Yesterday, SME South Africa sat down with Microsoft SA‘s GM of Emerging Markets for Middle East and Africa Mteto Nyati, to discuss the role that technology plays in small to medium enterprises (SMEs). We also invited our followers to participate in the hour-long discussion.
The man behind the tweets
Prior his current position, Nyati was the MD of Microsoft SA for six years, after leaving IBM South Africa in 2008 where he was director of the Global Technology Services business.
Nyati has over 15 years of experience in technology and working with small businesses. As EMEA head, Nyati is responsible for implementing growth strategies for the emerging markets.
Here’s a round up of some of his insights from the discussion entitled ‘How technology can play a role in assisting SMEs‘:
“Tech savvy SMEs do better as the use IT to improve productivity and scale their limited resources”
SMEs and cloud
Mimecast SA, a cloud-based email management solutions, posed questions around the cloud and SMEs, as well as Microsoft Office 365, which is powered by the cloud. Nyati’s response was surprising as he revealed that smaller businesses are taking to the cloud faster than the larger ones.
“Ms Zulu must leverage good work already done in this space than reinvent the wheel”
Small Business Development Ministry and red tape
@ZavaNkondo asked about the newly-formed small business ministry and its intentions. Nyati’s response touched on the much debated topic of red tape and government bureaucracy for SMEs.
Silicon Valley in South Africa?
One participant brought up the question of whether South Africa having its own Silicon Valley (like Silicon Cape which is located in the Western Cape) would be beneficial in any way to driving innovation and job creation.
Nyati opinion was that such initiatives would have to be relevant to South Africa’s specific needs.
@VellyBosega asked what may be the one question that’s on most South Africans’ minds: How are technology companies doing to educate SMEs on technology?
Nyati was firm in his response, stating that although Microsoft and government were doing their best to educate, it was up to SMEs need to take the initiative and also play a part in educating themselves.
This is the same message that Nyati had for the youth of South Africa, he urged them to take the lead in their education and training.
Read the full #SMELiveChat discussion on Twitter.