by Nicola Jenvey

A new breed of technology partner

There is a new breed of technology companies emerging that combines management consulting skills

expleo.png

There is a new breed of technology companies emerging that combines management consulting skills with engineering and quality services but, currently, only a handful of companies are able to offer such a mix of services

“The world is gripped in a technological revolution, which is permanently changing the way we conduct our lives. Common habits in mobility, consumption, production and communication shift monthly—and this unrelenting climate brings not only turbulence, but also opportunities for the agile and innovative,” says Trevor Luyt, MD South Africa for Expleo.

One of the largest hurdles facing businesses is the ability to manage the digital transformation. Technological disruption is escalating the company failure rate.

“Companies collapse when they have no innovation and do not change fast enough. Innovation is paramount but equally essential is the collaboration that allows innovation to come to the fore,” he says.

The technology company, which, in South Africa, is based in Johannesburg and Durban, supports the globe’s largest industrial and financial services players to design the products and services creating the world of tomorrow. Luyt indicates that Expleo is recognised by clients for its ability to deliver complex projects of international stature by finding the right balance of boldness and reliability—and, given the company counts Airbus, Renault, the French National Centre for Space Studies and the Swiss Federal Railways among its clients, these are noteworthy commendations.

Expleo became effective February 2019, following the merger between the London Stock Exchange-listed software company Software Quality Systems (SQS) and the French engineering company Assystem Technologies. Headquartered in Paris, the company has 15 000 employees globally.

Luyt says in combining the two disciplines, engineering and quality, Expleo has emerged among the new breed of technology partners bringing skills in areas not typically found under the same roof. Both companies are business-to-business models but with marked differences, yet their unifying factor is the focus on people and “world class”.

Consequently, the merger combined complementary offerings to present clients with end-to-end solutions. Luyt says Expleo effectively incorporates management consulting with engineering, design and quality to help companies deal with the disruptive business environment.

His vision dovetails existing strengths to bring world-class needs to South Africa—the need for speed; effectiveness in change and unmitigated quality. The last identifies the services addressing business agility as organisations change.

Since Assystem Technologies previously had no South African presence, he sees opportunities for further expansions locally.

Currently, Expleo has hundreds of international clients while its South African ones include the country’s leading blue-chip stock. Financial services companies account for more than half of the local business with retail being the next largest sector.

“Big organisations have big changes and want to drive information technology (IT) as their competitive advantage. In South Africa, Expleo helps mitigate the risks associated with IT change,” Luyt explains.

Key to being at the forefront of innovation is training. Expleo operates its own four-week boot camp programme in South Africa. The local centre is the training ground for English-speaking employees including the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

“We use technology to establish our own culture of collaboration and innovation with our people,” Luyt says.

However, the company also recognises the power in specialisation, with significant offshore centres in India and Romania. The Durban office also provides remote delivery to Europe and the USA. Luyt says that whilst there is a cost differential between South Africa and India, many European and US clients find advantage in the cultural and time-zone alignment offered by South Africa.

Translating that into helping businesses, Expleo embraces the statement for being “as local and as global as you want us to be”. 

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