Intdev Internet Technologies is an ambitious business solution, ISP and managed services specialist. Led by Christiaan Mienie, it has been on the acquisition trail over the past couple of years, pushing to strengthen and expand its services to the South African and African marketplace.
"We have been working hard to expand our offering," Mr Mienie says of the local business success story. "We've managed to stay one step ahead of the curve, despite the challenging economic environment."
Mr Mienie became CEO of the firm in 2011 when Intdev merged with Liquid8, a support and software development company, to form one entity.
He says it now "provides a complete business solutions offering".
Recent acquisitions include that of A & C Cosmic Solutions and MegaWeb Internet Solutions, both adding a "complimentary layer" of services to Intdev.
"We're seeing the benefits already, particularly in support and service delivery," says Mienie. "All of our acquisitions have been strategic and have extended our value offering, bringing on board additional skills and experience to enable us to grow our own business and offer services that differentiate us even more. It has been great for customers."
Intdev Internet Technologies has services such as dedicated servers, virtual servers, 3G, hosted exchange, VoIP, e-commerce platforms and CRM (customer relationship management) systems, backed by an experienced 24/7 support team and bespoke software development skills.
It has strategic partnerships with vendors and service providers such as SugarCRM, Vodacom, MWeb, Microsoft, Internet Solutions, HP and Cisco.
"We're growing fast and 2012 was another success year, building on what we achieved in 2011," Mienie says. "Our growth is despite economic difficulties and the reason for it is that, as a balanced entity, we've adapted ourselves in a way that enables us to absorb all of the changes coming through. We've acquired complimentary services, bolstered and even expanded our offering. The result is that we've brought in new customers and offered our existing customers even greater value.
"Why are we attracting new business? Well, we offer combined strengths, expertise and skills that in turn provide a complete business solution to companies in SA and in Africa.
"We also work very hard on customer retention. Delivering a world class service that means people come back time and again."
It is no surprise that Intdev, established in 1998, is one of South Africa's foremost providers of sophisticated and customised services.
It focuses on meeting the connectivity, communications and managed services needs of SMEs and is able to offer tailored, industry- and business-specific solutions to suit particular challenges or requirements.
"We pride ourselves in providing quality web hosting services on self-owned servers, enabling our clients to establish a successful, reliable presence on the Internet," Mienie says. "Our high standards of service and support is what sets us apart in a cluttered market, and has earned us the trust of several big players in South Africa and it's neighbouring countries.
"Although our strength lies in providing fully customisable Internet and communications solutions, we have also extended our services to email, 3G, broadband, CMS and CRM, amongst others.
"We are a true one-stop shop and offer a personalised service to all existing and potential clients, by taking their specific needs into account."
And things show no sign of slowing down.
"Our workforce has doubled in the last six months and we've got another 15 percent increase in workforce that is starting on February 1," Mienie explains. . We have expanded into other areas. We have opened an office in the Limpopo region, we're expanding into Angola, and we're in Zambia, so our expansion is something that we're really driving but at the same time keeping overheads at a low cost and planning for what the future holds.
"Looking forward, there are lots of opportunities for us at home and abroad. Africa has never been a great platform for connectivity and data throughput and what we've done is created infrastructures where we can provide those countries with their interconnectivity. That is very fulfilling."
Huge growth is expected in Zambia.
"We have adapted something for them (Zambia) and getting connectivity from Zambia into Africa through our expansion model. So, that's the next step for 2013 to get that whole infrastructure up and running," Mienie says. "We've started our preliminary testing and our forecast is to get better interconnectivity and a more reliable internet service than they currently experience.
"But opportunities really are all over the place and we just upgraded our data centre to increase our capacity to offer a true IT outsource solution for the customer. It's been a major drive for us to get our internet provision and services that we offer in the online sector to a better level than it currently is, in the country."
In terms of tech trends for 2013, Mienie expects more cloud computing, in-memory computing, strategic big data, and increasing support for mobile devices (as we continue to ditch the traditional PCs).
"Those are all things we're seeing and we're positioned for that. We are certainly virtualising the office and customers are moving away from having a server in their offices to more cloud-based offerings. We've broken that realm really. We are very successful in having the office specialised and sitting online.
"Why would you want to have a virtual office and having your data stored elsewhere? I think the reality is that it is cost effective. It is a lot more secure. And it doesn't ever go offline. For the bigger corporates they've done this, as a strategic move. For the smaller SMEs, it is a slow move. But we are seeing a trend of people actually moving into a virtual office space."
Expect to see more of Intdev later in the year.
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