“Another factor lending to growth not only in BPM adoption but other technologies as well is the dramatic improvements in bandwidth and telecommunications technologies in a number of African countries in recent years. While the geographical nature of the region once hindered reaching and communicating with companies there, it is now easier and more cost effective to engage with them regularly. Improved communication capabilities also allow us to provide adequate support to our channel partners across the continent.
“Providing strong support to partners is essential to growing and strengthening the BPM channel into Africa. A fire and forget approach will never work. We have to ensure that we properly skill-up our partners so that they are empowered to effectively activate clients. Advancements in technologies ensure that we can deliver more effective and ongoing mentorship to them,” says Wessels.
Tallies Taljaard, MD) at Blue Pencil agrees that channel growth and sustainability is highly dependant on the recruitment, activation, mobilisation and management of partners on the ground.
“Partner selection has to be strategic. It’s not enough to simply choose partners that have a presence in Africa. They need to have an established customer base, credibility and the capacity to ramp up around their BPM offering.
“Of course, skills and consulting know-how are in short supply. A considerable investment in time, resources and financial investment to up-skill partners is also critical,” he says.
Taljaard adds that key to BPM growth in Africa also depends on the commitment of vendors to create a demand for it.
“Lack of maturity in in the Africa market impacts demand. After all it is not what you do, but how well you do it that differentiates organisations. BPM is the cornerstone for this differentiation. It facilitates efficiency and excellence in organisation. It is up to vendors to create demand through marketing, education and demonstrating the value of BPM,” he says, adding that demonstrations and joint workshops with customers such as SABMiller, which runs FlowCentric in 13 of its operations in Africa, are a key component in the campaign to showcase BPM value and unleash demand.
Wessels concludes saying that extending a footprint into Africa comes with unique set of challenges but these are far outweighed by the opportunities. “We expect that at least 40% of our business will be reflected in Africa in the near future.”