It is no secret that the principle of learning from the best in order to be the best remains a central philosophy in business. Closer inspection of the work habits of an established, successful entrepreneur within ICT reveals an interesting approach to technology and daily application.
Robert Sussman is the joint CEO at the Integr8 Group, South Africa’s largest privately owned ICT managed services provider.
The company is a recognised service provider to various industries and sectors across emerging domestic, southern African and African markets. It also has an established global network that covers markets in the UK, USA, Europe and India.
Since its inception in 2000, Integr8 has won numerous industry awards, including: the African ICT Achievers Award – Most Innovative ICT Company in SA & Africa; Microsoft Best Customer Experience Award; National Business Awards "Innovation through Technology" and MSP Mentor 100 – Top 10 in South Africa and Africa.
When it comes to the use of technology, there are two factors that Sussman underlines as critical – passion and consistency.
“We are a technology focused company and it stands to reason that we regularly maintain a very close eye on innovation and global trends. I believe it is essential to use technology as often as possible, and learn more about advances as they happen. You have to have the passion and commitment to do this consistently and benefit,” says Sussman.
“Technology has universal appeal, and access is a key aspect within developed and developing societies.
“There is technology that I cannot live without – Lync from Microsoft, Sony video conferencing and Facebook for business. This is really about strategy. I use Lync to communicate to each and every person in the company at no per minute cost.
"I can see who is online and available to chat and I can contact them from within an e-mail. There is tremendous value in being able to conference several people into a single video call. Additionally, we use this to reinforce our channels of communication with our customers. It is about providing service 24/7,” he continues.
Sussman also uses the company’s boardroom video conferencing infrastructure on a daily basis to communicate with national branches and sites, as well as business partners in the UK, USA and India.
As this 30-something year old entrepreneur explains, the benefits of technology are not only derived from the immediate end-user experience, but can actually be quantified in terms of general impact.
As an example, Sussman points to Facebook. 10% of the world’s population are on Facebook and 50% are active every second day.
“In terms of business, the forum allows you to develop a significantly large social network. From this one can then develop an independent, geographically autonomous environment. I use Facebook to connect to the Integr8 employees and customers with regards to more direct personal communication, and share personal experiences,” he adds.
The advent of mobile technology and growth of social networking has radically transformed the way people live and work. According to Sussman, the quest to lower costs, increase access to infrastructure, build capacity and resources and generally reduce the digital divide continues.
“Technology has universal appeal and access is a key aspect within developed and developing societies. It is constantly evolving and continues to have an enormous impact on the lives of users – that is truly one of its most exciting features.”