Stakeholders outlined the history of the company, its objectives on the local front and the challenges it faces.
Established in 2000, Avanade is a multinational IT consulting and software company that develops business software from a Microsoft products platform.
Manoj Bhoola, MD of Avanade SA, says the company’s primary focus in SA will be to address the growing demand among mid-sized and enterprise businesses for Microsoft experience, insight, innovation and skills.
“Ultimately, the area we are going after is the enterprise and upper SME space. The customers in that branch of business need our help. We will roll out as we see the demand for commercial system integration.”
Bhoola says the company takes the core Microsoft product and builds around it. He adds that Avanade SA will focus on implementing changes within corporations that will drive cost saving through, among others, cloud solutions.
“The second part of our strategy is to address the problem of ‘un deployed’ software by unbundling it.”
Mtetu Nyati, MD of Microsoft SA, says the growth of the company can be attributed to its value proposition that focuses on delivering solutions to economic challenges.
Third, he says, is the objective of mobility that will be highlighted, as Avanade is an experiential sponsor at the Microsoft Tech Ed and Partner Summit, in Durban, this week. “Another area of the group’s focus is Nokia. We plan to drive solutions into the Nokia devices ecosystem through applications and solutions within the Microsoft Mobile subdivision.”
He says that, while there are a number of system integrators (SI) out there, research shows that customers want a specialised SI. “We have got the people, all with a Microsoft background, the skills and the strategy to offer real solutions.”
Accenture SA MD Willie Schoeman says Accenture and Microsoft have recognised the challenge in the IT market of a deficiency in specialised skills. According to Bhoola, SA is on par internationally with certain technological advancements, but is found lacking in most areas because of this deficit.
“The time is right for Avanade to drive solutions in SA. The skills gap in the country is huge and we can invest more in the line of focused skill sets with Microsoft training.”
Schoeman says Avanade has the advantage of two prodigious ‘parent’ organisations, and is set to grow exponentially in SA. He says the team aspires to turn Avanade, which has proven to be a “globally successful recipe”, into a proudly South African success.
“We envision Avanade being to Microsoft in SA what it is to Microsoft globally, within 12 months.”