The future roadmap for Bytes Systems Integration and Alcatel-Lucent Enterprises’ African partners is undoubtedly bright. This was the key message delivered at the recent annual Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Partner Conference. Held at The Birchwood Hotel in Gauteng between 13 and 15 November, the focus of this year’s conference was on supporting partners for future growth.

According to Rob Griggs, MD of Bytes Systems Integration, the conference targets channel partners across sub-Saharan Africa and is held to outline new Alcatel-Lucent products and features, to provide updates on the latest news regarding Bytes, and to outline the partner roadmap for 2014.

“This time around, we had to provide our partners with information on the significant changes Bytes has undergone over the past year. In addition, we updated them around our own expansion plans for Africa as a whole and from Alcatel-Lucent’s side, the company outlined its plans, progress and roadmaps with regards to the new technologies it is introducing,” says Griggs.

“Furthermore, our two organisations focused on delivering a common message to all our partners, describing the new campaigns we have planned and the smarter ways we have developed for us to assist our partners in doing better business.”

Griggs says that the event received fantastic support from local partners, who travelled from as far afield as Rustenburg, East London, Newcastle, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Nelspruit and Richards Bay to attend. Additionally, there was an exceptional turnout from the continental partners, with organisations from a total of 13 different African regions in attendance.

“We had a strong EMEA and Africa presence at the event, as well as a number of local representatives. This created a great vibe and a wonderful atmosphere and there was plenty of useful networking done as well. I feel that the key message our partners will take away with them is that Alcatel-Lucent is a significant player on the continent and they can expect it to stay that way for the foreseeable future.”

He adds that thanks to the technical roadmap presented at the event, partners are now also able to plan more effectively for the year ahead.

“The conference also presented us with the opportunity to thank our partners and to recognise some excellent achievements by them during the course of 2013,” he states.

“At our awards banquet, Global Africa was announced as the South African Partner of the Year, while Swaziland Post and Telecommunications Company (SPTC) won African Partner of the Year. Our Most Improved Partner of the Year went to GlobalCom Mauritius.”

Griggs adds that Bytes and Alcatel-Lucent delivered a clear message to its partners at the event, highlighting the fact that since their business model is based entirely on the partner programme, these partners are the foundation of their joint success.

“As we are fully dependent on our partners to sell our Alcatel-Lucent products into Africa, we were eager to get them raring to go for 2014, as they are absolutely critical to our ongoing success.

“Our overarching message to our partners is that we want them to expand and grow their businesses, and we plan to provide them with the support that will make it better and easier for them to do business in Africa. After all, the future is up to all of us together,” he concludes.