In a time when an economic slowdown is putting increasing pressure on businesses to maintain costs, how does a leader in the highly-competitive Internet Service Provider (ISP) sector position the organisation to deliver unprecedented value?

 For MWEB, it’s about embracing change and leveraging advancements in technology to help drive their business forward. So it is no surprise that they were the first enterprise on the African continent to deploy SAP’s S/4HANA Public Cloud platform. Imraan Parker, Chief Financial Officer, MWEB said: the highly competitive nature within the ISP sector demands continuous improvement and innovation. “MWEB has and will always be at the forefront of new advanced technology in South Africa. MWEB introduced South Africa to the big black box, were the first ISP in the country to launch Uncapped ADSL to South African homes, and first to provide our customers access to the largest WiFi network in the world. As part of the next phase of our journey, MWEB decided to move our financial processes to the cloud while maintaining costs and continually adding value to our business. We chose SAP as the technology partner to enable us.”

 MWEB was founded in 1997 and was one of South Africa’s first ISP’s. As part of the Internet Solutions group of companies, MWEB provides Fibre, LTE and ADSL connectivity and associated consumer and business services to more than 300 000 customers. For this project, MWEB employed the services of Britehouse, an IT services consulting business that forms part of the Dimension Data group and an SAP partner, with the most extensively certified SAP solutions provider on the African continent to ensure smooth implementation of the project.

 “We trust our partners and we view our solutions providers as extensions of our teams,” says Parker. “MWEB look for qualities such as innovation, integrity and teamwork in our partners, and continuously seek their input regarding how MWEB can achieve its business objectives. Our new public cloud platform is fully supported by our partners in SAP and Britehouse, giving us the confidence to leverage the powerful functionality of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud to develop new ways of providing value while transforming a core part of our IT costs to an operating expense.”

 Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 24% of the total IT market will be cloud, with the global market for public cloud services totalling $383.3 billion. By 2025, the analyst firm expects that at least half of all large enterprises will successfully implement an all-in cloud SaaS strategy.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud is one of SAP’s key plays in the SaaS space, giving enterprises access to the latest innovations and industry expertise without the heavy capital investment of physical on-premise infrastructure. This delivers faster ROI, increased business agility, lower total cost of ownership, and improved governance and compliance functionality through a more intelligent cloud ERP.
Linda-Lee Harris, Senior Manager for S4 Public Cloud at Britehouse, points to a mind shift that needs to transition for organisations wishing to migrate from on-premise to cloud-based solutions. “The SAP S/4HANA Cloud solution gives enterprises access to mission-critical data anywhere, anytime through any device. Since upgrades are released quarterly and are part of the standard service level agreement, enterprises relish access to the latest functionality and exponential technologies such as machine learning and advanced analytics. To realise the true value of such deployments, however, enterprise leaders need to partner with trusted providers to ease the process of change management and avoid costly customisations.”

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud deployment was completed within the expected 12-week timeframe. “The rapid pace of new features and upgrades to the platform, as well as the support of our trusted partners in SAP and Britehouse, means we can innovate with confidence as we continue to grow our business. We were impressed with the adaptability of the platform, since we needed it to cater to specific reporting requirements that our implementation partners enabled for us” said Parker.

Simon Carpenter, Chief Technology Advisor at SAP Africa, says: “As one of South Africa most successful technology companies, MWEB has enjoyed a long track record of ground-breaking innovation. With this latest deployment, MWEB continues its proud history of industry firsts and takes a bold step on its journey toward becoming an Intelligent Enterprise by creating a powerful platform for future innovation.”

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