VOGSY and Incentro partnership to boost productivity and profitability in the services industry in Africa


VOGSY
, the quote-to-cash Professional Services Automation solution built for Google Workspace users, and Incentro Africa, the Nairobi-based branch of the full digital service company called Incentro, announced today their new partnership.

Through VOGSY’s global Partner Program, Incentro Africa will help its customers across Africa harness VOGSY’s unique Google Workspace integrated platform to run their quote-to-cash operations and enhance productivity and profitability. The partnership will also expand VOGSY’s global reach.

A Google Cloud premier partner, Incentro Africa specializes in enterprise work transformation services enhanced by Google Cloud. Incentro Africa is proactive in always looking for new partnerships and solutions to benefit customers and boost their productivity even further. Many of Incentro’s existing customers were looking for a fully integrated solution at an affordable price and Incentro aims to provide this through its partnership with VOGSY. According to Dennis de Weerd, Incentro Africa’s CEO, supplying VOGSY’s ERP system to Incentro Africa’s customers represents a major advantage in transforming their productivity, team collaboration and efficiency. 

“VOGSY gives our customers the ability to streamline and manage their quote-to-cash processes from all sales, operations and accounting sides with a single tool that integrates with Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides, achieving the ultimate real-time collaboration and transparency throughout service delivery,” de Weerd said.

As the only Professional Services Automation platform created for Google Workspace as well as the leading quote-to-cash ERP solution, VOGSY is a singular tool that packs significant value for services firms. Elimination of destructive work silos, intuitive UX, real-time business data including project budgets, margins and financial KPIs as well as built-in scalability and security are some of the main benefits VOGSY’s CEO Mark van Leeuwen aims to bring to Incentro Africa’s professional services customers.

“As professional services firms undertake digital transformations, they require forward-thinking partners and access to tools that provide actionable data and real collaboration whether they’re two feet or continents apart. VOGSY is proud to align with the like-minded professionals at Incentro Africa and work together to ensure the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of services firms in the digital era.”

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With over 10 years of proven expertise in technical consultation and related services, Incentro, the only Google Premier Partner in East, West and Central Africa has become the go-to partner for successful business transformation in the continent.

From Enterprise Collaboration, Cloud Migration and Smart application development, we proudly serve over 26 countries in Africa and are growing. Whatever your ambition is, we’ll aim for maximum impact. We dive deep into your organization, challenge your plans, build solutions swiftly and make sure they work.

Please feel free to visit our website or send an email to Customer Success Manager Elizabeth Akinyi – liz@incentro.com.

www.incentro.com
www.vogsy.com

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud computing is shaping Africa’s technological infrastructure growth

Cloud computing remains a key part in shaping how Africa will grow when it comes to technological infrastructure.

Given the current covid-19  pandemic internet use and technology in Africa is unsurprisingly on the rise as we have mentioned in previous cloud review articles we have published. With this, the demand for cloud services is also set to go up

Cloud computing involves the management of an extensive network of resources such as data storage, servers, applications, and processing power. More importantly, it provides on-demand access to this network of pooled resources.

In countries like South Africa, integrated cloud platform provider Routed notes that the cloud market is showing good signs of growth and development as enterprise customers begin to take serious notice of multicloud and its benefits. As a result, it is imperative to develop and maintain a robust mutlicloud strategy that meets continuously evolving business demands. Moving to a multi-cloud environment is undoubtedly the future.

Of course this is a conversation we can’t have without mentioning data centers. Recently, IXAfrica, the new-entrant data centre operator in Kenya, announced an ambitious plan to build a world-leading and sustainable campus at a prime location in Nairobi. Data centers are rising across Africa – and cloud companies are taking charge of creating them.  A recent report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics revealed that Africa needs 1000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms

A new IBM study conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC), also revealed that 84% of South African C-Suite are either pursuing or planning hybrid cloud strategies

According to the study, C-Suite executives in South Africa are prioritising the implementation of hybrid cloud strategies to benefit from flexibility, cost savings, testing and development, as well as Disaster Recovery. The IDC study showed the stages of the adoption journey that these executives are at with 32% of these executives currently pursuing hybrid cloud strategies, whilst over 60% were in the planning phase.

‘’However, some organizations are struggling with harnessing the full capabilities of their cloud environments’’ the study says.

