CAPE TOWN – Internet Service Provider (ISP) MWEB in an effort to embrace change and leverage advancements in technology, has partnered with enterprise application software firm SAP and has become the first company on the African continent to deploy SAP’s S/4HANA Public Cloud platform.

This is according to Imraan Parker, chief financial officer at MWEB who announced the launch of the service provider’s new cloud platform at its Parow headquarters yesterday.

He said the highly competitive nature within the ISP sector demands continuous improvement and innovation.

“MWEB has and will always be at the forefront of new advanced technology in South Africa. MWEB introduced South Africa to the big black box, were the first ISP in the country to launch Uncapped ADSL to South African homes, and first to provide our customers access to the largest WiFi network in the world,” said Parker.

He said that as part of the next phase of the MWEB’s journey, the ISP decided to move its financial processes to the cloud while maintaining costs and continually adding value to its business.

“We chose SAP as the technology partner to enable us,” said Parker.

MWEB, founded in 1997, and part of the Internet Solutions group of companies, provides Fibre, LTE and ADSL connectivity and associated consumer and business services to more than 300 000 customers.

Parker said for the project, MWEB employed the services of Britehouse, an IT services consulting business that forms part of the Dimension Data group and an SAP partner, with the most extensively certified SAP solutions provider on the African continent to ensure smooth implementation of the project.

“Our new public cloud platform is fully supported by our partners in SAP and Britehouse, giving us the confidence to leverage the powerful functionality of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud to develop new ways of providing value while transforming a core part of our IT costs to an operating expense,” said Parker.

He said the SAP S/4HANA Cloud deployment was completed within the expected 12-week timeframe.

Parker said that according to Gartner’s prediction, by 2020, 24 percent of the total IT market will be cloud, with the global market for public cloud services totalling $383.3 billion and by 2025, the analyst firm expects that at least half of all large enterprises will successfully implement an all-in cloud SaaS (software as a service) strategy.

Parker said SAP S/4HANA Cloud is one of SAP’s key plays in the SaaS space, giving enterprises access to the latest innovations and industry expertise without the heavy capital investment of physical on-premise infrastructure which delivers faster return on investment (ROI), increased business agility, lower total cost of ownership and improved governance and compliance functionality through a more intelligent cloud ERP (enterprise resource planning).

Simon Carpenter, chief technology advisor at SAP Africa, said that as one of South Africa’s most successful technology companies, MWEB has enjoyed a long track record of ground-breaking innovation.

“With this latest deployment, MWEB continues its proud history of industry firsts and takes a bold step on its journey toward becoming an Intelligent Enterprise by creating a powerful platform for future innovation,” said Carpenter.

He said CX (customer experience) is one of the key outcomes for company’s, as well as productivity and engaging the workforce.

“Digital economy is all about having data and companies need a platform for data,” said Carpenter

Linda-Lee Harris, senior manager for S4 Public Cloud at Britehouse, said for organisations wishing to migrate from on-premise to cloud-based solutions there needs to be a mind shift transition.

“The SAP S/4HANA Cloud gives enterprises access to mission-critical data anywhere, anytime through any device. Since upgrades are released quarterly and are part of the standard service level agreement, enterprises relish access to the latest functionality and exponential technologies such as machine learning and advanced analytics. To realise the true value of such deployments, however, enterprise leaders need to partner with trusted providers to ease the process of change management and avoid costly customisations,” said Harris.