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Orange Business Services actively looks to expand services in Africa

Orange Business Services is scouting for potential business customers in Africa, where many markets are experiencing rapid economic growth.

Orange Business Services, which is focusing on providing business-to-business (B2B) IT and telecommunications services, is a division of France’s Orange – Europe’s fifth-biggest telecom operator by market value.

International companies that are expanding across the African continent mostly use South Africa as a base. They are looking for reliable connectivity that minimises service downtime.

Orange Business Services has developed a fully managed, seamless Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and satellite network in 54 African countries, which assists companies seeking to expand navigate local infrastructure limitations.

The company’s infrastructure, which delivers consistently reliable telecommunications to B2B clients, enables domestic and international expansion across a broad range of manufacturing, energy, finance and oil and gas sectors.

Speaking exclusively to TechFinancials.co.za, Orange Business Services’ vice president (Africa) Giorgio Heiman said: “We have now renewed our focus on African customers”.

“We are very actively looking to expand our services not only to service companies that expand into Africa, but also African companies that are growing within the continent and globally.”

Orange Business Services provides connectivity and innovative IT services – such as high-speed broadband networks, hybrid networks, cloud computing, IT services, machine-to-machine connectivity, etc.

Although Heiman didn’t divulge which companies were being targeted, he revealed that the company was “busy engaging with potential customers.”

It is, however, likely that the company is targeting customers seeking Cloud and IT security solutions in Africa.

After all Orange Business Services’s revenues earned in Africa and the Middle East were derived from Cloud and IT security solutions, which rose 11% and 37% respectively in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The Telco also aims to help such companies drive enterprise digital transformation.

Orange Business Services assists companies such as mining giant AngloGold Ashanti and pan-African lender Ecobank to navigate new shores and new markets in Africa.

It has helped Ecobank to deploy a fully managed MPLS network to replace the banks patchwork network that had poor availability and reliability.

The MPLS network assisted Ecobank to increase network flexibility, security and scalability, lower costs and improved customer service.

Orange Business Services also hosts Ecobank’s data centre in London.

Meanwhile, Orange Group recently launched Orange Horizons, a South African subsidiary, focusing on looking for new business opportunities.

The subsidiary is already making inroads into the local telecoms space. It is providing Wi-Fi services in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Orange Horizons has managed to establish an Orange e-commerce store selling smartphones, tablets, cameras, MP3 players and headphones. It also offers SIM cards from the Orange footprint and providing free delivery of all electronic goods.

Orange Horizons plans to use its successful online store in South Africa to deliver its products into Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.

As part of its growth strategy in the telecoms value chain, Orange Horizons plans to enter the lucrative and highly competitive internet service provider (ISP) space.

To capture more market share and leverage existing group assets, Orange Horizons in partnership with Dailymotion is launching Orange Video South Africa. This move will diversify revenue generation through video on demand.

Orange subsidiary Dailymotion is a second biggest video platform in the world generating more than 2.5 billion video views with 120 million monthly unique viewers.

With so much going on, it is no wonder Heiman sounds optimistic about the company’s growth in Africa.

“We are a best kept secret in Africa,” says Heiman.

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