As this happens, Incentro Africa, an IT service provider delivering custom build software solutions for the European and African market announced that it has achieved the Google Cloud Partner “Work Transformation” Specialization, in the Google Cloud Partner Specialization ProgramThe Google Enterprise Work Transformation Specialization is the highest level of technical achievement for a Google Workspace Partner.   The specialization indicates success deploying Google Workspace to Enterprise organizations, which includes providing services for establishing governance, technical implementation, training people, processes, and support.

A recent report from Synergy Research Group also notes that enterprises have been moving to the cloud as more increasingly rely on it other than on-premise data centres. While the trend continues to grow day by day, it is not until last year that spending on cloud infrastructure surpassed on-premise data centres — and by a large margin

As enterprise demands shift, how cloud is deployed will adapt in tandem and as Andrew Cruise, managing director, Routed, says, the future is likely to be a pragmatic cloud or dirty cloud. 

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa.



www.incentro.com/en-ke

Incentro Africa becomes first company in Africa to achieve Google Cloud Partner Work Transformation Specialization

Incentro Africa, an IT service provider delivering custom build software solutions for the European and African market, is leveraging its novel cloud solutions to enhance the capacity and efficiency of businesses. This, as it migrates thousands of employees into integrated suite of applications as they adapt to the new normal in the wake of disruptions occasioned by COVID 19.

As demand for solutions that embrace remote operations burgeons, Incentro Africa has been working with banks, government institutions and businesses by deploying cloud-based solutions like Google Workspace and Chromebooks and Cloud infrastructure that have bolstered security and enabled companies to cut operational costs.

To showcase its expertise, Incentro is proud to announce that it has  achieved the Google Cloud Partner “Work Transformation” Specialization, a development that gives any organisation looking to deploy collaboration solutions, the confidence that  with Incentro, they are in experienced hands and best placed to provide  services across all project work streams – such as technical implementation, change management, training and ongoing premium support.

The Google Enterprise Work Transformation Specialization is the highest level of technical achievement for a Google Workspace Partner.   The specialization indicates success deploying Google Workspace to Enterprise organizations, which includes providing services for establishing governance, technical implementation, training people, processes, and support.

Dennis de Weerd, CEO, Incentro Africa: “Being a Google Premier Partner is great, because it shows top level expertise on Google Cloud. Having a Specialization is even better, since it really proves our domain knowledge. While Google Cloud is very broad, this specialization emphasizes our expertise in guiding enterprises to a cloud-native workplace, so customers know they are catered for fully according to Google Cloud’s high standards. It embodies the investments and dedication from an experienced team.”

Customer success

At the height of the pandemic, Incentro Africa, working with the Africa Google Cloud Distributor Digicloud Africa, partnered with The Central Bank of West Africa States to roll out Google Workplace in seven days for the 1300 employees located across eight countries without interrupting service or productivity. This resulted in increasing customer and employee satisfaction with a more connected but remote workforce.

Tiéguélé A. Coulibaly,Chief Information Officer, Central Bank of West Africa States: “Google has given Central Bank of West African States employees a different way to work. Remote workers now have expanded and highly efficient ways of accessing and collaborating on the go. We’ve saved 40% on total per-user cost, reduced IT hours spent maintaining our environment, have had 60% fewer email related tickets, complied with our Industry’s data protection regulations, and on top of that we’ve had no downtime in the last 6 months.”

Kenya’s Kilifi County was among the first to record cases of COVID-19. To tame further spread the county government encouraged its staff and the public to work from home.

Partnering with Incentro Africa, the County  government introduced Google collaboration solution that enabled its workforce to collaborate efficiently irrespective of where they were working from. To ensure that the governor was in constant communication with his staff and updating the county on the steps the government were taking to manage the virus, he seamlessly leveraged the power of Google hangouts to hold virtual meetings with his cabinet, with impressive results.

Hon. Amason Kingi, Governor, County Government of Kilifi: “This enabled us to quickly make decisions and resolutions on where to set up the Isolation Centres for COVID-19 victims, brief the publicH on our Corona preparedness, and how we can join hands to curb the spread of the virus.”

