More South African organisations than ever before are moving to the cloud as they accelerate their digital transformation strategies – and they are looking for a trusted advisor and partner to help them do it right.
First Horizon, a new operating company within the First Technology Group, has been set up to bring together all of the AWS (Amazon Web Services) skills and resources needed to help companies design, implement and manage their cloud journeys.
First Horizon is a new company that functions as a centre of excellence for AWS resources in the First Technology group.
Oliver Lamusse, MD of First Horizon and First Technology KwaZulu-Natal, explains that although First Horizon was officially set up just a couple of months ago, it brings together all the AWS solutions and services that the First Technology group has been offering since 2018.
“First Technology is a big group and we realised there were pockets of AWS functions and services in various of the companies and divisions,” he says. “We recognised a need – and a big gap in the market – to set up a focused AWS business that consolidates all of these efforts into one centre of excellence.”
First Horizon focuses solely on AWS solutions and services and offers these services to its customers as well as through other companies within the First Technology group.
First Technology was a South African pioneer in the cloud industry and is in a position to add tremendous value to its customers as they move to either public cloud, multi-cloud or hybrid cloud operating environments, Lamusse adds.
“The move to the public cloud is happening quickly and there is big demand coming from our customers,” he says. “First Technology is a partner of choice because it is a trusted and known brand that has been in the industry for over 35 years – that’s a long service history and we’ve built up plenty of credibility. There is an element of trust in dealing with First Technology that customers appreciate.”
“We are not only a leader in the cloud space but also in licencing and licence management, which stands us in good stead as we help our customers on their cloud journeys.”
Rodney Power, GM of First Horizon, is a cloud and AWS veteran, having been involved with the hyperscaler in various capacities, including as one of AWS’s first South African customers.
He explains that the company’s core competency is in cloud transformation and workload migration, which it complements with a host of other services.
These include infrastructure services, design and architecture services, technical support, cloud security, remote managed services, well-architected reviews and remediation, cloud storage solutions and cloud-based disaster recovery.
“We can assist customers with all phases of their cloud transformation journey, from assessment and migration to monitoring and maintenance. Our goal is to help customers get into the cloud – especially those customers who don’t have the current environment and skills to do it themselves.
“And we bundle all of the First Technology group’s functionality and excellence as part of the solution.”
Lamusse stresses that dealing with First Technology offers customers a full range of technology and services. “As part of the cloud discussion, we are also able to help them with security, deployment, licencing and licence management. Whatever your need, you can be confident that First Technology has a best-of-breed solution for it.”
The company also is able to assist customers in managing workloads via proactive workload management and cost management services.
“One of the offerings we wrap our solution in is total cloud management which gives the customer cost management, reporting, infrastructure management and performance excellence,” Lamusse says.
First Horizon’s stated aim is to become the top AWS partner in South Africa, a goal it is working towards by increasing its skills set.
The call centre market is an area of particular focus for First Horizon, Power adds.
“Call centres have their own set of challenges and have had to re-examine how they operate in the context of the pandemic. We have a lot of skills in this industry and our medium-term goal is to transform the call centre space using Amazon Connect and Amazon Workspaces.”
“Call centres have to be flexible, changing literally from day to day. Our offering allows them the flexibility they need to be able to start or shut down campaigns quickly. We also offer a solution for call centre cost optimisation, which is key for successful operations.”
Just about every organisation can benefit from talking to First Horizon about AWS and the services that can help them migrate to the cloud.
Currently, customers are mostly in the enterprise and public sector markets with some movement in the mid-market space.
Given the nature of the cloud, Power believes there are also opportunities in the small to medium enterprise (SME) market, particularly where customers don’t have in-house AWS skills.
“We are addressing the enterprise market, and are a public sector partner for AWS,” he explains. “But we can look at helping any size or type of company and believe the SME market has been neglected to a large extent.”
Importantly, First Horizon is a Level One Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment contributor. “So we offer preferential procurement benefit on your monthly AWS spend,” Power points out.
That’s one good reason to work with First Horizon, but not the only by any means. “Our technical excellence is definitely one of our differentiators in this market, along with our transaction expertise, and we are customer-obsessed, so customers benefit from our unwavering focus.”
About First Horizon
As the AWS center of excellence within the First Technology Group, First Horizon is key in the Group’s multi-cloud strategy. We are obsessed with customer satisfaction and our team of experts is eager to assist you on your cloud transformation journey.