SA-based ICT consulting and service development firm, Ukuvuma Solutions, is set to launch in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a move to fulfill the clear demand for software systems related to business management and collaboration in the country.
In its final stages to launch in the country, the firm will set up base in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa where it has identified what it believes to be a significant lack of systems’ software to address key areas of business management, including accounting, inventory management, document management and enterprise collaboration.
Ukuvuma Solutions is a focused supplier of document management and process automation products to the mining and engineering industries, as well as document management and collaboration solutions for small-to-medium enterprise, government and large enterprise.
In addition, the availability of bandwidth remains an issue. The government is believed to be working on installing optical fibre infrastructure throughout the country and, in the interim, large companies are connected directly to the satellite using their own equipment.
Jason Smit, Director, Microsoft Technologies at Ukuvuma Solutions, says that there are barriers to entry to the DRC market, however, the Company has done its homework and is also aware of the opportunities that exist.
Among the challenges are the fact that companies are not very open to new technologies and still others do not accept work with foreign companies that are not based in the DRC and do not have permanent IT infrastructure to support domestic work.
“Some think these technologies will change their way of working and bring more complexity to their system that will require additional training of personnel. So we have to convince them use these technologies by showing them how these technologies can help them work effectively,” says Smit.
Added to this, Smit also outlines what Ukuvuma Solutions regard as highly strategic advantages that will work in the Company’s favour in terms of engaging the DRC market.
Based on extensive market research, the Company believes DRC’s IT market is not overly competitive and the pool of companies in the country is small. Moreover, South African businesses have earned a reputation for solid and serious service provision, and there are many local businesses that do not have sufficient resources to manage activities.
“The future of technology in Africa is very bright as many countries are now working on improving their bandwidth with the optical fibres and this will be effective in the near future. The improvement of the Bandwidth in Africa will involve many improvements in the area of Information and Communication Technology,” Smit says.