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MTN has made a range of cloud computing services for small and medium enterprises available in Ghana and Nigeria
The launch of MTN Cloud in the two African countries on Wednesday followed a successful pilot project in six of MTN's major markets across Africa. The trial, which was launched in December last year, covered Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda.
Full launches of MTN Cloud are expected in the remaining countries and others later this year.
The pilot made MTN the first mobile network operator in Africa to adopt the cloud service brokerage model. The model entails the centralisation of access to services where a third party, in this case MTN, acts as the single point of contact for customers.
“What the pilot project confirmed is that our offerings are on the mark," said MTN’s Group Enterprise Business Unit executive, Farhad Khan, in a statement. "There is great appetite for ICT solutions that are relevant, customised and affordable. SMEs are looking to technology service providers such as MTN to bring them world-class tools that improve their business efficiencies. MTN Cloud offers exactly that.”
The trial of MTN Cloud offered services including Office Desktop, a cost-effective e-mail and collaborative software, MozyPro, a backup service for the effective management of files and servers, and Dialcom, an on-demand videoconferencing offering.
Popular anti-virus and anti-spam security software, McAfee was also on offer during the trial, as was Averiware, a HR, accounting, finance and sales package, Microsoft SharePoint, a staff and cross-functional collaborative tool, and customer relations management tool, Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
The most popular of the MTN Cloud solutions during the trial, which attracted participating SMEs from many sectors including IT, manufacturing, hospitality, media and advertising, proved to be Averiware, MozyPro Online Backup and McAfee SaaS.
Business customers will receive a 30-day trial of MTN Cloud and customers subscribing to MTN Cloud, through MTN Business, will also be able to pay for services using airtime.
Plans are also under way to enable businesses to utilise MTN Mobile Money to pay for MTN Cloud services.