BT says ‘The North’ is clueless

In Friday’s Business Report (SA daily business paper) there is an article entitled “West blind to what makes the Brics tick“. It reports on a study by Data Monitor commissioned by British Telecom which says that business executives in the “north” developed countries have a very poor awareness about emerging markets, specifically the Brics countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

So a western report confirms what some of us have believed for a while, that the US and Europe really have very little idea how to operate a business outside of their cultural experience. The problem is, as one part of the study mentioned “that more than seven out of 10 western directors believed organisations in the developed world were better equipped technologically to work internationally than those in Brics”; that smacks of ‘enterprise imperialism’ to me.

Certainly in the software industry, there tends to be a belief that software that works a certain way in the US or Europe should do so easily in Africa as well. Then they get surprise when implementation projects fail or take longer to go-live than projected.

It would be nice if some companies in the ‘north’ learn some lessons from this study. It will be nicer if our own local software companies take encouragement from the report and recognise they are placed in a position to take advantage of the West’s ignorance.


Microsoft’s emerging market expansion plan

Following my earlier blog about SAP’s expansion objectives, I hear Microsoft has announced its own plans targeting emerging market countries.

One analyst describes the what and why of the Unlimited Potential program. It certainly seems more realistic a growth plan than what SAP is hoping for.

As an aside, I see from the Microsoft announcement that Orlando Ayala is now part of an Emerging Segments Market Development group. He used to be part of the Dynamics group and I didn’t know until now that he had left. If it means he has left, then that is another departure that the Dynamics group will sorely miss, and shows that Microsoft’s focus is definitely off Dynamics and onto other areas, like Office and Search.

Enterprise irregulars are ‘north’ centric

I follow the blogs of the ‘enterprise irregulars’ – Dennis,Vinnie, Jeff, Sadagopan and others – because they seem to be very close to what’s happening and who is who in the enterprise space. But I am beginning to wonder what part of the world economy their comments represent. In my opinion, its the developed ‘north’, even though they report what is happening in India, for example.

So I am asking, where are the enterprise software bloggers for the developing countries of the ‘south’? With my sceptical view of the major vendors, I also wonder if we got together as a group, would the vendors take any notice of us?