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Platform standards

Most of you will have had the experience of going to a website and being confronted with something that is a) obviously impossible to navigate because b) it needs you to download a piece of exotic software to run the stupid thing and c) is so large anyway that you don’t have the bandwidth and / or d) the time to wait around and see what it finally has to say.
All of this is a function of the wild enthusiasm of platform developers, who are often far more focussed on the means of communicating, rather than the end of actually saying something. The result of their enthusiasm has been a wide variety of competing platforms with highly nuanced differences, all of which make the choice of platform extremely difficult.
The situation is made yet more complex by the phenomenon of varying bandwidth and varying technologies that are used to implement the platforms, as well as the difference between open source platforms and proprietary software.
Worse yet, the impermanence of web developers, typically young, restless and open to offers of employment from others once they discover that their ambitions are not matched by money, mean that the platform implemented and used by one developer may not be within the field of expertise of his / her successor.
This has been the easy bit. Mobile devices have a number of platforms on which development can take place. These platforms are also be expected to control the mobile devices as well. So, without ironclad strategies, not only may the website not display properly, but the user may not be able to use his or her cellphone.
All of this is slightly terrifying.
The solution lies in one simple phenomenon: research. Before setting up any internet presence more complex than a straight-forward web site, the organisation or enterprise needs to research every aspect of the user’s need and the user’s electronic capability.
First and foremost, like the example noted above, there is no point in implementing a system that is too technologically advanced for the user’s system. This is particularly important for those who want corporate browsing. Note, for instance, that due to the threats of compromise of their systems, many corporate systems administrators block Java applications outright.
The next steps lie in researching the  platform. The first aspect that needs to be examined is the question of open source systems versus proprietary systems.
Open source systems are generally free and are developed continuously. However these require individuals with open source capabilities, who do not offer continuous support unless hired or contracted as a part of the outsourcing function.

Proprietary systems offer ongoing support, but this often comes at a vast expense. In addition the system has to be licensed to the user and development or evolution of the system may come at a cost. The fact that the proprietary system will not be easy to integrate with other systems should also be taken into account.
This column will not go into the matter of proprietary software, other than to note that it should be considered very, very carefully with a close look at long range costs and applications.
There are a fair number of open source platforms. Some are more popular than others or have wider acceptance. Wider acceptance implies a greater community that represents both a pool of abilities and a pool of  development and knowledge.
If open source is identified as the route, then serious consideration must be given to the  Joomla which offers productivity applications with fair degrees of ability to integrate other applications. WordPress is geared more to publishing.
Although the choices are difficult, they need to be made. Once again, the choices and uses influence competitiveness, cost-effectiveness and operational differentials, locally and globally.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.