Look to the past to see the future. That’s an adage often applied in the context of history; it is also a useful indicator of the strength of a company.

is one organisation which is proud of its three-decade track record in information and communication technology, which provides a solid foundation for the company’s future in a converged, services-oriented environment. It is also this experience which is behind the company’s ‘Connective Intelligence’ approach to technology solutions, where human potential is combined with technological prowess to deliver competitive advantage.

, group executive: Global Strategic Sales and Marketing at the company, says the short version of what constitutes is that it is the leading black-owned, South African ICT player, with more than 4000 employees.

“The slightly longer version is that we are a diverse company where the power of our people’s intelligence is the defining value-add. And that’s incredibly diverse; our competencies span networking, infrastructure, desktop computing, applications that we’ve developed ourselves, and specialisation around applications developed by the likes of and ,” he says.

And, Ramutla stresses, as the world turns to cloud computing, he says ’s managed services division is of particular relevance.

“Already, we are delivering cloud-based infrastructure services from our purpose-designed data centres while our managed services division offers diverse capabilities to a client list which spans the private and public sectors with one common thread – our commitment to value, performance and efficiency.”

He adds that above proven competence, also brings a human approach which is not dissimilar to cloud computing. “Connective Intelligence is the result of combining cloud technologies for collaboration and information exchange to enable our workforce to co-operate as a cohesive whole,” he says. “In such a structure, the whole is far more than the sum of the parts.”

A 32-year track record, Ramutla continues, means a broad and loyal client base. It also means the company has seen monumental changes in an industry renowned for the pace of development.

“Throughout this period, our clients have looked to to maximise the value of existing, emerging and brand new technology. That’s something we can be relied upon in South Africa and indeed across Africa; we have operations in Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia and Nigeria, and in Europe.”

Providing brief insight into its competencies, Ramutla says the company enjoys traditiona strengths in server-side and data centre infrastructure, through to the desktop and deskside. It has software competencies in (desktop and enterprise), its own-developed municipal ERP solution, and in .

It also houses a Geographical Information Systems division – and as a company with an eye on the future, extending its portfolio is considered essential. Ramutla points to the acquisition process underway to incorporate selected divisions of UCS, a maker of retail software, and the recent conclusion of a partnership for global content distribution with LimeLight Networks as

With its complete portfolio of solutions and services, the company also enjoys top-leve partnerships with major vendors, including , , HP, EMC and many more. Looking to the future, Ramutla, cannot be done by resting on past laurels.

“While our organisation comes from an IT background, we have been far from complacent in keeping abreast of developments within the broader industry. To this end, we have over the past years invested in creating a self-owned and operated Next Generation Network [NGN], an essential building block for converged solutions and the delivery of cloud services to our clients.”

Additionally, he points out that offers massive data centre capacity, through existing facilities in Midrand. “These facilities – the NGN and the data centre - already provide ‘infrastructure as a service’ to South African companies and are proving to be a shrewd investment in our future,” Ramutla says. Cloud computing, he notes, depends on network and data centre – plus content. “Content, in the converged environment, is what it is all about. Our partnership with LimeLight Networks gives us all three elements required for a complete cloud ISO 9001 certified computing play.”

Continuing, he says that as a company, is a committed and enthusiastic South African corporate citizen which believes in a bright future for the nation. “That future is a digital one in which the Connected Intelligence which organisation enables and delivers will play a key role in shaping, helping companies and individuals achieve more from their lives through smartly applied information and communication technology.”