Partnership to reduce SA gov't software costs

Tilos Business Solutions Pty. Ltd., in conjunction with its BEE partner, Vulindlela Technologies, has entered into a collaboration agreement with arivia.kom focused on providing cost-effective solutions to South Africa authorities, regardless of their size -- from metropolitan municipalities to small local government offices.

Sybille McCloghrie, director of Tilos, says the partnership with arivia.kom has already resulted in a win at a metropolitan city council in the Eastern Cape. "Tilos has worked with arivia.kom for quite a while now. We believe that they have full faith in our solutions and component-building capabilities, and we expect that the scope will soon extend to our Tilos self-service and MIS++ solutions."

She says the arivia.kom sales team was trained on the e-local authority solution implemented at Potchefstroom, and is ready to apply these Tilos solutions and components in the rest of Africa as opportunities arise.

McCloghrie adds: "arivia.kom is independent, so it does not sell proprietary products to its clients. It can offer them the best solution for their needs, using the building blocks of our offering to create a variety of solutions, depending on the individual requirements of the local authority -- from the removal of paper and automation of business processes, to a full local e-government solution. Tilos's offering is South African, compliant with regulations, extremely flexible and cost-effective -- something it can deliver with confidence."

Thabo Dibakwane, arivia.kom divisional sales and marketing manager, says arivia.kom has identified the local authority space as a market that it wishes to target aggressively. One of the reasons for this is that many local governments, except for the very large metros, cannot readily afford an expensive international solution based on dollar or euro pricing.

Dibakwane says arivia.kom found that Tilos could match most local authority requirements.

He adds: "arivia.kom regards BEE as a strategic business imperative, so the Tilos engagement with Vulindlela was a definite plus in terms of affirmative procurement.

"Once we had formalized the relationship among the three companies, we began mapping out opportunities to chase. We began with the Eastern Cape, because of prior relationships that had been established by Vulindlela."

Joe Simelane, director of Vulindlela, which acts as a VAR for Tilos, says that while it is delivering solutions in the Eastern Cape, it works with BEE companies in the area as well to ensure that it is not seen as a Gauteng Big Brother coming in to take business from the locals. Rather, it has people on the ground who can continue servicing the client once implementation has been completed.

"If they require extra resources at any stage, we can provide these, and if they need specific support from Tilos, we can ensure that it happens as and when it needs to."

He adds: "Through this tripartite relationship, we have the best of both worlds. Because we are a smaller company, we can keep our ears to the ground in terms of knowing and understanding the changing requirements of municipalities, and find it easy to move fast when called on to do so. Then, with the backing of arivia.kom and Tilos, we get to share in the expertise and experience these entities have, guaranteeing skills transfer from them to us."

The first contract was won primarily on the basis of the flexibility and ease of use of the solution, says Dibakwane. "In many cases, though, money is a major problem for municipalities. The fact that the solution is also very cost-effective is another factor in our favor."

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