Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) and the City of Cape Town did Africa proud when they walked away with gold and silver awards in their respective categories at the annual SAP Quality Awards held in Walldorf, Germany, recently.
A total of 258 customers nominated their successful projects, and 128 received a local bronze, silver, or gold quality award.
All gold winners automatically qualified for the regional awards and 12 winners were selected in four categories – Business Transformation, Cloud Innovation, Fast Delivery, and SAP HANA Innovation – by independent external judges.
The judges evaluated the business benefits these projects delivered to their organisations and based their decisions on how far the projects adhered to the 10 principles of quality, which include anchoring the business value firmly in the project and using organisational change management to transform the business.
The quality of the projects was extremely high this year, making it particularly difficult for the judges to select the final winners.
Ketraco was nominated in the Fast Delivery category, which honours projects completed in a short turnaround time, at high quality.
The City of Cape Town was a finalist in the Business Transformation Category for its Project and Portfolio Management Project.
The project allows the city to better manage its local government project portfolio, which allowed for improved planning and spending and better allocation of resources.
The City of Cape Town is a long-standing SAP customer.
Ketraco automated its business process, by moving its entire infrastructure transmission projects from manual to SAP HANA.
The project went live in January last year with 250 users.
Ketraco’s mandate is to plan, design, construct, own, operate and maintain a high-voltage electricity transmission grid and regional power interconnectors that form the backbone of Kenya’s national transmission grid.
The judges were impressed with the speed and the quality of this complex project in an immature market. The focus was on quality from the outset.
Ketraco used SAP Quality Assurance services during the blueprinting phase reducing risk later in the project.
It moved its entire management of electricity transmission infrastructure into SAP and adopted SAP best practices wholesale.
“Ketraco wanted a complete solution as soon as possible. They wanted to use best practices to save time. They have doubled the number of employees. We delivered the project in seven months. When you consider what we did in seven months, it’s incredible,” said Diego Calvo Munoz, of Indra, who is head of SAP Global Alliance.
“Before SAP, we had very little automation,” said Mumbua Giati, senior manager, of technology and innovation at Ketraco.
“We got in a consultant who interviewed the relevant people and looked what they did. And SAP was suggested as the solution for us.”
Since its incorporation in 2008, Ketraco has made great strides, including developing institutional capacity, establishing good working partnerships with the government, development partners and other key stakeholders, and construction of key transmission lines and associated substations.
“We serve the entire population. We are the link between generation and the delivery of electricity. We’ve switched a few generators already. The noise and the pollution will disappear soon,” Giati said.
The project is changing the lives of millions of Kenyans, some of whom never had access to electricity.
Richard Tobiko, general manager of finance and strategy for Ketraco, said: “As we do the lines across parts of the country that didn’t have electricity it makes a difference.
"I’ll give you an example: where I live, there was no electricity for a long time until a line was put up.
"If you go there now, there is commercial activity. It changes the lives of the community. Job creation is possible. The ripple effect is there."
Systems technology manager David Kariuki said: “Fast delivery and using best practices would have meant a cheaper solution in the long run."
What’s next for Ketraco?
“We are on a mission to build transmission lines. We are looking at the entire region. We are looking at over 1000 km of lines, and very many projects,” said Giati.
As of January last year, the company had completed 11 transmission line projects, totalling 800 km.