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Facts

Old Mutual has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa’s business capital. The company, which has 57,000 employees, administers funds to the tune of £256 billion – and in 2006 generated £1 billion in revenue.

Profile

Position: OMG Account Executive
Since: 2004
Career: Before moving to T-Systems, Bath worked for IT provider AST Group and the major bank ASBA

A team player with endurance

The Old Mutual Group (OMG) ICT outsourcing deal was not only a significant win for T-Systems in South Africa, it was also the first sizable contract of its kind in the local insurance industry. The secret to winning an agreement of this magnitude? Team effort, innovative thinking and hard work. That is the view of keen mountain-biker Reg Bath, Account Executive at T-Systems in South Africa and co-sales executive lead of the OMG initiative.
Bath is quick to underscore that the deal was won thanks to the leadership skills of Piet Kleynhans, his co-sales executive lead, and the phenomenal effort of every member of the extended sales team. It was precisely this kind of team work that attracted Bath to join the T-Systems family a little more than five years ago.
Bath was enjoying a round of golf when a friend introduced him to a T-Systems employee. Back then, he worked for an IT provider focused on the South African financial sector. “It was a good job,” recalls the 45-year-old. “But I felt I needed a new challenge. I wanted to join an international company that understood the value of team effort.” By the time Bath walked off the course, he knew he had found a new home at T-Systems.
In mid-2006, OMG, South Africa’s leading financial services provider, invited proposals for the outsourcing of its ICT services. To win the contract, T-Systems had to take on industry giants such as CSC and IBM, as well as local providers including Business Connection.
Until then, T-Systems had not been considered serious competition. But that all changed when the service provider sealed a five-year contract worth 150 million euros in February 2008. In the end, a combination of clever marketing and the successful translation of complex business requirements into functional ICT concepts enabled T-Systems to prevail against formidable competitors.
To compete with well known ICT names like IBM and CSC, Bath and his team deployed innovative approaches to create targeted awareness of the T-Systems brand. “We strategically placed key messages using posters, billboards and specialist print and online publications,” he says.
A winning partnership
According to Bath, the campaign and a winning solution gave the customer the assurance they needed to select T-Systems as their ICT partner of choice. Keith Kennedy, Managing Director of Mutual & Federal, part of OMG, confirmed this at the press conference to announce the deal: “It is critical for our company to partner with a strong end-to-end ICT service provider that has the capacity to support our strategy and enable us to deliver world-class service.
In T-Systems we have found a partner that will help us achieve our goals.” When Bath is not involved in T-Systems business, he enjoys testing his endurance on his mountain bike. “Individual sport builds discipline,” says Bath. “But at work, I’m a team player.” Endurance is a trait Bath believes one needs when working on deals like the OMG project.
New projects in the pipeline
This often means working late hours. How does this impact his family? “My wife’s background in IT makes her very understanding,” explains Bath. “Of course there were times my two boys were a little less understanding.”
These days, Bath doesn’t have much time for golf, even though the OMG deal is now signed and sealed. He currently devotes his free time to his family – sometimes going fishing, cycling, or just relaxing at home. But the next major project is never far away. So how does he manage to go from one complex initiative to another in a short space of time? “It’s all about respect and coordination,” answers Bath. “Everyone on the team has their own role to play. But it is important that we are all aligned.”