In this edition of the Business Day Spotlight, we talk to a business leader about the work being done at one of the country’s largest technology firms, and the experience of being a woman in that sector. 

Our host Mudiwa Gavaza is joined by Nompumelelo Mokou, executive for intelligent customer experience at Dimension Data. 

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The company was once one of the largest technology companies on the JSE, with a market capitalisation of R77bn at its peak in September 2000. It delisted from the exchange in 2010, after being bought by Japanese technology firm Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) for £2.1bn. 

Mokou begins by talking about Dimension Data’s ongoing rebranding. 

Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI
Business Day Spotlight host Mudiwa Gavaza. Picture: DOROTHY KGOSI

In March, the group said it would retire its brands Britehouse, a digital solutions unit; Internet Solutions, its internet services provider business; and ContinuitySA. 

Mokou says the move was so the group would operate under one name and reduce duplication between some of its subsidiaries. 

She then talks about the work her team has been doing around intelligent customer experience. The unit seeks to find ways to change and improve how customers interact with companies through the use of technology. 

Mokou says Covid-19 has forced South Africans to change how they engage with businesses. She explains that consumers in Africa and the Middle East have tended to favour human interaction, which is why call centres and retail locations for businesses in financial services, for example, tend to be busy. However, as more people flocked to call centres for those interactions during the lockdowns, companies such as Dimension Data are trying to figure out how to automate some processes so that humans can attend to higher level tasks such as problem-solving. 

The discussion ends by looking at the state of women in technology. 

Mokou, a chartered accountant by profession, gives an account of her career, saying she started in auditing but made the shift to the technology sector as a way to challenge herself and build skills in a new area.

She says there has been progress made in getting more women into technology but that more work still needs to be done to ensure better representation at executive level. 

Mokou ends by talking about the scourge of gender-based violence in SA, saying it makes no sense that women should still be made to feel unsafe in 2020. As a society and at a national level, these issues need to be addressed once and for all. 

For more episodes, click here.

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 Business Day Spotlight is a MultimediaLIVE production.

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