Airtel Africa and Cisco to transform business connectivity in Africa through Network-as-a-Service Solution

The solutions are designed to replace hardware-centric VPNs, load balancers, firewall appliances, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections

In a significant move, Airtel Africa has announced a groundbreaking expansion of its service portfolio through a strategic collaboration with Cisco. The partnership aims to empower businesses in seamlessly undertaking their digital transformation journey by providing Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions across various service platforms.

Acknowledging the growing need for businesses to accelerate operations in today’s fast-paced digital landscape, Airtel Africa recognizes the challenge of building or managing network infrastructure. The NaaS offerings include an array of services, such as enhanced security, surveillance, connectivity, and cloud solutions, all delivered through a secure cloud platform.

Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) represents a paradigm shift in how organizations consume network infrastructure, enabling users to operate networks efficiently without the need to own, build, or maintain physical infrastructure. This innovative approach addresses challenges associated with traditional network models, including capital expenses, manual service provisioning, and lengthy issue resolution processes.

Airtel Africa’s NaaS offerings, powered by Cisco’s cutting-edge Catalyst and Meraki cloud-based platforms, are poised to revolutionize connectivity for businesses of all sizes. The solutions are designed to replace hardware-centric VPNs, load balancers, firewall appliances, and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) connections. Offering flexibility to scale up or down based on demand, facilitate rapid service deployment, and reduce hardware costs, Airtel Africa and Cisco are reshaping the future of business connectivity.

Oliver Fortuin, CEO of Airtel Business Africa, commented on the digital transition in Africa, stating, “As Africa transitions digitally, businesses will require a fusion of connectivity, mobility, security, and cloud into a service offering for every business irrespective of geographical spread or operational needs.” Fortuin highlighted that Airtel Africa NaaS also provides a managed service option, allowing Airtel Africa to fully manage the daily operational requirements of supporting such infrastructure as growth accelerates.

The NaaS offerings are set to be accessible to all business customers, including small businesses, as well as global customers with operations worldwide. Airtel Africa and Cisco Systems are committed to facilitating a smooth digital transition for businesses, providing them with the tools needed to thrive in an increasingly connected world.

Vish Iyer, President, Service Provider, Asia Pacific and Japan, Cisco, emphasized the significance of simplifying powerful technology. He stated, “Together with Airtel Africa, we are reducing networking complexities and securely connecting the world through Network-as-a-Service.”

Iyer highlighted that the innovative approach is an excellent option for businesses looking to shift to a cloud operating model without a heavy lift. The partnership with Airtel Africa signifies a pivotal moment as Cisco pledges to deliver the majority of its cutting-edge technology portfolio to businesses across the continent in a simplified, flexible manner – cloud-driven, cloud-delivered, cloud-managed, offered as-a-service, and fortified with unparalleled security.

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