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Opportunities for SA SMEs to progress digital innovation projects

South African SMEs can now achieve their business growth objectives, through an industry partnership that delivers advanced digital innovation projects, free-of-charge.

Digital Skills Academy, an industry provider of online BSc Degree in digital skills, invites South African SMEs to register as Industry Partners. In the Industry Partner programme, experienced professionals enrolled in Digital Skills Academy’s International BSc Degrees implement projects for participating organisations. The projects are undertaken by cross-functional teams of participants which typically include Project Managers, Web and App Developers, Data Analysts, Digital Marketers, and Digital Designers.

Digital Skills Academy CEO, Paul Dunne, says the practical work delivers high-impact digital projects for Industry Partners, at the same time allowing participants to benefit from hands-on, real-world experience. ‘This unique approach to advanced digital skills delivery is proving hugely successful, adding to our participants’ experience and portfolios of work, and providing Industry Partners with world-class digital innovation.’

Several large South African enterprises are already Industry Partners, including MultiChoice, MTN South Africa, Standard Bank and KPMG. Among the projects delivered for Industry Partners were a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) client subscription platform for MTN; a digital solution for onboarding new staff at MultiChoice, and a scalable online platform matching Dell employee skills with the needs of business unit managers.

SMEs often do not have the IT skills or budgets needed to implement new digital projects, so partnering with Digital Skills Academy is a good match. SMEs have their digital innovation projects developed, and Digital Skills Academy’s participants get excellent learning experience developing cutting-edge digital products that solve real-world business challenges.

‘SMEs can simply apply to become a Digital Skills Academy Industry Partner by outlining key digital projects they wish to implement. If the projects are innovative and appropriate, a cross-functional team of Digital Skills Academy participants will be assigned to plan and implement the project,’ said Dunne. ‘Intellectual Property remains the property of the Industry Partner. Participants sign non-disclosure agreements to ensure that any competitive advantage provided to the Industry Partner is protected. New skills are also transferred to the Industry Partner’s staff during the project.’

Projects lending themselves to the Digital Skills Academy Industry Partner programme are typically innovations that can be implemented over a four-month period. The projects clearly need to benefit the Industry Partner but they also need to challenge participants. They could include the development of apps for mobile or the Internet of Things (IoT); website development; software development; prototype development; process design solutions; and digital marketing and social media campaigns.

Visit to register your interest about becoming a Digital Skills Academy Industry Partner.

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