Movers and shakers: Altron Karabina announces three senior appointments

Johannesburg, 06 Jun 2022
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Altron Karabina, a leading technology solutions provider across Africa and the Middle East, has announced the appointment of Heath Turner, Caron Reynolds and Johan Smith to senior leadership positions within the organisation as the company looks to attract and retain scarce talent, and maintain a high quality of service in order to deliver innovation that matters to its customers.

Heath Turner, who has been involved in various roles at the company since 2006, when it was called IS Partners, has been appointed in the role of Digital Platforms Transformation Lead. He has been tasked with building capability within the business in order to better service customers who are looking to transform their data or their underlying enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications.

“With growing demand from customers who are looking to modernise their business systems by moving into the cloud, we are looking to establish a team that is focused on engaging with the customer from the earliest part of their digital journey, and guiding them through a process that in some cases can last years. These transformation projects are akin to open-heart surgery, and the customer is looking for a trusted partner who will be with them through the entire process. I’m excited to be part of building this capability, which will live on, and benefit Altron Karabina over the long-term,” says Turner.

Turner says transformation projects are often championed by a senior executive or change agent within an organisation, and the team will be able to assist them with building the business case over the long-term, risk mitigation, ensuring company leaders understand the value that they will get out of digital transformation. They will also assist in plotting the journey ahead, identifying what technology solutions are required, what change management initiatives will have to be implemented, and highlighting what impact the transformation project will ultimately have on the business.

“This customer-centric team will have the capability to come in and do some initial work in order to ensure that we set up the project for success. With each business and its requirements being different, this is not a standardised approach but is very specific and unique to each customer’s environment, and the team will be there as a trusted partner to live this journey with them. Our customers stand to gain not only from the depth of experience within Altron Karabina but the breadth of product and service offerings from across the broader Altron Group,” adds Turner.

Caron Reynolds, who has 26 years’ experience in human resources roles across a variety of sectors, and has previously run her own recruitment agency, has been appointed as Head of Human Capital. She has over a decade of experience within the broader Altron Group, including with Altech ISIS, Bytes Universal Systems and Altron Systems Integration. Reynolds will oversee the attraction and retention of talent, learning and professional development, and putting in place a more efficient onboarding that reduces the time from being hired to working on solutions for clients.

“I’m very passionate about making a difference in the lives of people within an organisation; it has always been my niche. My career began as a secretary for a sales team, before my love for working with people resulted in a move into personnel administration and then into human resources. I enjoy taking a strategic vision and then translating that into something tangible that the team can implement, before seeing how that makes a difference in the organisation from both a business and people perspective,” says Reynolds.

Reynolds says the critical skills shortage requires a concerted effort toward shifting the balance between demand and supply, primarily by building these capabilities. This will have to be a collaborative effort as a single organisation cannot address the challenges on its own. Developing this highly required set of skills requires the development of a much larger funnel from which to select candidates for skills development. While not all those selected for graduate training programmes, such as Altron Karabina’s Upskilling Programme (KUP), will find their way into permanent roles with Altron Karabina, they will still be able to put their learned skills to good use elsewhere, helping alleviate the skills shortage.

“I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to head up a People Operations team again, and to make a real difference at this level. I have only been here for a few weeks, but have already developed a high opinion of Altron Karabina, and its people-centric approach. It’s not just a marketing buzzword here, but caring for its people is part of the DNA of this organisation. Helping our people see that they are making a meaningful contribution not only helps us attract and retain talent but has an impact on our customers too, as our work helps customers improve their operations so that they can grow too,” adds Reynolds.

Johan Smith, who had a start in accounting and finance before building up extensive experience in project management and service delivery in several industry sectors, has been appointed as Head of Modern Platform and Managed Services. Smith spent nine years working for a US-based oil and gas company in various accounting-related roles, which saw him being deployed to work at facilities in multiple countries worldwide. His career switched to IT when the company decided to consolidate its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and production systems, with Smith taking on a project management role.

“I came back to South Africa in 2009 and worked with a multinational IT company, where I was primarily focused on working with external customers. This included a start in project management, before moving on to be the head of projects, and then being given the added responsibility of service delivery management. I joined Altron Group in 2019 and was a programme manager on projects aimed at modernising the company’s business systems, including the shift to cloud-based applications such as Dynamics 365 for ERP and Workday for human resources management,” says Smith.

In March 2021, Smith was appointed as Altron’s Executive for Group Platforms and IT Operations, where he was responsible for ensuring reliable platforms across the whole group, as well as bringing cyber security into focus. With the evolution of the Altron One strategy into Altron 2.0, certain functions were transitioned from the group level to individual operations, and Smith was presented with the opportunity to take up this new position at Altron Karabina.

“Altron Karabina has gone through a period of tremendous growth over the past year or so, and will continue to do so in the future. This comes with its own set of challenges, and we need to look at how we either optimise our operating model or make our processes more scalable so that we can provide our services to a larger customer base with predictable results, and demonstrate our value. I’m excited to be part of the journey of growing the ways in which we can leverage our stack of cloud-based platforms, products and services, and enhance the way in which we work with our customers so that we can transform their businesses by delivering innovation that matters,” adds Smith.

Altron Karabina is in an exciting growth phase, having turned a corner and is seeing the fruits of very deliberate decisions taken more than a year ago. We believe that there is going to be a rebound post-pandemic, and we are preparing ourselves now - including by adding exceptional talent to our ranks - to take advantage of this growth. The entire team at Altron Karabina congratulates Heath on his new role, and extends a warm welcome to Caron and Johan who join us from the group,” says Altron Karabina MD Collin Govender. 

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15 Aug
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