Vodacom has brought cloud computing to the SME market with the launch of a complete managed office solution for business, Vodacom Office in the Cloud, that combines virtualisation technology and hosted applications in an enterprise-class service.
“We are taking the concept of cloud computing and offering it in a turnkey solution that fits any business, regardless of size,” says Chris Ross, managing executive:commercial at Vodacom Group “From start-up to established business, the customer can decide how many workstations are required, with which applications, and pay only for what he uses.”
The Vodacom Office in the Cloud solution consists of:
*  A thin client terminal;
*  A flat screen monitor, keyboard & mouse;
*  A Cisco VoIP-enabled phone handset;
*  An HP Picture 6  or HP Laserjet M1536 MFP Mono Printer; and
*  Access to the applications portal comprising of a wide choice of business applications.
Vodacom Office in the Cloud is a complete managed office solution which enables users  to simply rent everything the  need for a modern office with lower costs and fewer problems. The solution is primarily intended to support businesses by providing them with enterprise-class IT services that would otherwise not be available to them because of high costs.
Legacy desktop environments can easily be replaced with Vodacom Office in the Cloud, says Ross. “According to some studies, PCs lose roughly 50% in value annually, apart from being difficult to install or upgrade, and the compatibility issues which arise with new software releases.
“Vodacom will offer software from the cloud and will be able to extend the life of the desktop to an estimated 12 years. Customers can select software from a web based portal which will automatically be provisioned pending the customer’s internal approval process.”
Vodacom Business Services selected NIL Data Communications as a partner in the delivery of the cloud solution. Both organisations are also Cisco partners and leverage next generation Cisco technology in teh switching, security and routing environments.