South African Tech Giant Altron Unveils Digital Business Arm to Drive Growth

South African Tech Giant Altron Unveils Digital Business Arm to Drive Growth

By Press Release, 06 March 2024

The biggest conundrum faced by South African companies right now is achieving growth in an economy that is not growing. As a result, many businesses are looking at technology enabled solutions to help them reduce cost, improve productivity and unlock new revenue streams.

To meet this need Altron is bringing together its three IT services businesses – Altron Karabina, Altron Systems Integration and Altron Managed Solutions – to create a new IT services organisation called Altron Digital Business.

The new entity, which formally launched on 1 March 2024, is headed by Craig Stewart, previously the vice president of sales at Dimension Data (now known as NTT Data).

What differentiates Altron Digital Business, maintains Stewart, is the fact that it harnesses the power of data, technology and human ingenuity to solve real world problems for its customers.

“This move makes us a much larger company able to deliver a comprehensive set of enterprise grade IT services at scale. We have also implemented a simplified, customer-focused operating model which makes it easier for our customers to work with us,” he says.

The Altron group, founded nearly six decades ago, is regarded as the original South African technology brand. The JSE-listed group reported strong financial results and a strong balance sheet in 2023, despite tough trading conditions.

“Altron Digital Business wants to be known as the IT services company that grows your business,” says Stewart. “We want to help our customers by delivering solutions that enable them to operate more efficiently, optimise existing processes and transform into resilient digital businesses.”

He adds that, “Our customers know us as a proudly South African company, committed to the country. That commitment includes the ability to help our customers grow their businesses despite challenging economic circumstances. In the prevailing tough operating environment businesses are increasingly turning to our technology solutions to enable their growth.”

Altron Digital Business, he reveals, already has proven success to support its claim that it can provide customers with significant savings and contribute positively to both top line revenue growth and profitability.

Recent successes have included saving one of South Africa’s top five retail banks 15 000 hours a month by using artificial intelligence.

It also developed a solution for a leading pan-Africa telecommunications provider to proactively reduce customer churn that saved R1bn in potentially lost annual revenue and enabled more sustainable growth.

In addition, the business worked with Hungry Lion, one of the fastest growing fast-food outlets in southern Africa, to reduce overtime by 22%. The workforce management solution implemented allows Hungry Lion to reduce staff scheduling time from four hours to one hour and optimise their shift patterns.  This enables the chain to keep people costs static despite an increase in the number of stores.

A core offering in the Altron Digital Business stable is Cloud Infrastructure Managed Services, one of the fastest growing IT services in South Africa, growing 25% year-on-year. This growth is driven by the business benefits cloud offers including high availability and increased resilience and agility. Stewart reveals that Altron can migrate on-premises applications to the cloud, reducing deployment time from two months to eight hours, helping customers to be more agile and to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

However, soaring costs is a consequence of the rapid cloud adoption trend in South Africa. Altron has responded by developing a framework and methodology which includes assessing their customers cloud investments to help them balance spend and ROI. “We are able to save our customers up to 20% on their cloud spend,” reveals Stewart.

In addition to investing in technology and infrastructure, businesses also need to bridge the skills gap to achieve their ambitions.  Altron has established learnership and graduate programmes to help address South Africa’s skills gap. These programmes have created 100 jobs in the past year alone.

The South African IT services market is projected to be valued at around R130 billion by 2026. Altron Digital Business, says Stewart, is now well-positioned to help its customers leverage technology at scale to unlock even more growth opportunities.

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