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SAP plans ERP launch with ‘major’ SA telco

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
South Africa , 13 Jun 2013

SAP plans ERP launch with ‘major’ SA telco

Business software firm SAP says it has teamed up with a ‘major’ South African mobile operator to roll-out an enterprise resource planning (ERP) offering for handsets by the end of this month.

Speaking at a conference in Johannesburg, SAP’s director of strategic initiatives in Africa, Simon Carpenter (pictured), said the ERP system is planned to target small to medium enterprises (SMEs).

Meanwhile, the industry head for financial services at SAP Africa, Frank Naude, added that this means the mobile offering is aimed at businesses that have between 2 to 100 people.

The name of the ‘major’ South African mobile operator, however, was not unveiled by the SAP executives.

“We’ll be launching at the end of this month a ‘Business One’ ondemand capability, which will be sold through the telco’s channel,” said Carpenter.

SAP’s website describes its ‘Business One’ software, which targets small businesses, as having features that include managing sales, financials and operations.

“It will be housed and mounted and accessed through the telco’s data centre and mobile network. And it’s a tripartite arrangement between SAP and SAP Systems Integration (SI), who is providing the skills for customer take off,” said Carpenter.

Naude said this South African mobile phone initiative is set to be similar to SAP’s Business One collaboration with China Telecom.

“They (China Telecoms) actually got that whole process going for us and we’ve piggybacked on the top of that,” said Naude.

It’s not just Business One offerings that SAP is tailoring for South Africa’s mobile market though.

Carpenter explained that SAP has been working with the likes of South African mobile operator Vodacom and distributor of fast moving consumer goods MetCash in developing business software for mobile phones targeted at one-person businesses.

“That project was initially undertaken as a research project by SAP Research in Africa with a specific mandate of how do we serve the micro-enterprise in developing economies,” said Carpenter.

“That is now at the process of going from the research project into the development environment, so I don’t have any specific timelines as to when it will emerge as a product per se,” said Carpenter.

BuddeComm research says South Africa has one of the highest mobile usage rates in Africa with the level of penetration of handsets exceeding that of the country’s population, which stands at 50 million according to the census results.

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