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APD Ushers Maxava Into Africa And Beyond

Breaking into a new market is a formidable challenge, especially one as diverse and expansive as Africa. Maxava, a global provider of high availability, disaster recovery, and systems monitoring software for the IBM i server, strategically partnered with Africaplus Direct International Ltd (APDI) to make inroads into the African region, leveraging APDI's established presence and expertise.

Africa, with 54 countries and nearly 1.5 billion people, presents unique hurdles and opportunities. While not as economically advanced as some markets, its vast potential for growth is fueled by abundant natural resources and a rapidly urbanizing, youthful population. McKinsey and Company note that approximately 350 large corporations in Africa generate $1 trillion annually, driving a demand for IT infrastructure, software, and services.

APDI, founded in 2009 in Mauritius, quickly expanded its footprint across East Africa and the Atlantic coast, providing post-warranty services for IBM. As Lenovo acquired IBM's X86 server business in 2014, APDI provided Lenovo Services to the region. By 2020, APDI added Lenovo hardware to its portfolio, and with its distribution card, they became a pivotal regional asset for IBM and Lenovo. In 2021, APDI added Scale Computing to its offerings, solidifying its position in the IT distribution landscape.

In 2022, discussions with IBM led APDI to consider Maxava as a strategic addition to its portfolio. APDI's Managing Director, Yves Ramloll, emphasized their careful selection of tech partners, stating, "We are very choosy about the brands that we will focus on and partner with." The alignment of Maxava's offerings with the needs of IBM Power customers, a segment well-served by APDI, made the partnership a logical choice.

As APDI engaged with Maxava, it became evident that the collaboration could address a crucial market need. Maxava's high availability and disaster recovery solutions for IBM i servers complemented APDI's existing offerings, creating a powerful synergy for customers. APDI's extensive partner network became instrumental in building awareness of Maxava's products in the African region.

Aware of the unique challenges in Africa, APDI adopted a methodical approach to building awareness by disseminating targeted information to its reseller network, and tailoring outreach strategies. Yves highlighted the importance of personal engagement in Africa, stating, "You have to prove to them. You need to go talk, have a cup of coffee, explain 'This is how it works.'"

With a distribution network covering 88 countries, APDI navigates through nuances of each region. Yves emphasized the importance of staying attuned to market dynamics, noting shifts in investment trends in countries like Ethiopia and identifying emerging opportunities in places like Tanzania.

While the IBM i server may not have a massive installed base across Africa, it demonstrates strength in specific sectors, particularly financial services. The cost sensitivity of African buyers and the powerful capabilities of IBM Power10 servers position IBM favorably. APDI's growing success in the financial services sector indicates the potential for IBM i and Maxava to make a substantial impact.

The partnership between APDI and Maxava is still in its early stages, but the collaborative efforts are gaining traction, especially in the financial services sector. APDI's reputation for exclusively working with trusted technology providers, coupled with the association of Maxava with IBM, instills confidence in the African reseller network.

As APDI continues to build awareness around IBM i and Maxava, the potential for success in Africa becomes increasingly promising. Yves expressed the company's belief in Maxava, stating, "We selected Maxava because we believe in it. We believe that this is a product that can make the difference."

The partnership between APDI and Maxava represents a strategic move to unlock the vast potential of the African market. Through careful selection of partners, targeted awareness programs, and leveraging an extensive distribution network, APDI is facilitating Maxava's journey into Africa and beyond.

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