“We provide specialised solutions to more than a 100 government and private organisations in both Africa and Europe to manage their infrastructure assets,” says Pierre Boshoff from IMQS in Stellenbosch’s Techno Park. “With our software municipalities keep record of their infrastructure and manage its lifecycle.”
What Boshoff sums up in two sentences boils down to the fact that IMQS’s web-based software allows municipalities, big or small, to manage the full magnitude of their water demand, road, storm-water, electricity and solid waste infrastructure systems. The software enables users to track the individual components that make up the infrastructure, to proactively project requirements for services such as electricity, water and roads, and to perform infrastructure refurbishment and maintenance. If this sounds like strategic issues, then the surprise comes when one learns that the software gives users the practical detail of the installation date, the material that it’s made of, even the market value of a single stop valve installed at a specific point somewhere in the water supply system of a city the size of Cape Town. It even enables the technician tasked to repair the stop valve, to download its location onto a GPS-enabled device, with voice guidance on how to get there.
IMQS obtains the detail of their clients’ infrastructure from strategic partners, usually companies that render infrastructure services to these municipalities. They use this to update their clients’ infrastructure information on an ongoing basis to ensure comprehensive asset databases to work from.
“We employ smart, techno-savvy people with a high-performance ethos,” Oliete Williams, IMQS’s head of human resources replies when I ask about the company’s workforce. She explains the culture of their company, which they carefully maintain and nurture to give their employees an environment in which they can and want to deliver their best. “Our team members are from a younger generation that is value-driven to make a positive contribution towards society. They want to feel part of something important. They want to give back,” Williams concludes.
And suddenly my understanding of what IMQS does, falls into place. It’s not only about technical software which only specialists can understand. It’s about a product that enables local government to enhance their infrastructure to improve the lives of their people. And I also understand why IMQS is so successful. It’s because they have a workforce that shares in and contributes towards this vision of a better society
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