Last modified on 25 October 2012, at 19:01

Ict@innovation: Free your IT Business in Africa/2-8

Module 2.8 FOSS Business Potentials - Zalongwa: From Academic to BusinessEdit

DurationEdit

1:15hrs

OutlookEdit

Ict-innovation-FBT-Fig-2-8.png

Registered Name: Zalongwa Technologies Limited

Founded: 2006

Staff Strength: 8

Country: Tanzania

Website: http://www.zalongwa.com/

Type of business: Software development, web hosting.

IntroductionEdit

In this series of African case studies, Zalongwa Technologies Limited from Tanzania demonstrates how a template designed for the case studies in this module can be completed. The template acts as a means to gather information about FOSS business practices. It captures an overview or outlook of the company, revenue generation model, services offered and some innovative practices. This case study is replicated here as it was completed by the company. The template was completed and submitted by Dr. Jumo Lungo (CEO of Zalongwa) and Sophia Kivina (secretary of Zalongwa). Zalongwa Technologies Ltd, P. O. Box 70893, Dar-es-Salaam. Tel.: +255 222 181 138; Mob.: +255 784 313 200. Faru/Swahili St. Plot No. 39, Block N, Kariakoo


Historical Perspective of ZalongwaEdit

Zalongwa Technologies is a Limited Company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2002 with the Certificate of Incorporation No. (CIN): 57002 and Tax Identification No. (TIN): 104-824-986. Zalongwa Technologies Directors are Tanzanian Information Technology (IT) professionals with long experience in Information Communication Technology (ICT) industries. The company is proud of having IT professionals with a wide knowledge and experience in this field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The company is an equal opportunity employer committed to the development of human resources in Tanzania while focusing on capacity building and technology transfer from the developed world with a focus on Open Source Software solutions. The majority of Company staff worked with reputable companies in ICT industries and has higher degrees in ICT related professions thus utilizing their talents to focus on quality hence, winning company's client's utmost expectations. On-the-job training of young programmers, website designers, database administrators, customer care specialists and networking professionals who are fresh from colleges in Tanzania is an important feature of the company's work. Zalongwa Technologies is delivering full service web site development, web design, software programming, database solution, e-business solutions, multimedia, custom Internet web applications development and ready made web site packages for small sites. Our main business is the computerisation of Student Academic Register Information System (SARIS) and Healthcare Information Systems (HIS).

Company MissionEdit

To become a model of a leading IT Company in East and Central Africa through utilization of Free and Open Source Software Technologies. The company targets public sector systems but is not limited to private sectors as well.

Zalongwa Technologies is a Limited Company incorporated under the Companies Act, 2002 with the Certificate of Incorporation No. (CIN): 57002 and Tax Identification No. (TIN): 104-824-986. Zalongwa Technologies Directors are Tanzanian Information Technology (IT) professionals with long experience in Information Communication Technology (ICT) industries. The company is proud of having IT professionals with a wide knowledge and experience in this field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The company is an equal opportunity employer committed to the development of human resources in Tanzania while focusing on capacity building and technology transfer from the developed world with a focus on Open Source Software solutions. The majority of Company staff worked with reputable companies in ICT industries and has higher degrees in ICT related professions thus utilizing their talents to focus on quality hence, winning company's client's utmost expectations. On-the-job training of young programmers, website designers, database administrators, customer care specialists and networking professionals who are fresh from colleges in Tanzania is an important feature of the company's work. Zalongwa Technologies is delivering full service web site development, web design, software programming, database solution, e-business solutions, multimedia, custom Internet web applications development and ready made web site packages for small sites. Our main business is the computerisation of Student Academic Register Information System (SARIS) and Healthcare Information Systems (HIS).


The Zalongwa Case StudyEdit

* Company Name:Zalongwa Technologies Limited
  • Country:Tanzania
  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Website: www.zalongwa.com
  • Services offered: Software development, website hosting, training and consultancy


Section 1:

Outlook and Experience report

Q1. When was you company founded and how many people are employed by your company?

