According to press reports in local newspapers Business Times and the Post Business, MTN Business has merged into MTN Zambia and will now be the enterprise business unit. MTN Zambia says now this will make them a complete telecommunications solutions provider for business in voice, data and other related services such as data warehousing, fibre connectivity and cloud services.
This merger has long been under the wraps, however with the launch of MTN Cloud Services, the MTN leadership shed more light on this merger as it puts the spotlight on MTN Business as the only provider of cloud computing services in Zambia, and across the region.
Cloud computing services, as part of the enterprise business unit, will make MTN Zambia an ‘end-to-end provider’ of business solutions, the quoted statements read. MTN Cloud computing will allow customers to host cost-effective email, collaborative software such as Microsoft Dynamics a CRM tool, and cloud security via McAfee.
Furthermore, the CEO Abdul Ismail also highlighted their new strategic pillars for revenue growth and business focus. These new revenue streams will indeed diversify the portfolio for MTN products and services, and they promise to ‘make communication reliable and convenient to all (their) customers.’ Ismail adds that their new sole objective is to provide efficient, convenient and innovative enterprise business solutions to businesses of all sizes and in all industries of Zambia. With the possible economies of scale that MTN Business will gain from MTN Zambia, they hope to procure inputs affordably as a single entity and pass on the benefit to their customers.
If you recall, in 2010 MTN Zambia acquired and rebranded UUNET Zambia, a corporate ISP and data carrier. Not much happened in terms of commercial activity and pushing new boundaries for that business. For a while they operated outside MTN Zambia. This change now allows the MTN Zambia leadership team to fully take over from the somewhat-mostly-technical team at MTN Business. With their leadership we hope to see less rhetorical marketing and sales speeches and more a ‘disruptive’ change of technology in Zambia especially in the enterprise segment, where most businesses struggle with the high costs of doing business (cost of entry and access fees).
The Post wrote further that Sports Minister, Chishimba Kambwili, said Government will continue to support such ventures because they lead to job creation and broaden the tax base through creating a favourable business environment for more investment in the sector. The Minister spoke on behalf of Government at the Golf Tournament held at Nkana which MTN sponsored.
Major investments are underway in the country in terms of infrastructure, however the ICT sector could use some major collaboration between players, with Government filling the supply gaps, and the regulator playing their part at aligning policy with current Government political motives.
Sources: Judith Namutowe & James Kunda, Times of Zambia, Monday, November 25, 2013 & Darius Kapembwa, The Post, November 25, 2013.