MAKING BUSINESS MOBILE

SYSPRO, a global provider of user-friendly, adaptive enterprise resource planning (ERP) software designed to simplify and streamline complex business processes, offers their customers a solution that is both highly scalable and quickly deployed—be it on the premises, in the cloud, or accessed via a mobile device

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“Established in 1978, we have quite an impressive track record. We started off with just one contract to manufacture software for a factory and 40 years later, we have grown into a global brand with 15 000 customers across five continents and over 60 countries. We’ve recently launched our latest expansion into Kenya and aside from a steady focus on Africa, we also service North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. SYSPRO offers its customers the longest-standing industry ERP solutions, we have worked hard to establish a foundation where our customers have the freedom to experience the latest greatest technology in their applicable area, making sure they know they can work with us, no matter the complexity of their business transaction processes,” says Mark Wilson, SYSPRO Africa’s Managing Director.

Data accuracy is vital to the success of any business and, ultimately, leads to increased business efficiencies. In this regard, ERP software could prove to be an essential tool, providing users with information needed to effectively manage business processes, connect that information to every part of the organisation and then provide insights to help improve the way things are done.

“At SYSPRO, we build core solutions to suit different business needs. It is, however, important to have a base solution that is trustworthy and reliable, also offering powerful features that are able to extend beyond the office ERP environment, namely mobile sales or service teams, website integration and shop front Point of Sale. These different solutions are usually built on an understanding of the client’s business process and that includes using organisation modelling and workflow management to ensure that the client benefits from the true value of the ERP software implemented,” he says.

“Each company is, therefore, unique and each solution speaks to their business requirements. We also offer the SYSPRO Espresso mobility ERP platform, which gives SYSPRO users access to the system away from their desk. With this cloud-based ERP, we offer companies who don’t have access to hardware all of the same benefits of ERP software. This product also comes with security built in, preventing unauthorised access and ensuring proper authentication is in place,” he adds

Taking African business to the cloud

In Africa, businesses are becoming increasingly reliant on solutions that provide accurate, easily accessible information to help make key and strategic decisions for their business. For this reason, cloud-based solutions are becoming more popular and SYSPRO Africa has been quick to seize this new opportunity.

“There is a growing interest in cloud-based software in Africa and we are finding that many regions outside South Africa are becoming early adopters of both cloud and mobility solutions, Kenya in particular.

“Because of this, our strategy of cloud and mobility first, we are able to build solutions that address the many infrastructure issues that still prevail.

“There are many data centres and many start-ups embracing the cloud, building their business on this new foundation and using it to help find unique ways to solve any challenges they may face along the way. An example of this would be using cloud software to check stock limits in warehousing without having to go to the premises in person,” says Wilson.

“Cloud is becoming a permanent feature of today’s IT landscape and by providing fully managed ERP systems in the cloud, we are setting up to meet the future requirements of our customers, who are looking to gain agility and flexibility. They want to move away from the burden of IT to focus on their core business.

Our cloud service provides a constant user experience, for both the end user and system user alike, and with the company not having to worry about architecture, where things are operating from or where they are located, this solution also offers them peace of mind. Cloud offers users access anytime, anywhere and at any time, provided you have Internet capability, and Africans see the benefit of that,” he says.

Data security is a top priority

According to Wilson, at least 50% of software hacks happen inside a company or organisation, making security a top priority for business owners who want to protect their data and even their company resources.

“With ERP systems, it becomes critical for them to be secure at all times and it becomes an important part of your business strategy to protect yourself from both internal and external risks. Our solution incorporates a number facilities to prevent unauthorised access, from simple security measures from login authorisation to passwords, and access levels configured per operator against different programmes, transactions, activities and fields. The various levels defined by the client provide internal controls and an appropriate delegation of authority,” he explains.

Ensuring their software is future-proof, SYSPRO systems are ready to embrace Industry 4.0 standards, taking into account the interconnectedness of machines and artificial intelligence (AI) and making it their responsibility to optimise their clients’ businesses and improve efficiency.

“If we do this, we will future-proof their investment in ERP software and deliver real business value and a competitive advantage, especially as we are transitioning from a system of record to a system of engagement when it comes to managing business processes. SYSPRO 8 is a perfect example of thinking forward and future-proofing our business,” Wilson says.

SYSPRO 8 is a dual user-interface offering, allowing for companies to selectively deploy either the Windows client or the web-based solution at their discretion. The primary advantage of this dual interface is business continuity and a smooth transition for users. Accessible on any platform, from anywhere, it is both simplified and engaging software that allows companies to use the software on the web or their desktop selectively.

“A big part of our vision is to provide both expected and unexpected innovations—new products that continue to deliver value and real-world benefits to our customers, keeping them relevant in a dynamic marketplace,” he says.

The new face of SYSPRO Africa

Mark Wilson was appointed as the new Managing Director for Africa in January 2017. He boasts over 20 years of professional experience within the IT industry, having held various executive roles, including Financial Director, Managing Director and Vice President positions in the Middle East, India and Africa.

“I have gained valuable experience in dealing with both local and global markets, specifically in Africa, India and the Middle East. I really do enjoy building strategies and putting those plans into place. But in order for me to deliver on those strategies, it is also important for me to make sure I surround myself with the right people, with the right attributes, to make it happen,” says Wilson.

He also believes that in life, there needs to be a good balance between a person’s work life and a good supportive family and, impressively, he has managed to find that balance.

“I have been able to do both, especially when you look at the unique opportunities I’ve been afforded, where I have been lucky enough to take on new challenges in different parts of the world, and I have a family who is willing to go on these adventures with me,” he says.

“To me, a good leader brings motivation to the team, improving morale and as a result, enjoying improved co-operation within your management team. Improved job performance is another by-product of this management strategy, with the added benefit of both reduced absenteeism and employee turnover. I’m a strong believer in a customer-centric approach and the importance of recognising customer-specific needs.

“Put that leadership style into practice and add customer focus, and I think you have a winning formula. My strategy in business is just as straightforward—plan, plan and persevere.

“It’s also important to keep an eye on market conditions, but follow this recipe and you’ll tend to both achieve results and meet shareholder expectations,” he concludes.

Mark Wilson, SYSPRO Africa’s Managing Director

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