SAP, partners launch Africa’s first AppHaus in South Africa

18th August 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Africa’s first AppHaus, forming part of a community of global locations driven by software company SAP and its partners to ensure that creative spaces and innovation services are available to organisations that use SAP solutions, has been launched in South Africa to bolster innovation on the continent.

Part of the SAP AppHaus network, which spans 22 global locations in key SAP markets, the new creative space has been integrated into independent SAP human resources and payroll specialist EPI-USE in Pretoria.

EPI-USE was selected to form part of the global network in October 2022 and, over the past few months, the EPI-USE team underwent intensive training in key AppHaus methodologies to help clients accelerate project development and develop innovative ideas within a design-led innovation centre.

The established 250 m2 dedicated space, adapted to suit clients’ individual needs, can host workshops for up to 50 people and includes four separate meeting areas.

Moveable design-thinking tables and walls which can be written on support the hands-on approach that is unique to an AppHaus experience to foster innovative solutions on the continent.

The goal of the AppHaus network is to place people at the centre of engagements by applying SAP’s human-centred approach to innovation and leveraging SAP Business Technology Platform as a foundation for innovation.

“The AppHaus’ human-centred approach and SAP’s Business Technology Platform combine to help companies deliver innovation in a systematic, efficient and effective way. Our dedicated team is ready to help African enterprises develop innovative solutions to their business and innovation challenges,” said EPI-USE technical AppHaus lead Jhani Coetzee at the launch event earlier this month.

It aims to become a destination of choice for EPI-USE professionals engaging with client end-users, user experience developers and architects, where they can explore potential solutions to business and operational challenges and find out more about embedding ‘design thinking’ and ‘architecture thinking’ into their organisations’ processes.

“Through the expert guidance of our valued partners at EPI-USE and by leveraging SAP’s skills and technology, we hope to support African organisations as they explore innovative solutions to some of the great challenges of our time. We look forward to working with EPI-USE as they apply AppHaus methodologies in service of innovation over the coming years,” said SAP Africa COO Tracy Bolton, in a statement issued after the launch event.

Each AppHaus is connected through the conviction that innovation requires five ingredients to flourish, namely a diverse team, a human-centred approach to innovation, a creative space, a supportive and agile leadership and the right technology.

While the creative space, which will provide an inspiring environment to connect, network and share ideas, has been established at the group’s Pretoria offices, workshops incorporating Africa’s unique landscape will also be held at a community-run lodge in the North West that forms part of the nonprofit Elephants, Rhinos and People (ERP)., of which EPI-USE is a part, pioneered a hybrid business model ‘Beyond Corporate Purpose’ which features the ERP.

ERP aims to protect and conserve Elephants and Rhinos in the wild in Africa through a strategy based on the economic upliftment of impoverished rural people living in communities adjacent to the threatened species.

Customers can host their workshops at the lodge in the Madikwe Game Reserve and augment their AppHaus experience with life- centred design in the African bushveld.

“We believe this will be particularly valuable for companies exploring innovation in sustainability, by creating an opportunity to draw inspiration directly from nature. This is an offering completely unique to Africa and will allow clients to understand the bigger picture of their developed solutions and innovation initiatives,” said Coetzee.

“We have an innovative approach to traditional design thinking, where we take inspiration from our African environment. This approach breaks down physical and mental barriers. We are also diversifying our technology domain to provide bespoke solutions for our clients’ unique problems.”

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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