Fri, 27/02/2015 - 16:55
Current Issue 77
The Most Connected IT Experts in East and Central Africa
The Copy Cat has been an instrumental part of the African IT sector over the last 30 years thanks to its fully qualified staff upholding the company reputation and through its delivery of a functional and quality product
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Nick Norris
In narrowing its focus to cater specifically for IT system integration, The Copy Cat Limited has been able to gain a competitive advantage in East Africa’s tech industry. Through partnerships with the likes of Oracle, Cisco, HP, IBM, Hitachi and Symantec, the company has become known as one of the leading information technology system integration companies in East and Central Africa.
Celebrating its 30th year of incorporation this year, The Copy Cat has been an instrumental part of the IT sector thanks to its exemplary skill set, client focus and determination in delivering a functional and quality product to the customer. A particularly proud moment for the company was attaining an ISO 9001:2008 certification in 2014, owing to the successful adherence to quality management systems.
The Copy Cat has had a presence in the region since 1985, when the initial focus of the business was to sell office equipment. The company quickly branched out and increased its offering into further IT and office automation services, expanding across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Burundi, and now enjoys an annual group turnover of more than US$100 million and has more than 700 employees regionally.
Gaining a competitive edge
Customers recognise The Copy Cat as a reputable name in the IT sector, however Director Krishna Kumar hopes to increase partner and customer relationships significantly moving forward.
By focusing on the needs of the market, The Copy Cat has become known for its problem solving skills, providing a bespoke solution to counter the problems with existing or disparate systems. “We have honed in on specific challenges our customers face and have put in place the right solutions to resolve these problems, positioning ourselves as a true solution provider,” Kumar comments.
Through a results-driven approach, The Copy Cat has created a series of software, hardware and network systems that deliver functionality and are easy to use. Similarly, the company analyses its performance to ensure continual improvement of its product and service offering. “Our customers speak very highly of us. We have repackaged our services to offer a set of turnkey solutions that add to our quality of service,” Kumar adds.
In line with this, The Copy Cat has invested in a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) process and hopes this initiative will serve as a direct platform for feedback. “We have created a single, consolidated platform that helps us maintain and track all our customer interactions. Moreover, our Net Help Desk provides ITIL standards based technical support to our customers to address, respond & resolve technical issues as per the SLAs,” Kumar highlights.
In order to secure a constant supply of skilled workers in the IT industry, The Copy Cat are looking to partner with Samsung, the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta Universities to develop a curriculum that is in line with the changing requirements of the industry.
Partnering with the best
As one of the leading systems integrators in East Africa, The Copy Cat has a large scope of solutions and services available. “We offer solutions in design and consultancy, office automation, business continuity planning, virtualisation, networking, enterprise computing, storage and collaboration solutions. We also offer managed services in IT and managed print services,” explains Kumar.
Supported by some of the biggest names in the IT industry, The Copy Cat has a large customer base including the private sector, public sector, NGO’s and institutions. “In order to provide top notch solutions to the market, we have partnerships with leading global vendors including; Cisco gold partner, HP gold partner, Oracle platinum partner, IBM sales and support partner, Hitachi GOLD partner, Symantec gold partner; Microsoft silver partner and EMC2 partner to a name a few.
“This has built our credibility and enabled us to gain further clients. It has also given us a chance to have both the best skilled personnel in the market and training for global names in the industry,” says Kumar.
Credible IT partnerships
These partnerships cement The Copy Cat’s position in Central and Eastern Africa as a professional name you can trust. There are several examples of a successful partnership and Kumar highlighted a few via The Copy Cat’s partnership with Cisco: “We provided a HD video conference system (telepresence) for the East African Community (EAC) headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania and to the EAC Ministries at the capitals of EAC partner states, namely Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi, Kigali, Bujumbura and Kampala. This was based on Cisco’s latest Telepresence TX9000 system and has made conferences much more efficient for EAC,” emphasises Kumar.
Alongside a service provider involved in TeleAfya, The Copy Cat and Cisco are working on a project to provide affordable health care to common wananchi using Cisco health presence solutions. Moreover, the company is also involved in supplying Cisco NGN to Safaricom for its core MPLS network.
“We are always at the forefront of the technology curve to bring in the best in class solutions first in East Africa. We are investing heavily on software defined networking through Cisco application-centric infrastructure, internet of things (IoT) with location based analytics, connecting the unconnected through the use of advanced sensors and energy management to provide customers with better energy savings. There is no limit to our solutions in these areas,” says Kumar.
The Copy Cat is currently implementing a complete overhaul of Liquid Telecom’s Nairobi Metro Ethernet network, a contract that it won based on its skills, local presence and support capabilities. The project covers 22 aggregation sites with Cisco ASR 9000 and 1000+ Metro Ethernet switches based on Cisco ME36xx switches with Cisco prime network management system.
Additionally, The Copy Cat Limited has been awarded a contract by the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) and ICT Authority to implement Transport Integrated Management System (TIMS) in Kenya. The TIMS system will help NTSA offer efficient delivery of host of services to citizens through Internet and mobile technology as well as provide an effective monitoring system for transport officials. “This project once again reiterates our commitment to help the government sector deliver services to citizens effectively and efficiently by deploying world-class technology,” Kumar comments.
For a number of years, The Copy Cat has been making positive contributions to the local communities through value added services and financial support for community projects.
“We are committed to being active in the environment in which we function across the region of East Africa, and play a leadership role in helping others help themselves. We manage our business processes to positively impact local society,” highlights Kumar.
From playing a key part in installing a fully functional computer lab, IP telephony and video conference facility for the under-privileged children at the AMREF Dagoreti Children’s Centre to sponsoring the 6th Mwea Classic Marathon, The Copy Cat play a vital role in local economic empowerment initiatives.
“Additionally, we sponsored the Gertrude’s Hospital Foundation charity golf tournament at the Muthaiga Golf Club on September 20 2013. Every year a particular aspect of the foundation’s charity work donates the money raised through the golf tournament to go towards the treatment and support of children living with disabilities. The CFC-Stanbic Bank also supported the cause and represented Copy Cat during the golf tournament,” Kumar adds.
Armed with a 10 year vision to be a fully-fledged services company by 2022 with hopes to become a half a billion US dollar turnover group in East and Central Africa, The Copy Cat look to increase its geographical footprint and expand in size to offer tailored solutions, services and products to Africa’s burgeoning IT sector.