AIGS, the local distributor for Progress Software and EasyAsk, has been launched at a star-studded event at The Forum in Bryanston. The event, over-subscribed by 25%, attracted almost 200 attendees, including business partners, media, channel partners and customers.
AIGS, headed by industry veteran Rick Parry, arose from the decision by Progress Software to change its model from a local office to a distributorship, which Parry won based on his more than two decades’ experience with the Nasdaq-listed company’s products and solutions.
“We were overwhelmed with the support we received from such a wide range of parties," says Parry. “We could not have hoped for a better launch and introduction to our market, and the market as a whole.”
Hosted by Cycan CEO Bryan Hattingh, the launch was preceded by technical focus sessions run by a range of Progress specialists. These included Alan Young, senior VP for application development platforms; Tony Martin, VP EMEA; Peter Mellow, VP OpenEdge development; and Mark Armstrong, regional VP, indirect EMEA.
They brought the Progress partner and customer base up to date with Progress technology and solution developments, including upcoming enhancements to OpenEdge 11, the market-leading development environment and embedded database, along with developments in other Progress solutions.
Serial entrepreneur Stafford Masie, former Google SA country manager, gave a riveting presentation on the future of technology, focusing in particular on the fact that today’s technology devices permit people to choose what content they consume, rather than going to look for it.
He pointed out that banks will increasingly become dis-intermediated as the cell phone becomes the transactional medium of choice, how self-regenerating human flesh could become the ultimate hard drive, and how tomorrow’s generation will accept as fact technology waves today’s generation struggles to comprehend.
Zapiro, South Africa’s most celebrated and litigated cartoonist, gave attendees a virtuoso demonstration of his skills and how he conceives of and compiles his cartoons to such telling effect.
“The overwhelming support we received at this event underscored the exceptional community of value that has been built around our product and solution set,” says Parry. “Most companies are happy with a two-thirds turnout at an event or launch. We enjoyed such a turnout that the venue was jam-packed.”
Parry has been involved with Progress for more than two decades, from his time with then distributor Realtime, headquartered in Cape Town, the introduction of Progress Software proper to South Africa and now AIGS’s appointment as distributor. The company is also the distributor for EasyAsk, the leading natural language English business intelligence solution.
In addition, Parry and his team have led the world in the introduction of software as a service (SaaS) in a way that defers capital expenditure and instead allows software licensing costs to be accounted for as operational expenses. In this regard, partners such as MIP and Automate have become world leaders, growing well ahead of competitors.
“Progress continues to surprise customers and partners, and we have no doubt that AIGS will deliver on its brand promise. We are now well and truly on our way, and we look forward to taking our partners and customers with us on a voyage of delight at work,” says Parry.