Identify change, adapt!

For a decade now, Cornerstone Technologies has made efforts in developing a market for locally developed HP skills, enterprise products and services such as storage, servers and networking.

Originally established in South Africa in 2000, Cornerstone Technology opened its offices in Mozambique and then in Namibia in 2001.

Cornerstone Technologies Namibia, chief operating officer, Marco Teixera says they offer a range of IT services with focus on skills around HP products.

“Cornerstone Technologies continues to heavily invest its local profits in employee development and today it boasts of some of the finest HP engineers in Namibia,” Teixera says.

He further says HP has been developing the IT industry globally and leading technologies across multiple industries for many years and if the industries in Namibia began to adopt these HP technologies, then the country would see a significant increase in efficiency, costs reduction and ultimately, the ability to make use of the additional resources in areas of business development.

“The ICT industry in Namibia is undergoing significant changes at the moment. As an IT company, we have to pro-actively identify the changes and adapt to them,” he explained.

What distinguishes his company from its competitors is its ‘out and about focus’ approach and commitment to one original equipment manufacturer (OEM), which allows the company to carry a superior level of expertise.

He adds, “We have a long standing relationship with HP Entreprise, which spans over three decades in its many forms.”

In a bid to develop and sustain local talent in Namibia, Cornerstone Technology Namibia employs local people and has achieved its mandate for the past 11 years.

“Our philosophy has always been to employ as many Namibians as possible. We have successfully managed to achieve this over the past 11 years.

“As a result of our focus on having locally developed skills, we have over the past decade up-skilled many ordinary Namibians to levels that are equivalent to their international counterparts. This has in turn earned them a huge amount of respect from the African ICT community,” he revealed.

Given the low entry barriers within the ICT industry, Teixera says that what keeps Cornerstone ahead of the pack are the people, the company’s corporate culture and relentless pursuit of perfection.

“Our industry is a low margin industry. The market lacks true maturity and there are many players, with very few able to offer quality services. Unfortunately, Namibia is still a price sensitive country in terms of ICT spends and that means the major players do not make the amount of profit perceived by the people from outside.

“This in turn, has a very negative impact on local skills development as shareholders expect returns, which imply that profits cannot be ploughed back into skills development,” he added.

According to Teixera, the market needs to mature at a fast pace so that the right initiatives are put first, mainly stakeholder and not just shareholder needs.

“This obviously means fewer players making greater profits and then being put to task in terms of re-investing in local skills development.

“At present, there are many players making less profit and therefore, not re-investing the profits in the stakeholders’ best interest,” he cautioned.

In the face of many innovations and changes taking place in the ICT industry in the country, the company has not only welcomed the changes but has adjusted to them as a way of managing change.

“We embrace innovation and change in the IT environment and for us, it is the only way to manage it. You can never think that your country or economy is too small for any change because in today’s environment, the world will leave you behind and move on with others who embrace the changes,” he further explained.

In parting, Teixera says: “When looking for ICT solutions, always look for the long-term solutions and their impact on your organisation as well as the people of Namibia. Are you moving forward with the world or are you still buying yesterday’s solutions?” PF