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Customer Snapshot

Conquering HIV and TB in South Africa

More people

are stricken with HIV in South Africa, than anywhere else in the world


While making strides as devoted activists in both treating and trying to obliterate HIV and Tuberculosis, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation needed help with better technology to manage business systems, and keep up with their recent organizational growth rate of 90%. Such complex challenges called for SAP Business One.


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Fierce battle with HIV tears people’s lives apart


Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation


Cape Town, South Africa


ZAR15 million (~Annual Budget)

Number of Employees


Implementation Partners

Bluekey Software Solutions

Line of Business




Featured Products

SAP Business One


Research, treatment, and activism

  • 1990The Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF) developed from the HIV Research Unit at New Somerset Hospital.
  • 2004DTHF HIV Research Unit in Cape Town became one of the first public clinics to offer anti-retroviral therapy to people living with HIV.
  • 2010Too often distracted by administrative efforts, DTHF decided to implement SAP Business One.
  • 2013DTHF continues to stand at the
    forefront of the plight to obliterate HIV.

DTHF now administers a groundbreaking simplified ARV treatment – just one pill a day manages an AIDS infection.


Business Model

The extra miles: reaching out to educate,
test, and prevent


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Dreaming of an AIDS-Free South Africa

In addition to conducting clinical trials, DTHF provides free education, testing, and treatment for HIV and tuberculosis from multiple locations in Cape Town, with a mobile unit that travels to outlying townships. As the organization has grown with numerous new projects and leaders who often travel, so too have expensive regulatory audits and administrative costs.

Success Strategy

Managing and maximizing the resources

For organizations like DTHF, efficient fund management as well as grant control and financial transparency are crucial to secure future funding. When donor organizations can clearly see their grants are put to good use and that success can be tracked accurately, the probability of repeat funding dramatically increases.


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Truth is what we’re about

Achieving these capabilities means the likelihood of continuing to receive future grants steadily improves.

The Challenge

The beautiful solution to a complicated problem

To better manage operations, including compliance with stringent governance requirements, it was quickly determined that they needed to deploy a new grant and financial-management enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.


DTHF has to balance a gargantuan level of administrative requirements,while working passionately to stay on their missioned task—saving lives, preventing diseases, and helping families cope.

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The help that’s critically needed, and just in time

Key requirements for their ERP system included:

Tracking the progress

of projects

Getting real-time and accurate data

Increasing fund management

Improving grant control

Streamlining financial management

Complying with high government standards

Enter SAP

Strength in numbers makes a perfect fit

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Right Price, Right Functionality

Many organizations affiliated with DTHF already relied on a range of SAP ERP solutions. Realizing this would allow compatibility, transparency, and access to information, DTHF strategically decided to turn to SAP. The highly-customizable SAP Business One ERP solution, and the ease with which it integrates with affiliate’s SAP suites made SAP Business One a perfect fit for DTHF.


With numerous programs and projects running, some spanning years, a versatile and robust business management system with tight integration with affiliate systems was essential. SAP Business One achieved this and delivered access to all information by providing a central, enterprise-wide platform for managing finances, monitoring the progress of projects, and generating reports.


The SAP Experience

Riding the chain reaction to do good—exponentially

Both SAP and its deployment partner, Bluekey Software Solutions, served as key catalysts in driving the project toward success by believing in the social responsibility to invest in the communities in which they do business.


Both partners viewed solutions such as the one developed for DTHF as the perfect way to fulfill the mission of making systems run better—so organizations can improve peoples’ lives.

SAP Business One ERP is a unique innovation DTHF can leverage to manage grant applications, research budgets, and treatment programs for patients with critical diseases. Bluekey purposely built the solution with sufficient flexibility for DTHF to easily adapt to fit its processes.

Better Business

Right info at the right time helps save lives

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We’d choose SAP again, and again, and again

By deploying SAP Business One, DTHF has gained easy, real-time access to information. In addition to saving time previously spent on searching for information and generating reports, this capability allows the medical staff to focus more time on patient care. With a few clicks of a button, users can easily see where procurement processes might be held up. This capability lets users avoid contacting multiple people to find out what’s going on with a particular process or project.


The technology also plays a critical role in treating patients because accessing the right information and treatment at the right time helps save lives. SAP Business One has thus made a huge difference in helping DTHF spend more time on clinical trials, treatment, and prevention efforts.


Dramatic results

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Where the real difference is made

SAPBusiness One has substantially reduced audit costs—even as DTHF grows. Creditor summary reports have significantly improved creditor management while multi-currency reports automatically calculate exchange-rate risks, a capability the organization did not previously possess.


The system has already reduced transaction processing times by 30%, which gives traveling project leaders the ability to authorize and approve projects from anywhere on their mobile devices.

Lessons Learned

How to spend more time – and money – on patients

DTHF estimates savings of over $45,000 per year by leveraging the new SAP software, which also allows the organization to conduct full cost-recovery faster. In addition, full system transparency allows physicians managing individual clinical trials to understand exactly how much budget they have to work with and what they can spend.


Before leveraging SAP Business One, physicians were sometimes afraid of going over budget, so they often wouldn’t spend money at all. They now make informed spending decisions easily, which frees up more time for patient care.

Run Simple

Real heroes in the real world

The SAP Business One solution at DTHF plays a particularly critical role for a country like South Africa—which is estimated to have more people infected with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world as well as the fourth largest rate of tuberculosis.


In a country where approximately 25% of the population is unemployed and lives on less than $1.25 per day, the healthcare situation requires heroes, and with the help of SAP Business One, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation staff is fulfilling that role.


Journey Ahead

A better chance to win the battle

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Making a Better World

Looking ahead, DTHF policy makers, healthcare professionals and donors will attempt to win the on-going HIV tuberculosis battle with large doses of education, testing, and treatment. With support from SAP Business One, the entire staff can spend more time on this mission while focusing on patients, who now have a better chance at living a quality life.


“The change to SAP is a great step forward—the system will enhance our grant administration and management reporting while also helping improve project management and budget planning. In addition, the controls integral to the SAP system decrease risk, which should improve our system audits. SAP Business One will provide us with a superior business management platform, supporting growth and innovation well into the future.”

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