News of a R100-million contract to provide and manage ICT service at Nampak should go some way towards cheering up Business Connexion (BCX) shareholders still unhappy that the Telkom deal was scuppered. 

The new contract reaffirms the relationship between the two companies, which dates back to November 2002, when Nampak first signed Business Connexion as its primary ICT service provider.
The first contract between Business Connexion and Nampak came to an end in October 2005 and was extended to October 2006. At this time Nampak extended the contract on a month-to-month basis while it surveyed the market to assess the relevance and value of its deal with BCX.
Nampak’s Toni Serra says that this was part of a standard auditing process. “Our board wanted to check that we were still getting the best possible deal on our ICT service provider, and so we decided to open up our business to the competition,” he says.
In August 2006 Nampak issued an open request for proposal to the ICT service provider market and 11 major local and global companies responded. However, earlier this year Nampak concluded that Business Connexion still offered the organisation the best overall ICT outsource solution.
According to Sydney Ramutla at Business Connexion, the deal embodies the principles of a second-generation outsource.
“Whereas a first-generation outsourcing deal is often concerned with how service delivery is being achieved, for example the number of resources used, the maturity of the relationship allowed us to revamp our offering and put together a contract that shifted the focus to how well services are delivered,” he says.
In the process of negotiation Business Connexion was awarded additional business over and above the services that it was already supplying to Nampak. This extended mainly to the provision of hardware maintenance services, but also, as a single service aggregator, to the task of managing service delivery from many of Nampak’s other ICT suppliers.
Under the contract, Business Connexion manages all aspects of Nampak’s infrastructure, with the exception of the wide area network (WAN), which is provided by Telkom. Ramutla says that Business Connexion not only provides Nampak with the management and support of the infrastructure but also hosts around 300 Nampak servers at one of Business Connexion’s large data centres.
“When a Nampak user has an ICT related issue he or she phones Business Connexion and we take responsibility for ensuring the right resources and suppliers are mobilised.  Nampak measures us on how well all their ICT providers perform and we ensure all the parties meet their agreed service levels,” he says.
BCX yesterday released its results, reporing revenue growth up 10,7% toR3,5-billion. Profit was up 21,2% to R167-million.