Partner Ecosystem, Tech ‘Building Blocks’ Accelerate African Organisations’ Digital Transformation

Photo by Lynette van der Bijl

African organisations are benefiting from a vibrant partner ecosystem and a range of new initiatives aimed at easing the process of adopting the latest cloud technologies.

According to Nazia Pillay, Partner Head at SAP Africa, modern organisations have a universal need to leverage technology for innovation and efficiency in order to protect against disruption from existing competitors and innovative start-ups. “More than half of all organisations that were featured in the Fortune 500 in 2000 have since gone out of business. Today’s organisations are in a race to acquire intelligent enterprise capabilities that enable them to achieve greater efficiency, boost profit margins, grow revenue and future-proof the business.”


As recent disruptive events including the pandemic and the ongoing economic instability over the past years have illustrated, companies that embrace technology are better positioned to adapt to changes in their operating environment, and to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

New solutions, partner ecosystem ease cloud adoption

According to Pillay, one of the main obstacles to greater cloud adoption among larger enterprises is the difficulty of migrating on-premise business processes to a cloud environment. “Cloud migrations can create risks as business processes that were formerly run on-premise do not always translate to cloud environments easily. That’s one of the reasons why services such as RISE with SAP are gaining traction: it provides a workable model for enterprises to move core business processes to the cloud, tailored to their IT landscape and business needs.”

SAP’s partner ecosystem plays a leading role in supporting organisations in their efforts at digital transformation and cloud adoption. Andrew Strachan, Head of Sales: Business Applications at Dimension Data, says: “One of the biggest questions SAP customers ask us is how they can move their existing on-premise ERP processes into SAP S/4HANA in the cloud, preferably within the RISE program. We help clients adopt and embrace the latest SAP technologies and bring their core processes into the cloud, both in the public and private cloud environments.”

ERP capabilities extend to mid-market

Pillay notes that powerful ERP capabilities are no longer the reserve of large enterprises, with mid-market companies increasingly adopting ERP platforms to power their core business processes. “A scalable ERP system is essential to the long-term success of fast-growing mid-market businesses. Cloud ERP in particular gives companies cost-effective access to powerful capabilities that can improve decision-making, accelerate innovation and enable the rapid integration of new technologies.”

Launched globally in March this year, SAP GROW is a new offering that eases the implementation and adoption of cloud-based enterprise resource planning software for midsize companies. The offering includes SAP S/4HANA Cloud public edition, the Business Technology Platform, industry best practices and access to a thriving partner ecosystem to enable and accelerate innovation.

Thriving partner ecosystem supporting digital transformation

“Our partner ecosystem is essential to our ability to support African organisation in their digital transformation and cloud adoption efforts,” says Pillay. “Through a thriving network of expert partners, African organisations can confidently acquire new capabilities in the cloud knowing they can leverage the support and expertise of our partners.”

Bertrin Pekeur, SAP Lead at Accenture, says: “We believe every business is a digital business, and the safest way to get there is through cloud adoption. Cloud solutions are not provided by one single partner, so collaboration among partner organisations is essential to successful cloud implementations for African organisations.”

Pillay adds: “The combination of partner support, expertise and best-practices ease the adoption of new technologies and allows organisations to focus on innovation and efficiency. This holds the potential to accelerate the digital transformation of African enterprises and support them in their efforts at becoming intelligent enterprises.”