BytesNet, a business unit within Bytes Systems Integration, celebrated its fifth year in operation at an event held at Summer Place in Johannesburg on Wednesday 25th July. Now successfully established as an aggregator of voice and data network services, the company used the event to stake its claim to become South Africa’s first cloud systems integrator.
“Our original value proposition was to remove the complexity of managing the multiple network providers our clients needed to obtain connectivity. We are now applying similar thinking to cloud computing,” said Rob Griggs, MD of Bytes Systems Integration. “To achieve their goals, large organisations will adopt a hybrid model that combines on-premise and cloud-based functions in one complex, integrated systems and data environment. BytesNet has grown exceptionally well by delivering on the promise of simplicity in the network services space, and we believe that providing the same service to CIOs as they embark on the journey to cloud computing will fuel new growth for us.”
Griggs announced two key transactions that will help position BytesNet as a leader in cloud systems integration. The first of these is the acquisition of Alliance Business Solutions, an Oracle Platinum Partner in the application space. The rationale behind the acquisition is the increasingly close integration between hardware and software in the Oracle stack. Peter Bensch, managing director of Oracle South Africa, called this “the key announcement of the year in the local IT industry… [and a move that] puts Bytes ahead of its competitors in terms of Oracle cloud offerings”.
The second transaction was the inception of a five-year exclusive agreement to sell and host Front Range Solutions’ help desk and IT service management software.
Griggs said that as the move to the cloud became a reality, CIOs were facing complexities in migrating systems and data from on-premise to cloud-based technologies. To illustrate the point, he used the example of a company that wanted to migrate from Novell Groupwise onto Microsoft Office 365, whilst retaining access to five years of Groupwise mail archives. Despite being hosted in the cloud, Office 365 would still have to integrate tightly with the customer relationship management system, which remained on premise. Integrating this complex environment into a seamless whole would be the task of the cloud integrator, Griggs explained, with BytesNet set to define the category in South Africa.
“For CIOs, the greatest barrier to cloud adoption is no longer security—in fact, many of them are seeing the move to the cloud as a way to access the superior security offered by the big cloud providers,” said Ken Jarvis, CEO of Jika Africa, the keynote speaker at the event. “It’s becoming clear that CIOs’ real worries are bandwidth as well as the journey to the cloud—and who would help them complete it. BytesNet is offering the solution to the latter two challenges—and it’s the first to do so in South Africa.”
Patrick Hastings, managing director of BytesNet, said that Gartner had predicted that, by 2012, 80% of Fortune 1 000 companies would be using cloud, and that 20% of them would have no IT assets at all. “South Africa is a little behind the curve as it usually is, but that is definitely the direction in which we are headed,” he said. “BytesNet has put all the elements in place to provide a full cloud offering cross the entire IT stack, from infrastructure through platform to software as a service.”