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Ubusha Taking your breath away

Ubusha Technologies was formed with the main aim of being a vendor-agnostic business specialist within the IT industry, while delivering on its goals through black economic empowerment.

In describing what Ubusha does, CEO Marius Agenbag says, “Life is not measured by how many breaths you take, but by how many times your breath is taken away. This ethos is something that spills over into the business. Awesome solutions that take our customers’ breath away stem from innovation and Innovation is the one thing we as a company believe in.”

Ubsuha, directly translated means “The beginning of something new”, and Agenbag says that the company defines innovation as challenging the boundaries that exist, while keeping within the bounds of an acceptable risk framework.

“We do not measure the value of a deal as the success factor, but to what extent the customer was moved in the right direction and how much momentum the company has created during that move. It is easier to keep something moving, once it is already moving in a specific direction.”

Ubusha is probably most different to its peers with regards to the delivery methodology it employs. “Most of our competitors can define the functional requirements of a solution, build it and implement it, but all they are doing is complying to technical specifications,” Agenbag continues. “Many things need to be done before and after the ‘implementation phase’. An example of something that must be done first, is the tying of a value proposition offered by the ICT project to a specific business need or requirement, since more often than not a business strategy says nothing specific about ICT. Once the implementation is completed, the customer should also have an ICT framework in place, used to maintain, support and operate their environment,” Agenbag explains. “For us, the measurement of a successful project should be whether you are contributing to the business value proposition of the customer. By using this as your measurement, you create enough momentum to keep hings moving in the right direction.”

Surely it takes a special breed of employee to make a success out of working at Ubusha? Agenbag says it has as much to do with the company’s involvement with staff and handling of issues as what it has to with the brilliant people the company employs. “Ubusha is one of the few companies I know that shares the evenue of every successful project with the involved consultants. What really gets staff ticking however, is their ability to register their internal Intellectual Property and receive remuneration every time it gets used. This breeds a true culture of innovation.”

From a vendor perspective, Ubusha aligns itself with IBM, Microsoft and Novell, with a fair amount of overlap from each vendor. “Looking at the vendors we’vechosen to align with, and their respective ‘core focus areas’, it’s no surprise that they are leaders in their respective Gartner ‘magic quadrants’.” Agenbag explains. Ubusha is particularly proud of its relationship with Novell. “We are very passionate about the Linux and OSS space, while at the same time striving to play a more meaningful role in the Government sector. Novell is the perfect partner to assist us taking this to market. “It is inspiring how Novell is playing a leading role in addressing the typical hurdles placed in the way of mainstream adoption of Linux. Novell is also very active in the Government sector.”

Outside of standard day-to-day business, Agenbag says that Novell is investing strongly in Ubusha to establish a Services Management framework for Linux in South Africa. This addresses the areas of Linux Strategy and Architecture (Phased Roadmap), Linux Service Development (Design and Build) and Linux Service Operations (Operate and Maintain).

Ubusha is also engaging with Eskom on Novell Consulting’s behalf in the development of three strategic solutions: Identity Management, Resource Management and a review of the existing Network Operating System (NOS) implementation.

’The focus of the identity management solution is the automation of identity information sharing to reduce administrative overheads whilst increasing end-user satisfaction by, for example reducing the amount of user names and passwords an employee needs to manage,” Agenbag explains. “This solution will build identity information stores, using information available via existing enterprise application integration (EAI) channels, to provide identity services such as centralized authentication, graded authentication, and a foundation for later role based access control (RBAC) services.”

Looking at the second solution, Agenbag says that the resource management solution will develop a framework for increasing the effectiveness of the management of desktop computers, the server environment and for portable digital assistant (PDA) devices, whilst also providing Eskom with the ability to enforce ICT policies to these devices.

“Lastly, the NOS review is developing recommendations for server consolidation, branch office management and the implementation of the most recent technology enhancements to Novell’s NOS and directory services platform,” he says.

Ubusha believes in South Africa and the future of this country. “BEE is therefore not about fixing the wrongs of the past but rather enabling the future. For this reason one of the strongest internal BEE focuses is skills development and knowledge transfer,” Agenbag concludes.

Author: Brett Haggard

(2004-10-01)