As part of its strategy of creating sustainable and commercially viable growth both internally and in South Africa as a whole, T-Systems in South Africa has launched the first phase of its Enterprise Supplier Development (ESD) initiative, a program aimed at leveraging procurement spend to promote skills development and job creation.

This first step involves the outsourcing of field services in the Mpumalanga region to Nkgwete IT Solutions, a majority black female owned company. This venture will assist with growing this local supplier, building the skill sets of employees and contributing positively towards the development of the local economy.

“Enterprise and supplier development are high on the national agenda, with the development of local companies and local skills seen as critical in building the economic future of our country.
“T-Systems is addressing this challenge head-on, embarking upon our own journey in support of ESD in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan 2030, as part of our vision to become a significant contributor to growth in South Africa.

“The launch of our first initiative on this journey is an exciting time for us, and we believe the success of this venture will enable us to launch future ESD initiatives based on this model,” says Gert Schoonbee, MD at T-Systems in South Africa.

To initiate this journey, T-Systems selected certain areas within the field support unit. This area was identified as the ideal starting point, as it provides an opportunity to localise work and develop skills within the different provinces of the country.

The company is aiming to create local suppliers to provide field support across South Africa, backed by the support and accountability of the T-Systems brand to ensure delivery and compliance to service levels and customer contracts. This will allow for the simultaneous develop of suppliers, promoting skills and encouraging job creation within local areas, while maintaining current contracts at agreed-upon service levels.

Interested parties, including SMEs within the Mpumalanga region that aligned with T-Systems’ ESD initiative, as well as internal employees, were invited to submit quotations at the end of 2012. Nkgwete IT Solutions was chosen from 11 contenders as the supplier of choice for this initiative based on a comprehensive and thorough tender process.

This process examined specific criteria including quality of response, quality of solution design, company structure, support for ESD, cost saving ability and insight into future possibilities for growth.

“Our current focus is to enable the creation of regional entities to localise work and develop ICT skills within various regions. T-Systems will not have any future shareholding in these regional entities.
“We are committed to generating sustainable revenue for these entities in line with our current contract commitments with existing customers. Our aim is to provide the new entities with business support to ensure its sustainability,” says Schoonbee.

“This process has been conducted with the full support of our international and local shareholders, in full consultation with our employees and through engagement with our customers in this region. We are excited to begin our journey working with Nkgwete IT Solutions and we are dedicated to ensuring the continued success of this first initiative in Mpumalanga.
“We look forward to taking our ESD model into other provinces in South Africa in the future,” he adds.

“We feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to be a part of T-Systems’ Enterprise Supplier Development journey. We see this as a prospect to make an impact on the ICT sector in Mpumalanga and contribute towards job creation and development in our province. We would like to thank T-Systems for considering us with this program and partnership,” Siddika Osman, MD of Nkgwete IT Solutions, concludes.