Parallels, the leading hosting and cloud services enablement provider, today announced the expansion of Africa operations with a new office and sales representation in the Republic of South Africa. The company also announced that Business Connexion (BCX), a leading African Information and Communications Technology company, and Global Micro, a leading African hosted infrastructure IT provider, has adopted the Parallels Automation Platform to deliver an extensive breadth of cloud services to meet the evolving needs of Africa’s small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The continued expansion of Parallels into South Africa will help empower service providers throughout the entire African continent to enable their customers to get access to enterprise-grade IT services that come from using cloud solutions.
Africa has extremely small SME cloud penetration; however, with over 20 million SMEs and rapidly expanding Internet infrastructure, Africa is poised to be one of the fastest growing SME cloud markets in the world. According to Parallels SMB Cloud Insights™, primary and proprietary Parallels research that profiles the buying behavior of small and medium businesses with regard to cloud services, the SME cloud market in Africa is estimated at $1.6 billion with an expected CAGR of 46 percent in the next three years, for a market opportunity of $4.1 billion. The report is available at parallels.com/smbreport.
Using the Parallels Automation platform which is used to build, operate and manage cloud services and automate ordering, provisioning and billing is a key enabler for Business Connexion and Global Micro to differentiate their offerings. Parallels Automation and the Application Packaging Standard (APS) form a dynamic ecosystem where software-as-a-service-focused (SaaS) ISVs can easily and quickly create and sell their own cloud services to small companies in South Africa via the customer-friendly service provider channel.
“We are excited about the Cloud opportunity that Africa presents. Diverse service offerings enabled by Parallels Automation and Parallels APS ecosystem have never been more relevant to SMEs and are critical to drive increased innovation and cloud adoption in Africa,” said Birger Steen, CEO of Parallels. “We are looking forward to working with BCX, Global Micro, and other leading providers in Africa to bring those new and innovative services to market.”
“As spending on public cloud services approaches the $100 billion milestone in 2016, emerging markets will form the epicenter of cloud innovation and growth. IDC expects the market for cloud services in South Africa, in particular, to grow significantly over the next few years, driven by improvements in the communications environment, increased cloud activity within the provider landscape and growing maturity towards the concept among organizations,” said Margaret Adam, program director MEA, IDC. “SMEs are rising as a critical customer segment for cloud service providers on the African continent and around the world. Through opening an office in South Africa, Parallels is positioned to help service providers take advantage of this significant opportunity.”
Business Connexion, a leading African Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provider, has partnered with Parallels and has built a public cloud environment that gives all SMEs the ability to access IT services that have traditionally been capital intensive at a low monthly cost, and SMEs have the capability to add or adjust services based on their needs. Business Connexion’s commerce engine allows online and offline payments through a localized payment gateway or most well-known international gateways. Customers can order or upgrade services from their online storefront or from their online control panel.
“We are really excited about our work with Parallels and our Public Cloud Services offerings in the South African market because the demand for hosted services in South Africa and elsewhere in Africa continues to grow at an impressive rate. Because the majority of businesses in South Africa require these core IT services at a reduced cost, we foresee exponential growth with this offering,” said Jacques Loubser, General Manager, Cloud Infrastructure at Business Connexion.
“Our relationship with Parallels aligns perfectly with our strategy to provide the rapidly escalating local and African market with access to the best available enterprise grade IT services via the cloud, all the while enabling companies, irrespective of their size, to take advantage of the benefits of utilizing a hosting partner based on the continent,” said, JJ Milner, Founder and Chief Cloud Architect at Global Micro.
¹Sources: IDC, South Africa Cloud Services Market 2011 Analysis and 2012 2016 Forecast, Dec 2012, Doc # ZS12 and Worldwide and Regional Public IT Cloud Services 2012 2016 Forecast, Aug 2012, Doc # 236552.
Parallels (parallels.com) is a worldwide leader in hosting and cloud service enablement and desktop virtualization. Founded in 1999, Parallels is a fast-growing company with more than 900 employees in North America, Europe, and Asia.