MTN is going live with its bouquet of distinct cloud services this April, following a highly successful trial period in six of its major markets across Africa.
The operator launched the MTN Cloud pilot project in December last year, targeting small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa. The pilot made MTN the first mobile network operator in Africa to adopt the Cloud Service Brokerage model.
This approach entails the centralisation of access to services where a third party, in this case MTN, acts as the single point of contact for customers. The focus is on convenience, as centralising access to services eases the administrative burden for businesses, where instead of dealing with multiple service providers, they now deal with one.
Executive for MTN’s Group Enterprise Business Unit, Farhad Khan, says the response to the MTN Cloud trial was positive.
“What the pilot project confirmed is that our offerings are on the mark. There is great appetite for ICT solutions that are relevant, customised and affordable. SMEs are looking to technology service providers such as MTN to bring them world-class tools that improve their business efficiencies. MTN Cloud offers exactly that.”
MTN will be going live with MTN Cloud in Ghana and Nigeria on Wednesday April 10, with other markets to follow later in the year.
MTN Cloud offers an impressive list of services. As part of the trial, participating companies were offered access to Office Desktop, a cost-effective email and collaborative software, Mozypro, a back-up service for the effective management of files and servers, and Dialcom, an on-demand video conferencing offering.
Also on offer were McAfee, a popular anti-virus and anti-spam security software, Averiware, used for companies’ HR, accounting, finance and sales force automation needs, and Microsoft SharePoint, a staff and cross functional collaborative tool. This is in addition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, a customer relations management tool.
The most popular of the MTN Cloud solutions during the trial were Averiware, MozyPro Online Backup, and McAfee SaaS.
Companies that participated in the pilot ranged from SMEs in the IT, manufacturing and hospitality sectors in Ghana to those in media and advertising in Nigeria.
“MTN is optimistic about the uptake of MTN Cloud. Our focus as MTN is to contribute to the development of enterprises and the sustainable growth of economies, and SMEs are key economic growth drivers in most of our markets.”
In line with the new commercial offering, business customers will receive a 30-day trial of MTN Cloud. Customers who subscribe to MTN Cloud, through MTN Business, in the different markets, will also be able to pay for services using airtime. Plans are also underway to enable businesses to utilise MTN Mobile Money to pay for MTN Cloud services. Payment will be effected in the local currency of the participating market.