|value beyond technology
|Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
|Phil Hemsley, MD
|St Peters Square, Waterford Place
Paulshof, Johannesburg, Gauteng, 2128
|Hardware: HP, DELL, Lenovo, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, vmware, Citrix, Software: MS Dynamics NAV, SunSystems, Proactis, Pivotal, MS Dynamics CRM, Really Simple Systems, ZAP, Flowcentric, Systems@Work, AdvanceSMS
Latitude and Longitude: -26.033552 S,28.036217 E
Started in 1987, AdvanceNet has developed into a mature, multi-faceted company offering sophisticated business solutions throughout Africa. AdvanceNet continues to be a leader in the market by focusing on brand alignment, client service and partner relationships.
AdvanceNet’s investment in people, Intellectual property and best of breed brands is the key differential embedded in “value beyond technology”. This ability to deliver measurable business value is what makes AdvanceNet’s offering more than simply a comprehensive suite of excellent software, hardware and network infrastructure products.
AdvanceNet was established in 1987 initially providing computer based solutions to corporate clients.
The company has grown organically over the years, and now assists companies to implement business and infrastructure solutions that assist in gaining a competitive advantage and profit improvements.
Today AdvanceNet distributes, markets and supports world class Infrastructure solutions, Financial management solutions, Customer management solutions, as well as Performance and Mobility Management solutions. Their extensive expertise in these solutions has allowed them to operate throughout Africa and undertake implementations on an international basis.
AdvanceNet is an authorised reseller for market leading computer products, such as Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Sun MicroSystems and IBM. Many of their clients look to their high-end technical and infrastructure services to assist them in regional and international deployments.
AdvanceNet's success is directly attributable to the high level of service that they provide in this very competitive market place where the products are generally homogenous. This service-based differentiation has assured repetitive sales over many years and long-term relationships with a large group of clients throughout Africa.
AdvanceNet is based in Johannesburg and currently has a staff complement of 135, handling all the aspects of Sales and Marketing, Technical Services, Project Management, Implementation, Training and Support, locally and on an international basis.
AdvanceMobility brings management and the mobile workforce together to provide unparalleled market intelligence.
They supply the field force with hand held technology, which enables mobile employees to communicate real time information with the central business unit.
This allows management to plan, manage, view and control the entire field force operation from multiple remote locations providing total market visibility.
Business intelligence is made available through their world-class data analysis software. This intelligence empowers real time, top level strategic decision making.
The AdvanceMobility solution enables agility in highly competitive industries, providing a significant competitive advantage.
AdvanceForce is a Regional Consulting Partner of Salesforce.com in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. AdvanceForce apply industry best practices for selling, marketing and customer service. Dealing exclusively with Salesforce.com, AdvanceForce is 100% focused on the successful marketing, implementation and integration of salesforce.com based projects.
“Software as a Service”. AdvanceForce supplies business applications that are based on the Software as a Service (or SaaS) model. SaaS applications are sometimes called Web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software.
AdvanceOne was established in 2005 specialising in SAP Business One. AdvanceOne's staff complement has experience in over 70 SAP Business One implementations in the global and local markets, which is a significant advantage in a young and growing market in South Africa.
AdvanceOne specialises in selling, servicing, implementing and supporting SAP Business One.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The AdvanceKidz initiative was started in 2006 to provide the children of those employees who earn below a certain threshold with access to quality education.
The AdvanceNet Group is currently sponsoring the education of 23 children who range from 1 to 19 years of age and attend various pre-nursery, nursery, junior and senior schools. Costs covered by the AdvanceNet Group include fees, transport, extra mural activities, meals and books as well as various items of clothing.
While it is encouraging to see these children embrace the opportunity given to them, even more encouraging is the fact that every single account AdvanceNet have received to date on their progress, reports a rapid acceleration in their educational development.
AdvanceKhaya is a social upliftment programme designed to improve the quality of life of all unskilled and semi-skilled staff employed by the AdvanceNet Group. While our minimum wage employees are remunerated at over twice that of the minimum determined by the Department of Labour, it is our experience that very little disposable income typically remains for individuals employed in entry level positions after the costs of transportation have been provided for.
It is for this reason that we have introduced a housing allowance for all employees who earn less than a certain amount each month. This is a benefit intended to ensure that we are doing our utmost to provide our staff with a reasonable quality of life.
