SOUTH AFRICAN ICT GIANT INVESTS IN TANZANIA

Computing

The South Africa Business Connexion (Pty) Ltd acquired Intrinsic Technology in December last year, and has since then been working closely with management in the Tanzania office to ensure that "we continue to deliver services and products that are in line with our customer needs in the region," says Benjamin Mophtlane, the company's deputy CEO.

Noting that "the acquisition has been bedded down," Mophtlane said "the commitment to provide businesses in Tanzania with superior information and communication technology (ICT) services remains a key focus; and now the time has come to fly the Business Connexion flag high in Tanzania."

In a Press Statement released in Dar es Salaam recently, the CED went on: "Having strengthened our value proposition, we are confident that the business going forward is an excellent one. Hence, we are extremely proud that the Business Connexion name will be carried by this (Business Connexuion Tanzania) office."

Business Connexion, which is a leading IT integrator on the African continent, has been steadily growing into Africa over the past four years. In the course of its 25-year history, it has delivered innovative solutions to clients, the bulk of which are entities listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa.

It has also run mission-critical solutions for key public sector organizations, parastatals and a host of medium-sized companies in South Africa and other parts of Africa. Among these are Swaziland, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi, Botswana, Lethoso, Togo, Ethiopia, Angola, Zambia, Namibia, Eritrea - and, now, Tanzania.

"One major advantage of being part of a mammoth organization such as Business Connexion is that customers are now able to choose technologies from a wider range of product offerings, and be guaranteed excellent support through the implementation's lifecycle," says Paul Nilsen, the Business Connexion Tanzania general manager.

Although the Tanzania Office will be able to call on the wide-ranging skills available throughout the Business Connexion Group, it will primarily focus on building the skills of Tanzanian nationals.

"We pride ourselves on excellent after-sales support, which most of our competitors lack as they are still involved in the outdated practice of box dropping. As a result, it makes sense for us to build skills in-country to support our client base, instead of relying on imported skills all the time.

"While we will still commission skills from Business Connexion's 4000-strong workforce where needed, our Number One priority is to ensure that these skills are transferred to the people of Tanzania," Nilsen added.

The Office has already begun improving its skills levels by training staff on Microsoft and Cisco technologies.

"We have also employed more people; and our engineers are currently updating their MCSE Certificates. Our Cisco skills are also improving, as more staff members become au fair with the vendor's technologies," says Nilsen.

The fact that Business Connexion is a Triple Gold Microsoft Partner, a Cisco Gold Partner and an IBM Tier 1 Partner also bodes well for clients in this fast-growing East African country. The reason for this is that these certifications mean customers can access a higher level of skills around the above-mentioned vendors' products.

Nilsen adds that another advantage of being part of a large organization is that customers can be assured of the company's continued presence in the region. "Business Connexion Tanzania is here to stay; and the innovative solutions we deliver to our customers will ensure that they keep coming back for more."

To be able to scale for large projects, he says, you need the best support, best prices and best technologies. "Given this reality, we are pleased that we are part of a large concern - as it has added on the critical mass required to become a leading player in the country."

"The Government's attempt to bridge the digital divide by not imposing import duties or taxes on ICT systems is a noble one, and we at Business Connexion feel that ICT companies operating in the area have a duty to ensure not only that the systems they deliver to clients are well-priced, but that they also leave value behind in the communities where they operate," Mophtlane assured Tanzanians.

"Business Connexion led the pack with its transformation efforts in SA, and we will continue to strive for social development in Tanzania as well," Mophtlane said.

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