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10 years of success buoys M2TD’s future prospects

M2TD is a 100% black women-owned entrepreneurial success story in the IT sector on the brink of explosive growth.

M2TD celebrates a decade of growth this year and its reputation as a data centre expert but is increasingly recognised for its extended role in cyber security, providing services and solutions for organisations as esteemed as BT and DIRCO.

“Our five solution pillars embrace data storage, data movement, data security,data analysis and data integration capabilities,” says David Matshane “Those are fundamental requirements for South African businesses both in the modern global context and to support their growth initiatives in South Africa.”

M2TD’s robust level 1 B-BBEE credentials based on its grassroots black South African heritage have helped it claim 30% to 40% of the qualifying small enterprise (QSE) market, and firmly establish its domain of the SMME, national key points, state-owned enterprise (SOE), and municipality markets.

David Matshane, the CEO and founder of M2TD, has grown the business organically by embracing opportunities that arose from enterprise development investments by EMC as it was known at the time.

Matshane left EMC, now part of Dell Technologies, in 2008 where he worked as a certified storage implementation engineer.

“B-BBEE was a requirement for enterprise development at the time so the volume of work orders grew quickly,” he said. “I quickly realised I needed more people.”

He rapidly developed the largest pool of EMC skills in the country. That, tied to M2TD’s rates billed in the local currency versus EMC’s dollar-based price list, quickly injected the organisation’s technicians into many blue-chip data centres throughout the country.

He says being a preferential enterprise development services partner for EMC had a dual effect.

“It exposed us to the broader challenges our customers were experiencing in the large enterprise space and it put us in touch with a wider net of global technology solutions vendors,” he says. “We developed partnerships with companies such as IBM, HP, Huawei, Cisco, Aruba, Riverbed, and more.”

It was also a period during which the company extended BT’s MPLS solutions into 136 sites worldwide.

“BT delivered the global links and the routers, but we designed, deployed, and operated the rest of the network and its security aspects,” he says. M2TD also designed, deployed and maintains the the network operations centre (NOC), and the security operations centre (SOC) in a holistic solution.

“We have developed the skills and capabilities in the past decade that ideally position us to serve the needs of SOEs, QSEs, SMMEs, local, regional, and national government organisations as well as private enterprise that help them deal with their most pressing challenges.

“Education and literacy are crucial to the country’s growth and development. South Africans must have reliable access to quality healthcare, medical services, pension services, our South African Police Service (SAPS) needs solutions that support it through challenging times. We have the capability and capacity to help create that infrastructure and ensure efficiencies in service delivery by being globally competitive.”

M2TD has helped educate the future workforce through a learnership, in collaboration with the Services SETA, that reached 130 Eastern Cape youths. It prepared them to enter the workforce by teaching them soft skills such as how to find employment, as well as work skills such as computer literacy, business writing, and other IT-related skills.

M2TD also accepts 12 interns annually who it helps to place internally or at other businesses in the industry.

“We take responsibility for our own people, our own country, and the unique challenges that we face,” says Matshane. “Digitalisation, cyber, and the data explosion are a reality that we must include in the value chain to ensure that our kids back in the rural areas are literate and prepared, that our grandparents can access medical services, and that our government organisations can provide efficient services to our people in urban and rural areas.”