Triple4, the innovative infrastructure solution company, has launched a hosted service designed to give small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) access to enterprise-grade computing—at a monthly fee per seat. The new offering, Hosted Business Resources, offers SMEs Microsoft Exchange, Lync and Sharepoint delivered as a service from Triple4’s fully redundant data centre.
It’s widely accepted that SMEs are any economy’s prime engines of job creation and innovation. In South Africa, it is believed that SMEs employing fewer than 50 people providearound 68% of private sector jobs—and generate some 60% of gross domestic product.
“In a country like South Africa, SMEs are absolutely vital on a number of fronts, and ICT has a key role to play in making them more competitive,” says Scott Orton, sales director at Triple4. “However, all too often ICT acts as a hindrance rather as an enabler for the busy entrepreneur—that’s why we have developed this hosted option to reduce both the costs and the management burden.”
According to Orton, Triple4’s Hosted Business Resources offering will enable SMEs to gain the agility they need to operate anywhere there is an Internet connection. For example, the Hosted Lync service means that a SME employee is always on the corporate telephone system wherever he or she happens to be,and can access documents and a collaboration platform via SharePoint.
“This offering allows an SME to operate like a corporate—but without the overheads in capital and management time that in-house ICT systems require,” Orton says. “There are also huge administrative and cost advantages when it comes to the purchase of licences for Microsoft’s server products.”
Moving ICT offsite to the premises of a trusted service provider in this way does require good connectivity, but a good ADSL line is sufficient, Orton says. The monthly fee includes full support from Triple4’s call centre. And because the applications and data are housed in Triple4’s data centre at ContinuitySA, Africa’s leading business continuity provider, both are fully protected against disaster. ContinuitySA acquired 50% of Triple4 in 2011.
“This offering is already provoking great interest from the market, which shows that the need is out there. SMEs need a better way to access ICT, and this is it,” Orton concludes.