Microsoft grows its business by 18 percent each year the company grows fast in the enterprise space, though Mteto Nyati, Manager Microsoft South Africa says it's a hard space to play. So many competitors want a large piece of the pie in this space while others are busy pushing open source software to this environment.
Nyati who opened the second and last day of the 2013 DEMO Africa Conference in Nairobi says the enterprise environment experiences a tough competition for instance they are competition with big boys like Google and in the traditional IT space Microsoft competes with Oracle and IBM.
"All of these companies are formidable and at the same time most of our customers are facing challenges and they are cutting down their IT budgets, we are competing in a shrinking technology space", says Nyati. For Microsoft to deliver 18 percent means they have to take shares from someone.
Microsoft is therefore concerned about the global competitiveness of Africa in particular within the IT space, the company has always wanted to innovate in products that can compete on the global economy and 4Afrika is a program that helps and drive the competitiveness of Africa.
Nyati says 4Afrika Initiative targets access, skills and innovation.
"Africa is largely consumers of other people intellectual property, by doing this we are actually creating jobs elsewhere, we should be creators of intellectual property", says Nyati. As a continent, Africa needs to focus on creating its own jobs, and be net exporters of value.
Microsoft helps starts ups by supporting what is already there, through amplifying their products and scaling them to other markets. Nyati says Microsoft does this through the Bizpark program, Nyati says start ups need to start with the end in mind.
"Think and see the connections between local and international markets as a plan to scale.
Peter generates technical content for CIO East Africa and the International Data Group News Service, he also contributes to PC World and Computer World. Peter is classically trained in computing and information management, and he is currently pursing an MBA program in Management Information Systems at the University of Nairobi, @peternalika