US-based collective buying enterprise, Groupon, has deepened its interest in the South African market and invested in ICT managed services from its service partner the Integr8 Group.

According marketing executives at the company the global enterprise has generated a subscriber base of 70 million throughout the world. Additionally, its initial market valuation of $1,75 billion now stands at $25 billion.

Groupon South Africa (www.groupon.co.za) is a national operation that has emerged following recent takeovers by Groupon in India, Israel and South Africa.

Integr8 is South Africa’s largest privately owned ICT managed services provider. The company’s procurement division was brought in to fulfill the ICT infrastructure requirements within Groupon SA.

Robert Sussman, joint CEO at Integr8, said the fulfillment of the core infrastructure and all related devices to cater for the phenomenal growth experienced by Groupon, was fulfilled by the Procurement Office of Integr8.  Associated Service Level Agreements and Advanced Warranty Programs to align with the global standards required by International new age companies, was fulfilled through the governance and compliance that is housed within this division.

One of the key roles played by Integr8 Procurement was in the provision of infrastructure and equipment to help its client to strengthen its call centre.

“Our client’s call centre plays a critical role in its overall business and the maintenance of its extensive network. The company deals with a large volume of data and subscriber account management and we have helped to ensure that all equipment and systems are fully operational,” Sussman continues.

Daniel Gausco, joint CEO at Groupon SA, said the company is very pleased with the results of its alliance with Integr8 and believe this association bodes well for its growth strategy domestically.

“Obviously ICT infrastructure and systems is central to our operational strategy. Our systems and online business is entirely reliant upon effective connectivity and high performance infrastructure. Integr8 is an established and well know operator that has the required level of expertise and experience to add value,” says Gausco.

Sussman says that although the concept of collective buying is only beginning to take root locally, he believes that, once established, it will grow quickly and gain ground.

He also believes that managed ICT services will benefit from the hosted platforms that will enter the continent to support the development of collective buying.

“South Africa is still considered an untapped market in terms of the collective buying concept. But it is a concept that has grown in popularity throughout the world and done so very quickly. Of course it is dependent on reliable connectivity, solid infrastructure and service and support from experienced providers. We are proud of our service to Groupon and we look forward to assisting this venture with its strategy into South and Southern Africa, as well as the continent going forward,” added Sussman.