What are Algeria's challenges and assets in the face of digitalisation?
Digitalisation represents a huge opportunity for the African continent and for Algeria. The characteristics of the digital economy open up real prospects for all African countries due to demographics, a less dramatic disruption of traditional industrial productive models and the capacity for innovation that nourishes and ensures the development of digitalisation.
More than ever, the new economy is based on individual initiatives and on entrepreneurial energies. “The current Algerian digital context and the country's political ambition to become a continental hub and digital portal at the African level are two factors that are prompting us to accelerate our growth in the country,” said Marianne Brunat.
Indeed, the second marine cable that will be operational at the end of 2018, the deployment of high-speed broadband in the country, the creation of the Digital Development Support Company (EADN), and the new law on unbundling are all signs that should generate a new dynamic in the Algerian digital world.
The country needs a digital acceleration because if we take the main indicators used to measure the progress of digital within countries, Algeria has fallen behind both in terms of Internet penetration (31.9%) and the development of e-government (130th in the United Nations ranking of countries) or attractiveness for companies (166th in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking), quite far behind its North African neighbours.
The new law on unbundling will generate a new dynamic in the national wholesale market, with various players who have different or even antagonistic visions and interests (the regulator, Algérie Télécom, other operators, or infrastructure managers such as Sonatrach, which has its own fibre optic network). The development of broadband penetration will involve striking a balance between measures to promote lower prices and to increase investment. This new law should also make it possible to develop convergent fixed-mobile offerings, similar to European markets.
The development of digital financial services and the associated framework may also be an opportunity for the improvement of financial inclusion in the country.
How does Sofrecom support governments and telecoms operators in their digital transformation projects?
Sofrecom provides end-to-end solutions and support through its wide-ranging expertise in Strategy and Marketing (strategy, regulation, distribution), Transformation (Business, Networks and IT), as well as Development and implementation of services and change management. A specialist in the telecommunications sector, its consultants and experts are involved in all stages of digital transformation projects. Their detailed knowledge of local eco-systems makes it possible to provide solutions tailored to the contexts and challenges of our customers.
Sofrecom is, for example, the supervising office for various fibre optic projects in Africa and the Middle East, thereby ensuring that rollouts carried out by manufacturers comply with international standards. This know-how could provide the country with the guarantee of optimised rollouts and sustainable investments.
In the area of e-government, Sofrecom operates across the entire value chain from master plans, the development of e-services platforms, government data centres, digital identity and the setting up of PPPs. The creation of a transversal government steering body, EADN, is one of the main success factors because it enables overall governance.
Lastly, through its subsidiaries in Morocco, Tunisia and Argentina, Sofrecom has developed acknowledged expertise in setting up and managing IT and Telecom service centres, which could also be developed in Algeria by capitalising on its subsidiary and local skills, in order to serve Algerian and international key accounts in particular.
Sofrecom continuously adapts its value proposition and develops its expertise to support its customers’ digital strategies: mainly operators, governments and regulators. Our contribution is part of a process of co-construction. We offer our customers personalised and tailor-made answers while capitalising on our international experience.
What does Sofrecom want to achieve in Algeria?
Sofrecom has been operating on the continent for over 50 years and has been operating in Algeria for 16 years through its local subsidiary.
Despite a level of activity that remains limited, particularly in comparison with other North African countries, Sofrecom remains committed to developing its business in Algeria. The new dynamic triggered by the Algerian government and the recent changes in the law are very encouraging and Sofrecom is determined to support this accelerated move towards digital.
Thanks to its experience in African markets and its good knowledge of the market, Sofrecom aims to play the role of "trusted partner in the digital transformation process” by developing a new type of B2B system for accelerating ITN, which is digital, human as well as open innovation in approach:
· Sofrecom is developing an end-to-end approach that combines skills ranging from Design Thinking to Agile project methods, by fostering expertise in the area of DevOps with the involvement of all its teams on the continent.
· Talent training is a major challenge in addressing new digital issues. Sofrecom wishes to participate actively in this process. We are thus developing partnerships with engineering schools and institutions of higher education. We regularly organise events aimed at helping students to get involved innovative projects.
· Sofrecom is developing "digital factories" in its subsidiaries to promote cooperation between regional digital players (schools and universities, administrations, start-ups and operators, etc.).
The current activities of our regional team are fully in line with this commitment, in particular the identification of local partnerships, both commercial and academic, the expansion of our outreach to key players in the sector as well as active participation in local events.
Key figures for the company (number of locations in Africa, workforce, turnover, etc.)
Sofrecom is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Orange Group which supports the digital transformation of operators and governments, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. With more than 1,700 consultants and 11 offices worldwide, Sofrecom operates in the fields of consulting, network engineering as well as IT integration and development.
Sofrecom is continuing its development on the African continent through its 5 offices: Algeria, Tunisia (Tunis), Morocco (Rabat and Casablanca), Ivory Coast and Benin allow us to serve the continent and to stay close to our customers.
Around 30% of Sofrecom’s turnover is generated in Africa.
Read the article in CIO Mag (in French)