PUBLICATION:  HR HIGHWAY ONLINE
DATE:  05 MARCH 2009

Africa is ready to compete on the global ICT and telecoms front
The broader Africa ICT and telecommunications market has a real opportunity to boost its competency and seriously compete with international counterparts – this is because it remains a vastly untapped resource of intellectual capital and skills, backed by a strong willingness to learn and trade.

So claims Robert Sussman, joint CEO, Integr8 Group, who believes these are very critical strengths in the marketplace today.

“One of the more significant realisations to emerge from the international ICT space is that Africa now has a vantage position as a credible source of skills, of human resources and genuine business growth opportunity,” he says.

Sussman and his board of executive directors has over a period of just nine years developed a modest Cape-based computer services company into a 450-plus strong international managed ICT services and technology integration enterprise.

Part of the secret to the company’s success has been an unwavering commitment to the technical capability, adoption and use of technology within the continent.

“our growth from a corporate point of view has been organic – that is one of our critical strategies, to develop the organisation from the inside and allow for growth that fits in with our original business model,” adds Sussman. “Upon inception our objective was to focus on extending the benefit of credible, reliable managed services from an established partner. We believe that we have successfully introduced ourselves to the continent and built a sustainable platform from which we can engage with key regions.”

The Integr8 Group signalled its intent to seriously explore commercial opportunity within the continent when it opened its flagship office base and headquarters in Botswana in 2004.

Its strategy into Africa is based on being aware of and leveraging off international best practice and technology adaption, innovation with the intention to marry these principles in the local market.

“We were very encouraged by the early success of our initial presence in this market. This branch was central to our overall strategy of expanding our managed ICT services across emerging markets. Our experience has shown that there is a growing need for these services in the public and private sector. Telecommunications, for example, is a growing market especially in areas like Botswana and Nigeria – there is certainly an appreciation for the role of a reliable, credible and knowledgeable managed services partner,” adds Sussman.

In addition to a very clear-cut product supply and demand channel into the continent, Sussman also reiterates the relevance of global economic impact and changes within international markets.

“Aside from an increase in trade opportunity, global economic conditions have played a key role in helping to raise the profile of Africa as a rapidly developing market that is resourceful and innovative, and is making a difference using technology and solutions. International companies continue to make inroads into the Africa space as the demand warrants the interest,” Sussman continues.

The Integr8 Group will continue on its quest to bring technology services to Africa and has numerous key regions earmarked for engagement on its map.

“We look forward to expanding our network of branches and interacting with local businesses and finalising trade and services agreements in several areas. Our intention is not to simply drop off technology and offer remote services – we have always, and will always, maintain our proposal as an investment partner with a vested interest in ensuring the highest standards of technology integration, adoption and use. Skills development, exchange and transfer is a big part of this equation,” Sussman adds.