African financial services provider SBM Bank Group upon its entry in Kenya in 2017 and acquiring Fidelity Bank and Chase Bank explored ways of consolidating domains into one. Collaborating with Incentro, the bank moved 950 users from Chase Bank and 160 from Fidelity Bank to SBN Bank in less than a week.

Sahil Arya, VP and Head of IT, SBM Bank of Kenya:“The G Suite experience is seamless, the ease with which the products are integrated gives our employees the power to achieve anything they needed.” .

As more companies embrace cloud computing due to its proven record in fostering business continuity during a time of crisis, Incentro Africa is looking to work with partners in addressing the future of work needs.

Gregory MacLennanCEO, Digicloud Africa: “Cloud computing is pivotal in empowering many organizations to continue operating through an unprecedented crisis that could have easily brought many to their knees. Overnight, companies had to adapt to a completely different way of working.  For many organizations, cloud technology has been vital in facilitating the shift to remote working. Without the cloud affording employees the ability to securely connect business continuity would simply not have been possible.  Cloud computing enabled companies across Africa to survive, and is now a catalyst for those same companies to thrive and innovate.”

www.incentro.com

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud adoption is the future of African SMEs

In our previous Africa Cloud Review report, we highlighted how cloud adoption is no longer merely an option but a necessity that promises tremendous rewards across entire organizations.

Africa is currently witnessing a revolution in new cloud and data centre capacity, with a growth forecast of 80 per cent and 50 per cent. In fact, Xalam Analytics has previously noted that African data centres are the hottest growth area in the African ICT market. 

The emergence of cloud in Africa as the Cloud Over Africa report by Research ICT Africa report notes is viewed as a natural extension of the deployment of advanced IT technologies by high-end users in both the consumer and enterprise services markets.

‘’Much of the hype around cloud computing in Africa is as a result of the adoption of high-end technology and software industries such as financial services, oil and gas; and of advanced next-generation networks by the telecommunications operators.’’ the report says.

This is of course something we have mentioned in the previous cloud review article we have published here. From fintech companies that are changing the way Africans send and receive money, to Agriculture, cloud technology has the power to transform how we work in emerging markets. 

SMEs and public services stand to gain the most from the adoption of cloud services, which provides immediate access to the infrastructure and services previously only available to big enterprises able to invest heavily in IT. 

As Soromfe Uzomah, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Microsoft 4Afrika Initiative notes Cloud computing gives businesses the ability to scale, cost-effectively, to new markets. This is particularly beneficial for SMEs, who often lacked the resources or infrastructure to expand before.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director, Central Africa at SAP, also notes that investments into new technologies like cloud will greatly assist SMEs in the region as they adapt to a very different operating environment.

 “As one of the most important drivers for job creation and economic growth, the SME sector is vital to the region’s economic recovery. Technology will continue to play a determining role in how well the sector recovers from this year’s events, while also digitally-tooling organisations to out-perform their competitors in this new economy and enabling them to execute the business, operate, and thrive in the market,” he says.

Currently, most of these SMEs are struggling to survive in an ongoing global recession. Cloud offers many opportunities and could help companies to improve their business and use technology more efficiently. 

The Cloud Computing: Adoption Issues for Sub-Saharan African SMEs report envisages that as cloud computing evolves, more SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa will adopt it as an IT Strategy. This could positively contribute to the successes of these SMEs and consequently, contribute to the economic growth desired by these developing countries.

Bottomline, cloud platforms are the future of African SMEs. This Digital transformation is imperative for these SMEs, as it enables them to streamline back-office operations and free up time and resources to focus on their core business.

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa

www.incentro.com/en-ke

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud adoption is now a necessity

As we have previously highlighted, businesses in Africa are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 is accelerating this adoption. 

In light of the immense challenges that have been brought about by the pandemic especially in 2020, cloud adoption is no longer merely an option; indeed, it is a necessity that promises tremendous rewards across entire organizations. 

As IDC notes,  ‘’the region’s enterprises dramatically accelerate their digital transformation journeys, they need to embrace the power of cloud computing and its holy grail – frictionless, hybrid multi-cloud that provides infrastructure-agnostic views and unified management capabilities across all clouds and even legacy data centres’’

IDC has highlighted cloud as the key technology in its five stages of enterprise recovery.  It is the fastest path and natural choice to enable a resilient digital infrastructure. CIOs across the region are aggressively investing in increasing their cloud leverage, and the effectiveness of their cloud strategies will be a critical factor in shaping their competitiveness and growth post-recovery.

African startups are also massively investing in cloud services such as Amazon AWS or Google Cloud, a clear indication of how critical cloud is. 

This rise has gone beyond basic office applications. From banks looking to accelerate the rollout of new applications among other things, cloud services are transforming Africa’s productive capacity and emerging as one of the most essential pillars of Africa’s digital transformation.

Data centres

As the demand for cloud services also continues to grow, the demand for data centres also keeps growing.  In fact, Xalam Analytics has previously noted that African data centres are the hottest growth area in the African ICT market. 

South Africa is already Africa’s largest data centre market, accounting for ~60% of the continent’s available MTDC power supply. That colocation gap, however, is set to widen according to Xalam Analytics.  ‘’We anticipate that South Africa will add ten times more colocation power capacity over the next two years than all other African markets combined.’’ the company says. 

A new report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics also revealed that Africa needs 1000MW and 700 facilities to meet growing demand and bring the rest of the continent onto level terms.

Compared with other Data Centre markets around the world, Africa is unique in the sense it has a population of over 1.3 billion people and with a total landmass of 30,365,000 km and has the potential to create huge demand for Data Centres and the digital services provided by Data Centre facilities.  This is according to data from the “The Cloud and Data Centre Revolution in Africa” report. 

To-date only a small portion of the potential demand for African Data Centre space has been met with Africa having a low Data Centre penetration rate compared with other regions.

Early this month, The Raxio Group, a premier pan-African data centre developer and operator, announced that it is establishing and investing in ‘Raxio Kinshasa’, the first in a series of state-of-the-art, privately owned, carrier-neutral, data centres in the DRC. Africa Data Centres, also recently had its Tier III certification renewed by the Uptime Institute for its Nairobi-based data centre.

Data Centres are entering new markets including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. A trend as ResearchAndMarkets.com notes includes facilities being created as PFMs (Pre-Fabricated Modules), as smaller self-contained Data Centres to be used for network, cloud, wholesale and colocation, suitable for local environments.

As the report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics noted “Expanding the breadth of Africa’s data centre capacity is fundamental to reducing latency, optimizing intra-African traffic flows, and slashing operating costs in the broader African economic supply chain,”

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa



www.incentro.com/en-ke

[Africa Cloud Review] Simon Ngunjiri: Cloud Platforms are Empowering Africa’s Digital Economy

In our last column of the Africa Cloud Review, we highlighted how the pandemic has boosted the uptake of cloud services in AfricaBusinesses in Africa are increasingly turning to cloud to improve operational efficiency and COVID-19 is accelerating this adoption. 

A recent report by ResearchAndMaarkets now reveals how Global And Local Cloud Platforms Are Powering Africa’s Digital Economy.  

This research finds that the use of standard cloud services is already widespread in the African continent, turbocharged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cloud-based office applications are increasingly vital components of the African modern workplace. The rise of the cloud in the African market ostensibly goes beyond basic office applications. From banks looking to accelerate the rollout of new applications to startups disrupting entire industries with innovative, cloud-powered models, cloud services are transforming Africa’s productive capacity and emerging as one of the most essential pillars of Africa’s digital transformation. 

There is some way to go, for Africa is, in truth, a tough place for cloud services. Many countries do not offer adequate, affordable, broadband speeds; latency to cloud data centres is too high from many locations. And perhaps most of all, the cloud is fundamentally about putting trust in what you cannot see, in a region where seeing and touching are essential to trust. All the same, the upside is considerable – and cloud services represent an opportunity that only the undiscerning would be prompt to dismiss.

Cloud-based technological applications, services, and solutions afford businesses the opportunity to optimise business processes, functionality, efficiency, and growth.  This empowers them with the ability to deliver the right information to the right place at the right time. Cloud-based operations allow for access to real-time data that can be accessed from anywhere and from multiple devices. This accessibility allows for quicker turn-around time on decision-making processes, with instant and immediate access to relevant insights.

As this opportunity keeps growing SaaS governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software leader Galvanize announced that it now provides regional hosting in Africa and South America via local AWS Regions – AWS Africa (Cape Town) and AWS South America (São Paulo) Region respectively. 

