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Infor has high hopes for Africa

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Mark Davison at Infor Next 2017, Johannesburg — Specialist application software firm Infor has high ambitions for its India, Middle East and Africa (IMEA) operations, looking to increase its business in the region five-fold over the next three years. And Africa will have a key role in this growth.
Gary Hopwood, newly promoted sales manager for Infor’s Africa Region, told delegates at this year’s Infor Next conference at Montecasino that the company currently has 1% market share in the region and was looking to increase this to 5% by 2020. And, he adds, the potential for this growth looking toward 2020 is clear in Africa.
“The GDP growth forecast for Africa at 5,2% is higher than Asia,” Hopwood says. “Total IT spend on the continent is estimated at $155,8-billion; and software spend by 2020 will be $7,5-billion. Africa is the next frontier.”
And the company is already making inroads towards its target, he says.
“Infor in Africa currently has 1 876 customers, but 16% – 300 plus — are net new customers,” he says. “That’s a fantastic number for us.”
The company is also embracing its channel in boosting the region’s revenues.
“In Africa, we’re a channel-led business and 71% of our business on the continent is done through channel partners,” Hopwood says. “Working with local channel partners gives us many benefits, not least of which is the fact that they know their specific territories, their customers’ business and what their requirements are.”
Infor’s key partner in South Africa and surrounding countries is EOH group company, Softworx which was elevated by Infor to Master Partner status in 2014.
Hopwood says the company has clear focus on its African business in some key regions: South Africa and SADC; East and West Africa; Mauritius; and North Africa, where it has made a recent acquisition.
“As a $3-billion software company, we’re not a Microsoft or an SAP,” Hopwood says. “But what we do do, is we work very well with customers in specific industries. Globally, we’re the third biggest application provider.
“The goal for IMEA is to grow the business from its current 1% to 5% by 2020,” Hopwood told attendees. “What we’re asking today is that you join us on that journey to take us to that 5%.”