Vodacom Business Africa enjoys good traction on adoption of cloud and hosting services in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country. By Gugu Lourie
They say the early bird catches the worm – this is true of Vodacom, which is ripping the benefits of moving early into Nigeria, where it is providing much needed services.
The South African-based enterprise arm of Vodacom, a cellphone operator owned by British mobile giant Vodafone, was the first telco to launch cloud and hosting services in West Africa from a certified TierIII approved data centre.
In 2013, Vodacom Business partnered with Jagal Group to build a data centre in Nigeria.
While Vodacom designed the data centre, it didn’t invest any money except to underpin the business case by being the anchor tenant.
This arrangement has enabled Vodacom Business to provide full ICT services in Nigeria for the enterprise market and has allowed it to offer hosting and cloud services, through its Ikeji data centre.
Vodacom Business CEO Vuyani Jarana says since the launch of the data centre, over a year ago, Vodacom Business Nigeria has seen significant take up of cloud and hosting services by customers in the financial services, insurance, manufacturing and retail sectors.
Asked which cloud services customers are using in Nigeria, Jarana says, “In relation to the cloud service models, more enterprises (in Nigeria) are interested in Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), whereas there is slow uptake of Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) due to security concerns and market readiness.
SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet.
PaaS is a cloud model that provides the entire infrastructure required to create and manage custom cloud app.
Vodacom Business Nigeria provides full ICT services in Nigeria for the enterprise segment and is expecting competition to heat up as rivals MTN, Etisalat, Airtel and Glo Nigeria enter the same space.
Jarana tells TechFinancials.co.za Vodacom Business Nigeria is geared for competition in Nigeria.
Cloud services offer the ability to accelerate IT capabilities, without the corresponding increase in costs.
As long as it is adopted using a sound, appropriate business strategy, the cloud will provide a secure, available, agile, cost-effective set of services that will deliver on all promises.
Vodacom Business Nigeria says it offers high quality and reliable connectivity via Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and IP Virtual Private Network (IPVPN) network platform that allows for flexible development of customised end-to-end ICT service solutions from basic connectivity to hosted services, converged communications and machine-to-machine (M2M) services.
Some of its customers in Nigeria include Business Connexion, Chevron, DHL, FirstBank, GT Bank, Glo, AshakaCem, CitiBank, Etisalat, MultiChoice, Sasol, Shell, and TigerBrands, etc.