IS restructures in big SME push - TechCentral

IS restructures in big SME push

Ignite executive head Tony Koutakis

Ignite executive head Tony Koutakis

Dimension Data division Internet Solutions (IS) has relaunched its small and medium enterprise (SME) business in an effort to claim a bigger chunk of the growing segment, in the process ditching the MWeb Business brand it acquired in late 2014.

The new entity, simply called Ignite, is housed in its own office in Sunninghill in Johannesburg. It has no IS branding associated with it, in an effort to differentiate itself from the enterprise-level services provided by the parent company.

“The SME segment is a massive growth segment we want to be part of,” said IS MD Saki Missaikos.

Ignite will host the old IS Ignite offering, launched two-and-a-half years ago, as well as the SME clients that sit under IS and the MWeb Business customers acquired from Naspers.

Newly appointed executive head of Ignite Tony Koutakis said that although the IS branding is not associated with the new business, it is “very much an IS company”.

He said Naspers had granted IS a five-year window to use the MWeb Business brand, but the company decided to terminate the brand because it was causing confusion with MWeb’s consumer brand, which is still owned by Naspers.

The new Ignite’s ambitions extend beyond South Africa’s borders, too. The company intends expanding into other markets in which IS is active, probably starting with Nigeria and Kenya.

IS has built a name for itself in South Africa of being a Rolls-Royce solution, with pricing to match. But Koutakis says Ignite will be “market related”.

“SMEs are very cost sensitive, so you have to be market related [in your pricing]. We still want to provide a Rolls-Royce service, but we know it’s a different market to the enterprise space and guys will shop around.”

Koutakis believes there is a big growth opportunity for IS in the SME market, which he said plays a “significant role in the economy”.

“There are more than 450 000 active SMEs in South Africa, contributing 30-35% of GDP and making up about 35% of the labour force.”

Working with partners such as Sage, AdCorp and LabourNet, Ignite is launching a range of cloud-based services for SMEs, including recruitment, accounting and payroll tools. The intention is to expand these over time.

It will also offer a range of connectivity options plus data centre solutions such as hosting and backup.  — © 2016 NewsCentral Media

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