Altron Document Solutions, one of the world’s largest Xerox distributors and one of Africa’s leading technology and services companies, has launched a new partnership program specifically for ICT-specialist Exempt Micro Enterprises (EMEs) and Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs) as part of its broader Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) social outreach, diversity and responsibility initiative.
Spearheaded by Altron Document Solutions Business Development Manager for SOE and Government, Zandile Poyo, the EME/QSE Partnership Program invites all qualifying companies – EMEs with R5 million or greater annual turnover and QSEs with R10 million turnover – to actively work with Altron in creating a new parallel channel for local enterprise and public sector tenders.
‘We face multiple difficult challenges in South Africa in the form of unemployment, skills shortages and lack of access to services and resources that we, as established service providers and successful South African corporate businesses, are morally and commercially obligated to help solve,’ says Poyo.
‘At the same time, most of the tenders for the provision of ICT services to large enterprise and public sector organisations specify subcontracting to EMEs or QSEs as part of their BBEEE mandates,’ she says. ‘But there’s a bottleneck in delivering these services because the scale of these projects often means EMEs and QSEs don’t have the necessary resources to fulfil them on their own, and many large corporates don’t have established relationships with vetted and qualified EMEs or QSEs equipped to meter out these services on their behalf.’
She added, ‘In both cases, opportunities to ramp up service delivery, and contribute to the type of growth that directly addresses the challenges we’re facing as a country and industry, are being lost.’
Poyo says the partnership program is intended to change the status quo, capitalise on these lost opportunities, and actively contribute and grow the ICT entrepreneurial community from grassroots level up by creating a countrywide network of trained, skilled and qualified EMEs/QSEs with the full backing of a pan-African OEM organisation.
‘The first step for us is to identify potential EME and QSE partners, and actively reach out and engage with them about the benefits of joining forces with Altron Document Solutions,’ says Poyo. ‘Depending on their size and skillsets, we will initially work together to skill them up on how to on-sell Xerox equipment and provide managed services to their customers. The path is then open, as they grow and progress, for partners to take on account management duties, and eventually become full-blown Altron Document Solution Value Added Resellers (VARs).’
For its part, Altron Document Solutions will provide EME and QSE partners with access to the group’s nationwide resources and consulting teams. A new onboarding and training program has also been developed exclusively for the EME/QSE program and is already being rolled out to a handful of initial partners. As part of the program, partners will also have access to business development skills, including help with putting bids together, access to OEM resources, and additional staffing support for their own projects.
Altron Document Solutions represents the complete range of Xerox document equipment, software solutions and services to 26 sub-Saharan Africa countries, so qualifying EMEs and QSEs should ideally be aligned with these types of services, either directly or with complementary networking, communications or similar ICT services.
‘It is important for us that all of our EME and QSE partners are properly vetted and that everything we do is above board, in keeping with the values of honesty and transparency we live by as part of the Altron Group,’ says Poyo. ‘We are not interested in winning bids with brown paper bags; this is a serious endeavour with the ultimate beneficiaries being the communities our partners work within and the families they support.’