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BCX: the push towards digital evolution



BCX: the push towards digital evolution WRITTEN BY




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We speak to Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive at BCX, about how companies can evolve their digital landscape to engage with contemporary concerns


digital transformation enabler, BCX has the largest, most technologically advanced, data centre footprint in Africa,

powered at its core by CISCO’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software defined (SDN) network fabric capability. With its headquarters in South 04

Africa, BCX has a pedigree of enterprise customers across every single industry in both the private and public sector, including finance, mining, oil, gas, retail, manufacturing, commerce, and health. “The essence of what we strive to do is “re-invent the customer experience”, explains Mervyn Goliath, managing executive for telecommunications data networks, at BCX. Goliath has spent his career working across almost every facet of ICT, starting in the telecommunications arena during the bygone era of packet switching networks and videotext services, and has been on a career path riding on the crest of the wave of technology evolution in subsequent tenures in the internet service provider arena, digital banking, mobile messaging, service delivery, and wholesale enterprise network services. Technology transformation is part of who


Year founded

$1.3bn Revenue in US dollars

6,300 Number of employees

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“The essence of what we strive to do is re-invent the customer experience” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX 06

he is and he has certainly had his fair share of it – always ready to change and take on the next big challenge. He has finally come full circle to spearhead one of the biggest data centre network platform transformation programs on the continent, a program which will provide the foundation for real digital transformation, a key technology investment program for BCX, and one which underpins a number its big bets for 2021 and beyond. “Today, more than at any other time, customers have choices. The key to our success is to provide our customers with an engaging, intuitive customer experience that not only meets their expectations, but enhances it through a clearly defined value proposition” – says Goliath as he echoes a purpose and sentiment regularly articulated by Jonas Bogoshi, CEO at BCX. “The African market, by its very nature, is not an easy territory to operate in. The barrier, not only to entry, but to actually succeed, is high – not just from a technology, service and connectivity perspective, but especially so in the area of skills availability,” Goliath continues. At BCX we take great care




07 to develop a deep understanding of

our greatest strengths is being able to

the territories we operate in, and we

leverage and carefully apply our vast

are equally careful to leverage partner-

experience in serving a highly diverse

ships to complement and complete

customer base across every single key

our value proposition in a manner that

industry sector, without exception.”

is sustainable and effective – and of

Goliath, who is a big proponent of

course sensible. This is a strategy we

agile methodology practice, explains

employ across the five continents

that BCX is by default highly adept at

where we presently serve customers.

delivering projects at pace. Employing

“We follow our customers,” he says,

an agile approach and mind-set, is

“and we make sure we understand

not simply for the sake of “ticking the

their needs rather intimately to develop

agile box”, but is in fact an approach

services, which are fit for purpose, and

that sets BCX apart, explains Goliath.

appropriate, for where and how we

While it is important to deliver on

serve them, across the globe. One of

clearly defined milestones together w w w.bcx. co. z a

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with customers, it is equally important

you are changing within the scope of

to seek out value adding innovation at

any given project, but also in preparing

every step of the process – and it has

the organisation – the whole organisa-

to be done through an equally agile

tion - for the increased pace. I like to

change management mind-set. “If

think of the whole organisation as one

you’re using an agile approach, you’re

single engine, purring along, powered

going to be doing things a lot quicker

by a unified change mind-set where

than usual,” Goliath says. “Without

everyone is on-board, and collaborat-

the right controls, employed in the

ing well, and ready to move in complete

right way, the sheer pace of delivery

synchrony. Our teams have come to

and change could be impacting and

adopt this manner of thinking and it’s

intrusive on the business. Change

deeply embedded in our culture and

management is therefore important

way of work – it’s a mind-set, not a

not just around the technical things

methodology”, concludes Goliath.

Goliath says that people often

our customers to transform for a digi-

ask, “who is BCX’s most important

tal future. This approach works well

customer?” He is quick to answer “at

regardless of the industry sector a cus-

BCX the most important customer is

tomer operates in. While it is critically

the customer of our customer. Part of

important to understand the chal-

how we make this a reality is through

lenges faced by our customers in the

our operating model that ensures laser

way they operate today, the approach

sharp focus on telecommunications

we use to partner with our customers

and IT services as two distinct func-

on their journey to digital transforma-

tional capabilities. This allows us to

tion is key. It is this laser sharp focus

create concentrated value and capabil-

on telecommunications and IT ser-

ity in our overall value proposition to

vices, respectively, which I refer to,

all our customers, without exception.

