AEEI’s subsidiary, AYO Technology Solutions Ltd (AYO), was successfully listed on the main board of the JSE on 21 December 2017 as a leading B-BBEE information and communication technology (ICT) company in South Africa, with strong management expertise and a sound track record. The AEEI Group now holds 49.36% equity in comparison to 80.03% prior to AYO being listed. During the interim period under review, the AEEI Group relinquished control of AYO, resulting in the division becoming an associate in August 2018 without Board control. This investment has been accounted for as an associate as at the period ended 24 August 2018.
The current improving market conditions and the regulations pertaining to B-BBEE have set AYO in good stead to capture the growing ICT spend across the South African market. The ICT associate is currently servicing customers in southern and northern Africa, Europe and Mauritius. Its strategic alliance with BT Communications Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd (BT) provides it with access to global technology trends as well as access to the global market.
As a niche market enterprise, AYO provides effective ICT business solutions and services that enhance business performance to both government and corporate customers. AYO comprises businesses that are leaders in their respective niche markets, have solid client bases and high levels of sustained organic growth.
As a B-BBEE ICT Company, AYO offer numerous end-to-end solutions to a host of industries. AYO was established in 1996 and has evolved over time through continually adapting to the local and international ICT landscape. The process of adaptation was enabled by acquiring new businesses, partnerships and sourcing innovative technology within its existing portfolio.
AYO, through its divisions, subsidiaries and partners, provides business solutions to both the public and private sectors within South Africa and abroad, with its private sector client base comprising mostly blue-chip multinationals. AYO maintains strong relationships and holds key value-added reseller and/or supplier agreements with principles such as Nokia Siemens Networks South Africa (Pty) Ltd, InterSystems Corporation, Cisco Systems, Microsoft Corporation, IBM and Riverbed Technology Inc., which provides AYO with continuous access to the latest technology.
AYO has a strategic relationship with BT. Solutions include optimised and integrated healthcare ICT solutions; network services; collaboration services, including Immersive Telepresence, Managed local area network (LAN) and information processes and technology (IPT) Services, System Integration, Enterprise Security Management, Converged Infrastructure, Enterprise Storage Management, Efficiency and Waste Management, Audio Technology Provider and Unified Communications; mobile solutions; strategic digital services; and asset tracking.
Companies in the AYO Group offer the following wide range of solutions:
- Health System Technologies – ICT solutions to the healthcare industry, such as hospitals; primary healthcare, laboratory and pharmacy information systems; electronic health records; continuity of care records and telemedicine, backed by the necessary professional services, such as consulting, system architecture design, system integration, business intelligence and development of bespoke software solutions.
- Software Tech Holdings – offers an integrated range of services, including software engineering, business intelligence, professional services, usability and design.
- Afrozaar – a software consulting and product development business focused on the development of innovative software products in the mobile, digital and cloud environments. Afrozaar is fast becoming a leader in digital transformation of traditional media and brand groups around how they value their digital processes, assets and respective audiences.
- Digital Matter – an IT specialist focusing on mobile application development including mobile inspection management, fixed asset management, and solutions for clients in mobile field services, technician management, franchise evolution, mobile banking and plant commissioning.
- Puleng Technologies – provides their customers with a client-centric security strategy that manages the two most valuable assets in an organisation, being its data and users, while facilitating IT and business with a platform to build an efficient, collaborative governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) programme. It also provides service-orientated infrastructure architectures that focus on the simplification, automation and operational efficiencies within and beyond the data centre.
- Kalula Communications (trading as Headset Solutions) – imports and distributes notable brands within the telecommunications and consumer electronic markets. Headset Solutions is the distributor for all Plantronics and Konftel products in Southern Africa. Plantronics designs headsets for a wide range of devices, including phones, laptops, handhelds, entertainment and music devices. Konftel is a worldwide leader in the manufacture of audio conferencing equipment and the inventor of audio conference technology.
The AYO Group of companies has international partnerships with leading technology suppliers.
The AYO Group is very successful at retaining its client base in the long-term and its established foundation has set the platform for future business growth. These strategies have paid dividends and are a cost-effective way of providing a short to medium-term source of income and growth and remain an integral part of their core strategy to develop new opportunities.
Acquiring and developing their own intellectual property is a key strategic focus area and will ensure better margins with resulting profitability. Increasing revenue is generated through the launch of AYO’s own products and services into local and international markets. By extending their footprint into other parts of Africa and replicating their successes, AYO will ensure the sustainability of its businesses. As a medium-term opportunity, implementation services can be provided to first-world countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. Opportunities are actively pursued to increase their market reach through partnerships and are culturally aligned with complementary businesses.
Further information on this associate investment can be found on www.ayotsl.com.
The AEEI Group also holds a 30% equity interest in BT Communications Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd (BT). This investment is accounted for as an associate.
BT has been present in South Africa for more than 18 years and is continuing to expand its operations in sub-Saharan Africa. BT entered into an agreement with AEEI, under which AEEI holds a 30% equity interest in BT’s South African business. This partnership is a demonstration of BT’s long-term commitment to South Africa and the B-BBEE agenda.
BT provides networked information technology services to clients in South Africa. BT operates as a subsidiary of BT Group plc.
BT is focused on serving the increasing requirements of both South Africa-based multinationals expanding globally as well as global companies that are expanding their presence into South Africa and the rest of Africa. BT has experience across all industry sectors, and has unrivalled expertise in the financial services, mining, oil and gas, government, healthcare, media and broadcast, and transport and logistics sectors.
Customers include more than 300 blue chip clients in South Africa, including Anglo American PLC, Barclays Bank Africa and Visa Inc.
BT has extended its next-generation global IP network into South Africa to three global points of presence within South Africa. BT’s Global Media Network is also being extended to South Africa with the deployment of the media and broadcast node in Johannesburg, enabling the delivery of high-quality, real-time video content between South Africa and popular media hubs worldwide.
BT has also extended its global managed voice network into South Africa, providing carrier-grade global voice services including global termination services for outbound voice requirements both mobile and fixed line originated, global inbound voice services for South African call centre operations, as well as extending BT’s conferencing services into the region.
On top of these network services delivered by the BT 21st Century Network platform globally, BT also delivers unified communications and collaboration services, including Immersive TelePresence, Managed LAN and IPT services as well as the security and consulting services that form an essential part of these offerings.
BT’s investment in technology is mirrored in its commitment to corporate social responsibility. In 2007, BT announced its development partnership with UNICEF, committing R20m to enhance the quality of education for children from some of South Africa’s poorest socio-economic backgrounds.
BT’s business strategy for sub-Saharan Africa is two-fold: provide best-of-breed managed network services for multinational companies operating in Africa. They provide expertise to the national operators to improve their retail and domestic market offerings to their respective citizens.
Further information on this strategic investment can be found on www.bt.com/globalservices.
BT is one of the world’s leading communications services companies. They serve the needs of customers in the UK and in 180 countries worldwide. Their main activities are the provision of fixed-line services, broadband, mobile and TV products and services as well as networked IT services. Further information can be found on www.globalservices.bt.com/uk/en/aboutus.