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Embrace technology or collapse, SAP tells Kenya firms

Listening attentively to SAP experts are Kenyan entrepreneurs in Nairobi. Picture by Omondi Oloo, CAJ News Kenya Bureau
Listening attentively to SAP experts are Kenyan entrepreneurs in Nairobi. Picture by Omondi Oloo, CAJ News Kenya Bureau

NAIROBI – AFRICAN companies, particularly those in Kenya, have been urged to embrace the digital revolution to enhance their growth and avoid losing relevance in the increasingly competitive environment.

Systems, Applications and Products (SAP) officials warned by failing to adopt appropriate technologies, companies risked being pushed out of the global value chain, with undesirable consequences.

Simon Carpenter, Chief Technology Advisor for SAP Africa, said technology was no longer a luxury for companies but a necessity to drive business efficiency.

“You can invest and invest and continue investing but that’s not necessarily going to allow you bring in something new,” Carpenter said in Nairobi during a summit attended by over 100 representatives of SAP clients in Kenya.

“This is why you (clients) should start the technology journey if you haven’t started it yet towards digital transformation,” added Carpenter.

He pointed out some blue-chip companies were already reaping the rewards of embracing technology with 87 percent of the Forbes Global 2000 firms being SAP customers while 98 percent of the top 100 most valued brands in the world were loyal SAP.

Carpenter said more than 251 million people globally were using SAP cloud solutions to optimize their operations.

“As the market leader in enterprise application software, SAP remains at the center of today’s business and technology revolution in the world,” he said.

At the SAP Innovator Summit participants drawn from various sectors including banking and media, were taken through current industry trends, relevance of using SAP applications and how to achieve innovation with cloud solutions.

Johah Orimba, a business manager who attended the event, said SAP packages were relevant to all businesses regardless their size.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small your company is. That’s good news to potential SAP customers,” he said.

Representatives of one of Kenya’s largest media houses outlined the benefits of SAP.

“It is enabling the firm operate above budget through decreased revenue losses, reduction in debt exposure and simplified cost management. This is besides operational and manpower efficiency with integrated business processes,’ said an official.

Robin Njiru, SAP Sales Director for East Africa, urged organisations to embrace core technology applications to streamline their operations.

“Every organization now have a chance to make a difference by way of using data. We encourage each and every organisation, including even churches, to enlist the services of SAP to grow,” Njiru said.
He said SAP streamlined business processes and allowed use of live data to predict customer trends live.

Participants at the Kenya summit were taken through different successful applications of SAP.

It has been used onEbay in the form of SAP HANA to anticipate customer behavior as well as in Nanjing, China to successfully manage traffic disorder. In Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital, it has been used to address challenges emanating from poor planning. SAP has also helped banks to reach out to the unbanked in India.

“In Kenya, it’s helping increase efficiency in cervical cancer diagnosis,” Carpenter said.

Several Kenyan companies, including the Kenya revenue Authority are using SAP packages to drive efficiencies. KRA recently partnered with SAP to implement the SAP enterprise resource planning.

Kenya is East Africa’s largest economy. It recently rebased its economy, raising the status of a middle-income country.

– CAJ News

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