Vox Telecom launches utility based pricing and SLA approach to cloud services
06 October 2014, Johannesburg – Vox Telecom has outlined its cloud services play – positioning itself as a turnkey provider, highlighting key developments that include utility-based pricing, a structured SLA programme and managed services layer around its cloud infrastructure environment.
Speaking at the final leg of its national cloud roadshow, Craig Freer, head of products at Vox Telecom told customers and stakeholders that: “Although cloud services isn’t a new concept, cloud adoption in South Africa is fairly unique in that it is being driven bottom-up by our SMEs, whereas in the US and Europe, this is a top down approach.”
With cloud services adoption in the SME space expected to double in the next 24 months, up from 9% in 2012 and 27% in 2014, Vox Telecom has indicated that up to 80% of its product and services stack, is cloud based.
“Our philosophy is simple. We want to be a turnkey provider of cloud services,” says Freer.
“Backed by best-of-breed technology vendors, guaranteed support and managed services across the application and infrastructure layers, the data centre and network, and the capabilities to provide a single point of management across all components (network, data centre, infrastructure and application layers), we believe we are ideally positioned to take the complexity out of cloud services.”
Key performance drivers for cloud adoption in South Africa have included rapidly deteriorating technology obsolescence cycles (which has come down from three years, to just a little over 18 months), flat market growth (forecasted between 1% and 1.5%); doubling and in some instances tripling infrastructure costs – the result of a declining Rand and importantly, an ICT skills shortage that has resulted in more than 70 000 unfulfilled IT positions in South Africa.
Understanding that the infrastructure layer represents early adopters’ entry into the cloud, Vox Telecom spent between six and eight months engaging with the market and its customers, to try and understand their challenges and requirements in this space.
“Flexibility was critical – customers did not want a one size fits all approach to infrastructure pricing and/ or services. So we developed a structured SLA programme, with flexible pricing, to allow organisations to grow and evolve their cloud services and requirements according to their business needs.”
Customers also advised that they were scoping their infrastructure to cope with three or four days of critical uptime. An example of infrastructure scoping in the ERP space, is month-end billing, where maximum processing ability is required over three to five days in the month.
Says Freer: “We have set up utility based pricing for our customers. It means we work with them to benchmark and set-up a system that can be upgraded or downgraded according to requirements over a particular timeframe. We believe that this ‘on demand’ computing, is fairly unique at the moment, and is the result of taking the time to understand the key pain points of our customers.”
On top of that, Vox Telecom is wrapping a managed services layer around the entire infrastructure environment, ensuring that the management, monitoring and maintenance of systems is continuously being prioritised and completed.
“We don’t believe moving into the cloud needs to be complicated. It is about choosing the right partner, that not only understands the technology landscape, but also has a grasp of the business drivers and challenges. We believe that we are that partner,” concludes Freer..
About Vox Telecom Limited
Vox Telecom Limited is one of South Africa’s largest independent black-owned telecoms operators, providing voice and data services to the Southern African market. The Group has offices in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth as well as in Windhoek, Namibia.
Investor and shareholder information is available at www.voxtelecom.co.za.
Craig Freer, Head of products at Vox Telecom
082 371 9637