HomeCloud-Native / NFVSafaricom launches business services to Kenya's booming enterprise sector

    Safaricom launches business services to Kenya’s booming enterprise sector


    Kenya to roar back as one of Africa’s fastest growing economies

    Kenyan operator Safaricom is moving upmarket in its latest marketing campaign with services that aim to cater for the needs of enterprises and public service organisations. Before the pandemic Kenya had one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and has the third largest GDP on the continent. In 2021 as a whole, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by 5 per cent, one of the faster recoveries among Sub-Saharan African countries, according to the World Bank. Overall economic performance is expected to be robust at 4.9 per cent per year in 2022-23, similar to the pre-pandemic pace, which averaged 5 per cent a year from 2010 to 2019.

    Dawn of great things for Kenya
    “Kenya’s economy has shown considerable resilience to the enormous shock of the pandemic and this year is expected to post one of the stronger growth rebounds in the region thanks to diversified sources of growth and sound economic policies and management,” said Keith Hansen, World Bank’ country director for Kenya. “However, poverty has increased and the buffers and coping mechanisms of households, firms and the public finances have been depleted.

    New skills to apply
    The telco is using its newly acquired skills in connecting people and computers to move into the enterprise sector, says Kenya’s The Star newspaper. The time to move up the value chain has arrived because the telco developed a portfolio of offerings including cloud computing, cyber security and the internet of things (IoT), all of which can be underpinned by Safaricom’s IT consulting services.

    Manufacturing could use digits
    Safaricom needs to become a technology company in order to take on a bigger role in digitising businesses in sectors such as education, health and manufacturing, said its CEO. “As Kenya’s digital economy continues to expand across various sectors, we are well prepared to provide matching tech solutions that will meet the digital trends and opportunities for large, small and medium sized enterprises,” said Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. These SMEs all need to digitise their businesses in order transform areas such as fleet management, storage of information, disaster recovery and remote tracking of various assets, said Ndegwa.

    Safaricom’s long term strategy
    “This aligns with our long-term strategy to offer technology-based solutions that ensure everyone has the capacity to participate and thrive in the digital economy as we seek to become a purpose-led technology company,” Ndegwa said. Technology has changed the way businesses are run, said Safaricom chief enterprise business officer Kris Senanu, and it will continue to do so. “Cloud computing offers many options for a business from running efficient processes to disaster recovery options,” said Senanu said.

    Kenya could use some clouds
    Last year Kenya’s Communications Authority (CA) and the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) found that 35.6 per cent of public sector institutions use cloud computing services but only 22.9 per cent of private businesses do. Possibly this is because Cyber-security is perceived as a major threat, with the CA reporting 70 million cyber threats in the first quarter of the 2021-2022 financial year. One of Safaricom’s new objectives is to overcome these fear and a principal business offering is cyber security.

    Telematics pilot
    Recently, Safaricom announced the successful pilot of its telematics system for vehicle tracking. By installing smart sensors in two East African Classic Rally vehicles that continuously relayed data to a connected digital platform, the telco proved the resilience, elasticity and ubiquity of its telematics smart tracking system.