We’re only too familiar with the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on our day-to-day lives. The costs of everything we touch seem to be rising at a dramatic rate. However, all our customers in the ICT space are still looking for cost-effective delivery models to help support their business goals within the budgets they originally set at the start of the year.
They still need to plan, design, implement and operate world-class services, and their end customers are certainly not looking to compromise on any of the latest features, functions, speeds, or feeds that help them differentiate themselves in the market.
Charting a course through these choppy, shallow and shark-infested waters is somewhat challenging – especially against a backdrop of government policy changes designed to claw back all that money they have just spent trying to get us safely through the global pandemic.
Flint’s Service of Excellence
The managed service centre of excellence that we created some years ago down in South Africa has historically allowed us to increase capacity to our local delivery teams on the occasions when customer demand surged. However, the centre has grown dramatically over recent years, and it now provides us with a fantastic ship to sail through those shark-infested waters.
Gert van der Merwe, Flint Managing Director Africa, shares this insight: “Our location in South Africa enables us to draw on some excellent local expertise at competitive local rates that have not been dramatically impacted by the cost-of-living crisis leading towards exceptional increases. The expertise we have in the region is widely recognised throughout the Flint Group and our customers as exceptional, and in several cases, we lead the delivery of Group-wide initiatives from down here in Africa,” continues Gert.
“Our engagements don’t focus just on service delivery for the African customers. We also currently serve customers across the whole of EMEA and have recently delivered several VMware Services, including design/validations, and health check assessments to the government and a large mobile provider with headquarters in the UK, for example.
When making a comparison with other low-cost delivery centres, we find that our staff churn rate is head and shoulders above what customers may experience when looking at traditional low-cost off-shore locations, where numbers such as 25% are not unusual, which makes consistency and quality of delivery from those regions extremely challenging.”
One very interesting challenge our customers face is centred around their delivery strategy, which has historically been to select reliable global partners. The challenge here is that most of the global partners selected don’t have a true pan-Africa presence, so they typically use local partners in Africa or send Europeans to deliver the projects on their behalf. This results in significant issues with their cost model, which – prior to the global cost of living crisis – could be managed or cross-subsidised from other regions. Due to the very nature of this global crisis, this is not the case anymore, and so they look for alternatives. We address this in the way we have always operated; providing local African resources at local African rates and no margin stacking. “
Ian Ashford, Group Sales and Marketing Director share his thoughts on Gert’s operation down in Africa:
“Gert is uniquely able to provide a cost-effective way of delivering remote services across all the regions. Engaging highly skilled and respected engineers, Flint operates seamlessly from South Africa. Thanks to the level of stability Gert has created in the team; we’re able to leverage long-standing relationships from engineers who understand our customers’ networks and business through many years of consistently high-quality delivery.
A unique and dynamic way of working in Africa is an additional advantage; there is a level of flexibility and a can-do attitude that you don’t often come across in the industry these days.
If you are facing a cost challenge in the delivery of professional and managed services, our centre of excellence down in South Africa has a solution for you.