Business Connexion (BCX) has launched a new public cloud service, specifically targeting SMEs. 
Business Connexion SME Cloud Services, which will be delivered via the reseller channel, allows SMEs to make use of standardised resources and applications over the Internet.
BCX intends to offer these services to the market through a channel partner programme as a way of building an ecosystem all the way down the value chain (ISV, telcos, banks, distributors, OEMs and emerging business). This will also play a role in the development and regular release of applications for specific vertical markets.
This type of cloud offering is the first of its kind on the African continent and is called cloud services brokerage (CSB). It allows partners to offer IT services which are focused on giving businesses that have not had access to traditional on-premise basic IT services the opportunity to leverage innovative cloud services.
Businesses will now have the opportunity to start enjoying, increased flexibility and rapid provisioning of IT services with no capital investment as these services are based on monthly or yearly subscriptions.
By offering these services in a hosted environment, BCX will enable business the flexibility to adapt to challenges such as unpredictable and rapid changes in the business environment, shorter provisioning cycles and improved self-service, as well as de-risk IT investments and increase efficiencies.
BCX will initially have hosted infrastructure, and the following software as a service (SaaS) offerings: business e-mail (corporate-class e-mail and shared calendaring, task, and contact capabilities); business instant messaging (instant messaging and presence, voice and video conferencing, and mobile applications); and business portal (a flexible, customisable platform that enables document sharing, workflows, discussion forums, and more).
Like the cloud services the company currently offers to large enterprises, the new service offering will also be hosted in its Tier IV data centre facility which has full redundancy and failover capabilities, and electrical power storage and distribution facilities with expected availability of 99,995%.
“We are excited to launch these offerings in the South African market. The demand for hosted services in Africa and South Africa continues to grow at an impressive rate and because the majority of businesses in South Africa require these core IT services at reduced cost, we foresee exponential growth with this offering,” says Jacques Loubser, Business Connexion GM: cloud infrastructure services.