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Africa catapults SAP techies into big league

Hyderabad: The success of an entrepreneur lies in either creating a new product or service, or taking your product to a new and untapped market. While the big names of the Indian IT industry were busy competing for cash-rich Western markets, Roopa Karemungikar and Sandeep Vanga of Altura Consulting, a Hyderabad-based SAP Products and Services provider have quietly conquered the growing SAP HR and Payroll market in the world’s second largest continent, Africa.

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“After working in India for some years, we found that the way consulting was happening in India was just backend. We wanted to expose the pool of Indian consultants to global scenarios. So we formed Altura in October 2007 with a zest to make a difference in India,” says Roopa, an alumnus of IIT-Chennai, who was born and brought up in Hyderabad. However, by the time they entered into the market, SAP was a very popular technology and had many service providers some big ones and others non-serious players.

“We found that establishing ourselves as a SAP service provider was a difficult proposition. We focused in specializing and started working in a niche area of HR payroll,” the 40-year-old entrepreneur recalled.
As the famous quote in The Alchemist goes, ‘when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream’, lady luck smiled on Roopa and Sandeep during the first year of Altura itself.

“We had some savings, but no outside funding. We recruited some interns and trained them for six months. By the time they became good in their work, we got awarded a big project from Ethiopia for a public sector client. Later we discovered that it was \the first successful HR implementation in East Africa and that gave us very good recognition. It brought in the initial cash flows and launched us seriously into the business.”

Roopa, however, was not satisfied with the journey. So Altura hired a management consultant in 2012 to chalk out the future business strategy. “In the first five years, we were established as a prominent SAP player in Africa, though we were relatively unknown in India,” Roopa said smilingly and added that the company has decided to step out its strongholds. Its 70 per cent business comes from Africa, while its clients in India include some big names including Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Heritage Foods and the Singareni Collieries.

It has recently been appraised at Level 3 of the CMMI Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). “Altura” Roopa says, “Is planning to expand into newer markets such the Middle East, South Africa, United Kingdom and South East Asia. It is also considering raising funds from a private equity player to help in its expansion plans”. So the template is now set. Hyderabad may see Altura joining SAP’s global big league.


 

SAP Africa partner Altura Consulting releases HCM solutions for East Africa

Altura consulting, a SAP Africa value added re-seller, has launched the Human Capital Management (HCM) solution, PEEPAL, into the East African market.

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Through its new solution, Altura will be targeting businesses in eight African countries where it has a footprint – Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Tunisia and Kenya.

The Indian company said its new solution is built on a standard SAP Enterprise Core and can be accessed on-premise or via the cloud for large businesses.

PEEPAL, according to Altura, can meet up to 70 per cent of the standard human resources and payroll requirements in Africa with the remaining 30 per cent in need for customised solutions differing from one project to another.

Roopa Karemungikar, Altura’s chief executive officer (CEO), said the partnership will provide businesses with much needed additional strategic business value.

“By enabling business insight, efficiency, and flexibility for customers, SAP software helps businesses close the gap between HCM-related business strategy and execution,” said Karemungikar.

“Through our partnership with SAP, Altura can now provide businesses in East Africa the greatest degree of integration for improved visibility, speed, and quality of decision making while adding strategic business value.”

Pfungwa Serima, SAP Africa CEO, said delivery of services through the cloud will solve challenges faced by African businesses, especially in terms of cost.

“No company can afford to neglect the cloud and the transition to cloud is accelerating in Africa with many organisations now adding the cloud to their on-premise offerings and these companies are reaping distinct business benefits,” said Serima.

“This move to the cloud addresses many challenges African businesses face today in terms of reducing cost, increasing agility as well as driving simplicity.”

“Cloud computing is one of the highest priority areas for tech investment over the coming years in Africa. It allows businesses to speed up development with infrastructure and customer services such as HCM, which allows companies to focus on innovation.”

Apart from PEEPAL, Altura also has a HCM solution dubbed PLEDGE targeting SMEs and offers value proposition at par with enterprise class solutions.


 

East Africa: Altura Consulting Targets East African Companies with Sap Solutions

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Altura Consulting, an SAP Africa Value-Added Reseller (VAR), has announced that it will be driving its Pan-African SAP HCM Solutions into the East African market, recognizing the massive opportunity and growth for Human Capital Management (HCM) solutions in Africa. Headquartered in Hyderabad, India, Altura Consulting is a premier partner for enterprise management solutions, specializing in HCM domain. To date, Altura has delivered SAP consulting and training across leading multi-national organizations, across 17 industry verticals and 70 clients, and has worked extensively with global SAP partners for products and service delivery. Altura provides direct and indirect IT sales and support infrastructure in India and to African countries such as Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Mauritius, Ethiopia, Tunisia, and now Kenya.

Altura’s Pan-African SAP HCM Solution, PEEPAL, which can be access on-premise or off-premise via the cloud is aimed at large enterprises and is built on a standard SAP Enterprise Core Component (SAP ECC) 6.0 platform with SAP NetWeaver – a service-oriented application and integration platform – extensions. With PEEPAL, up to 70 percent of the standard HR and Payroll requirements for Africa can be met directly with only the remaining 30 percent to be customized based on the specific requirements of the project in question. “By enabling business insight, efficiency, and flexibility for customers, SAP software helps businesses close the gap between HCM-related business strategy and execution,” said Roopa Karemungikar, Altura, Founder and CEO. “SAP offers unmatched global reach, support, and scalability to help ensure consistent HR practices and facilitate business expansion across the globe, both on premise and on cloud. Through our partnership with SAP, Altura can now provide businesses in East Africa the greatest degree of integration for improved visibility, speed, and quality of decision making while adding strategic business value.”


 

Letsema opts for SAP Business One Altura Payroll Solution

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Integrated strategic, business process and Technology Company Letsema Consulting & Advisory has contracted Pretoria-based SAP Business One software specialist 4most to supply, implement and commission a SAP Business One PLEDGE payroll and HR software solution at the Letsema head office in Woodmead. “Letsema needed to strengthen its human resources division and the Altura PLEDGE human capital management software add-on stood out as the ideal HR administration solution,” said 4most business development director Eugene Olivier.

A black owned and managed South African consultancy focused on delivering high impact interventions to its client base, Letsema assists organizations in both the private and public sectors to achieve better business efficiencies and growth. Valued at more than R250 000, the Altura PLEDGE Plus solution was selected following a full internal needs analysis that established it best suited the Letsema business objectives by offering an HR portion, a payroll portion and an employee and management self-service portal. Among the functionality offered by PLEDGE are Personnel Administration, Payroll, Time Management, Employee and Manager access, Company structures, Performance Management, Recruitment and Learning solutions (Training). “Critical to this decision was the fact that PLEDGE Plus integrates seamlessly with SAP Business One as a True add-on package,” said Olivier. “We began the software implementation on 17 October this year and the solution is expected to go live at Letsema during January 2013.”

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