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HCL, Cisco ICT centre for South Africa

19 April 2012

Indian IT firm HCL Technologies is to partner with US-based networking giant Cisco in setting up a support centre in Johannesburg that will service the companies' clients while training local engineers in client support for South Africa and the continent.

The South African Glocal Centre of Excellence (GCoE) will serve as a local delivery hub for the entire sub-Saharan African region, HCL said in a recent statement.

"As more and more companies in the west look for new avenues of growth, we are increasingly seeing a large demand for leading edge IT solutions coming in from emerging markets like Africa," said Ashish Gupta, HCL's infrastructure vice-president.

Stefano Mattiello, director of channels for Cisco South Africa, said South Africa "offers many unique advantages for customer services support, and also aligns with Cisco's focus to partner with emerging countries in order to create innovative and inclusive business models enabled by technology".

The GCoE will train local engineers on advanced Cisco technologies to support clients across Africa, capitalizing on HCL's strength in training large numbers of engineers.

HCL has already trained an initial batch of 26 local engineers, now deployed to key projects in five regional hubs across South Africa, and plans to train a further 100 engineers at the centre over the next year.

The centre will support a number of sectors, including telecoms service providers and the retail and mining industries, joining existing GCoEs in the US and Europe in running dedicated recruitment and training programmes for university and college graduates.

Pilot programmes at centres in the US, Finland, Poland, Ireland, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore had "already provided a platform for developing IT skills pool in local communities through collaboration with anchor customers and universities," HCL added.

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