Increasing competition, economic pressure and a price-sensitive market is forcing consolidation and resulting in some corporate casualties. Service providers being able to take advantage of their strengths in this market should do all they can to expand where possible and drive home the benefits of critical mass, skill and distributed presence.

This is the view of management at the Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned managed service provider.

The company has multiple offices, throughout the country, that are manned by highly skilled technical staff.

Integr8’s South African coverage is driven from its operations located in Gauteng, Cape Town, Durban, Bloemfontein, East London, George, , Nelspruit, Polokwane and Port Elizabeth, with support for nine African regions, located in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Angola, Swaziland.

Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8, says one of the main objectives is to ensure that clients benefit from having one partner in place for service and standardisation in service delivery.

“We are in a unique position whereby we have the presence, resources and infrastructure to assist clients that want to capitalise on opportunity in developing markets in Africa, including information communication technology and telecommunications. It will be difficult to find a privately owned ICT company to rival this coverage,” he says.

“The demand for reliable solutions and support is growing, globally, and is being driven by the increasing relevance of cloud computing and virtualised service. The local market is rapidly expanding and falling in line with international trends,” he adds.

According to Sussman since inception the company has strived to serve as the partner of choice for domestic operators as well as foreign traders hoping to leverage off local opportunities.

“We are in a strong position to meet the managed ICT service requirements of international companies wanting to establish themselves locally and tap into developing markets,” he continues.

Integr8 refers to a marked increase in unified communications and application within the corporate network as key trends going forward.

This, coupled with the increase in volume of small-to-medium sized businesses and the need for reliable ICT infrastructure, has necessitated the reinforcement of the company’s regional service portfolio.

“We have brought on new personnel to restructure and strengthen the teams that are based at each branch. We have the resources and expertise in place to ensure that businesses across all areas of the country have access to next generation infrastructure and an established channel of service and support,” adds Sussman.

Integr8 management believes that a major opportunity lies in addressing requirements within the developing business market, one that stands to benefit from access to previously attainable services.

There is now opportunity to converge all communications, including email, instant messaging and conferencing, and leverage off cloud-based services to control and enhance resources.

This holds a great deal of opportunity for the right-sized service provider says Sussman.