Independance Day for Alicornio Africa

Susan Andre 2004

At an exclusive and intimate gathering of clients, media and partners today in Illovo, Sandton, two major announcements were made by Sagent Southern Africa, an enterprise information management consultancy and exclusive distributors of the Sagent Solution software product suite in Southern Africa. Susan Andre, Managing Director and founding member of Sagent Southern Africa, was joined by international representative, Dick Kakebeeke, of the American based Customer Communications Management software development giant, Group 1 Software, in making the announcements.

Following months of intensive negotiations, it was confirmed by Andre that the merger between Group 1 Software and Sagent Inc., the international holding company for some 12 companies worldwide, has been a successful one. Whilst Group 1's intentions to take over the Sagent Inc. assets were made known at an earlier stage to company's and partners, it was only today, that the announcement was officially made public in South Africa, at the high-level business event hosted by Sagent S.A. at the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

The main thrust of the event indicated that a new era is dawning for the S.A. based consultancy, and the biggest news of the day came when Andre made it known that Sagent Southern Africa was formally – no more. The dynamic, all woman consultancy was officially re-launched under the new banner of Alicornio Africa (Pty) Ltd in an inspired unveiling of the new look and feel. Andre went on to comment on the re-launch of the company, "It is an exciting time defined by growth and development for us. Even though the company name has changed, our clients needn't worry about structural or operational changes affecting the old Sagent Southern Africa. In fact, all changes will be for the better, including an increased research and development budget and an extension of our services."

Many didn't anticipate the dramatic implications the Group 1 merger would have on their South African counterparts. It has become apparent that Alicornio has effectively been catapulted or fast tracked into a stronger market position than ever before, by default and due to the merger. The catalyst was the Group 1 acquisition and Andre recognised and grabbed the prime opportunity for a double whammy. Says Andre, "Complete independence and under the Alicornio Africa banner, frees us to operate in a much broader capacity and reduces the difficulties of functioning under a company name so closely associated to a specific product."

The double benefit of Alicornio's independence comes with the company being the primary vendors of world class products here in South Africa, namely Doc 1 and the Sagent Solution. As vendors, Alicornio will continue to enjoy the global support and advanced information networks associated with Group 1 and this, comments Andre, "Is absolutely key in ensuring that we will maintain and grow our position at the forefront of the information integration industry."

When asked about the challenge of integrating and implementing the two very different, but complementary software suites, Andre commented, "We fully endorse both product suites, and we will endeavour to bring both offerings to market successfully. Our primary challenge at this point is to get Doc 1 out there and implemented as successfully as we have done with the Sagent Solution." Although it is a time for change for Alicornio Africa, their star is rising fast, say's Andre, "We have grasped the opportunity with both hands, we have taken a leap of faith and in doing so, gained enormously."

Andre confirmed that the directors were particularly excited about the direct impact that their new found independence had for existing and new clientele, big business and the IT industry as a whole. When probed to expand, said Andre, "We aim to stretch the boundaries of information integration. We are planning to change stoic market place perceptions, and are in the midst of exploring unchartered territory. The biggest impact we hope to make is to bridge the enormous gap between business as a whole and enterprise information integration."

In terms of the Customer Communications Management and Information Integration Management industries, the move by Group 1 and Sagent Inc. is certainly a first on a global scale. The product and skill combination that Group 1 now has to offer, puts this company at the forefront of the industry. The direct implication for the all new Alicornio Africa goes beyond the conventional in that the company will continue to benefit from the international network of partners and intellectual capital shared across continents, whilst tailoring their offering to directly meet the needs of medium to large local organisations.

Following Susan Andre's presentation, Dick Kakebeeke, Director Business Develop and strategic alliances EMEA and AP, took the benchmarking occasion to a higher level by announcing that, "We fully support the move made by Susan and her incredible team, so much so that we have invited them to go to market with our Doc 1 products." Doc 1, Kakebeeke went on to explain is a highly evolved platform for customer communications management.

Having already enjoyed huge success within the local markets, Andre comments, "We are taking our experience and the successes we have achieved to date, to a new level. Our expanded consultancy, training and software offering puts us in a whole new league, and although we are aware that many challenges await us, we remain extremely optimistic and look forward to what the future holds."

For further information, visit www.alicornio.co.za or contact Susan Andre on (011) 258 8739 or email info@alicornio.co.za.