IBM also announced that its hybrid cloud services are now generally available in any environment — on any cloud, on-premises or at the edge — via IBM Cloud SatelliteLumen Technologies and IBM have integrated IBM Cloud Satellite with the Lumen edge platform to enable clients to harness hybrid cloud services in near real-time and build innovative solutions at the edge.  

Although cloud adoption has greatly accelerated in recent years, many businesses today still find themselves on the wrong end of the cloud revolution. Amr Eid, CEO and board member of OmniClouds attributes this reluctance to several factors with the first one being personal perception,

 “In a disruptive market environment, your background works against you, while your mindset works for you. Market dynamics are very different and doing things the same way you used to will lead to failure,” said in an article published on Gulf Business.

Bottom line, African companies need to embrace the cloud, which is ‘foundational to digital transformation’. 

Simon Ngunjiri Muraya is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa


www.incentro.com/en-ke

[Africa Cloud Computing Review] Simon Ngunjiri Muraya: Looking ahead

The demand for cloud in Africa is growing rapidly. This demand has particularly been accelerated by the ongoing pandemic that has moved everything online.

With increasing connectivity and availability of reliable and cheap internet across the continent, it has changed the way people work.


Increased Cloud adoption

‘’Cloud is a leapfrog technology, comparable to the introduction of the mobile phone and we are just at the beginning of it. Especially now the pandemic we’ve seen a major uptake in the use of cloud-based solutions, by even the most traditional companies.’’ Dennis de Weerd, CEO at Incentro Africa, told Africa Business Communities during a recent interview.

Incentro Africa is an IT service provider delivering custom-built cloud-based software solutions for the European and African market.

Much of the hype around cloud in Africa is as a result of the adoption of high-end technology and software across different industries as well as advanced next-generation networks by telecommunications operators across different African countries.

‘’For instance, we migrated the Central Bank of West African States to Google Cloud based productivity suite Workspace in less than a week when a lockdown was looming. From working with traditional infrastructure from a central office to a highly secure cloud-based productivity suite that allowed their staff to work from home and boost their productivity with easy to use tools. So there are a few drivers here that boosted the uptake, but it was already unavoidable that this new way of working is the standard.’’ Dennis said.

Cloud computing and economic growth

Cloud  computing has the potential to significantly bolster economic growth through the provision of cost savings and efficiencies, including the cost of management of data and security.

Africa’s cloud services industry may still be in its infancy, but it’s now  showing signs of growth. According to Xalam Analytics’ The Rise of the African Cloud report, only five African countries were considered “cloud ready” in 2018. However, another 11 of the 20 remaining nations were “on the cusp” of being ready to adopt the cloud.

Looking ahead, there’re so many cloud computing that we expect to loom large, especially in 2019.

African Cloud Market

Forrester Research notes that the global public cloud infrastructure market will grow 35 percent to $120 billion in 2021, as the cloud continues to “take centre stage” in the recovery from the pandemic. In Africa, Xalam Analytics estimates that the continent’s ICT industry will see its revenues surge to $2 billion by 2023, with the cloud leading this growth.

What does this mean for cloud service providers?

Dennis de Weerd, CEO at Incentro Africa: ‘’For us, it means we are substantially investing in technical knowledge and growing our team of certified Cloud consultants rapidly so we are ready when it does. It’s good to understand that when we started in Kenya there were no certified Google Cloud Architects in the whole country, so in order to offer this service, we need to train and certify talented technical consultants to do this work.’’

Demand for Data Centers

Africa is currently facing an uneven data centers deficit. More than two-thirds of the continent’s capacity sitting within South Africa. Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya, and Morocco also have larger concentrations of facilities compared to most of the countries on the continent. Mauritius has an outsized number of data centers compared to its size and population, especially compared to neighbouring Madagascar.

Xalam estimates nearly half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output and broadband connections are served by just 10 per cent of existing data center supply. The report says 15 countries have a deficit between 5MW and 10MW of data center capacity, with 20 facing a capacity deficit higher than 10MW.

“At the onset of a new decade, it is increasingly acknowledged that Africa needs a lot more data center capacity than is currently available,” says the Growing Africa’s Data Center Ecosystem: An Assessment Of Utility Requirements report.

