May 19, 2020

MTN Switches SA Focus towards Data

South Africa
Data
MTN
africa technology
Skills Junction
2 min
MTN Switches SA Focus towards Data

Africa's largest cellular company, MTN has unveiled its strategy to reignite its flagging South African revenue through an expansion of its fibre network.

Despite reporting a nine percent rise in global half-year profits across its 215 million worldwide subscribers, this initiative in South Africa is especially prevalent given the common perception that the country remains one of its weakest markets.

Revenue in South Africa fell by seven percent over the same half-year period to R19.2 billion, due largely to an ongoing battle with competitor, Cell C.

The price war between the two has cost MTN dearly, so with that war seemingly being lost, it has turned its attentions towards enhanced data provision instead.

Aslam Dalvi, Investment Analyst at Kagiso Asset Management, said MTN's strategy to improve value to customers through promotions and a clear focus on lowering costs were key drivers of better-than-expected results.

"Regulatory uncertainty and price competition remain significant obstacles," he said.

Chief Executive, Sifiso Dabengwa added: "We should have something in the market before the end of the year."

MTN launched a pilot project in May, providing fibre to people living in Monaghan Farm, north of Johannesburg, but it missed its June target for wider commercial launch for its high-speed data service.

On the face of it, the new data target seems a step in the right direction following a 13.7 percent climb in revenue generated that way in South Africa, over the past six months. The amount of data traffic on its networks also spiked at an impressive 117 percent.

The fibre service is geared towards high spenders who typically download internet content that includes videos, but it could also be used to provide bandwidth for security and surveillance.

This represents a big swing in emphasis with Dabengwa anticipating the distribution of music and content to account for between 30 percent and 50 percent of MTN's revenue in the next five to 10 years.

 

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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