Kenya’s Bidco Africa Selects IBM IT Solution, Services to Drive Africa Growth Strategy


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Bidco Africa Ltd. has chosen IBM (NYSE: IBM) to provide IT systems delivered as a service and managed remotely to help drive the client’s investment in its core business and expansion across Africa.

Bidco is East Africa’s leading consumer goods manufacturer and marketer, focused on the production of cooking oil and hygiene products. The company’s products serve consumers across 15 African countries touching over 100 million people daily. The cost savings from shifting its IT infrastructure management to IBM will free up capital for expansion into more countries as part of Bidco Africa’s 2015 growth plan.

The overall goal of the IT infrastructure and managed services deal with IBM is to allow Bidco to improve its business application performance by 40 percent, lower capital expenditure and improve return on investment by 20 percent.

IBM will transition Bidco’s current systems and applications to four Power Systems servers, one V7000 Storage system, one Power Systems Hardware Management Console, two IBM System Storage SAN Switches, and two IBM Storage tape drives. The systems will be located in Bidco’s data center, but owned and operated by IBM, which will provide the technology as a service to the client.

The first phase will involve the migration from existing infrastructure and project management during transition. IBM will then oversee remote monitoring, maintenance and overall delivery of hardware provided as a service, all managed remotely via IBM Global Delivery Centers.

The end-to-end managed services will offer proactive 24-hour monitoring of the infrastructure to improve services, help eliminate unexpected IT-related expenses by providing a predictable billing stream, improve customer experience through enhanced computing capacity and drive seamless performance to all of Bidco’s business users.

Entrusting IBM with the management of its technology infrastructure and operations will enable Bidco to shift its attention to extending its leadership role and to expanding to more countries in Africa. The agreement also will allow Bidco to benefit from continual productivity improvements by 40 percent.

“For the last five years, IBM has been a critical technology partner, providing seamless IT services supporting our business operations, including sales and operations,” said Vimal Shah, CEO of Bidco Africa Ltd. “Based on that experience and faced with the need to upgrade our infrastructure, we chose an IBM infrastructure-as-a-service solution to support our rapid business growth in Africa.”

As Kenya’s flagship manufacturer, Bidco first tapped IBM’s infrastructure in 2010 when it purchased IBM Power Systems servers and IBM DS3400 storage. IBM’s commitment to Kenya through its investment in the first IBM Research Lab in Africa, the Kenya office and Africa regional hub based in Nairobi, were also critical factors in Bidco’s decision to continue and expand its services relationship with IBM.

Kenya’s economy is at an inflection point, and we are seeing many local companies choosing innovative technology services to drive local and cross-border expansion for their products and services,” said IBM General Manager for East Africa Nicholas Nesbitt. “Our engagement with Bidco is a perfect example of the innovative technology services IBM can deliver and the value we can provide in helping clients benefit from the many growth opportunities emerging in Africa.”

A growing number of enterprises across Africa have partnered with IBM to help drive their expansion and overall business plans. IBM has announced over 20 banking deals throughout Africa over the last five years. Within the health sector, Metropolitan Health in South Africa and the Zambia Ministry of Health have tapped IBM solutions to drive their business models.

IBM has a long history in Africa, and is taking its role as a technology leader seriously, helping to boost the capacities of Africa’s people and institutions. In 2013, IBM opened its first African Research Laboratory, the twelfth IBM Research facility in the world, and within the last week announced plans to expand its research network with a new lab in Johannesburg, South Africa. In the past five years, the company has set up offices in Angola, Mauritius, Tanzania, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya and now has more than 20 subsidiaries on the continent.

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