Gerhard Hartman

Gerhard Hartman

By Gerhard Hartman, Head of the Africa Division at Sage VIP

The Sage VIP African Partner Conference, held last week in Pretoria, was a resounding success and a first for the Africa Division. The business partners attending the conference represented 12 African countries. At the conference we build relationships, shared key product developments for the year ahead and provided business advice.

In his opening address, Anton van Heerden, the Managing Director of Sage VIP, thanked business partners for their contribution and support to growing the business in Africa. The group has experienced a 40% growth in their African operations the last year and currently 22% of the company’s new business is based in Africa.

Sandra Swanepoel, Sales director, said in her keynote address: “Investing in technology and research is important for growing the business in Africa. Other contributing factors to our recent success in Africa are: quality of training, providing the right resources and a willingness to cater for localisation.”

Ina du Plessis, Research and Development director said legislation in the different African countries still remains a challenge for the customisation of solutions.

Karen Schmikl, Liquid Payroll Product manager, spoke about the road ahead for online solutions in Africa and the planned release of Liquid into Africa. Liquid is an online payroll software solution for the small-to-medium sized business and is fully supported through telephone and email.

Another highlight of the conference was the Gala Dinner – a true celebration of Sage VIP’s success in Africa. The top three African business partners, with the highest figures in software sales for 2012, were also announced. Omni Africa was the winner and Quantum Solution and Infosys Consult, came in second and third place respectively. Our client base into Africa has increased tremendously in the last year and these partners’ contribution has been invaluable. The African partner conference will definitely become an annual event.