Cloud and digital transformation

Cloud Computing empowers digital business transformation and for businesses to remain competitive, they must embrace cloud and other digital transformation processes.

The world is continuously evolving and African companies need to drive their activities to new forms of tech such as cloud.

Bottomline, as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) says in its Cloud Computing in Africa Situation and perspectives report, the experience of African countries to date points to cloud computing technology being used at different levels.

‘’Indeed, while a given administration may only now be preparing to introduce this new technology, it may well be the case that 50 per cent of the country’s ICT operators have begun to implement or are already using it’’
Simon Ngunjiri Muraya
 is Google Cloud Architect at Incentro Africa

www.incentro.com/en-ke

[Interview] Dennis De Weerd, CEO, Incentro Africa

Dennis De Weerd is the CEO at Incentro Africa, an IT service provider delivering custom build cloud-based software solutions for the European and African market.

Kindly introduce Incentro

Incentro is an IT services provider with offices in the Netherlands, Spain and Kenya. Incentro Africa delivers high-quality custom build cloud-based software solutions for the European and African market. With Dutch development standards and close collaboration with the Fair Trade Software Foundation, we deliver software solutions that both impact our customers and staff. We are founded on the ambitions to make CSR more core of what we do and therefore we always look to apply our unique skills to build software solutions that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

As the only Google Premier Partner in the region we support organizations across the African continent to work effectively from wherever they are. Especially relevant these days. We do this by deploying Cloud-based solutions like Google Workspace, Chromebooks and Cloud infrastructure. From migration from local data centers to Cloud to the development of cloud-native applications, Google Cloud is our tool of choice and we are incredibly proud to call ourselves the only Work transformation enterprise specialist on the continent.

The demand for cloud services is growing rapidly in Africa. How would you describe this growth?

With increasing connectivity and availability of reliable and cheap internet across the continent, it has changed the way people work. Cloud is a leapfrog technology, comparable to the introduction of the mobile phone and we are just at the beginning of it. Especially now the pandemic we’ve seen a major uptake in the use of cloud-based solutions, by even the most traditional companies.

Let me give you some examples to demonstrate what I’m talking about:  For instance, we migrated the Central Bank of West African States to Google Cloud based productivity suite Workspace in less than a week when a lockdown was looming. From working with traditional infrastructure from a central office to a highly secure cloud-based productivity suite that allowed their staff to work from home and boost their productivity with easy to use tools. So there are a few drivers here that boosted the uptake, but it was already unavoidable that this new way of working is the standard. Let me give you another one. Consider your startup, you want to offer a new service in a traditional industry. Let’s say you are a fintech, offering quick and reliable credit scores for smallholder farmers.

Are you going to invest and buy a server, even when you don’t have customers yet and you are stressed for funding? Are you going to create extensive scoring algorithms or prefer to train an AI model? Right, you’d choose to go for a cloud-based solution that offers you a pay per use model, is available right away, limitlessly scalable and offers all the great technology with the click of a button. But it’s not only for start-ups. Let say you are a large enterprise running SAP on your on premise infrastructure. You need to procure the hardware and software, maintain the services and facility and know-how to support your staff and keep the environments secure. Let’s say you are a large retailer, selling through stores and online. You’d need to provision your hardware for the projected performance you need for multiple years and take peak loads into account. For instance for black Friday or back to school campaigns. But most of the time the hardware is just sitting there ideally, no one is buying during the night time hours. Now put this in the cloud, you just pay for what you use, optimize to make sure you don’t use any resources at night and scale to manage that peak load on black Friday. 

These are just a few examples of the power of the cloud. So the trend we’ve seen in the US and Europe can be seen in Africa as well. It’s a leapfrog technology that allows organisations to deliver high performance as little costs and overhead. It keeps organisations lean and those companies that understand this, and of course it is mostly digital natives, are able to disrupt traditional markets and industries by delighting customers with new services. Completely changing the game and leaving big, slow enterprises behind.

African cloud computing market is generating a lot of interest and deals. Players like Incentro are positioning themselves for the boom in data services on the continent. What does this mean for companies like yours?

For us it means we are substantially investing in technical knowledge and growing our team of certified Cloud consultants rapidly so we are ready when it does. It’s good to understand that when we started in Kenya there were no certified Google Cloud Architects in the whole country, so in order to offer this service, we need to train and certify talented technical consultants to do this work. 

