MS partner Altron Karabina appoints new execs

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Grant van der Wal, MD of Altron Karabina.
Grant van der Wal, MD of Altron Karabina.

Altron Karabina has made key executive appointments as it looks to exploit the lucrative Microsoft software licensing contract it recently landed.

The business unit of JSE-listed Altron recently appointed James Hickman as chief customer officer; Mpho Moseki as territory lead for Tshwane; Ian Wilson as territory lead for Johannesburg; Mauritz Preller, business unit lead for dynamic operations; and Nicole Oliveira to head up the new software services business unit.

Software giant Microsoft last month appointed Altron Karabina as a licensing solution provider (LSP) in SA.

The announcement came after Microsoft cancelled its contract with IT services company EOH earlier this year.

Following the LSP deal, Altron group chief executive Mteto Nyati told ITWeb in an interview that the company is targeting R100 million from its software licensing partnership with Microsoft.

Grant van der Wal, MD of Altron Karabina, says all the new hires in the leadership team are focused on the customer.

He notes the appointment of Oliveira was necessitated by the creation of the software services business unit, with this unit providing new services to customers.

“The unit consults clients on how to become more strategic with their solutions to get the best possible value out of them,” Van der Wal explains.

“In addition, it looks at increasingly innovative ways to leverage the power of the cloud for organisational growth. Nicole is well-positioned to lead this business unit, align strategic planning and goals, and ensure customer success and service excellence. We look forward to her driving Microsoft innovation across the key strategic areas of this new unit.”

Dynamic operations

Moseki was appointed due to her previous experience in the public sector – a new market for Altron Karabina – as well as looking after customers in the Tshwane area, says Van der Wal.

He points out that Wilson joined as the new territory lead for Johannesburg to spearhead an account team that could now grow into the enterprise market and still keep a focus on corporate customers.

Mpho Moseki, territory lead for Tshwane.
Mpho Moseki, territory lead for Tshwane.

According to Van der Wal, Hickman is an accomplished professional, having spent 20 years in the technology industry focusing on both B2B and B2C markets in Africa, the Middle East and the UK.

“He has a consistent track record of delivering organisational growth, strategy evolution and cross-functional leadership while continually innovating and adapting to change. He has worked for corporates such as Qlik SA and Microsoft, where he held senior and executive positions. He brings with him a passion for Microsoft and for customers, and we look forward to him growing a strong sales team for Altron Karabina.”

He says the Microsoft contract allows Altron Karabina to do large enterprise licensing deals that only LSPs are allowed to do.

Ian Wilson, territory lead for Johannesburg.
Ian Wilson, territory lead for Johannesburg.

“Based on our assumptions and research, the total addressable market is just over $420 million (R6.3 billion) per annum,” says Van der Wal.

“We are planning a target share of 15% of that ($63 million) over the next three years. We can now work with customers on their licensing, and bring in our consulting services business to implement, consume and adopt the licences and vice versa.”

Prior to the acquisition by Altron, Karabina was one of Microsoft’s consulting partners in the country – with 18 years in business.

“As Altron Karabina, we are essentially the same company but with more markets to grow in to, from the public sector to the rest of Africa. We also have more services to offer our customers and more opportunity. Altron now has a dedicated operating company focused exclusively on Microsoft,” notes Van der Wal.

Much IT experience

Software services business unit lead Oliveira has over 14 years’ experience in the industry working in licensing as well as operations and sales.

Prior to joining Altron Karabina, she held various roles at Dimension Data, being general manager for software services and sales operations manager for software services, as well as sales enablement across the various lines of business.

Nicole Oliveira, software services business unit lead.
Nicole Oliveira, software services business unit lead.

She also held roles at Websense as a sales executive and at Novell as licensing and distribution manager.

As territory lead for Tshwane, Moseki is responsible for establishing and developing the public sector business as a new market for Altron Karabina.

With 15 years’ experience in the IT industry, mainly within sales and business development, she has played a key role in solution-selling in the various positions she’s held in the industry, the company says.

Prior to joining Altron Karabina, Moseki held the role of sales manager at Vodacom for the large enterprises business as well as business development executive at Jaycor International, a telecommunications company focused on cabling.

She was also at Microsoft SA as a corporate territory manager driving sales within small to medium organisations.

According to Altron Karabina, Johannesburg territory lead Wilson has over 20 years’ experience in IT sales and solution-selling. He started his career managing restaurants before moving into selling hospitality IT solutions. He has spent 16 years fulfilling many roles, from key account management to sales management.

In 2015, Wilson moved into selling Microsoft applications and focused on CRM solutions.

James Hickman, chief customer officer.
James Hickman, chief customer officer.

Hickman has 22 years’ experience in various leadership roles, most recently at Qlik and Microsoft SA. In addition, he holds an MBA from the Gordon Institute of Business Science, having completed his thesis in the field of Innovation.

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