Customization of imported Software for personal gain

A new breed of software professionals are taking the technology scene by storm, customizing imported software products to suit local client needs.

These tech-savvy Kenyans have helped the country leapfrog technologically and is competing almost on an equal footing with global brands in developed countries.

In an interview with Digital , QED Solutions Limited chief executive Catherine Mitchem said existence of a highly trained manpower that speaks English gave Kenya a major head start in adoption and customization of various mobile and website applications that suit various purposes in Kenya and across Africa.

“Sale of imported software products requires the re-sellers to understand client needs before recommending any product and this should be backed by after sales support,” she said.

The products must then be customized to accommodate various uses including back-end and front-end functions.

“But it (customization) comes at a cost where we employ software developers, cyber security experts and sales people who have to be sent abroad for ‘on-site training,” she said.

Ms Mitchem, who trained as a bio-chemist in the US, says their main task is to identify software products from any market in the world that are relevant to the Kenyan and African market.

QED is locally known for its Tendersure software used by public and private sector entities.

Ms Mitchen said Tendersure developed by South Africa’s Adolf Koekemoer has locally gained traction due to its ability to pore through hundreds of tender applications filed online and shortlist bidders based on an automated and anonymous process.

“Our task is to customize Tendersure where we upload a client’s selection criteria and also make follow-ups on site visits to confirm bidders possess what they say they have. In one instance, we were contracted to shortlist cadaver suppliers, sourcing for dead bodies for study purposes in medical schools,” she said.

The platform, she said, weeds out quacks, and provides companies with a means to bargain for cheaper prices before a tender is dished out. The platform also provides for end-to-end supplier bids processing which results in “a surprise winner”.

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