Drivers License Initiative - Every employee, irrespective of their position within the AdvanceNet Group, is given the opportunity to obtain their driver’s license though the sponsorship of the Company. The costs of any driving lessons required and the test itself are heavily subsidised by the AdvanceNet Group and to date over 20 employees have obtained, or are in the process of obtaining, their licenses.
As a proud supporter of the MySchool Programme, South Africa's foremost fund raising initiative for schools, every employee and their family is subscribed to this initiative at the AdvanceNet Group. The MySchool Programme facilitates support for schools on behalf of a wide range of business partners who have an interest in education. Over 500 000 supporters have registered for the programme to date, responsible for monthly contributions in excess of R1.5 million to schools country-wide.
Advance Services is a group initiative that started in 2007 to provide historically disadvantaged individuals with an opportunity for employment. The initiative was started as an extension of our mission “…to strive for complete customer delight in all aspects of our business…” and provides a complimentary car washing service to customers and other stakeholders whenever they visit our offices.
The Advance Services team currently consists of 7 members but is expected to grow substantially over the years as various ideas designed to contribute to the customer delight experience are implemented and included in their service offering.
AdvanceNet Year End Charity Initiative
In 1999 the AdvanceNet Group embarked on an annual year-end charity initiative, a programme which incorporates a marketing drive with a charity fundraiser.
All customers, suppliers and other stakeholders are sent an electronic greetings card, in lieu of a traditional card, thanking them for their support during the year and wishing them a happy festive season. By sending out an electronic card instead of the traditional paper-based alternative, the AdvanceNet Group saves approximately R15 per card which is then donated to a charity selected by the recipient from a list predefined by the Company.
Furthermore, in an interesting recent development, a number of South African and international companies have requested our assistance with the implementation of their own, similar programmes – an exciting extension of a successful home-grown idea.
The AdvanceNet Group have been involved in an initiative which supports students from the Rorke’s Drift area in various formats. This is one of the poorest areas in South Africa and these children struggle between cultural and household duties in order to be educated.
These children attend the Shiyane High School which is subsidised by the Government, but these subsidies are not enough to provide schooling for free without the school having to omit important amenities such as electricity and running water. AdvanceNet's initial involvement was to supply clothing to the children during the winter months. They managed to purchase over 90 pairs of school shoes and socks for the children who did not have.
One pupil’s basic school year costs R65, most of the people in this area are unemployed and simply don’t have the money. The sponsorship is a voluntary contribution from the AdvanceNet Group and staff to sponsor children for their academic year. The sponsorship covers 200 children at R165 per child per year and this provides for the academic year, new text books, school uniforms and stationery.
There is always something that the children need and we communicate regularly with the organisers and principal to see what the priority needs are. 
Financial Management Solutions
In 1993 AdvanceNet was appointed as a Sun Centre by Systems Union. This world class software product is installed in over 18 000 sites worldwide and is used by many of the world's major corporations to provide sophisticated financial management in a multi-lingual, multi-currency, multi-platform environment. We undertake responsibility for the entire process including implementation, training, project management and on-going support.
MS Dynamics NAV
In 1999 AdvanceNet was appointed as a Microsoft Dynamics NAV Solution Centre. Microsoft Dynamics NAV has on-going partnerships with 120,000 mid- size businesses worldwide. Microsoft subsequently acquired Microsoft Dynamics NAV and has a growing global presence with 300 certified Microsoft Dynamics NAV Solution Centers.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV software provides accounting and business management solutions with worldwide support, local expertise and functionality that matches the full spectrum of an organisation’s needs – at an advantageous cost-benefit ratio. We undertake responsibility for the entire process including implementation, training, project management and on-going support.
In 2004 AdvanceNet was the recipient of the prestigious Microsoft Excellence Award for its achievements in the Microsoft Dynamics NAV market place.
PROACTIS is one of the world’s most widely used solutions for Spend Control and eProcurement, designed to help mid-to-large size organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, controlling expenditure while streamlining procurement and accounts payable processes.
PROACTIS is a comprehensive suite of Spend Control & e-Procurement software applications supporting the entire ‘source to settle’ cycle. Thanks to its highly modular plug-and-play design, Proactis users can deploy individual modules, integrated with existing procurement or financial management software, or multiple Proactis applications to provide an end-to-end eProcurement platform.
