Avanade launches in South Africa

Avanade South Africa officially launched in the country during a media function held in Rosebank, Johannesburg on 14 October 2011.

Manoj Bhoola, Avanade South Africa MD (image source: file photo)

Avanade South Africa, one of the largest dedicated Microsoft technology partners, commenced operations on 1 September 2011. The company was formed as a joint venture between Micosoft, which owns 20% and Accenture, which owns 80% of the business.

Avanade Global, launched over 10 years ago, is a US $1.2 billion dollar organisation. According to the press statement, Avanade’s focus in South Africa will be to address the growing demand amongst mid-sized and enterprise businesses for Microsoft experience, insight, innovation and skills.

Speaking to ITNewsAfrica, Manoj Bhoola, Avanade South Africa MD pointed out that a lot of local customers were looking for a strong Microsoft partner.

What is your business strategy in South Africa?

We’re focusing in 4 different areas for now – Technology Infrastructure, Application Development (App Dev) – which is a massive growth area for Microsoft, Collaboration with SharePoint and CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

“I believe the growth for us will come when we start driving cloud workshops and cloud solutions.

“South Africa is on the step of making decisions on whether they want to go this route – either public, private or a hybrid cloud solution.”

“Another growth area is mobility. Every application needs a mobility angle, Bhoola emphasised.

“The strong focus for us is to look at the Nokia agreement and drive solutions into that ecosystem. We will create apps and solutions that work in the environment, using the Microsoft Mobile solutions for Nokia devices,” said Bhoola.

“That’s really been the success of Avanade,” said Bhoola.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft South Africa MD

Africa Expansion

“Right now my portfolio is only in South Africa,” said Bhoola.

“We’ve been approached by other organisations outside our borders. We’re looking at ways we can actually support them, using skills from those countries,” said Bhoola.

“Our strategy for now will be to look into our methodologies, look at the skills we have and see if we can support people within the African continent to complete their projects by themselves,” said Bhoola.

What core skills will you be offering customers?

Avanade will provide Infrastructure Application Development, Business Intelligence, Collaboration products on the Microsoft platform.

Does South Africa need another SI (System Integrator)?

“There are plenty of them out there. If you speak to customers they’re looking for a specialised SI,” said Bhoola.

Willie Schoeman, Accenture South Africa Technology MD (image source: Accenture)

Joint venture

Willie Schoeman, Accenture South Africa Technology MD said 10 years ago, Accenture and Microsoft looked at Microsoft’s services market and realised there’s a massive gap for bringing Accenture’s industry skills and Microsoft technology skills together.

“The biggest challenge in the market was the lack of specialised skills. That’s the reason Avanade was established.

“Avanade will essentially give us 30% incremental revenue,” said Schoeman.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft South Africa MD said Microsoft’s value proposition is affordability, which addresses the challenges faced by organisations.

“The biggest bottleneck we have in South Africa is the lack of credible IT service providers,” concludes Nyati.

Bontle Moeng – ITNewsAfrica Online Editor


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