East Africa Sales Director for Internet Solutions, Loren Bosch is a successful entrepreneur in the technology sector, having founded iBurst in Ghana, iBurst South Africa, Storm Voice & Data and Duxbury Networking and Telkom in South Africa. He has a wealth of experience in Technical Sales, Consulting and Management built over 12 years in the ISP and VoIP industry. He shares his passion and his plans for IS dominance in East Africa.
What professional strengths do you contribute to the success of IS in Kenya?
Any good businessman or leader will tell you that without people to execute it, the best business strategy in the world is worthless, so making sure you have the right people doing the right things correctly is key to the success of any venture. I believe this and have seen it many times so I try to make sure that our staff have a very clear description of their role within the business and that we rely on them to do it to the best of their ability. If you get this bit right; the rest falls into place. Our ‘tag line’ : DO WHAT YOU LOVE, LOVE WHAT YOU DO also relates directly to that.
How would you describe yourself as a person?
Leadership and people are two key components of my approach to managing a business. I have always believed that strong and clear leadership yields better results than aggressive management techniques. When times are tough and extra effort and focus is required from people in a business, leadership will provide a far stronger motivation to go the extra mile than draconian management. So within the context of the working environment I try to be a leader and clearly communicate where we are heading as a business. Outside of that; I guess you could say that I am a pretty easy going guy with a taste for adventure and a strong focus on my family.
You came from South Africa where the ISP landscape is significantly different. What unique challenges are you addressing in the Kenyan market?
The Kenyan market place is indeed a very exciting place to be. It is far less restrictive in terms of the regulatory environment and the current rate of growth in the region presents a number of significant challenges. I’d say one of the most challenging aspects has been clearly communicating to the market about the IS positioning statement and helping large organisations with decision making around ICT infrastructure investment and the outsourcing model in particular. With all the price activity in the market there has also been a need to clearly focus on the IS value proposition to prevent us from getting drawn into price wars and thereby diluting the differentiation that we have in the market.
What Internet based service/product are businesses in East Africa not fully taking advantage of?
We’re only just starting to see the transition from mainly using internet access to companies building managed private networks with centralised and shared services. This relates to almost every information system within a business from email to ERP. So services like MPLS networks connecting multiple offices and branches, hosted application solutions within a private or public cloud and of course SaaS solutions like hosted mail, hosted security, back-up and file sharing. These kinds of services have only recently become viable options due to a great deal of investment from infrastructure providers to expand terrestrial and wireless networks off the back of the arrival of Seacom, EASSY and TEAMS, but also due to the fact that products and services like these need to be run from world class data centres; like the one at IS, which is now a tier 3 Data centre. All these exciting options and opportunities are now available in the region garnering alot of interest.
What type of customer are your targeting for your hosted Data Centre services?
The Data Centre is only part of the picture. Remember that we have integrated all the local infrastructure providers into our network environment with fully redundant North- and Southbound international capacity. If you view all of these elements together you will see that we have created a managed infrastructure platform that includes all local and international connectivity options. This platform can be utilised by large regional and multinational companies to build international MPLS based private networks with centralised hosted system and application resources and services run from our data centre. It’s also the perfect environment for software as a service and cloud computing vendors to host their services from since we host the 2nd KIXP pop in the same environment. In this scenario we are able to support SaaS vendors with security, back-up, redundancy and connectivity as well. IS is ideally positioned to support the DR and BCP requirements of customers with critical data and system needs.
IS South Africa has 80% of the top 250 listed companies in South Africa. How do you plan to grow market share in East Africa?
IS’s last mile agnostic position in the local and regional market makes us an ideal outsource partner for a fully integrated and managed network solution that offers a customer access to all the available infrastructure without the headache of multiple vendor management and the required investment in skilled resources to utilise multiple networks to build and manage a single integrated environment. The fact that IS is not an infrastructure provider allows us to be objective about the best combination of infrastructure to meet a customer’s requirements. There is no other player with the same international network capacity and alternate routing in the region and certainly no competitor on the continent that has access to the same skill and resource pool across Africa. Then the final cherry on the top is the fact that IS is an exclusively corporate service provider which means that our customers do not have to compete with thousands of consumers for support.
What main dish would you prepare for a CTO executives luncheon?
It would definitely be sushi. Beautiful, clean and healthy food that is easy to eat and offers a variety of options.
You have a degree in Psychology how did you make the transition to a career in technology?
Computers are easier to talk to, actually it’s a very easy transition, because technology is about people
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