Vodacom Business Fast Tracks Enterprise Strategy

By Skills Junction

Vodacom Business has stepped up its ongoing total ICT service provider strategy, with the opening of another cutting edge data centre and the launch of a new set of services in its cloud and security portfolio.

Enterprise partners and top CIOs gathered at Vodaworld in Midrand last week for the official opening of Data Park, Vodacom’s eighth data centre in South Africa. The centre is an advanced and environmentally-friendly 3000 metre-squared facility, set to underpin Vodacom’s ambitious enterprise goals and cloud strategy, the company said.

The event marked a milestone for Vodacom Business, said Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of the Vodacom Enterprise Unit. “Vodacom is investing R9 billion in underlying ICT infrastructure this year alone, to ensure that initiatives such as this one, aimed at enabling South African businesses, and government become agile and highly effective in servicing their customers.”

Ermano Quartero, Managing Executive at Vodacom Business South Africa, said: “With this, and our cloud strategy, we have entered the next phase of our evolution towards becoming a total ICT services provider. Cloud services sit at the top of a pyramid of services and solutions we are now able to offer our enterprise customers.”

Vodacom Business’s cloud portfolio now includes the entire range of cloud services, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS), and is reinforced through an offsite disaster recovery agreement with IBM, and partnerships with several multinational vendors.

Among them is SAP, enabling Vodacom Business to offer the first SAP Hana cloud platform available from a service provider other than SAP itself. Vodacom Business also has a new go to market strategy for its cloud portfolio, said Quartero, with upskilled and specialised pre-sales and business development teams addressing the cloud requirements of specific industry verticals and a professional services team to drive high-end engagements.

 Michelle Senecal de Fonseca, Managing Director of Cloud and Hosting Services at Vodafone, said: “Africa is an important and growing market for Vodafone’s enterprise business and a key element of our growth strategy for cloud and hosting. 

“We are committed to supporting Vodacom deliver enterprise-grade cloud services to both pan-African and Multi-National businesses. The combination of mobile, fixed and cloud services means Vodacom is well placed to help customers meet their IT needs both today and in the future.”

The move is a timely one, said veteran CIO and CEO of Jika Africa, Ken Jarvis, who noted that top telcos around the world were now bringing to market cloud services and solutions. Jarvis said cloud had been hype for some time, but that it was set to become mainstream as CIOs became challenged in delivering innovation while still ‘keeping the lights on’.

Jarvis said: “In South Africa, CIOs are increasingly disillusioned with the software supplier community, they are challenged by the way licensing is managed, and they are seeing security eating more and more of their IT budget. Meanwhile, their business units are already moving to cloud applications without consulting the CIO. This environment paved the way for cloud.

“Telcos have the reach, infrastructure, ability and capital to play in this cloud environment. With this move by Vodacom, we have arrived.”

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