For more than 30 years, Phil Santoni and his companies have been working on complex IT integration projects for his clients. He’s currently the CEO of Nikia, a Tampa-based digital transformation consulting company that helps supply Kountable, a global trade marketplace, with ICT goods to be delivered to East Africa. He describes himself as a technology integration entrepreneur and explained simply why he works with Kountable: “they care about making a significant impact on the world.”
“When people buy ICT equipment on the grey/black market,” said Santoni, “there is no guarantee. It might work at first, but if in a year it breaks, who will support it then? Customers want more than trying to get support from a vendor only to be told that the product or serial number is not valid.”
For a number of reasons, SMEs often find themselves forced to turn to the black or grey market for goods. Kountable positively changes this experience by providing access to certified quality products. This is critical in a time that large customer purchases and RFP’s are now requiring first-class, legitimate and supported ICT equipment in the award contracts.
“Kountable now has relationships with suppliers in the US that ensures world-class, competitive pricing as well. Quality ICT equipment, with volume discounts, and the ability to ship a complete order to the client in one shipment brings a level of service not often provided when products are sourced from several suppliers,” explained Santoni.
“That’s a significant advantage because if a Kountable reseller has a competitor who’s piecemealing an order, it could take two and a half months to deliver versus Kountable being able to deliver a complete order in three weeks or less. Kountable sourcing allows for a better end user customer experience.”
Santoni added that customer service improves with ICT sourcing from Kountable and removes the stress from the local reseller, because it gives them back time to engage with their customer. “If you didn’t have to spend your time price haggling and piecemealing shipments on the phone with some computer supplier in Dubai, you could actually spend it understanding more deeply your end user customer needs.”
He emphasized that resellers can then do what they do best: “manage the customer relationship, the sales process, installation and build a lasting relationship with the customer.”
“Kountable resellers in East Africa are good at understanding what the customer’s challenges are and quoting them for what they need,” he said. “Kountable provides the valuable quality sourcing of ICT equipment to help these SMEs grow and serve their clients in a better way.”
Working with Nikia, Kountable is able to deliver this capability to source ICT goods for its clients in order to help them buy high quality supported products and at a better price.
“The Kountable sourcing process is facilitated through high-volume technology distributors in the US and being aligned with the largest computer and technology manufacturers in the world,” said Santoni. “That’s the game-changer for supplying these markets.”
Now that Kountable has established its position in the country, Hale says the company is looking to deepen its banking relationships to build institutional partnerships with the Kenya ports and wit hthe government getting involved in the new free trade zone.
Digital transformation that allows for world class teamwork with the massive and distributed network of local suppliers, freight forwarders, customs brokers, buyers and banks who get goods to the finish line is necessary to win the race against a virus that is optimized only to replicate and scale.