Strategic alliances and powerful partnerships are the lifeblood of the South African private sector. Forging the right relationships allows for organisations to invest in technologies, solutions and services that are crafted specifically and tailored precisely and allow for growth and innovation.
For MTN Business, the private sector is ready to take hold of the potential offered by the fourth industrial revolution and move into an era of connectivity and capability.
"We define those organisations that are not owned by the state or government as part of the private sector and we've developed clear segmentation to ensure that our solutions are targeted correctly," says Magatho Mello, GM: Large Enterprise, MTN Business. "We believe in taking a multifaceted approach that allows for organisations of all sizes, from the SME with fewer than 100 people to the larger enterprise, to build digital portfolios that are relevant and sustainable."
Today, private sector companies are facing numerous challenges that can potentially impact their growth and stability in the future. The first is the ability to be multifaceted. To gain a clear and realistic view of all the available technology and establish how it fits into existing ecosystems and business priorities.
"The enterprise is invested in finding technology that solves very specific business problems," says Mello. "It needs to manage costs, extract efficiencies and refine processes. We're operating in a business environment where competitiveness is driven by value, where cost is an endless issue, and where the biggest difficulty faced by clients is how to innovate and improve offerings while keeping the price tag at a reasonable size."
Ignoring this imperative is risky. The market is too competitive and the economy too tight for any business to ignore the value that technology offers. It can fundamentally shift how the business operates by refining processes and introducing more effective methodologies, thereby cutting down on risk while investing in potential.
Not so SIMple
"We provide a suite of products to our clients, all tailored to create value and to enhance what they take to market," says Mello. "Remember the time when the SIM card was simply a way of accessing a personal communication device? It went into the mobile phone and that was pretty much the extent of its capabilities. Today, our clients use SIM cards to monitor plant operations, to assess the conditions of vehicles and so much more."
The humble SIM card has replaced personnel who had to manually measure and collate data; and whose hours spent laboriously collecting information meant there were errors and delays. By the time the data was collated, the field and parameters had changed. Now, with MTN Business' Internet of things (IOT) offering, organisations across any sector or vertical can measure different points of data in real-time, collating it at a speed that allows for real-time, or near real-time, decision-making.
"Another challenge facing the business lies in the efficiency of digitisation," says Mello. "Businesses are increasingly looking to solutions that allow them to service clients more efficiently while also allowing greater control. This is a definite trend we're seeing in the travel industry; setting up and opening a branch is traditionally very complex and clients want something more efficient, such as a branch in a box or an entirely virtualised solution. This way, anyone can use their back-office to ignite the process and deliver what the company or its client needs."
MTN Business has developed significant in-house competence around digital services specifically designed to address this challenge. The company works closely with clients to provide the expertise and agility they need so they can leverage their own growth and development. The core anchors of the MTN Business network and its data centres deliver data resiliency, storage and security.
Securing the data
"We help digitise our clients' businesses and maintain the security and integrity of their data in our data centres," says Mello. "We ensure that information is accessible and secure, providing data centre capabilities on demand and in line with business priorities. Thanks to these layers of flexibility and agility, our clients no longer have to race to find expertise or hunt for the right people. We provide what they need so they can focus on their core business."
The MTN Business platform adds more than just cyber security to its arsenal, it also assures of business security. Power outages, floods, natural disasters: these are all prepared for, countered and protected against.
"The business no longer has to worry about how it will service its clients when there's load shedding or if there has been a flood," says Mello. "Our environment has been engineered to protect against a multitude of outages, client and data well-being are taken care of."
To fully capture the potential of the fourth industrial revolution and to overcome the myriad challenges that litter the business landscape, the organisation must have access to credible and reliable data. MTN Business has invested time, resources and expertise into creating a platform that's designed to deliver just that. It's also so much more than just connectivity, data and technology, it's an ecosystem of partnerships that delivers next-generation applications and solutions on demand and on time.
"We've invested significantly over the years to build this capability and can assure our clients that the data they need to make real-time and relevant decisions is credible and accessible," says Mello. "We've developed solutions that open up the door to the fourth industrial revolution and allow the private sector instant and effective access to the potential that lies within."