This world class suite of products currently comprises of time@work and expense@work.
time@work is designed to provide a complete solution to professional services companies. This solution offers companies whose primary business is managing projects, time and people resources. The solution handles the full scope of time and expense recording, resource and project planning, forecasting and budgeting, customer billing and invoicing and seamless accounting integration. time@work is completely web-based giving users a very low total cost of ownership.
expense@work simplifies and automates the management of expenses, providing: Multiple configurable expense form types enabling single or multi-currency expense entry, mileage, and other expense types (and including requests for currency advances); Configurable tax calculations; Automated workflow, with optional authorization (usually by a line manager) and review (usually by an accountant) stages for an expense form, allowing full or partial commented return to an employee. Employee notification and reminder by email.
This solution is an integral component to our product portfolio and for clients who need to create efficiencies and custom built manageable processes within their organisations. AdvanceFlow is therefore the ideal solution to maintain your competitive advantage: Align Business Processes to Corporate Strategy; Implement Preventive rather than Detective controls; Execute processes consistently in all areas of the business; Create notification and escalation rules to suit the process.
Customer Relationship Management Solutions
MS Dynamics CRM
Microsoft CRM provides easy-to-use features and capabilities to improve the way your sales and marketing organization targets new customers, manages marketing campaigns, and drives sales activities. Your sales and marketing organization will have instant access to complete customer information no matter where it is stored, along with the tools needed to turn that information into action.
c360 is a leading provider of add-on products, industry solutions and development tools for the Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform. c360 products have been widely adopted by customers in the High-Tech, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Distribution, Professional Services and Retail industries among others.
AdvanceNet was appointed the Alliance Partner for sub-Saharan Africa for Pivotal Customer Relationship products in 1999. Pivotal currently has more than 2000 customers worldwide, and is represented in more than 35 countries. Pivotal’s eBRM (Business Relationship Management) solutions enable organisations to increase revenue by enhancing relationships with customers and business partners, and conducting personalised online commerce.
Really Simple Systems
Really Simple Systems provides hosted CRM to small and medium sized organisations who want sales, marketing and support systems that are easy to use and work immediately. The CRM system has been designed from the ground up to be easy and fast to use, both for everyday users and for managers. By delivering the system as a hosted application over the web the burden of IT support is removed from the customer and by using one common database instead of multiple replicated databases the problems associated with off-site use and data synchronisation is eliminated.
Business Intelligence brings together all the key BI capabilities you need, including scorecards, dashboards, key performance indicators (KPIs), analysis, reporting, and report packs – all in a user-friendly web portal.
In 2002 AdvanceNet was appointed as a reseller for this well known business intelligence tool.
IBM Cognos TM1 Executive Viewer provides users real-time web access to online analytical processing (OLAP) databases for advanced analysis and reporting. By providing self-service OLAP, IBM Cognos TM1 Executive Viewer removes the barriers that obstruct decision-making by offering true dynamic interaction.
Mobility Management Solutions
AdvanceSMS is an AdvanceNet developed product that allows outbound and inbound SMSing capabilities. The application lends itself towards an easy integration into any other systems.
AdvanceMobility brings Management and the mobile workforce together to provide unparalleled market intelligence:
Mobility- AdvanceMobility supplies the field force with hand held technology, which enables mobile employees to communicate REAL TIME information with the central business unit.
Management- Management is able to plan, manage, view and control the entire field force operation from multiple remote locations providing total market visibility.
Intelligence- Business intelligence is made available through AdvanceMobility's world-class data analysis software. This intelligence empowers REAL TIME, top level decision making.
The AdvanceMobility solution enables agility in highly competitive industries, providing a significant edge.
Document Management Solutions
Version One's Document Management and imaging software enables automatic document scanning, recognition, storage, archiving, retrieval and delivery of all your business documents.
With tightly integrated document management systems, directly from a company's business accounting software/ERP system and with just a few clicks of the mouse, business documents, such as invoices and statements, are automatically created, delivered, archived and retrieved.
eB offers predefined, ready-to-use information objects whose data and behavioural characteristics are based on the best practices learned and proven. Tracking critical company information has to be filed and structured in a way that is compatible with how that organisation uses and processes the information.
The process of establishing how the information is organised and related is called information modelling. With Enterprise Bridge (eB), organisations can quickly and easily model their information consistently and accurately throughout the enterprise to help meet compliance requirements.
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 provides a single, integrated location where employees can efficiently collaborate with team members, find organisational resources, search for experts and corporate information, manage content and workflow, and leverage business insight to make better-informed decisions.
