According to Gartner, SaaS shows no signs of decline, with even the smallest SaaS segment seeing a compound annual growth rate of 19.7% through 2019. Angus Herringer, joint Head of Financial Services, e4, a technology solutions company, says the trend is definitely growing in Africa.
“We developed a document management solution called Stordoc five years ago and it has been implemented within a large majority of financial institutions in South Africa. It is a complete, secure online FICA and document management solution and a great example of a custom SaaS application. It provides for secure scanning, enforcing all FICA and document rules in the system and also caters for individual customers and all types of juristic entities.”
Applications such as Stordoc, which is essentially specialised enterprise SaaS, will continue to develop and grow according to Herringer: “Each industry has its own unique needs and generic SaaS solutions won’t be enough for the enterprise sector anymore.”
The Stordoc solution includes a complete workflow system to review and approve or reject electronic documents and is fully compatible with an electronic signature solution. It is ideal for an institution to manage documents received from third party channels, such as attorneys, brokers, agents, dealerships, but can also be used in branches.
Herringer says that e4 has transformed some of its financial service client’s systems into an entirely paperless environment using the solution: “Aside from the benefits of a paperless system, Stordoc has reduced processing to a day and has already exceeded a million documents via the system. This solution provides so many business benefits and we anticipate that it will roll out at several other institutions based on these impressive results.”
The growth in adoption of custom SaaS has been impacted by the prolific evolution of the digital universe. Herringer says that organisations are becoming more aware of their internal content and as a result, a trend is emerging where these organisations are implementing processes, systems and solutions that not only better manage such content, but also treat it as an asset.
“This trend will definitely lead to a better understanding of an organisation’s electronic files and by using a solution like Stordoc, there will be time and cost savings; enforced compliance; fraud mitigation; enhanced security and third party data sourcing and validation,” concludes Herringer.
e4 is an innovative specialist provider of electronic technology solutions and services. Providing customers with custom-built software solutions and services, e4 focuses on ensuring business processes are streamlined, electronic and strategic in its approach. The end-to-end service offering includes full management support throughout the service lifecycle and is supported by a 24-hour availability policy.
The introduction of Convergence Partners and Stockdale Street as new investors in April 2016 has enabled the e4 Group to accelerate growth through new product and services development, and further expand its geographic footprint.
Convergence Partners is an investment management firm focused on the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector in Africa. It has a proven track record of developing new investment opportunities as well as adding value to investments across the entire life cycle of ICT assets. Stockdale Street manages the Oppenheimer family’s South African private equity interests invests alongside strong management teams in established companies that have sustainable competitive advantages and favourable growth prospects.
e4 and its subsidiaries employs over 400 staff at offices in Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, Cape Town and Namibia with satellite offices in PE, Bloemfontein, East London and Mpumalanga.