I attended the Microsoft Partner Summit Africa, and heard some interesting points in the keynote address made by the two executives who run Microsoft’s business for most of Africa – Nteto Nyati, Managing Director of Microsoft South Africa, and Hennie Loubser, Regional General Manager for Microsoft WECA (West, East and Central Africa).
- The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) are now areas where most growth is projected;
- 6 of the 10 fastest growing economies are in Africa;
- a number of Microsoft employees from Africa who have been working abroad are repatriating from Europe and the US back to Africa;
- there are 1300 large and mid-market companies in Africa from which Microsoft gets 75% of its revenue in this region;
- Africa has become a continent of hope and opportunity;
- on the African continent, the community expects companies to become an integrated part of the society – profitable returns to company owners must also accompany returns to society.
This led me to these thoughts:
- the focus of economic growth in the world has moved from developed economies (the so-called North) to the emerging and developing economies (the South);
- this change should have some impact on the issues and location of technology innovation;
- a good deal of technology innovation focuses on mostly ‘northern’ business, consumer and societal issues;
- there is an expectation, particularly in the North, that the source of technology innovation should still occur in certain ‘northern’ locations;
- Points 1 and 2 do not agree with Points 3 and 4
It makes me proud therefore to say that SYSPRO is an African company that supports the real issues of small and medium businesses throughout the world. Comments of “how can innovation come from Africa?” should now be discarded for the irrelevant and arrogant rubbish that they are.
Some other information from the keynote
Microsoft SA’s FY2011 growth areas:
|Entertainment and devices||32%|
|Small & medium business group||20%|
Microsoft SA’s FY2011 market share changes:
|Web browser||+ 11 pts|
|Email, calendaring||+ 17 pts|
|Unified communications||+ 7 pts|
|Database server||- 2 pts|
|Smartphone||- 7 pts|
Some Microsoft Africa stats (via IDC):
|PC shipment growth||15%|
|Serve shipment growth||6%|
|Software piracy rate||> 80% (US $785 mill) in 2010|
Have you ever noticed those logos on your Microsoft consultants’ letter head that said “Microsoft Certified Partner”?
From the end of October, Microsoft has mandated that its partners start changing their partner logos. Watch out for the change.
This morning we heard of the death of Steve Jobs. The man could be described as a gargantuan – someone who is gigantic, wonderful, prodigious. The fact that he was personally instrumental in so many technological innovations is astounding:
- first consumer computer, Apple
- popularised the graphical user interface, Mac
- technical innovation in film animation, Pixar
- personal music player, iPod
- first smart phone, iPhone
- first touch-oriented consumer computer, iPad
He is probably the first ‘well-known’ figure in the modern computer industry to have died. Other significant personalities in the industry have already passed away – e.g., Thomas Watson, founder of IBM – but none had achieved Jobs’ level of worldwide recognition.
Jobs was a year older than me when he died. The other person with a similar claim to fame is Bill Gates, but as he is the same age as me, I hope it’s somewhat longer before we hear of his passing.
RIP Steve Jobs, 1955 – 2011
A more in-depth analysis and apprecation by Richard Poplak at http://dailymaverick.co.za/article/2011-10-06-jobs-vacancy-apples-genius-dies-at-56