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EXCLUSIVE: T-Systems to relocate from Midrand complex to WeWork

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T-Systems will move away from its Midrand complex next year.
T-Systems will move away from its Midrand complex next year.

T-Systems South Africa is moving away from its massive Midrand complex to WeWork, a co-working office space based in Rosebank, Johannesburg.

This was revealed by Dineo Molefe, MD of T-Systems SA, after a source informed ITWeb of the move, saying a lot of employees had also lost their jobs at the German-based multinational, which announced restructuring plans last year.

WeWork is an American commercial real estate company that provides shared workspaces for technology start-ups and services for other enterprises. It’s first location in SA opened in August.

The move comes after T-Systems lost a lucrative government contract. In October last year, T-Systems announced it was walking away from a R1.5 billion contract with state-owned freight and logistics company, Transnet, and dropping a legal battle.

Transnet and T-Systems had, for some time, been at loggerheads over the R1.5 billion contract, which was awarded to T-Systems in 2017, but which Transnet’s previous board later decided it wanted to award to IT services company Gijima.

In October 2017, Transnet filed a declaratory order in the Johannesburg High Court to set aside its February 2017 decision to give T-Systems the IT data services contract, or alternatively confirm Transnet itself has the power to rescind its earlier decision and instead give the contract to Gijima.

Job cuts

T-Systems, the IT services arm of Germany's Deutsche Telekom, last year said it planned to cut 10 000 jobs in a three-year drive to return to profitability. About 6 000 of these job cuts will be in Germany, it said. The aim of this action was to change company loss to profit.

Following the announcement, the South African business said it was restructuring its business locally.

T-Systems’ name was also dragged into the mud during the Gupta scandals, with media reports questioning some of the company's new enterprise development suppliers who worked on Transnet and Eskom.

However, the company strongly denied the allegations, with former MD Gert Schoonbee telling ITWeb that “we are not a Gupta company”.

In a statement to ITWeb on Friday, the company said: “T-Systems South Africa is relocating to new premises at WeWork’s shared workspace at The Link, in Rosebank, in January 2020, in a move that will drive workforce collaboration and heighten efficiencies.

“This will allow the company to align its work environment with its 2020 business transformation strategy, positioning the business for growth, stability and agility.”

It added that as the company moves towards a “leaner” model that focuses on customer centricity and partnerships, it requires a new open, flexible workspace that fosters transparency, agility, collaboration and accountability to drive higher performance.

The office space is also geared towards comfort, wellness and convenience, with an open plan design that enhances communication, it noted.

Says Molefe: “As we move forward, embracing a new way of doing business, this requires a new working environment that supports our goals. Our people are central to achieving our business 2020 transformation strategy and play a pivotal role in creating an innovative, dynamic and agile environment for the growth of the business, not just in a profitable way but in a meaningful manner too.”

Dineo Molefe, MD of T-Systems South Africa.
Dineo Molefe, MD of T-Systems South Africa.

Business transformation

According to T-Systems, Molefe is transforming the business to drive growth and stability for the business amid a challenging marketplace and a changing client base.

To achieve this transformation, T-Systems SA says it has streamlined the organisation to focus on the enablement areas for its customers: connectivity, digital, cloud and infrastructure, and security.

Molefe explains: “These are the foundations that deliver value in our customers’ business, creating the underlying framework to thrive in a digital economy where innovation and disruption are fundamental to success and sustainability.

“Our goal is to evolve our customers’ business and resolve their greatest challenges, enabling them to better manage complexity and focus on opportunities to accelerate their success.

“We are also tightening our strategic vendor partnerships and integrating our sales and delivery areas to create more value and deliver seamless services.”

The company points out its business 2020 transformation strategy will continue to support its nation-building initiative that is aligned with the National Development Plan 2030, boosting education, skills transfer and employment opportunities for SA’s youth.

Molefe concludes: “I am excited about the strategy, transformation and relocation to new premises and the possibilities it creates for a more focused organisation. This strengthens our ability to resolve critical business issues for our customers in a competitive environment and enable them to thrive.”

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