Safaricom’s new online business tools for SMEs
Safaricom Business has launched online solutions that will enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to access affordable high-end software hence transforming the way they manage business.
The solutions will allow SMEs access to a Website, professional email, HR Payroll software and accounting software at competitive prices since users will only have to pay for the solutions according to the specific needs of the business. Users will also be able to access the services wherever they are through the internet hence affording them flexibility in managing data.
The accounting software; Sage Pastel, will allow SMEs to generate professional financial reports which they can use to borrow loans from financial institutions. The payroll solution; Cleanbill, is designed to ease and professionalise payroll management by automatically tabulate all statutory deductions from the employees and keeping relevant records.
Sylvia Mulinge, Safaricom's Business General Manager says that the new offer will make it easier and affordable for SMEs to professionalize data management. She highlighted that the new proposition offers businesses the option of choosing the specific suite of services they require based on the individual needs.
"Software as a service is a solution that will provide SMEs with an affordable, safe and secure method of storing and managing their data. Presently, many SMEs find the cost of data management such as the purchase of genuine software and servers as well as the hire of professionals prohibitive," she said.
To access the new service, businesses will pay a monthly fee of Kshs.870 for the on-line payroll processing software, Kshs.1, 740 for the accounting software and Kshs.1, 750 for professional email. Website hosting will cost Kshs.999 for a full year's subscription.
Simon Karaba, manages a hotel that has 23 staff members and handles over 200 transactions a day.
"We have about 10 corporate customers and keeping the records manually has been a very big challenge," said Karaba, "For SMEs, the accounting software offered under Cloud SaaS is a welcome solution because it helps us keep proper records. It came in very handy when we were applying for a tender recently. It took a very short time to process."
He further explains that before the hotel management was introduced to Cloud Saas, payroll, billing and invoices were done manually, a time consuming process that often resulted in errors. "Now all I need is a few minutes to key in data and I have what I need," he says.
The Economic Survey 2012 indicates that the informal sector contributed 89.7% of all new jobs during the year, which was a 7.4% increase over 2011. The government has indicated that it looks up to SMEs to achieve what has been envisioned in the country's economic blueprint; Vision 2030.
Safaricom Business says the launch of the online propositions for SMEs has reinforced its position as the partner of choice for SMEs, government and the private sector which offers tailor made solutions that support the respective businesses objectives.