Bytes Document Solutions has experienced significant success on the back of its re-energised African distributor programme, with total African business growing by 39% in the past year.
Growth for the authorised distributor of Xerox products and solutions to 24 African countries has come from expanding traditional markets and entering new markets. In addition to the country distributors
Bytes Document Solutions also increased the number of resellers in its Xerox Partner Programme, a process that will be expanded more aggressively in 2009 to increase footprint and market share.
"Some of our distributors experienced phenomenal sales during the past year," says Coenraad Ackerman, manager – Africa Operations at Bytes Document Solutions. "Our partner in Mauritius, Harel Mallac Bureautique, turned the highest revenue of all of our African resellers and our partner in the Seychelles, VCS, showed the best growth when comparing budget versus actual."
The continent is not without its business challenges.
Unrest and civil war in the DRC have been a problem for commercial operations of all kinds; politics played a role in disrupting business in Madagascar; and the economic climate in Ethiopia also had a negative impact on commercial operations, says Ackerman.
"There were some hiccups, but we have also appointed a slew of new partners and entered new markets as a result," he says. "In Kenya we appointed X&R, in Tanzania we appointed SCI Tanzania, in Uganda SCI Uganda, in Angola ProSys and DSC in Zimbabwe.
"We anticipate significant future growth from African operations. The continent is home to 14% of the world's population, 20% of its resources and 1% of its current GDP output."
Specific industries Ackerman expects to drive growth for Xerox partners include banking, government, mining and oil production.
Bytes Document Solutions is looking to expand its reseller footprint and will be making further partner appointments in the near future.
"We will be looking to enter any African country that we think offers potential with the right partner and where we can offer the right support," says Ackerman. "Every country has specific needs and we must be able to find the right partner that has the necessary local reach, credibility, technical ability, sales capabilities and financial strength."