African enterprises are excelling in their efforts to establish Intelligent Enterprise capabilities and take advantage of the immense opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
ICT Industry

Umeme wins top award in South Africa

African enterprises are excelling in their efforts to establish Intelligent Enterprise capabilities and take advantage of the immense opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

This was one of the key outcomes at the 2019 SAP Quality Awards, which were held in Johannesburg and which recognized some of Africa’s most innovative public and private sector SAP customers.

Uganda’s Power Distributor Umeme Ltd was one of the top winners, walking away with Gold in the Fast Delivery category.

Their Chief Information Officer Roger Bentley said shortly after the award: “This was a business project, not an IT project, and it has supported the business by introducing completely new functionality. This project was such a success that, for our next phase, we will simply try to repeat the success of this first phase.”

According to Nazia Pillay, Head of Active Quality Management for Africa at SAP Africa, this year’s nominees represented one of the strongest fields yet in the awards’ 15-year history.

“All entries underwent stringent assessment and were judged according to our ten principles of quality. The high standards on display point to a bright future for technology-driven organisations operating in Africa.”

Other winners were: Standard Bank South Africa, which took Gold in the Business Transformation category; the City of Cape Town, which took top honours for Innovation; and Discovery Group, which claimed Gold in the newly-introduced Success Factors category.

The SAP Quality Awards were established in 2005 as a means of recognizing companies that have excelled in their use of SAP technologies to achieve digital transformation against a number of key metrics. This year, a total of 19 organizations from West, East and Southern Africa were recognized for their outstanding results across a number of successful implementations.

SAP has supported thousands of innovative African enterprises since its first office on the continent was established in Johannesburg in 1982.

Today, the company works with more than 1800 customers across Africa, collaborating with 500 partners in 20 countries to help local enterprises, governments, SMEs and NGOs build Intelligent Enterprise capabilities and claim the benefits of the 21st-century digital economy.

“This year, we added a new category for outstanding projects using SAP Success Factors to recognize African enterprises’ efforts in the on-going global talent war,” said Pillay.

“Judging by the quality of submissions in the new category, African enterprises are making great strides toward attracting and retaining the continent’s growing talent pool, one that is expected to be the world’s largest in the coming decades.”

Kammy Sing, Head of HR Operations at Discovery Group, said the implementation team worked seamlessly with the Discovery team.

“Most importantly, they understood what our end-goal was: to build the best people capabilities by combining data, skills and technology to attract and retain the best talent.”

Dawn Msibi, Manager: ERP Support Centre at the City of Cape Town said: “Well done to the implementation team, who integrated the value of our assets, the cost of work done and the scheduling of the work to create a single view that has empowered the City of Cape Town to improve service delivery to its citizens.”

Karuna Kuni, SAP Platform Manager at Standard Bank, said: “Together with our partners including SAP, we took on a big undertaking with this project. Without their help and support, and that of our executive sponsors, we would not have been able to achieve this success in such a short space of time.”

Pillay adds: “What set these projects apart was the extent of business value achieved through each implementation, their time to value, how well they employed change management throughout and to what extent the implementations have achieved business readiness. The fact that we’ve nearly doubled our winners’ list compared to last year only reasserts the level of quality inherent in this year’s group of nominees.”

According to Cathy Smith, Managing Director at SAP Africa, the quality of entries points to a bright future for Africa’s public and private sectors.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution will create enormous opportunity – at the same time, it brings immense challenges.

“Encouragingly, African public and private sector leaders are taking up the challenge and are deploying technology in innovative and ground-breaking ways to solve problems and future-proof their business strategies. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration with customers and partners in the years ahead.”

The full winners’ list consists of:

Fast Delivery:

*             Umeme Limited (Gold)

*             MWEB (Silver)

*             Dangote (Silver)

*             Mukwano (Bronze)

*             Builders Warehouse (Finalist)


Business Transformation:

*             Standard Bank SA Limited (Gold)

*             RCL Foods (Silver)

*             Rossing Uranium Limited (Bronze)

*             Britehouse (Finalist)

*             Delta State (Finalist)

*             Rural Electrification Authority (Finalist)



*             City of Cape Town (Gold)

*             The Royal Swaziland Sugar Corporation (Silver)

*             Sodiam (Bronze)

*             KCB Group (Finalist)


SuccessFactors (new):

*             Discovery Group (Gold)

*             AECI (Silver)

*             Liberty Group (Bronze)

*             PG Group (Finalist)