CONSULTANCY / 07 JUNE 2018 - 12.04 / STAFF REPORTER
South African management consulting and information communications technology (ICT) services firm Ulwembu has acquired a majority stake in Smart Integration – a firm that specialises in incorporating ICT solutions into the commercial as well as the residential sphere. The acquisition ties into Ulwembu’s broader growth plans in the country.
Founded just over a decade ago in 2007, Ulwembu Business Services offers support and ICT solutions for firms in South Africa that are looking to undergo digital transformation. Services offered by the firm run through the entire supply-chain, and include enterprise development strategies through streamlining.
Structurally, the firm is divided in two divisions, namely Technology Services and Business Services. The former includes aspects such as ICT infrastructure, systems integration, systems automation, e-health, and even networking & cabling. The latter delves into enterprise programme development, business process outsourcing, organisational design, and general management consulting.
Ulwembu acts as an umbrella operation for five companies, and is predominantly black-owned, which makes it B-BBEE compliant and offers a strong position in the South African market. Now, the firm has added another company to its network through the acquisition of a 70% stake in Smart Integration – another ICT specialist entity.
Smart Integration specialises in constructing state-of-the-art digital environments, with a particular focus on leveraging automation to promote efficiency. Within this field of expertise, the firm’s services include the designing and construction of data centres and other IT infrastructure, leveraging AI for commercial solutions, and the increased intergration of automation into the residential space.
The firm also offers structured data cabling solutions, which makes it an even stronger match for Ulwembu, given its services in the domain. In addition, the acquisition equips Ulwembu for the wave of demand that is due to come in the ICT and automation domains across the country.
The ratio of automated systems to workers in South Africa is already ahead of those in major developing economies such as India and China, and is expected to grow in tandem with the global ratio over the next decade. In addition, the integration of ICT applications such as cloud computing, blockchain and AI is moving beyond the major corporations in South Africa, as small and medium enterprises have begun to embrace the new paradigm.
Ulwembu recognises the diversity of value added through the acquisition, primarily due to Smart Integration’s expertise in relatively untapped sectors. “Our acquisition of Smart Integration provides us with access to new markets, including the growing local home automation sector, which is touted to reach $61.06 million by 2021," said Sibusiso Kunene, Managing Director at Ulwmbu.
Glen Noome, Founder of Smart Integration added, “The business acumen housed within Ulwembu and its strong focus on transformation within the local industry makes it an attractive partner for us, and we look forward to moving in a positive direction together.”
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER