Dimension Data subsidiary, Internet Solutions (IS) has increased its majority stake in its Kenyan operation, from 51% to 80% as the group looks to expand its East African business interests.
IS initially acquired a 51% stake in local Kenyan service provider iConnect in 2005, which was rebranded IS Kenya. Following unprecedented growth in the East African market, IS and Dimension Data made the decision to increase the Group’s shareholding to 80%, with an option to acquire the outstanding balance of 20%. Alongside this increase in investment, Loren Bosch, who previously acted in the capacity of Sales Director, has been appointed Managing Director for IS Kenya.
Says Bosch: “East Africa is experiencing a boom with the telecommunications sector playing a vital role in fuellingthe rapid growth across multiple vertical markets. This is largely due to the increased international bandwidth capacity supplied via the numerous undersea cable systems, of which IS has secured substantial capacity on. These include; Seacom, EASSy and Teams. There is also massive investment being made into fixed line and wireless infrastructure in the region,” explains Bosch.
“Kenya forms the hub of the East African operation, as it is strategically well-placed to serve a number of other key countries such as Tanzania and Uganda. We also have plans to roll out into Rwanda and Burundi in the near future, and to enter the southern-Sudan region. This investment will ensure that we have the resources and capabilities to successfully roll out into these key regions and secure sustainable market share.”
IS identified Kenya as a key growth market due to the strength of the local economy and the rapidly increasing data demands in the consumer and corporate markets. “As greater capacity comes online we are starting to see an increase in the demand for cloud-based services, specifically the delivery of software as a service. To meet this demand IS has made a substantial investment into upgrading its local data centre, to the point where it is currently the only tier 3 data centre in the country.”
Kenya is also seeing a paradigm shift in terms of how service providers provision services, as local infrastructure providers have historically built out their own infrastructure. “However, due to changing global economic conditions and the subsequent need to reduce large-scale capital expenditure and operating costs, providers are electing to follow the growing trend of outsourcing their infrastructure needs. This has opened up the market by creating a provider agnostic environment where a good mix of technologies can be delivered.
“As the Kenyan market continues to develop as the innovation hub of East Africa and serve as a springboard into the other important emerging economies in the region, it is important that IS establish a strong presence in the market. This increased investment will greatly assist to position IS Kenya at the forefront of the corporate ICT sector and serve the needs of this rapidly growing market,” Bosch concludes.