By Tami Sussman
A business must combine its strengths to achieve success in the ICT sector and sustain the highest levels of visibility in the market. To make it big takes a huge helping of talent, a generous portion of passion and more than a sprinkling of determination and tenacity.
Welcome to the world of Tami Sussman, Chief Marketing Officer at the Integr8 Group, South Africa’s leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) managed services provider.
Even by today’s standards and heavily regulated environment, seeing a woman in such a high-level technical position is not commonplace.
As head of marketing in the business, Tami is at the coal-face of creating innovative marketing strategies that will build the company’s brand, lead to increased awareness, revenue, relevance and respect amongst its target market.
Together with her team, Tami is focused on driving brand recognition, brand management and innovation to the betterment of the company.
It seems to be working. In February 2013, Integr8IT, the ICT management specialist firm in the Integr8 Group, was acquired by systems integrator Business Connexion in a deal valued at R126 million. This demanding role calls for a number of skill sets, including business intellect, leadership, appreciation for innovation in commerce and powerful decision making, amongst others.
In addition to these significant deliverables, Tami is aware of the fact that she represents a growing trend in the domestic ICT market – the increase in the number of women establishing a career in what has largely been a male dominated industry.
“IT has traditionally been a male-dominated industry and, even today, it’s difficult to source sufficient numbers of qualified women to boost IT ranks in business. When it comes to the technology industry, women are an ‘endangered species’,” says Tami.
However, as Tami points out, the situation is improving.
An article posted on sagoodnews.co.za in March 2012 referred to the 2012 Grant Thornton International Business Report which stated that 28% of senior management positions are held by women in South Africa. This compares favourably with the global average of 21%.
“To boost interest in female learners entering the IT sector many companies and organizations are encouraging schools to focus on exposing learners to science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. It’s the early exposure that industry leaders feel will erase gender stereotypes and help to establish a more diverse IT workforce,” she says.
Besides “loving her work” and forcing herself to take some “personal time” each day (usually for exercise, family time and hanging out with her husband and hand-reared bird), Tami has valuable advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs wanting to break the ICT mould. “Believe in yourself and your ideas. Be tenacious and determined. Give it time and be committed.”
Integr8 Group, Integr8 is an ICT management and managed services company, was founded in 2001 by high impact serial entrepreneurs, Rob Sussman and Lance Fanaroff, who are the current respective Co-CEO’s of the Group Companies.
Integr8 is the founder and operator of the only South African based Nerve Centre®, a hub of technology, skill and process, that is used to support and regulate the ICT environment of many of the country’s leading organisations
The ICT Infrastructure Management and managed services company in the Integr8 Group, Integr8 IT (Pty) Ltd., was organically grown over 12 years into the largest privately owned ICT company on the African continent with over 550 highly skilled professionals across its multiple offices.
In February 2013, Integr8 Group’s, Integr8 IT (Pty) Ltd. was acquired by the country’s largest publically traded technology company, The Business Connexion Group (BCG), in a R 126m cash transaction.
Through the BCG acquisition, Integr8’s clients enjoy access to 7,000 high skilled personnel across the group, with more offices on the continent than any other local technology company. Offices also span across United Arab Emirates and into Europe.
This passion for ICT is best demonstrated by the Integr8 Nerve Centre®, which hosts some of the finest technical operations to be found anywhere on the globe. It is from this technology hub that Integr8 remotely manages infrastructure for many leading organisations around the globe.
Integr8 is vendor agnostic, choosing the very best solution for each client and can deliver managed ICT services through the cloud to customers of any size in any location.
Founded on technical excellence, Integr8 operates the only South African-based Nerve Centre®, providing a digital hub to manage and regulate many of the country’s leading corporations. This single point of contact allows remote access to clients enabling tier – 3 support 24/7.
The South African offices can be found in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and has representation in Port Elizabeth, East London, and across the Southern African region. Integr8 can be reached on our call centre number or through any other contact means of your choice. The firm has achieved an official BEE rating as a level 4 contributor and is regarded as a “Value Adding Supplier’’. As Integr8 continues to invest in its partners and people, clients can expect exceptional BEE ratings with added benefits for all.
The Integr8 family remains committed to the world around it and has developed a keen nurturing culture over the years. The company supports multiple charitable organisations