Experience: In 1996, Benjamin co-founded the former Business Connection, a computer reseller focused on Government and parastatals, which subsequently merged with Seattle Solutions in 2001. He served as managing director until the company merged with Comparex Africa in 2004 and he was then appointed deputy chief executive officer. In 2007, he became CEO of Business Connexion.
He is well known within the information technology industry, he has received numerous accolades that include the BITF Black Achiever's Award in 1999, the Information Technology Personality of the Year in 2002, the ICT Legend Award by State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in 2009, and the Top Black Businessman Award at the 9th annual Metropolitan Oliver Empowerment Awards held in March 2010.
In his capacity as the Business Connexion CEO - the highest-ranking executive heading up the entire organisation with just over 6600 employees - he is in charge of leading and driving the overall business strategy with the assistance of his executive committee members.
Memberships: Benjamin is a member of the Black Management Forum, the Electronic Industries Federation of South Africa, the Black Information Technology Forum (BITF) and the Western Cape Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.
Experience: Vanessa joined Business Connexion and was simultaneously appointed to the board on 01 August 2009. She qualified as a chartered accountant by completing her articles at Deloitte & Touche in Durban. Vanessa then worked for Deloitte LLP in Chicago, before moving to the UK where she held financial management positions with P&O Nedloyd and Aviva plc (formerly CGNU plc) in London.
On her return to South Africa, she joined Standard Bank as senior manager: group financial accounting and reporting before being promoted to finance director, Standard Bank Africa, which covered 16 African countries.
She brings a wealth of knowledge including that of two significant mergers in Africa, implementation of SAP financials in 13 African countries, and a considerable international financial reporting experience. Vanessa, in her capacity as deputy CEO, is responsible for working with the CEO to drive the overall business strategy and as Group Executive: Services, she is responsible for ensuring the success of the cloud computing strategy and positioning Business Connexion as the leading cloud service provider.
Memberships: South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA); Certified Public Accountants of Illinois, Chicago, USA as well as the Institute of Directors and Woman in Finance.
Experience: Lawrence has gained vast experience in finance spanning well over 10 years where he held several Group Financial Management positions in the ICT and financial sectors.
His capabilities have allowed him to gain knowledge in the financial analysis of well known leading organisations including AST Group, Standard Bank of SA and Fourie & Botha.
More recent highlights in his career include playing an active role in the process that Business Connexion embarked on with its new and simplified business model and the implementation of a Financial Shared Services model for the group. Lawrence’s current key responsibilities at Business Connexion include company secretarial, finance and commercial-related functions.
He joined Business Connexion in February 2005 as a Group Financial Manager, where he was responsible for key aspects of the business, which include formulating, implementing and communicating the group financial policy; financial management of all internal subsidiaries and group treasury management and preparation of group consolidated annual financial statements.
Experience: Matthew formed Seattle Solutions, a focused Microsoft Solution Provider, which merged with Business Connection. He held the portfolio of group executive: special projects where he led the integration process of Business Connection and Comparex Africa in 2004 until the beginning of 2006.
Matthew then consulted to Business Connexion on the formulation and initiation of the revitalisation programme, as a member of the Programme - 1 team for a year prior to rejoining the group in September 2008, in an executive capacity with specific responsibility and accountability for the company's revitalisation programme. Matthew is now responsible for Performance of Business Divisions, Mergers & Acquisitions, Marketing as well as Special Projects.
He is a former recipient of the Information Technology Person of the Year, an accolade for KwaZulu-Natal from the Computer Society of South Africa (CSSA). Matthew serves as a trustee for a national charity.
Experience: As the group executive of Business Connexion’s UCS businesses, Jane Canny brings to bear her extensive Business and IT management experience which spans several decades. With a career which commenced in Financial Management, Canny has excelled in various IT management and consulting roles, with a specific focus on the Retail Sector.
Having joined Affinity Logic as a director in April 1999, she has held various executive positions within the UCS organisation, giving her wide exposure to the organisation’s operations and strategy.
Over the years, Canny has successfully delivered many complex internal and customer projects, while also taking ownership for end-to-end outsource contracts, ensuring common understanding and measurability between service provider and client. This experience and her abilities are considered key attributes as she takes strategic responsibility for the direction of the UCS businesses as an integral component of Business Connexion.
Canny is known and respected for her personal leadership style, her focus on excellence and dedication to the delivery of superior, cost effective service through effective IT operational and programme management.
Experience: Grace brings to the company extensive knowledge and hands on experience across all disciplines of HR both locally and in Canada. Her expertise in HR expands across Talent Management spheres including Performance management, HR project management and implementation, business partnering, strategic management, remuneration and compensation.
She has in-depth experience in the ICT arena having worked for companies that include Sentech, Internet Solutions and more recently UCS Solutions, where she held various senior HR roles.
In her current role at Business Connexion, Grace leads the Human Resources Business Partnering, Human Capital Operations and Centre of Excellence. This Group-wide executive role has been prioritised by the CEO and established in recognition of the fundamental role that HR plays, more specifically in Talent Management and the successful implementation of an Employee Value Proposition in all Business Connexion divisions.
