Interesting to watch the transformation of Altron under the leadership of former Microsoft SA and MTN SA supremo Mteto Nyati.

Having disposed of some of the company’s more traditional business entities such as Powertech Transformers, CBI Telecom Cables and Altech UEC, Nyati has made it clear that he is steering it firmly into the realm of ICT services. This was further emphasised this month when Altron announced the acquisition of Microsoft Gold Certified partner, iS Partners, for R225-million. The purchase also includes subsidiaries Karabina Solutions and Zetta Business Solutions.

“The board is of the opinion that the acquisition of iS Partners will provide a strong and strategic platform from which a stand-alone Microsoft-focused business can be created within Altron and will be the only business unit within Altron (other than Bytes UK) to provide solutions and services based on a Microsoft strategy,” the company says in a statement. “The company’s strategic growth areas focus on cloud, data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and security. Altron intends to add its existing Microsoft business offering into iS Partners to build a cloud and data analytics business of scale.”

Deep Throat has little doubt that Nyati – with the astute guidance of board members such as former Dell boss Stewart van Graan and Dimension Data’s Brett Dawson – will continue to strengthen Altron’s services offerings and that more acquisitions could be on the cards in the near future. Definitely one to watch.

 

Mustek takes second bite of Apple

After spending literally decades trying to secure the rights to sell Apple products in South Africa, Mustek was finally appointed as an authorised reseller for the company in August last year. Now, it seems, Apple just can’t get enough of the distributor. This month comes the news that Apple has now appointed Mustek as a B2B Partner for the country.
“An additional value-add to our Apple portfolio is that Mustek is a DEP (device enrolment programme) reseller providing a faster and more streamlined way to deploy your corporate-owned Mac, Apple TV or iOS devices,” a Mustek spokesman says. “Further benefits of DEP include zero-touch configuration for IT, streamlined setup and wireless supervision.”

Seems the long wait for Mustek is finally paying dividends.

 

Float with the butterflies, McDee

Sad news this month when we learned of the passing of good friend and consummate PR professional Dave McDermott. We first met McDee, as he was known to his friends, around 1985 when he worked at Jimmy Thomas & Associates, then one of the biggest PR companies in the country and representing, if memory serves, computer giant Sperry. We hit it off immediately and it was the start of both a professional and personal relationship that spanned 33 years. A measure of the PR man is that in all that time, we can never remember McDee ever asking us whether we had received a specific press release; nor when it would be published.

After JTA’s demise, he started his own PR company, Copywise, and many in the industry will remember him from those days as he started specialising more and more in IT.

We’d meet on a monthly basis with a few other like-minded older hacks at the, sadly now closed, Bushveld pub in Craighall which McDee labelled as our regular “Chapel Meetings”. It was here that we were introduced to peanut butter and bacon sandwiches, as well as one of his favourite sayings: “As useless as tits on a bull!”, often directed at tardy bar staff, but with a glint in his eye.

A genuine six-foot-four gentle giant, his presence was always reassuring in dark and dingy establishments such as the Bushveld, but a little known fact was that McDee’s passion was butterflies. He was one of the country’s leading lepidopterists and had a collection of butterflies ranked among the best in South Africa.

McDee, Deep Throat swallows … some of that fine Scotch you’d love … and thanks you for some fine memories.

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