A new information and communication technology (ICT) facility that is tipped to enhance small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) operations has been unveiled by telecom firm MTN. The new cloud delivery platform has already been deployed in Rwanda and Cameroon, and will enable SMEs to access cloud services with greater ease, MTN Group said in a statement on Tuesday.
Dubbed MTN Business Cloud Services platform, the web portal will also be available in Swaziland, Ghana and Uganda by the end of April 2016, and will provide a comprehensive view of the product portfolio available for business customers from MTN, as well as its partners, according to the statement.
Formal SMEs contribute up to 45 per cent of total employment and up to 33 per cent of GDP, according to World Bank statistics.
Debbie Minnaar, the acting executive for MTN Group enterprise business unit, said the platform was developed to address some of the challenges experienced by SMEs.
Minnaar noted that easing access to solutions such as cloud, which drive efficiencies and lower costs, is vital for SME sector growth.
“While the benefits of cloud services for SMEs are numerous, the process of accessing and acquiring such services by the sector has been hard. Through the MTN business cloud services platform, this process will be simplified to meet customers’ needs... we are essentially putting control in customers’ hands,” Minnaar said in the statement.
A user will be able to pay for products and services they require in their local currency, using different payment methods, including MTN Mobile Money.
“We recognise the value of SMEs in our markets and we are committed to aiding their growth and development.
Within the scope of MTN business, we have a significant opportunity to become an effective strategic partner of SME sector and to contribute to its growth by providing relevant and cost-effective ICT solutions tailored for their needs,” said Omotayo Ojutalayo, the MTN Group enterprise business unit general manager for SMEs.
The roll out of the platform, which is set to go live in all MTN markets by the end of 2016, is aligned to the company’s strategy for the SME segment.