Extracting gold

AccTech’s depth of competencies is recognised by Microsoft through the Gold Partner accreditation.

brainstorm Extracting goldBy Paul Furber – Copyright Brainstorm & AccTech Systems.
Photo credit: Suzanne Gell, Mariette Landman

Microsoft grades and measures its partners based on specific competencies.

“Customer references and a minimum number of skilled people per competency are required to be able to deliver specific solutions successfully,” says Aldo van Tonder, chief technology officer at AccTech Systems. “Our business model supports delivering solutions for specific customer business applications, platforms and integration services.”

“At the Microsoft World Partner Conference 2008, AccTech was recognised internationally as the runner up in the category Information worker solutions with specialisation in enterprise project management. That’s an accolade we are particularly proud of,” states van Tonder.

At the annual Microsoft Africa Partner Awards summit 2008, AccTech was nominated in ten categories as a finalist; more finalist nominations than any other Microsoft Partner. In the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) and Office Deployment Partner categories AccTech were recognised as the outright winner.

David Ives, platform strategy director at Microsoft South Africa, says that the company’s strategy is to get clarity of vision and business models aligned in the partner base.

“Microsoft has set a global benchmark whereby partners are graded according to their skills. This competency based benchmark is an objective mechanism customers should use when selecting a technology partner. Having ten competencies is an objective measure of AccTech’s breadth and depth of expertise,” says van Tonder.

Ives says: “We’re helping partners with insight into the company’s global strategy. We have the PinPoint programme that tracks customer references to give to partners and there are skills that we pass on. Partners want to know how they can work with all the technologies that Microsoft has available. If we want to win battles in the marketplace, we need to work with our partners to convince customers that there are solutions for their problems. So we have the partner portal, marketing material and partner support material to assist them.”

Business experience driving technology innovation

Business experience is the domain where AccTech has specific and immense experience. This deep seated and practical experience gained in over a decade of implementing ERP solutions provides customers with a clear advantage when engaging AccTech. The same tried and tested approach and thinking is used to build end-to-end business solutions that encompass all information domains in the enterprise.

“We’ve been recognised by Microsoft as such. We were one of the first partners to encourage widespread usage of SharePoint and have done groundbreaking work with Silverlight, Microsoft’s new User Experience technology,” van Tonder notes. “The turnkey offerings embrace the entire information management cycle. This goes all the way from operating system, unified communications, desktop and server software, to line of business applications and business intelligence. We also include customised offerings that enable the day-to-day running of an enterprise.”

Over the years AccTech has developed a broad spectrum of business applications. This intellectual property is utilised by more than 7 000 users across the globe. These applications have been developed using the latest industry standard Microsoft framework and furthermore have been accredited as official ISV applications by both Sage and Microsoft.

“Comprehensive business intelligence and data management solutions have been developed and are packaged in a format for rapid and easy implementation. These cost effective bundled offerings compliment each other. This makes it easy for customers to establish a service orientated architecture platform that is fully integrated with their ERP and line of business applications. So, this effectively provides an end-to-end business solution founded on a Microsoft technology stack,” van Tonder explains.

As Ives points out, this isn’t just talk. “AccTech has done very innovative work around the popular accounting programs. They’ve developed an application which crawls several thousand customer sites and publishes a management pack in Microsoft Silverlight. The problem is that every time the accounting rules change, everything needs to be redeployed and the financial engine needs to be rewritten. They have addressed this problem with software plus a service – the software is their application, their service is an online business intelligence service. It doesn’t matter what database you have and if financial legislation changes, they can change it centrally,” Ives says.

Despite Microsoft’s increasingly comprehensive reach across most aspects of business software, there’s still plenty of opportunity for customisation and development skills. And that’s where AccTech’s skills come in. “We make it all work together,” concludes van Tonder.