SA software unveiled in UK

10 July 2003

Stellenbosch-based Swist Group Technologies launched its Oracle software offering for the Linux environment at Oracle’s international AppsWorld conference in London last month – the only South African company to exhibit a developed open source product at the conference.

According to Business Day, Swist was displaying its Datavoir system – designed to consolidate multiple sources of data into one central reservoir, and to modify it so queries can be run in real time – ahead of its release in South Africa. Datavoir uses a decoding process to consolidate information onto an Oracle database running on the increasingly popular Linux operating system.

Erwin Blomeyer, Swist’s general manager of software development, told Business Day: “We can confidently say we have a product that is stable, reliable and offers excellent performance.

“This is the first phase of a strategy to market our products in Europe and Africa to let people consolidate huge volumes of data.”

The Oracle AppsWorld Europe 2003 conference took place in London in June, attracting in the region of 8 000 international delegates and highlighting Oracle’s commitment to Linux, a rival to proprietary operating systems such as Windows.

Blomeyer says Linux is considered a rapidly expanding market. “The Linux arena offers real business value at the moment as there is a great demand for it in various companies and in African countries, where it is seen as a cost-effective solution and operating system as it offers performance and availability.”

“Our product fits in with Oracle’s ‘Unbreakable Linux’ strategy that was announced earlier this year. What they were impressed with is that this product is developed and not just a promise.”

For the past five years, Swist has made a name for itself developing billing systems for the cellular phone industry. It is using expertise acquired through the development and support of the Oracle products on HP hardware and Open VMS systems to move into the open source arena.

Swist has 19 personnel working in software development, and took about six months to develop its Datavoir product.

Swist chosen by Canadian company
Last year, the Canadian-based foundation Music For Life chose Swist as its IT partner for rolling out an IT infrastructure and communications network connecting a number of African countries.

Music For Life is an international organisation supported by donors and high-profile VIPs all over the world, including prominent African government leaders, international musicians, pop stars and successful businessmen.

The foundation has a 20-year track record in establishing and building schools, colleges and clinics. It has also established a number of highly successful educational programmes in countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.

Music For Life and Swist are planning the launch of a satellite service into sub-Saharan countries to provide a communications backbone for health, education and business.

“The establishment of telecommunication networks throughout Africa is paramount, and indeed the catalyst Africa needs for the African Renaissance to become a practical reality”, said Swist CEO and founder Herman Heunis. “Once that is established, it opens up a whole new world.” reporter