“Technology and the use of (it) is going to determine our workers’ ability to compete in the 21stcentury global marketplace.” – Ron Kind.
Today’s global marketplace finds itself in the ever growing, ever evolving digital era. As a result of Industry 4.0 and its emerging technologies, the constant technological advances and innovations are considered great successes among many industries. First world countries often have the resources they need to keep up with the demands of this so called fourth industrial revolution, but what of the rest of the world?
The significance and importance of keeping up technological advances is highly evident, particularly within the realm of tertiary education. Afterall, institutions providing tertiary education are the very places that are training and guiding a large percentage of the future workforce of South Africa. As these graduates step out into the marketplace, they will be faced with the challenge of not only functioning but thriving within a wholly technologically driven world.
Acknowledging the importance of bringing global technology to South African tertiary education has motivated milestone achievements. One such accomplishment is the recent partnership between the University of Pretoria (UP) and Eiffel Corp (as the provider of Modo Campus© in South Africa), to create the UP Mobile App.
The innovative UP Mobile App, built on the Modo Labsplatform,offers students, staff and alumni an “always-on”, localised place to access all necessary and relevant information with ease. With a dedication to mobility and accessibility, the UP App features unique benefits for students, including: online access to study material; navigation of campus grounds using Google Maps; and the power to connect with alumni for advice, support or mentorship, to name a few. For UP, the UP Mobile App empowers staff to access vital operational and HR documents, such as leave information and salary slips.
The UP Mobile App was officially launched at an event held at the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa Campus on 13 August 2019. While addressing guests at the event, Stefan Du Plessis, Chief Commercial Officer at Eiffel Corp referred to the partnership as a step towards “… realising the potential of technology in furthering education.”
Modo Campus© is recognised as a leading platform within the global market. It was founded by a team from MIT and is currently trusted and used in over 30 countries by hundreds of companies, institutions and hospitals. The creation of the UP Mobile App on the Modo Labs platform marks a milestone as it is the first public university in South Africa to utilise this technology. As an enterprise-scale mobile and communication platform, the creation of institutional or corporate apps – without the need for coding skills – becomes easily accessible, and thereby perfect for all markets.
Dr Wimpie Beeken, Information Technology Services Capability Development Management at the University of Pretoria, confirmed that the partnership with Eiffel Corp was carefully considered and found to be the solution to UP’s needs – delivering an affordable, cloud-based application. According to Dr Beeken, UP chose to partner with Eiffel Corp rather than develop its own App, to save both time and budget.
“Our approach was that we would rather purchase than develop something, that was our vision. When we engaged with Eiffel Corp and they presented the Modo Labs Solution (Modo Campus©), we did a bit of our own homework and it showed us that Modo Labs has successfully been used across the globe at other universities. This partnership fit what we needed. This is a solution that is fit for purpose in the higher education space,” he concluded.