- Information Technology unlocks the mobility of the future for BMW Group.
- International project experience puts South African IT specialists at the top of their profession.
- New IT graduate programme develops disadvantaged youth.
- More than 130 global projects by South African IT team adds to digitalisation goals.
BMW South Africa plans to expand its IT operations to 600 jobs by 2017. These jobs will be created within two IT functions that serve the global BMW Group – the SAP Shared Services Centre and IT Operations Centre.
An impressive track record of over 130 viable projects, implemented globally, adds to the growing importance of BMW Group IT in the quest to shape the mobility of the future.
Oliver Zipse, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG and Chairman of BMW Group South Africa, visited the BMW SAP Shared Services Centre in their new premises in Menlyn, Pretoria this week. He commended the team of innovators at the centre for their impact on manufacturing strategies globally. “Our top priorities are reliable processes and high quality in production, and digital technologies can help us with that,” says Zipse.
He adds: “Digitalization gives us new leeway and greater efficiency in some processes, and this provides a sustainable benefit to our workforce.”
The benefit of digitalisation is not limited to the production environment, and extends beyond all departmental boundaries. Projects undertaken by the BMW SAP Shared Service Centre includes IT Solutions and Operations in Logistics, Production, Human Resources as well as Finance, Sales, After Sales and Distribution.
BMW Group CIO and Senior Vice President Information Management, Klaus Straub, heads up a Group IT organisation, spanning multiple global locations: “The pooling of specific information technology services at our IT competence centres, as well as sharing global responsibility for system development and operations, are essential for an agile and flexible BMW Group IT organization. With that, our colleagues here in South Africa provide a significant contribution to the implementation of the Strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT.”
South African software engineers are unique in the world
The South African SAP Shared Services Centre and IT Operations Centre are one of only two specialist hubs for the BMW Group, supporting operations in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia/Pacific. An investment into locating the centre in South Africa reaffirms the BMW Group’s confidence in the quality of work of local IT professionals.
Tim Abbott, Chief Executive Officer BMW Group South Africa, Sub-Sahara, says that, unlike other markets in the world, South African SAP skills are unique in terms of multi-skilling, as the vast majority of SAP configurators are also SAP software developers.
Top skilled professionals developed with international experience
The SAP Shared Services Centre has already created over 200 specialist jobs between 2014 and 2016, with targets for further growth to 320 by 2017. In addition, the IT Operations Centre employs 200 people and will grow to 300 by 2017, supporting a growing number of critical IT Systems for BMW around the world. Both IT centres provide employees with the opportunity to develop their skills locally and on international assignments.
“In our quest to influence the future of mobility, the skills and inventiveness of our people are what gives us the edge. The SAP Shared Service Centre and IT Operations Centre are excellent examples of this passion in action, supporting the BMW Group’s future digital technologies,” Abbott adds.
The Centre also participates in the SAP Skills for Africa initiative, empowering six young graduates from rural areas and previously disadvantaged backgrounds with on-the-job experience. Graduates are employed by BMW South Africa on a contract basis for the duration of the development programme.
Abbott concludes: “We will continue to prioritise opportunities for job creation and skills development at BMW South Africa into the future.”