and the manner in which we bring it

This is especially important in helping

all together, to help customers solve


Mervyn Goliath Pr.CIO (IITPSA) Mervyn has over 30 years of experience in both Telecommunications and Information Technology. Before joining BCX, he held roles in Telkom Telematics and MWEB (Naspers). He served as Managing Executive at Openserve, responsible for the implementation of process transformation and “next generation” enablement programs. He served as CTO and CIO at MWEB and interim CTO at Naspers owned SportsCN in Shanghai, China, as COO at ABSA Retail Bank : Digital Channels, and as the Engineering and Operations Executive Vice President for Clickatell. He is currently Managing Executive at BCX.

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problems, whether moving to the cloud or developing a customised software application, or architecting and running a software defined network solution, that creates the magic,� he says. “When we bring it all together, our customers are able to take advantage of our wide range of services, to leverage data and analytics, protect their systems with the latest in security solutions, replace or maintain devices, or adopt multiple connectivity options, including our leading edge software

13 defined wide area network (SD-WAN) solutions. The work I am doing with my team, assisted by CISCO international advanced services and niche and nimble network partners like BGP, a local specialist networking company, provides what I refer to as the bedrock for digital transformation, for BCX, for our existing customers and for new prospective customers who understand the value of having a partner like BCX who provides an end to end digital transformation strategy, backed up with agile execution and a proven

“The African market, by its very nature, is not an easy territory to operate in” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX

managed services value proposition – customers partner with us and we will w w w.bcx. co. z a


build and run their digital landscape and the enablement they need to underpin their business – not just for the here and now – but to ensure that in a world where technology evolution is inevitable, the risk of being dis-intermediated is lowered – or eliminated.” “There are customers who think they can’t afford to take this journey – our answer to this is, come speak to us and let us help you extract cost out of your existing environment and figure out how to re-invest the savings in a man14

aged digital transformation program. We have strategic partnerships with all the leading OEM’s – rather than mention them here – you might want to take a look at our website to see the breadth and depth of our capability. The word partner implies that each of the parties will be giving a little – no, actually a lot more, than just providing service with a mark-up,” he notes. “I think we have managed to get this partnership recipe right.” When BCX looks towards digital transformation, its focus is on evolution, and on enabling enterprises to take the correct next steps towards the next stage of their development, rather than

integrating technology for the sake of it. “We like to say that our solutions are purposeful,” Goliath continues. “They obviously need to be developed in line with the customer’s needs, but our edge comes from adding that extra level of innovation – and dare I say, passion.” BCX works with its customers to help them gain an understanding of potential avenues for digital transformation, and how that can be integrated into an appropriate cost structure. “I always say to customers, you have to be careful when you’re thinking about transformation,” says Goliath. “It’s a lot more than just a simple upgrade. The capability available today is much broader than a single solution you may think you need to have in place.” Take for example Big Data - the elements of volume, variety, and velocity at which data is generated and available today (the well known “three V’s of data”) means companies that want to benefit from data insight need to develop strategies around analytics, machine learning, and deep learning. We have developed a very strong capability not only in this area, but in all the vital layers of digital transformation, including cloud based technologies, w w w.bcx. co. z a




“You have to always be an enterprise that thinks ahead” — Mervyn Goliath, Managing Executive, Data Networks, BCX

containerisation, connectivity and the move to SDWAN, cyber-security, mobility, application development, and artificial intelligence and automation – of course all underpinned by a world class software defined network available across the broadest geographical data centre footprint on the African continent, and our high speed on-ramps into Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure – for blisteringly fast and exceptionally well managed local and global connectivity,” says Goliath.


“In recent times, in this new digital

to confront this, both in the short and

world, everyone has had a taste of

long-term. “You have to always be

working virtually. The global coronavi-

an enterprise that thinks ahead. It is

rus pandemic has certainly forced us

important now more than ever for

to take a closer look at that,” Goliath

organisations to look ahead and think

affirms. As the working landscape

about how they need to evolve their

of the world shifts, BCX and other

own enterprise, rather than just trying

companies turn inwards to develop

to match competitors,” he concludes.

their capabilities for virtual interaction. Social distancing has brought to the fore the importance of engagement. Thanks to its underlying network capability, BCX is in a strong position w w w.bcx. co. z a



Profile for Business Chief Europe

BCX May 2020  

BCX May 2020  

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