Imperial signs a five-year contract with Vodacom Business
The Imperial group has signed a five-year contract with Vodacom for network and hosting services.
With a stable and scalable network critical to Imperial’s growth, Vodacom will operate as a strategic partner, vital in the delivery of data networks to the group’s divisions and operating companies.
Chief integration officer, Cobus Rossouw, said: “The hosting services that Imperial receives from Vodacom Business allow the group to secure essential business systems with the required uptime service levels for the group of 365/24/7.
“This partnership also allows for the expansion of current network services to include Vodacom’s Voice over IP (VOIP) offering, as well as application and business processes services required to enhance the competitiveness of our clients.”
Vodacom Business Managing Executive Large Enterprise, Deon Liebenberg, said: “Vodacom Business was selected as the partner of choice due to our operational flexibility in accommodating current Imperial network partners.
“Our creation of an Imperial core network within a dedicated cage also allowed us to be in complete control of the hosting core.
“With a global footprint and expertise from Vodafone Global Enterprise and Vodacom Business is well placed to deliver a seamless total communications solution.
The combined local presence, extensive network and comprehensive suite of communications solutions mean that we can help multinationals manage their operations more effectively and make the most of opportunities across the continent,” concluded Libenberg.
The expansion into Africa is another key strategic area for the partnership and Imperial is keen to leverage on the existing Vodacom Business infrastructure.
“There is much opportunity to develop further strategic solutions with Vodacom,” said Rossouw. “The potential of mobile commerce for brand owners in African markets is substantial.”
Liebenberg added: “With Africa, the mobile phone industry’s fastest-growing region, there is a massive opportunity that we need to drive forward.
“We are very excited about the prospects to work closely with Vodacom to make industry-specific solutions available to our client base, adding further value to areas like retail transaction switching, business systems hosting and even business process outsourcing.”
Access to the Vodafone Global Enterprise and Vodacom Business executives was key to the decision making process.
“Interactions at an executive level allowed the partnership to closely align around objectives and capabilities, something that had not been experienced with other network vendors,” concluded Rossouw.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.