, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 2 – Safaricom on Wednesday announced that it had entered into a partnership with Cisco Systems to roll-out managed IT services to its customers.
This makes Safaricom the first service provider to launch managed services based on Cisco solutions in the East African market.
Making the announcement, Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said the deal would allow broadband customers outsource their IT services to be run by Safaricom.
Mr Joseph said the demand for managed services in the Information Technology (IT) sector was on the rise as companies look for ways of streamlining expenditure.
“With one stop solutions, business managers do not have to worry about the day-to -ay management of area networks and Internet based applications, freeing up time to concentrate on their core business,” Mr Joseph said.
“Customers will need to spend money only on services as Safaricom will have invested in the underlying platform, allowing them substantial savings.”
The connected office solution will allow companies of all sizes to take advantage of Safaricom’s communications network to access secure site-to-site Internet-based communications, collaborate more effectively to offer better services to their customers as well as save costs.
First up will be the rolling out of a ‘Managed Office in a Box’, which includes connectivity, conferencing and collaboration tools, security and a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Cisco\’s managed services offering will provide Safaricom\’s customers with a complete end-to-end system, tailored to meet their individual business needs and get the benefit of better service support.
The Internet Protocol (IP) services will be delivered through Safaricom\’s wired and wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) with integrated security features.
Mr Joseph said once the system is in place, Safaricom will be able to deliver services including IP communications, telepresence, application-aware data centre services and other technologies.
The CEO believes the deal gives Safaricom a competitive edge over other players in the industry, as it seeks to solidify its lead in the corporate data market.
“Our services are all geared towards growth and we strive to ensure that we have a competitive edge in terms of servicing the needs of our customers and ensuring that they have access to the latest and most innovative technology solutions,” he said.