Business transformation is a hackneyed phrase in the corporate world, yet it holds sway over the longevity of brands. History is replete with tales of companies emphatically ascending to the zenith of their industries double-quick, due to their eccentricity but ultimately failing to sustain the momentum for various reasons. Most commonly attributed to their failures is the dissonance between their current business strategies and market projections.
Adapting to the dynamic business world requires strategic tinkering such as the establishment of new ventures or partnerships with other entities to gain competitive advantage. Historically, companies identify growth opportunities and take the required steps to harness potentials therein. Establishing specialised subsidiaries, backward and forward integration, developing new products or services and acquisitions are some of the most common enablers of business competitiveness.
Multinationals like PepsiCo. and Unilever has mastered this art and as such remain leading companies worldwide, centuries after creation. It is against this background that we analyse the astronomical growth of one of Nigeria’s leading technology innovation companies, SystemSpecs.
Founded in 1992 by the Kogi-state born technology aficionado and ex-banker, John Obaro, SystemSpecs has unceasingly created innovative solutions and services that set it apart from the pack. At a time when the adoption of technology in the business world was anything but widespread, SystemSpecs created an unprecedented path that is still being towed by companies today.
Although famous for the ground-breaking fintech application, Remita, SystemSpecs is deeply rooted in the human capital management solutions space with its indigenous history brimming with footprints of the company.
Following the establishment of the company, it reached an agreement with Systems Union, now Infor, to become a Nigerian value-added reseller of an accounting package, SunSystems. The deal expedited the company’s inroads into the Nigerian market and eventually catalysed the development of its foremost product, SpecPay, which alongside other products morphed into the wide-ranging HumanManager. It is pertinent to note that SystemSpecs officially ended its partnership with Infor, in 2017, in a strategic move to solidify its position as an indigenous human capital management and fintech company with a view to extending its ingenious services across Africa.
HumanManager took to the market seamlessly as a consequence of the laborious exercise, studying the human capital management issues encountered over 20 years. The firm’s solution to lasting issues, HumanManager, is a one-stop-shop for human capital management. The prescient application delicately combines prosaic and innovative features such as payroll management, pensions, career management, e-payment, co-operative, training and self-service among others. The functionality of HumanManager prompted its adoption across Africa, into such countries as Benin Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, to name but a few.
The firm recently indicated its willingness to launch an improved version of the application designed to augment its services to foreign and Nigerian multinationals, while bolstering its offerings to existing customers. The uniqueness of the new HumanManager predicates on its ability to seamlessly provide a comprehensive human capital management solution that affords effortless client onboarding and unencumbered adaptability for international businesses across Africa.
Once rolled out to the public, the reinvigorated application will feature multiple languages, nationalities and currencies, cloud optimisation and enhanced security amongst others to make for more enjoyable customer experience.
Indeed, access to fund at economical interest rates has been an unattainable problem confronting the nation for years. Financial institutions are wary of disbursing loans to customers owing to the myriad of challenges encountered in debt recovery, for that reason, they inflate interest rates to ward off potential beneficiaries.
Although this strategy might appear foolproof, its corollary is that the average Nigerian is deprived of access to qualitative cash and by so doing entrepreneurship and national development is stifled. SystemSpecs is gradually addressing this issue while contributing to the national financial inclusion drive via its innovative data referencing solution.
Since its collaboration with Access Bank, through the ingenious Remita, and a host of other lenders such as PayDayhub Online, Ibile MFB, Pettycash among others, millions of Nigerians have unparalleled access to funds like never before. The institutions deploy the statistics provided by the company’s Data Referring solutions to determine the creditworthiness of individuals and assess the probability of default.
The unimaginable success of the Data Referencing solution impelled the company to double down on loan default rate by developing a trailblazing In-flight solution. The solution optimally ensures transparency for all parties and a high compliance rate. With an ignorable low default history, In-flight is the biggest credit lending solution in the financial sector and the proof is in the high uptake it has received since development.
Furthermore, a 2018 Central Bank of Nigeria study notes that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) make-up about 96 per cent of Nigerian business but decried the palpable lacklustre attitude of the government to grow the sector. Central to the development of SMEs, according to CBN, is the provision of adequate infrastructure and increased sectorial investment.
The firm, in May 2019, announced a partnership with the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), to introduce a payroll solution to meet the needs of SMEs across the country. Tagged “FCMB Payroll” the solution affords SMEs seamless payroll processing, salary payment into various types of bank accounts and generation of payslips.
Remarking on the development at its official announcement, Obaro said: “As an organisation, our aim is to continue to provide individuals and organisations with innovative tools to help them become more productive and take full charge of their operations. We are delighted at the opportunity to partner FCMB to extend our experience and expertise in payroll solutions to FCMB customers.’’
Again, as a result of the successes recorded in the private sector, SystemSpecs smoothly transitioned into the public sector. The company helped the country deliver the record-breaking Integrated Personnel & Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to provide a database of accurate records of federal civil servants, one of the objectives of which was to eliminate ghost workers.
The gross saving of the project in its first month of implementation amounted to N416,428,948 thereby earning the firm adulation from ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in the first volume of his eponymous book on his presidential legacy. Owing to its performance on the IPPIS project and a demonstration of its capacity during a competitive bidding process, the brand won the contract to drive the Treasury Single Account in 2011.
TSA, as many observers would have it, is the most successful financial management policy implemented in the history of Nigeria and SystemSpecs played—and still plays—a huge role in achieving the feat. Many state governments have also woken up to the benefits and are adopting the policy in droves. Recently, the Ekiti State Government issued a press release announcing its agreement with SystemSpecs to power its modified version of the policy. The agreement with Ekiti State Government brings the number of states deploying Remita for TSA purposes to eight.
Home to many ingenious brands, SystemSpecs is on a course that will invariably lead to greater prominence across Africa. The firm’s services and solutions are gaining wide acceptance across the country as the 2018 partnerships with Access Bank Ghana and Trinity Technologies of South Sudan demonstrate.
The company’s exploits are also recognised by regulators and the media with the company emerging a “Next Bull” at the 2019 Nigeria Stock Exchange/BusinessDay Top25CEOs and Next Bull Awards. This follows the numerous awards the organisation has won from peers and regulators.
The establishment is on the verge of relocating to an ultramodern office in the highbrow region of Victoria Island from its current Lagos Island office, a move indicative of the astronomical rise of the company. SystemSpecs is currently at the helm of a revolution in the fintech and human capital management solutions sectors and its activities in the coming years could set the nation on a path for greatness.