAfrica since December) yesterday said they have just partnered South African IT services company SevenC, to introduce managed IT services in Zimbabwe. iWayAfrica will provide what would otherwise get from an internal specialised IT department if it made business sense. Services like email, data storage, backups & disaster recovery, collaboration, network services, bandwidth monitoring and the like.
The services, according to the announcement, will be a combination of software and infrastructure as a service in addition to regular on the ground stuff. “This means that customers don’t procure hardware and as a result, have no upfront cost. This gives customers the best of the cloud with essential managed services on the ground,” explains a Gondwana executive in the announcement.
iWayAfrica comes in to fill a space that no company has made deliberate effort to focus on locally. So far, such IT services are provided by ISPs just as a on-the side requirement that comes with providing internet services. That is, when a customer is looking for an internet services, they need it as a solution that integrates well with their other IT solutions. Local freelance IT consultants (some of which have grown to small to medium size IT services companies) have also had a sizeable share of IT services.
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Gondwana being deliberate about managed IT services may be one of the ways that the new owner looks to turn around an iWayAfrica that has in recent years had lacklustre performance in Zimbabwe (see update here). It’s however not the first product that’s outside the regular internet services that iWay is known for; in February this year, the company announced a number of business solutions that include vehicle monitoring and asset management. It’s not clear yet how well those products are performing. Executed well however, managed ICT services has a great changed to be big business for them.