Human Capital Management
Adrenalin is a web based human capital management software that automates business to employee processes and is designed to boost productivity.
Actualises people potential Realises investment in people Aligns employees real-time Fuels performance through objectivity Enables better decisions through one view Optimises returns from existing ERP & IT Systems
Point of Sale Solutions
PayPoint is designed specifically for businesses operating within a trade or retail environment and handling customer present transactions.
The software provides your business with a user friendly point of sale environment which allows you to conduct customer sale and payment transactions quickly, accurately and securely. The program can be customised to reflect the unique processes of your business, adopting terminology and the look and feel you require. For businesses handling stock, PayPoint has the ability to integrate with many leading accounting systems allowing you to manage pricing and stock control across your business – a fully integrated retail solution at the heart of your business.
The PayPoint solution supports your business whether you operate a single till or many tills across multiple locations.
Integration with Accounting Software
PayPoint can be installed and operated as a fast and effective way of processing customer transactions independently as well as linking through to your accounting program providing you with a total end to end solution for your business.
In practice this means that every sale will be reflected in your accounting software. This will provide you with precise margin control by product and cash control of the business as a whole.
Microsoft Dynamics Retail Management System (RMS) offers small and mid-market retailers a complete point-of-sale (POS) solution that can be adapted to meet unique retail requirements. This powerful software package automates POS processes and store operations, provides centralized control for multi-store retailers, and integrates with Microsoft Office system programs, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, and other popular applications. Microsoft Dynamics RMS is built on a proven Microsoft platform that adapts to meet unique and changing retail needs.
Associated Hardware Partners
AdvanceNet offers value beyond technology through a solid base of best of breed hardware and networking infrastructure products that underlie its comprehensive software solutions.
The reasons for its success can be found in a number of factors that create value for its infrastructure customers, including sophisticated workshop, pre-design and after-sales programmes. Maximisation of infrastructure utilisation is a further aspect of AdvanceNet's service.
AdvanceNet has agreements with the following:
Regional & International Projects
For many years AdvanceNet has been active internationally, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. While a number of AdvanceNet's competitors tend to turn away business from other African countries, AdvanceNet welcomes any opportunity.
Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo
A major portion of AdvanceNet's business (about 40%) has come from these areas, and AdvanceNet has undertaken work in 34 different countries over the years.
Business Continuity Plan
AdvanceNet has a very comprehensive business continuity plan because they manage the customer information for a large number of local and international customers using their Mobility system in a cloud model. As such the AdvanceNet business is housed in two adjacent buildings on one campus at St Peter’s Square. All the internal systems are replicated in the other building over a dual fibre optic connection. They take a complete backup off-site every night. All the major systems run on Raid servers.
AdvanceNet's dual Diginet lines are set up for full redundancy and are triangulated through different exchanges. Also, they have a number of uncapped ADSL connections for additional back up. AdvanceNet has access to a large number of 3G Internet modems on all local networks for all managers and consultants.
AdvanceNet has extensive investment in technology to protect their systems from hacking and all correspondence, emails etc stored and managed by Mimecast overseas.
AdvanceNet has a 300kva diesel generator with a capacity of 150% of the total full power requirements of both their buildings simultaneously. This system is activated automatically from power failure and runs up to full load within three minutes of failure of Eskom power. Substantial UPS technology is in place on the premises server farm with 38kva for seamless transition between power sources.
Eight days of diesel (3500 litres), stored on site provides estimated 212 hours of continuous operation plus additional reserve of 800 litres in drums. The generator is tested on a full load every second Friday at 4pm. A 20,000 litre water reservoir on site automatically comes on line in event of water supply stoppage.
The AdvanceNet company vehicles are a mixture of petrol and diesel. The diesel that AdvanceNet stores on their premises is recycled in their vehicles on a continuous basis to ensure a fresh supply. The diesel vehicles are therefore ensuring that AdvanceNet can operate independent of strikes etc at service stations and bulk transporters as happens from time to time.
AdvanceNet has access to two spare company vehicles, which are used when a critical resource is without transport. AdvanceNet has a substantial amount of business continuity insurance in place with our brokers, CC&A Insurance.
AdvanceNet owns all its office buildings as well as three apartments and a house, which is used for customer accommodation especially for their overseas visitors. All these apartments and the house are very close to the offices and could theoretically be used in case of any disruption at the offices.