In a demonstration of the concept of enterprise development which is outlined in the letter and spirit of BEE legislation, a Cape Town technology services company has steadily grown its business and capabilities through its successful engagement with the South African Parliament and several big-name ICT companies.
Xepa Consulting has progressed from providing minor elements of Parliament’s technology needs to playing an increasingly central and important role in technology delivery for the organisation.
Managing director Garth Francis explains: “Xepa was founded on the basis of some 15-plus years of Novell experience. In the initial engagement with Parliament, we worked with a key account holder, which brought Xepa in specifically to handle the Novell component.”
That was back in 2004; Francis notes that Xepa is a 100% black-owned organisation and was in its infancy. “As part of the consortium then servicing Parliament, we were one of four small to medium organisations which the account holder had brought in to focus on specific areas; we had 13% of the deal and had three people on-site providing Novell support,” he continues.
As time passed, Xepa firmly established its capability to add value even as two of the other SMEs fell away. “During this time, our organisation was building relationships with other major market players which also had a need for our Novell competency,” Francis comments.
When the tender came up for renewal, he says the initial service provider made way for Business Connexion. “We had grown steadily with the first company and it was very good to us; however, when Business Connexion won the tender, it looked to Xepa to continue providing the elements of support to Parliament as a means of maintaining continuity and in recognition of the value we were adding.”
From the initial 13% of the deal, Xepa’s proportion now ratcheted up to 25%. “We’ve consistently seen the benefit of enterprise development through our association with these larger companies, which are leaders in the South African market. They have shared their insights, processes and intellectual property generously, including our organisation in key processes such as tendering and the establishment of contracts,” Francis says.
In addition, he says Business Connexion participates and contributes to Xepa’s development by providing performance management templates and input to help it assure optimal quality of service delivery.
“This interaction, I believe, captures the spirit of cooperation and BEE – that of assisting emerging organisations to develop, grow and add value to the market – not just at our joint client, Parliament, but to our other clients, too.”
From its Novell roots, adds Francis, Xepa has also grown in terms of its competencies and capabilities. “There is no doubt: our continued association with market leaders has and will continue to create immense value for our company which we can pass on to our clients,” Francis says.