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Mandela Bay’s Tech Incubator SNII client bags IBM contract

FEBRUARY 15, 2016
Mandela Bay’s Tech Incubator SNII client bags IBM contract

Digijiz, a small business tech start-up within the SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) in Port Elizabeth, has received a massive boost from global technology giant IBM.

Access to the IBM Developer Works Premium Package - a web-based technical resource and professional network for IT practitioners - will provide Digijiz with the support needed for its three year strategic plan. IBM will enable the company to develop skills, solve problems, collaborate with global experts and stay ahead of the latest trends.

Digijiz is a newly established software development company specialising in cloud solutions and hosting, and offers bespoke software development solutions for desktops, mobile and web platforms. The company also does research in artificial intelligence (AI).

Musa Jali, founder and managing director of Digijiz, started the company in March last year with the support of SNII.  

Jali, explained that the IBM Developers Work Premium Package is a developer membership programme.

 “The programme provides an all-access pass to powerful tools, resources, and support to enable us to rapidly prototype, develop and deploy successful cloud projects. We especially enjoy working with the tools that analyse big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and the cloud services offered,” said Jali.

Jali is also working on a social networking app, and with the IBM package he aims to have the prototype ready before the end of December.

Digijiz currently has a web application and website (www.fletz.co.za) to help people find accommodation or find tenants. He also designed and developed the IncuApp, which will be used by SNII to manage their clients’ progress through technology.

“I am busy with touch ups on the first phase of the IncuApp. The app will automate some of the processes which are normally done manually. It will also keep track of clients’ progress. Storing clients’ documents on one central database will make it easier for the mentors to access.

“IncuApp will also track tasks to be completed by both clients and staff, for example creating a business plan, marketing strategy etc. Other features include a dedicated mailbox for communication between the clients and staff and there is also a facility through which repair requests for building maintenance can be lodged,” Jali explained.

Last year Jali was one of 38 young South Africans selected to participate in a two week E-mobility programme in Germany in April.

“The programme aims to bring E-mobility not just to South Africa but Africa as a whole. This means I will be part of the evolution in how we do things and play a major role in cutting carbon emissions. Our part will be in the area of software.”

Jali partnered with one of the organisers of the E-mobility event, and together they are working on an app which will be launched later this month.

His goal is for Digijiz to always create their own products offering various solutions for their clients.

“At the start of my career, I never wanted to be hired by clients to design and develop solutions for them. However, I became passionate about this industry following an Introduction to Big Data with Apache Spark and Machine Learning course from Edx.org.  I’m also learning about artificial intelligence. I will use this knowledge to develop applications which will solve complex problems in everyday life from business to personal stuff.”

Jali’s clients, for now, are Port Elizabeth-based although they are growing a national footprint.

Lupondwana said he was happy with the progress made by Digijiz.

“The fact that Digijiz has the IBM contract shows you what talent we have among our clients and in Nelson Mandela Bay.  We work closely with clients like Digijiz to make sure they reach their full potential before they leave our services,” said SNII CEO, Sipelo Lupondwana.

“We are delighted by the support from IBM which will directly enable the growth and development of our clients,” he commented.

Lupondwana said that support from established technology firms was critical to the developing of technology start-ups and small businesses.

He said that SNII has embarked on a partnership drive to link up South African tech firms with small businesses and start-ups in technology-based industries. This is now happening successfully in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, a city which has been historically excluded from the golden investment opportunities generally seen in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.


Image: GIANT STEP:  The Seda Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) client Digijiz managing director and head developer, Musa Jali, landed a contract with IBM.