Zimbabwe: Utande, Sage Launch Cloud Computing Platform

Computing

Zimbabwean firms are set to benefit from a new cloud computing platform, the Sage Enterprise Resource Planning X3 Cloud.

The new Internet-based computing product, which will allow for sharing of resources, software and information, is a partnership between Chips Computing Services, which represents Sage Enterprise in Zimbabwe, and Utande Internet Services.

The product was launched in Harare last week. In terms of the partnership, Utande Internet Services is supporting Sage with "cloud" infrastructure.

Sage ERP X3 is an adaptable product that provides multi-site data and workflow integration. It is a single product that services a variety of its customers' needs.

It is anticipated that the introduction of "cloud" infrastructure to the Sage ERP X3 product will help its customers realise a reduction in information technology expenditure and an increase in agility, making it possible to change the way they do things as well as improve their risk and reputation responsiveness.

It should also help them realise growth in revenue and a reduction in cost, while at the same time making it possible to recognise any shift in customer demands.

Speaking at the launch, Utande Internet Services cloud computing General Manager Mike Weeden said some of the characteristics of "cloud" include broad network access and rapid elasticity, which he said was ideal for businesses that grow rapidly, as well as resource pooling and on demand service and self-service.

"Cloud" also addresses some of the security issues that some customers might have. It has resilience when it comes to communications," he said. Some of the modules that come with Sage ERP X3 include telesales, projects, which is ideal for those who run big complex projects such as engineers, RMS, which makes it possible to track customer information and do an analysis, enterprise asset management.

This allows for the running of any sort of equipment that needs maintenance, as well as enterprise documents management.

Sage has a leading presence in 19 countries and is a popular brand in Zimbabwe, where a number of listed and non-listed companies make use of its products.

Meanwhile, although the introduction of the Utande-Sage cloud system is commendable, the challenge for the country is for the establishment of vendor neutral co-location spaces for sharing and selling cloud services. This is basically a data centre environment where cloud providers can co-locate their service offering.

Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients