South Africa’s skills shortage is preventing the country from achieving the 5% annual GDP growth, which is the only real chance of making a dent in poverty. In a 2018 report, Pew Research estimated that some 900 000 people born in South Africa were living abroad in 2017, saying that these are mostly skilled professionals. All is not lost, however, as independent telco believes technology will continue to help solve South Africa’s myriad challenges.

“From anti-crime cameras deployed with great effect in our cities, to world-class computational systems that ensure we run better elections than much of the developed world, information and communications technology (ICT) is becoming the bedrock of our society, on which future South African growth will be based,” says Riaan van Stryp, general manager.

Much of this growth, however, will depend on local companies’ success in automating ICT systems. “By automating, you’re essentially freeing up human resources to focus on their own growth and development,” Van Stryp asserts.

“Business automation is the catalyst to upskilling entry-level staff,” he says. “Why have a human being repeatedly undertaking the same routine tasks when a machine will do, thus allowing the person to be developed by the organisation into a much more valuable resource?”

When it comes to the regular ordering of ICT services by reseller SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) that on-sell them to business and end-user consumers, automation really comes into its own. This is particularly true when the reseller knows what it needs and can easily place these regular orders via an online system. “A few clicks can cut out unnecessary quotations and paperwork that only serve to waste time and money,” Van Stryp says.

Automating the ordering system frees up the sales team to focus on customer service and training new resellers to focus on the sale of services without getting tied up in manual processes. Machines can process while humans can focus on after-sales client happiness.

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