New South African company combines content management and mobility in home-grown solution.
Two industry trends that are seen as key over the coming years are the need to mobilise applications, particularly those coming out of the numerous legacy environments, and the need to establish an integrated enterprise content management (ECM) environment to handle the exponential growth that is happening with unstructured data within organisations.
Enterprise Content and Wireless (ECW) is a South African company focused on both areas. ECW is a BEE company that is 51% black-owned and has as its non-executive chairman, Bheki Langa, the executive chairman of the Mfiso Group, a company with interests in the electronics, telecommunications and transportation industries. Langa has been involved in the telecommunications industry for nearly 10 years.
Non-executive chairman, Bheki Langa
Executive director, Mokati Ramphele, completes the BEE contribution within the group with 20 years experience in ICT, his latest position being that of MD of Cisco Systems for southern Africa. ECW is the merged entity of Lava Systems Africa (LSA), Lava Systems Mobile (LSM) and KeyTools (acquired in 2005).
LSA is one of the key distributors for Open Text in Africa and has been associated with this technology and the associated Livelink product suite since the late 1990s. Its user base includes customers from both the private and public sector and includes organisations such as Bateman Projects Limited, Alexander Forbes, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the National Social Security Fund of Uganda. It is also an approved ECM solutions supplier to SITA and the public sector.
KeyTools concentrates on marketing, sales and support of mobile software systems and business solutions, and also offers the hosting capabilities. Lava Systems Mobile (LSM) is a company focusing on the development of mobile applications and tools, and was originally created in 2005. Later that year it was merged with KeyTools.
LSM has developed a suite of mobility tools/applications (LSM Solutions Framework) that includes:
* KeyPAD, a rapid mobile application development kit. This device and operating system agnostic development toolset rapidly creates wireless solutions for most wireless devices and networks, providing both off-line and on-line services anytime, anywhere. The company says it offers development times that can be up to 20 times faster than conventional methods.
* KeyCHARM, Channel Activity and Resource Monitoring, a powerful off-line solution having an embedded relational database with a comprehensive Web-based, back-end management and reporting system. This business solution is designed to assist in the management of the field sales and marketing needs of a distributor and was developed utilising KeyPAD.
* KeyPROCESS, an application that addresses the mobilisation of business processes from within an open XML-compliant workflow system. ECM systems can be split into three fundamental components: process, collaboration and content. The workflow software elements typically fit within the process modules of the ECM systems.
* KeySYNC, an application based on the international standard data synchronisation protocol, SyncML, that provides for the synchronisation of data in an online/offline situation to and from mobile devices via its transparent server-based synchronisation engine. It stores the required information locally on the device for use by the user or mobile application as and when necessary.
* KeyMAX, a version of KeySYNC that seamlessly integrates to the popular Maximizer CRM system.
The driving principles behind all LSM mobile software is that of being handset and operating system agnostic, carrier agnostic and server-driven. There is no requirement for the recall of devices to effect software loading and maintenance, any such provisioning is 'over the air'.
Already, the KeyCHARM software has been embraced by Motorola and is being used by their field agents for sales & marketing activities, initially throughout South Africa. ECW was tasked with the development of this application after winning the contract in the face of strong local and international competition.
The above shows some of the strengths and capabilities available in South Africa.