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PPO addresses disparate communications at NWU

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Post Vision Technology has completed a deployment of its Project Portfolio Office (PPO) solution at the North-West University (NWU), to address internal and external project communications issues faced because of its geographically dispersed networks.

The Faculty of Engineering is the first to initially deploy the technology, as it is the most active in research and development activities that the NWU hopes will lead to job and wealth creation, through the creation of knowledge, innovation and technologies.
This is according to Andre Hattingh, project manager at NWU, who says to achieve success in these endeavours, the department has to interact and work closely with industry.
“Innovation is driven by numerous interactions on the interface between academia, industry and government,” says Hattingh.
“In fact, one government initiative in particular, namely the Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme (THRIP), is proving to be a powerful catalyst in research initiatives.
“However, distance between NWU and the main centres of technology, such as Gauteng, the Western Cape and East London areas, was proving to be a major hurdle to achieving smooth project execution.”
He goes on to say that interaction between the academics, students, engineers and project managers also needed to be transparent and visible at all times.
“As the research department functions due to generous contributions and funding from both government and industry, it was also highly important that transparency was achieved in our record keeping.”
Guy Jelley, CEO of Post Vision Technology, says that as it is a web-based application that has been designed, developed and supported in South Africa with South African concerns in mind, PPO was ideally suited to the academic institution’s requirements.
“It is well documented that PPO is a reliable single communication portal for key information across disparate organisations, and its high levels of customisation features means it can be tweaked to suit a range of industry demands, including those universities,” he says.
“Pricing was also a factor, and the PPO pricing model proved more flexible than other solutions presented to the NWU.
"The software architecture allows users to access the system through a standard web browser, without requiring that any software be installed on user computers, which enhances communication from anywhere, be it in the office, at school, at home or on site, while simplifying system administration.”
Hattingh adds that while the PPO solution will initially be used predominantly by the research division as part of their THRIP projects, the university has plans to deploy it across the board.
This will include all of the players in the research and development arena – academics, research support employees, engineers, subcontractors, industry partners and even government.