Tag Archives: Africa

Deirdré Fryer

Name: Deirdré Fryer

Designation: Product Management Africa

Company: SYSPRO

What do you do every day?
Lots of meetings…
Industry and product Research to understand our positioning in the market as well as our strengths with a focus on looking for improvements.
Customer and sales engagements to understand and solve business needs with software and technology.
Product messaging and positioning to drive enablement of the product across our employees, partners and customers.
Collaboration with marketing and sales teams to drive collaboration around our product and the value features add

How did you get into the tech space?
By chance, while writing my final exams I took a temp job in reception at a software company, SYSPRO, and never looked back.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If people are not adopting or buying into what you are proposing, change your approach. You need to show people the value in what is being offered specific to them, not how you see it, solve their pain and they will embrace what you are offering without question.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
Learn, read, learn, read and never say no to an opportunity, even the smallest and most insignificant task will teach you something.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?
The thought that today I could be part of something that will make someone’s life easier. Making a difference little bit by little bit
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
A wine taster 😉
The best role model to my two daughters, showing them that having a career and good life balance is possible, you can have the best of both worlds.

Twitter: @FryerDee
Linked In: Deirdre Fryer

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Lise Hagen

Lise Hagen, IDC

Lise Hagen, IDC

Name: Lise Hagen

Designation: Research Manager Software and IT Services Africa

Company: IDC (International Data Corporation)

What do you do every day? This role is both bewildering and exciting, often in the same hour. Days are fast-paced, demanding, with long hours. My tasks can include back-to-back interviews with vendors and clients, and then switch to a strategy presentation for executive teams.

When I’m working on a consulting project, especially if it is based here in South Africa, it includes a lot of client-facing meetings, project management, weekly updates, and keeping a very close pulse on the engagement’s progress. I have the privilege to be invited to do technology and market trend presentations in South Africa and across Africa on a regular basis, and my mantra is preparation, preparation, preparation. This includes both researching content, creating compelling presentations, and practicing the delivery – all of which can take up a lot of time.

The part that I relish the most is the writing. Lots and lots of writing: Reports; Return on Investment analysis; Whitepapers; Articles. However, the accompanying dreaded and dratted deadlines truly are the bane of my existence.

How did you get into the tech space? Since I have two MA’s in Social Sciences, I ask myself, and get asked, this question on a regular basis. Technology is a tool, and it would be remiss not to acknowledge and investigate the impact that this tool has on our lives – whether it is as a consumer, as a professional or as a human. My tech and teleco roles utilised and developed my analytical outlook and ability to disseminate complex content in a clear and concise manner. And gadgets. I love gadgets.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Best? Dunno. Most impactful? Regret the things that you’ve done rather than the things you haven’t done.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? In my opinion there is no right or wrong discipline to follow in order to work in the tech sector. For specialised programming – sure, have the skills and qualification, if so required. But I hire for both aptitude and attitude: curiosity, an analytical approach, a process focus. Also: always keep abreast of technological developments across various disciplines. Ours is a world hurtling towards convergence, and you need to know what the dots could be before connecting them.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? I have to admit that the act of just getting out of bed sometimes amounts to a Herculean task, but sheer will (especially at 4:30M in winter!) gets me up early to do some writing on my novel.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? Being grown up is vastly overrated, although it has its perks, like being able to have a tube of Pringles for dinner. As for who? I’m me – but I’d like to be a me who is a full-time time novelist.

Find me on:
Twitter: @gadget_hagen

Mich Atagana

Mich AtaganaName: Mich Atagana

Designation: Managing Editor

Company: Memeburn/Burn Media

What do you do every day?  I run a tech news publisher. I manage the core Burn Media team as well as our contributors. I am tasked with driving editorial strategy, promoting the brand as well as the production of content around tech issues and Africa’s tech ecosystem.

How did you get into the tech space? I am not sure if there was a defining moment, I have always been interested in tech and it seemed a natural fit. I never thought I would do anything other than play in the tech scene.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? One of my oldest friends once told me: “Never stop dancing in the rain, it will keep you, you.” I think about it often when I start feeling myself slip away or the things I want begin to deviate from the plan or what is right and makes me happy or the good of others.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? If you love technology jump in with both feet and let it wash all over you.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Possibility. I get to travel a lot and I am always amazed at what is happening in technology in Africa.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I hope I never grow up. I get to play so much now. I want to play forever.

Find me on:
Blog: www.globemich.com
Twitter: @michatagana
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/mich-atagana/2/745/33a/