The application of Fintech innovation at local government level

Sep 12th, 2019

When innovation and technology meet, great things are bound to happen.

As part of their vision to expand global reach, market penetration, technical reliability and scalability of their flagship tool (CP3), Novus3 turned to BBD in early 2018 to perform a diagnostic health assessment and make recommendations on the best way forward. This was the start of a very successful partnership.

Recognising the need for a tool that allows for the effective collaboration, prioritisation, budgeting, and implementation of capital projects, CP3, Novus3’s unique offering, is an enabling technology for large organisations and government entities at any tier. The CP3 software service assesses the spatial priorities, economic, social and environmental impacts, affordability, as well as project readiness and contextual considerations to holistically prioritise projects.

The software even facilitates the development of a budget fitting strategy and allocates available capital in accordance to pre-determined groupings. Project managers are also able to track the timeous implementation of capital needs through financial and physical progress reporting.

The system assists technical officials, city planners, municipal CFOs and municipal managers to make informed decisions on how to spend capital in a way that is affordable, sustainable, environmentally responsible and responsive to a host of other diverse needs and considerations governed by a plethora of rules stemming from legislation. Bernard van Biljon, head of strategy and business development at Novus3, adds “Capital investment planning is complex. Therefore globally, and particularly in the South Africa, governments and large organisations need all the help they can get to understand what their combined infrastructure and financial situations are, and how best to respond to this information in a sustainable and responsible manner.”

The beauty of the CP3 web-based application lies in the graphical and geographical representations of the comprehensive data it collects. Users of CP3 have the ability to make complex data queries using a set of simplified tools, which includes spatially based queries, previously available predominantly in the ambit of specialised software suites and trained experts. Significant value addition to the data provides results that, inter-alia, illustrate the economic and socio-economic impact range for each project. No one else is currently offering a service of this nature and its value is increasingly recognised at local government level, with some of South Africa’s larger metros adopting this solution.

Following the initial health assessment that was performed by BBD, Novus3 and BBD swiftly implemented the recommendations made, with BBD ramping up to take over as their technology partner. Since then, they have been working together to further develop the software capabilities, while servicing clients in Africa and exploring opportunities in the United Kingdom, Namibia and Indonesia. Van Biljon adds “Partnering with a company that has global reach, a range of experts and capacity to respond to rapid scaling demands is reassuring and future-proofs our growth strategy.”

A recent example of the partnership baring fruit has been the seamless migration from local data centres to an Amazon Web Service (AWS) which allows for a highly scalable, elastic and highly available service, no matter where in world Novus3’s clients are based. Utilising BBD’s India and London offices has allowed for a near-shore and co-located solution for global clients, while their expertise delivering into African markets has been indispensable.

As a custom software development firm with 35 years of extensive technical and business experience, BBD leverages the knowledge of their technical specialists to thoroughly and systematically evaluate IT operations, identifying any potential shortcomings. Working together with the client, they can then implement the recommended solution, grow with you as necessary and follow through with ongoing maintenance and support. Andre de Witt, head of group innovation at BBD says that “BBD wanted to get involved because for us, projects that use innovative technology to spearhead improvements in the socio-economic spaces are not only exciting but endlessly valuable”.

Novus3 and BBD are two companies who push the envelope in their respective fields. Their partnership has allowed for more effective project prioritisation and budgeting for municipalities, as well as for the development of comprehensive capital expenditure plans coupled with long-term, financial plans. The CP3 system has been deployed at a number of large and smaller clients in the local South African government space including the City of Tshwane, City of Joburg, City of Ekurhuleni, Stellenbosch, Midvaal, Sol Plaatje, Mogale City, uMhlathuze, Mogale City, Ray Ngonyeni and Steve Tshwete.

The meetings of the minds on this project has allowed not only the creation of this unique and very necessary software, but for the support and knowledge needed to take it around the globe.

Figure 1 Data visualisation on the CP3 web application