By Emmanuel Elebeke
One of the world’s leading global software company SAP, has ended its World Tour West Africa in Lagos with commitment to continue on its growth and expansion in Nigeria.

Given the focused commitment it has in the West African market, the company said it will look forward to expanding in personnel, scope and depth of her business in the region with special interest in rebranding Nigeria through information and technology solutions.

The three day event was aimed at bringing together both old and prospective SAP customers to see what the company could offer them in the midst of the current uncertainties prevailing in the world economy, particularly in the financial sector, which has made people to start looking for software that can help them plan, control and manage their business, risk and ensure compliance. “It is in the light of this that we have come here with many solutions for all these problems so that customers can see what can enable them be more successful in their business in the challenging environment.” said Pfungwa Serima SAP Africa Managing Director.

Continuing, Serima said “This programme we are running for the past two days is primarily focused on showcasing our products towards large enterprises. Over the last two day, we have had our old and prospective customers to come and see what we can do for them to enable them achieve better results in their various enterprises.

It is obvious that because of all this uncertainties in the global economy, financial instit-utions as well as other non financial establishments are now looking for software that can help them plan, control and manage their business, manage their risk, ensure compliance. And it is because we have many solutions for all these problems that we are here today, so that customers can see what can enable them be more successful in their business in the challenging environment, said Pfungwa Serima. As part of its empowerment drive, Serima. said SAP had already gone into alliance programmes with some Nigerian Universities with donation of free software and other learning aids to the schools.

“Through this alliance we train lecturers and students in the proper sense and we put them through on the process of training programme in the area if IT international certification, the TURP Ten certification programme designed to help the students to be chosen as PRP in connection, ECM, MM logistics as well as core muscle for planning an enterprise.

From there, they undergo further learning into SAP based training and become consultants.” Serima expl-ained. As a way of encouraging technology transfer, the SAP boss said though there were other companies that offer similar services in Nigeria, SAP services was unique in the sense that it focuses on what the customer want, adding that there were also some indigenous companies that offer similar services but in partnership with SAP.

The aspiration of of some Nigerian organizations to become regional and global leaders according to him, had posed a challenge to the company in terms of deploying the right solutions to assist them to becoming more global organizations than indigenous, regretting that the unavailability of infrastructure in the country had continued to pose a major challenge to them in realizing the set objective. But admitted that there had been significant amount of improvements despite all the odds.

“We are still expecting more improvement. The undersea cable project will bring a lot of improvements for us. To an extent, the global recession is a blessing in disguise for us in Africa because it has provided us with the opportunity to seek growth in Africa because of the resources it has got naturally more than any other continent.

It is in itself an attractive opportunity for us to step in and train people who are qualified to drive the system for more development.” Serima further explained. He identified change of peoples’ perception as a major impediment towards achieving business transformation in Nigeria, saying that it was only when people adopt the attitude of change on their old perception for business that they could transform from old to the new era. “Another challenge is the challenge of change for business transformation services.

How an organization can transform from the now into the future.” The SAP Director said and promised that the company will train people in the area, arguing that it is a major challenge changing people’s perception and mind to adopt technology and newest system of doing things. Part of this is he said was the help services the company renders to different companies in across the globe to transform their services.

“I think one of the major opportunities has to be the ability of SAP to bring those practices we learned with world biggest organizations in public sector industries, telecommunication around the world, to really accelerate growth in Nigeria and West African organizations to enable them achieve a value change. “We are investing in people, and we are happy that more people can now use SAP services in their organizations. There will be a lot of training coming in. We have identified about two key partners to become an extension of our educational organization, so that we can provide education here, outside our normal business. We will equally provide corporate infrastructure investment in the country. Investment is not just playing lip services, but to make sure that we are an organization that is here for a long run, because with the ongoing recession, everyone is looking at Africa as a perfect destination.

As a matter of fact, one has to be careful about the quality of services that it renders to African market.” he maintained. As part of its plan to expand its operation in Nigeria, the SAP boss said the company had opened another office in Lagos, in line with the federal government’s efforts to attract foreign investors and local investors to grow the economy through the rebranding Nigeria project so that Nigerians can have jobs, and opportunities.

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