Former SAP man appointed as SAS country manager

New SA country manager Akesh Lalla.

New SA country manager Akesh Lalla.

Business and data management software firm SAS has appointed Akesh Lalla as country manager for SA.

Lalla, who recently served as director of SAP’s cloud-based human resource management system, SAP SuccessFactors, for Africa, will report directly to Desan Naidoo, SAS VP for Africa.

In his new position, Lalla will ensure the company achieves its mission to drive adoption of analytics products and services in the local cross-sector market and implement SAS’s global strategy, it says.

“With over 20 years of experience in IT and the technology industry, Lalla will bring strong leadership qualities, along with excellent strategy execution and planning skills, to his new role at SAS,” notes Naidoo.

“Through his solutions-driven approach to operations, I am confident he is the right person to lead the team in the country.”

Lalla holds an MBA from the Tshwane University of Technology. He began work in his new role today.

His career spans multiple companies within SAP. He previously spent seven years at Microsoft as sales manager of the business productivity unit. Before joining Microsoft, he was senior manager of risk advisory services at professional services firm EY.

“Apart from ensuring we achieve our mission of empowering local customers with trusted analytics, my long-term goals fall into three pillars,” says Lalla.

“Firstly, to continue the strong momentum we have in the business, focusing on revenue growth and profitability.

“The second is re-shaping our customers’ and partners’ experience, putting them at the centre of everything that we do. Thirdly, to expand our outreach to market segments and industries we have traditionally not focused on.”

SAS’s software solutions range from advanced analytics, data management, fraud detection, risk and customer intelligence products.

“Our cloud capability has also allowed for new and exciting opportunities in various industries across Africa. We believe this area of our business will grow significantly over the next three years.”

Riad Gydien, SAS senior VP for South EMEA, explains: “Lalla will be instrumental in driving future growth of SAS’s offering and operations within SA, especially by his first-hand knowledge of the country’s landscape and strong experience in the market.”

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