Seacom has extended its corporate market offering, under its Seacom Business initiative, to the East African region by providing Internet connectivity and cloud services directly to corporates in Kenya.
Seacom is moving into this segment to provide corporate organisations in East Africa with reliable data connectivity, cloud services and consistent service quality by leveraging Seacom’s existing high-speed fibre based network infrastructure.
The new product offerings include high-speed, dedicated Fibre Internet Access with options ranging from 10 Mbps up to 1 Gbps which will allow businesses in East Africa to unlock their true potential in today’s online and digital age.
Following the launch of its Seacom Business offering in South Africa a year ago, the division in East Africa has already signed up almost 50 business customers, adding more each month. It has also recently appointed several corporate partners to support its drive into the SME market, and expects to speed up its total corporate customer acquisitions going forward.
“Seacom initially focused on bringing low-cost data transmission infrastructure to other service providers in Africa. However, we were not seeing the optimal take-up of our international data capabilities to the end-user market, and the associated benefits that this can bring,” said Seacom CEO Byron Clatterbuck.
“Seacom is now offering its data and other services directly to companies in East Africa, with a focus on our regional and international footprint that other providers lack. We own and operate our own network end-to-end at the fibre level, allowing us to offer seamless and cost-effective network solutions regionally, as well as into Europe and Asia,” added Clatterbuck.
Last mile access will play a crucial role in the delivery of these services as SEACOM intends to boost uptake through key partnerships with local and regional fibre providers. Says Clatterbuck, “We have already built out 8 metro points of presence around Nairobi, and this gives us a solid base from which to extend further with our partners. By having our own metro PoPs, we can better manage service quality and network scalability to our growing customer base.”
Seacom Business Sales Lead Patrick Ndegwa said that the company aims to provide corporate customers high-speed connectivity and quality bandwidth at an affordable cost, on a selective basis in the corporate data connectivity space.
“The time is right for us to diversify our business into the corporate market with focused data offerings bundled with last-mile fibre,” says Ndegwa. “We believe the uptake will be tremendous as customers get a taste of our service offering, which we have already seen in South Africa.”
The company is leveraging its abundant and scalable capacity on its undersea cable system and continent-wide IP-MPLS network, as well as the capabilities of its Cloud services, to enable corporates in South Africa and East Africa to smoothly transition to the Cloud.
Seacom launched the first broadband submarine cable system along the East African coastline in 2009 linking South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique with major Internet connection hubs in Europe and Asia.
Today, it offers a redundant connectivity ring around Africa’s east and west coasts, optimal traffic routing, and resiliency through multiple tier-1 upstream partners in Europe and Asia. It also offers direct connectivity to African routes and content. It delivers these services over last-mile access through leading connectivity partnerships in various regions.
Last-mile fibre is a major focus for Seacom in the corporate market. Initially, the company aimed to bring standard fibre to corporate customers in Kenya and South Africa.
Seacom’s business offering includes the following:
• Internet Access provides customers with reliable, dedicated, high-speed access to the Internet through multiple global tier 1 networks, a mesh of subsea and terrestrial routes as well as low-latency routing to many key content delivery networks (CDNs) hosted on its network and on the African continent.
• Virtual Private Network (VPN) services offer dedicated, transparent, layer-2 or layer-3 VPN connectivity across SEACOM’s network and onwards through our international partner networks.
• Private Line Services give clients secure, dedicated, low-latency transmission connectivity across multiple cable systems connecting Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as regionally to key interconnection points in Africa.
• Cloud services – hosted mail, online backup, end-point protection, virtual hosting and other Cloud services provide customers with the ability to leverage the Cloud to improve business processes and reduce costs. SEACOM also recently entered into partnerships with Microsoft to offer ExpressRoute services to enhance the experience of customers looking to access Azure and 0365 services across SEACOM’s network.
“We have only had positive feedback from our South African clients after we launched the service in 2015 and as a result have been signing up a growing number of corporate customers. This experience helps us showcase our product portfolio customer satisfaction to the East African market,” said Clatterbuck.