Combining international studies and work experience coupled with local insight, Grace brings to bear theoretical knowledge with practical understanding to achieve the efficient alignment of HR and business. With a career spanning over fourteen years in human resources in the technology and communications industry, she embodies the nous to meet the employment and management requirements of a top performing company.
Experience: Henry Smith, Business Connexion’s Group Executive for the Innovation Division has a rich history in the corporate space with expertise in finance, personnel management, statistical analysis, and electronic data management.
His career in financial management started in 1980 when he joined the Department of Correctional Services. Henry’s 12-year tenure at the Correctional Services Department exposed him to a broad scope of financial disciplines on production, supervision and management levels.
In 1985 he was promoted to the post of Senior State Accountant with a corresponding military rank of Captain, and in 1987 as the Regional Financial Manager of the finance department at the head office of the Correctional Services Department, with a rank of major.
In 1992, Henry was appointed Assistant Director at the National Treasury, where he was the project leader on the Transversal Personnel and Salary Administration System (PERSAL) of government, and became the project manager of the same system in 1996 when he was promoted to the position of Deputy Director.
With this background, in 1998 he started what is today known as Q LINK, the largest switch of its kind which processes approximately 23 million transactions per month. His extensive skills, knowledge and experience in this field, coupled with excellent managerial and communication skills have enabled him to excel in terms of operational performance.
In 2007, Henry became Managing Executive of Q LINK at Business Connexion.
One of his recent major achievements was the building and expanding of Q LINK to become the industry standard. This was made possible due to his excellent management skills; the trust his clients put in him, and his ability to provide cost effective and value added services to the industry.
Experience: Themba joined Business Connexion in 2004 with a wealth of experience in ICT Strategic Sourcing and Procurement knowledge as well as Public Sector, which he acquired from SITA and Telkom.
He also has extensive strategic business development and planning experience, especially in sales management and general management, which he gained from previous positions at Business Connexion, SITA, Telkom SA Limited and Daimler Chrysler SA. Themba possesses a wealth of experience in dealing with and advising key decision makers especially at C level. He has demonstrated an ability to manage and deliver in complex and demanding environments throughout his career at Business Connexion. Moreover, Themba has solid strategic relationships with clients, partners and suppliers and continually maintains these relationships.
Experience: John has been a leader in the ICT services industry for many years and has gained considerable expertise in deal-making, contract structuring, service management and multi-sourcing arrangements.
He has specialised in ICT outsourcing, managed services and is one of the founders of the Outsourcing Industry in South Africa. John is a widely recognised consultant, coach and mentor, drawing on over three decades of experience in the IT industry.
In his current role as Group Executive: Business Development – Private Sector, John is responsible for developing new business, ensuring collaboration, integration and alignment across the Divisions with a specific focus on the Private Sector. Over the past five years, John has been responsible for ensuring that our Services Division has become the success that it is today.
Experience: In 1996, Isaac co-founded the former Business Connection,a computer reseller focused on Government and parastatals with his twin brother, Benjamin; which subsequently merged with Seattle Solutions in 2001. In 2004, the company merged with Comparex Africa and he was appointed as Group executive: Client Engagement - Public Sector.
In his current position, Isaac provides leadership and direction in the Innovation division which consists of BCX’s own software and packaged intellectual property.
Memberships: Isaac is a member of the Black Management Forum, the Electronics Industries Federation of South Africa and the Black Information Technology Forum. He is the deputy non-executive chairman of the Catholic Education Investment Company.
Experience: Rodwell joined Business Connexion in 2009 as the Managing Executive responsible for the West Africa Business. He has over 20 years experience in the IT industry and has held numerous leadership positions. He spent over 14 years at Microsoft in numerous leadership positions and has a deep sense and appreciation of doing business outside the borders of South Africa.
Rodwell has been the recipient of sales awards in the South East Africa, the Indian Ocean Islands region as well as the Middle East and Africa Region. His portfolio at Business Connexion includes ALL BCX operations, outside SA which include the International Desk, West Africa, Eastern & Southern Africa, UK and Magreb. In his current position, he is responsible for driving sales, growth strategy and business development for new markets.
His deep sense and appreciation of conducting business outside the borders of South Africa, combined with his experience ensures that Business Connexion continues to succeed in the continent as well as break new boundaries.
Doug Woolley joined Business Connexion and was simultaneously appointed Group Executive: Technology Group, in March 2012. He holds a Bcom. Honours degree in Marketing from the University of South Africa.
His academic qualifications are complemented by the wealth of experience that he has accumulated in a period of over a decade in various ICT companies. The notable ones are the senior positions that he held during his tenure at WorkGroup that included being Managing Director and most recently, the CEO. Under his management tenure, Workgroup won the prestigious Worldwide Microsoft Distributor of the year award.
An accomplished professional with extensive experience in the Information and Communication Technology field; in his new role, Doug will apply his vendor management and distribution expertise to the company’s growth efforts. His areas of focus will include cloud services.
His wealth of knowledge and experience includes; setting of high targets and consistently meeting fixed deadlines, client negotiation, productivity and efficiency improvements, planning, analytical as well as problem solving acumen, and decision making skills.