Zalongwa Technologies was established on 12th July 2006. Currently the company has 8 staff.


Q2. In your years of operation, what problems (e.g. getting start-up capital, getting loans to finance some aspects your activities, building a client base, hiring employees, finding office space, getting company documents, etc.) have you encountered? AND possible solution

Problems encountered are :

•Getting company start-up capital and financing new projects or business initiatives.

•Human resource management and retention.

•Poor payment habits of clients.

Solutions:

Directors injected capital from their own sources, one more partners invited who also injected capital. Employees treated as partners so that even if they leave, they can still be contacted to help finish up a project.


Q3. Looking at other companies (in and outside your country) who may be offering similar services as you do, what would you say works well for your company?

First of all since our customers are academic institutions, graduating students have seen and used our software at colleges. This made most students to have interest to work with us. The company is proud of having Directors who are Tanzanian Information Technology (IT) professionals with long experience in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industries and Open source Software in particular

.

Q4. What is your advise for someone building business around open source software in Africa in general, and your country in particular?

•Be honest about your products, what it can do and what it can’t do. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver or what the software can’t do.

•Customize as much of the software as you can, involving your customers in the process.



Section 2:

Revenue generation

Q5. Which services (e.g. training, marketing, technical support, hosting and software development, consultancy, etc.) is your company offering.

Service offered by the Company include web site development, web

design, software programming, database solution, e-business solutions,

multimedia, custom Internet web applications development and ready made

web site packages. Free and Open Source Software training, IT consulting


Q6. Which of the services in Q5 is generating more income for your company?

Software development generates more income.


Q7. What is the annual turnover for each of the service sectors?

75% software development and Free and Open source software, 20% web hosting, 5% other services.


Q8. What are some of the difficulties, if any, you face in getting paid for the services you offer?

Most customers delay on paying us on time and we have to make follow ups for payments which cost a lot of time.

Section 3:

Service line and FLOSS motivation

Q9. What is the motivation for going into open source as a major business?
  • To distinguish our self with other proprietary well established IT companies.
  • Easy development through adopting ready and matured FOSS software. This results into less cost in terms of money and time.
  • To sustain our flagship software, which is a student academic register information system. We wanted to share support and development overheads with other people who can make money by supporting the software.
  • Encompass ideas of different developers

Q10. Are you developing new products (software and/or training materials) or customizing existing open source solutions (bespoke software) to fit your customers’ needs?

We develop new products like Student Academic Register Information System (SARIS), Members Register Information System (MeRIS), and Insurance Register Information System (IRIS). and we customize open source solutions like vtiger CRM,orange HRM,Joomla and Weberp.


Q11. What are some of the strategies you use to market your products and services?

Advertisements,participating in science and technology exhibitions and through word of mouth.


Q12. Who are your most prolific customers and the types of services they request most?

Most prolific customers are Universities and they request Student Academic Register Information System (SARIS). Since SARIS is a web based system, we sell to them Hosting, Website development and sometime consultancy services.


Q13. Are you localizing (translating into local languages) some of your products?

Yes we have vtiger CRM translated into Kiswahili.


Q14. How would you describe your company, "pure open source company" developing, distributing and providing services around open source software or a “hybrid company” developing, distributing and providing services around both open source software and proprietary software.

Pure open source company.


Q15. What are some of your business plans for the next few years to improve the competitive standing of your company?

•Have a highly skilled technical workforce that also has sales and customer service skills.

•Improve on the company's branding.

•Improve on customer service management.


Updates / News on ZalongwaEdit

• Saturday, November 19, 2011: Zalongwa Linux BootCamp Zalongwa Organised a one Week Linux Boot camp where 17 University students participated. Six topics were covered ranging from Linux commands, File management, Applications, Multimedia, Networking, and LAMP based systems administration. [More Info at http://zalongwa.blogspot.com/2011/11/zalongwa-linux-bootcamp.html].



Previous Chapter | Next Chapter