But it is not only about being able to do the work, it’s also important to educate the market. To date, most companies have no cloud strategy and there’s a lot of misinformation and misinterpretation of local regulations and a general lack of knowledge of cloud. So we invest heavily in the growth of not only our technical team but also a commercial team that is able to educate the market in the value proposition of cloud services.

Though we started early we see things are moving now. When we started our cloud proposition over 2 years ago, there was little demand, but the pandemic has accelerated this in many cases, though we expect the big uptake to take place from late 2021 and 2022. It is only when these digital strategies start to include cloud strategy and procurement teams understand how to procure for cloud that this will happen. We have seen this explosive, accelerating uptake in cloud services in the European market where the cloud market is projected to triple from >$25B in 2018 to <$75B in 2026.

Why is there a need for African businesses to migrate to the cloud?

It depends on the organisation. As mentioned in my previous examples there are different motivations for the different companies, but overall we see most of our customers make the move because it is more secure, scalable and more affordable. Large enterprises unburden their IT department from maintaining infrastructure and enable them to contribute to business goals. For startups, it’s a cheap and convenient way to get started and use amazing technology that is only available on the Cloud.

What are some of your success stories as Incentro?

Last year, we received a call from the Central Bank of West African States, responsible for the economy of 8 countries in West Africa. Their traditional infrastructure didn’t allow them to work from home and with a pending lockdown, they needed a solution, quick. We’ve been able to migrate and onboard them in less than a week’s time. This story even made it to Forbes Africa magazine and we are incredibly proud to have been the ones that made this happen. 

Another story we are very proud of is the one of Text Book Centre. They had been conflicted between choosing from renewing their on-premise hardware or choosing to go to cloud to run their company critically software. When the pandemic hit, the choice became obvious. Getting hardware in, sending people to maintain your data center, deliver high performance for a distributed workforce, being scalable (up and down) in uncertain times. All no brainers to choose for cloud over on-premise. Of course it is scary to take that leap and transition your core systems to Cloud.

“This was the most seamless digital transition I have experienced.”- Armand Houhau, MD Text Book Centre told us.

What makes your services stand out?

In the market, we sadly see a lot of resellers. Just pushing licences, without understanding the product or service they are offering. Incentro has 25+ years of experience as IT consultants and it’s in our nature. We focus on high-quality services, delivered by trained and certified professionals. From sales, through technical consultants to our 24/7 support team. We understand that Workspace and Cloud services are just tools that help your business to succeed. But only when applied well. Therefore we invest a lot in understanding our clients and coming up with tailor-made workshops, training and change management programs, etc. Adoption is key for us. We use our extensive experience to deliver this unique service to our customers, which are currently in 26 countries in Africa. By being the only Google Premier Partner in East Africa and the only Work transformation enterprise specialists on the continent we are awarded by Google for the impact we make on our clients. 

When you receive such amazing feedback after migration, you can only be very proud of your team that made this possible.

Who are some of your cloud partners and which customers you work with?

We work exclusively with Google Cloud. Their global infrastructure, completely designed and owned by Google has no equal. Did you know that ⅓ of all internet traffic flows through the Google network? Where other cloud providers are a patchwork of different data centres and ISP’s, each Google data centre is designed and built by Google to deliver great performance. Together with very competitive prices, unique services and product offerings, we decided that Google Cloud is our tool of choice and invest heavily in understanding every detail and ability of it. Google is one of the major 3 global Cloud providers. Though it might be the best-kept secret in the African market, for now. 

Any latest news from your company?

In December our technical team in Kenya worked amazingly hard to build a platform for Dutch people to celebrate New Year’s Eve from home. With 250+ artists joining in by offering live streams we have been able to reach +650k people that joined in on new year’s eve to celebrate New Year together. Built in about 3.5 weeks by a small team, of course using Google Cloud. Intense, but fun and very rewarding to work on.

www.incentro.com/en-ke/

Incentro has these vacancies:

[Vacancy] Incentro is looking for a Workspace Support Agent in Nairobi

[Vacancy] Incentro is looking for a Mid-level Google Cloud specialist in Nairobi

[Poste vacant] Incentro recherche un agent de support pour l’espace de travail à Nairobi