We merged our company with a larger ERP VAR, and while they took our technical staff, they didn’t want the sales/marketing/admin side – which means I was left looking for another job.
Like the consolidation of the ERP vendors, it seems that the same is happening in South Africa with the VARs. In the small-medium business space, new customers are choosing software based on price and perception of the supporting VAR. The SMB market for ERP is definitely in Geoffrey Moore’s late majority/laggard end of the adoption curve. So I am beginning to believe that the age of ERP is coming to an end. ERP VARs will survive on the basis of occasional new business, but additional work for existing customers will become more important, and other business areas will need to be developed
I am moving to a software company that started as a Syspro VAR over 10 years ago, but it has also developed a sophisticated project management solution for large manufacturing organisations; that’s where I will be working. More on that once I get into it.
I thought I would document this as newspaper articles occasionally appear discussing whether SA is competitive or not for new businesses.
We got our business name registered in a week, the company registration done in a month, and the tax and other issues should be sorted out in another week or so. That’s about 8 weeks in total for the SA government to allow us to set up business. I think that’s pretty good.
But then it came to the bank. I approached the bank with which I have been dealing for 20 years as a client, who know the value of my house and know I have paid off that loan, with whom I also have a substantial money market account, thinking they would be accommodating. They still haven’t fully approved the overdraft we wanted, and it has taken lots of cajolling from me to get us some credit facilities so we could pay the salary bill.
So for anyone coming to this country to open a business, the SA government is really helpful but the banks are a pain in the back-side.
Both have now happened, I am glad to say. We got the new company registration papers this week. What was even more surprising was that our ERP principal also confirmed our partner contract – within a week. The initials of the new company are MBS (M is not manticore), which actually is completely coincidental with the old initials of our principal.
Who has taken the longest to get going – the bank with our cheque account! I had to open a company savings account so we could give our customers a bank account on their invoices.
The actions list on the list:
VAT and PAYE registration
foreign exchange approval to pay our principal
new office premises
What I am learning in this process is that things take time, and to appreciate each little step forward.