PMT’s 2023 August Newsflash!
PMT’s 2023 August Newsflash!
With the end of the year fast approaching PMT™ continues to strive to do amazing work in 2023! Our team has come together to share with you all an overview of existing news and developments thus far in 2023!
From new product features to projects we have had the privilege to work on this year, as well as our phenomenal progress in bringing an educational difference to the lives of young South Africans through our EaziTeach™ Programme and The Family Africa team, and much more…
We hope you enjoy reading all about it!
As we commemorate Women’s Month in August, we reflect on women’s remarkable contributions and resilience.
PMT™ understands the importance and value of ECD centres in our society as they are the pillars of education and essential to bridging equity gaps, overcoming multigenerational poverty, and unlocking a child’s full potential.
A few years ago, PMT™ went a step further in creating and sponsoring The EaziTeach™ programme, which is run by The Family Africa team. The EaziTeach™ programme is focused on bringing educational aspirations for the future of South Africa by rolling out learning programmes to creches at grass-root schools across the country. PMT™ is privileged to provide sponsorship to over 25 teachers from Family Africa as part of our support for the EaziTeach™ initiative in equipping teachers to help build better communities through education. There is no better feeling than to know that you have contributed to building the next generation of South Africa!
There is still a lot to be done. Together, we can drive transformative change and forge a future where everyone’s potential is unleashed, propelling our businesses and society to new heights.
Visit the EaziTeach™ webpage, where Corporates and Individuals can easily get involved with making a positive change in these children’s educational future.
2023 thus far…
Now over 18 Years in Business with over a century of collective international Telecoms and GSM experience, we take pride in knowing that the PMT™ Brand has always been associated with trust. We are grateful for the immense support received from our Clients and Partners and the trust they have placed in us. We remain committed to delivering a service of excellence beyond expectations without exception!
PMT™ has continued to drive digital innovation and excellence, this has resulted in us seeing our services outperform, and scale to new heights. We strive to be at the forefront as an industry leader in setting the standard ranging from working with Mobile Operators to productionising and commercialising services to solve real-world problems and enabling opportunities for our Customers.
We are proud to announce that we have achieved our Level-2 SANAS-accredited BBBEE status.
On the back of a journey already embarked on in 2019, PMT™ has successfully obtained our national IECNS/IECS ICASA License, a significant milestone in our journey! As part of our dream and the PMT™ owned ZeroRateMe™ trademark, we will continue to work with the industry to drive the reduction of the costs of Data and Data services for all consumers in South Africa to enable access to free essential data services for everyone.
In line with our Company Dream, we continue expanding our services across Africa with the Obsidian™ Service Connectivity Platform taking the charge to change people’s lives through Technology, making a difference and reaching 1 billion people across Africa.
We are also excited to announce that PMT™ is a proud sponsor of the PASA – Payments Association of South Africa event 2023!
Congratulations to Markus Schorn, our CEO, mentor, and confidant, on his 14th year (February 2023) now almost 15 years at PMT™. We appreciate his continued support in executing the Vision and Strategy and his resilience and passion for the Dream of PMT™, its staff, and our clients.
Managing Director, Henning Viljoen
Messages for Markus from PMT™ staff!
Markus, how wonderful to be able to celebrate this with you, as a leader, strategist and visionary in your field of expertise and knowledge! Thank you that you have shown in all capacity and ability, how a person can impact and influence a generation to achieve greatness and build a legacy to be proud of, and I am thankful daily for who you are and what you bring. May this 14th year at PMT™ be a stepping stone for more and greater things to come in your journey. – Pieter Janse van Rensburg
Congratulations Markus on a momentous milestone. You have been an amazing leader and mentor and I consider myself blessed to have been able to receive the many years of guidance. You have taught me so much throughout the years, for which I will always remain thankful, as it has shaped the person I am today. May your 14th year at the helm bring you continued success and joy. – Kyle Armstrong
Happy 14yrs Markus! It has been a journey of ups and downs holistically an upward gradient inching closer to excellence, and outstanding achievements both personally and in business. It has been an honour to learn from you and I know the next 14 years will bring excellent success and happiness! – Maro Asmaclis
Congratulations on 14 years of orchestrating PMT™ into the remarkable business it has become. Your vision and leadership are and will be the driving force taking PMT™ into the future. – Niekie Myburgh
Happy workiversary Markus! Your dedication and hard work is an inspiration. You make a difference every single day and I am truly grateful to have you as a leader! – Warren Clarke
Our AWS First Journey Continues in 2023
This year we have continued our AWS First journey by revitalising PMT’s approach for AWS Certificates to further bolster our knowledge with new learnings, and new certificate journeys, in specialisations that we have not had before. The contribution from the team has been amazing in that it has added tremendous value to how we deliver value into AWS for ourselves and our customers.
As we have shared before, PMT’s journey of adoption of AWS and the value it brings, the building of new products in AWS, for AWS, as well as our story of migrating existing services to the cloud, has been a tremendous experience through the many years invested, to support a vision from our CEO. We knew for PMT™ to look after our interests and to support business continuity, we needed to enable ourselves to scale further using AWS technology, as it could no longer be about a bigger server or more man-hour resources, and in the “cloud” box, all the great benefits were already there. The impact it had on our business as well as that of our customers made all the business sense, to support the internal decisions and motivate an organisation-wide support structure to keep at it for the long run.
In reflecting on the past few years, a typical journey for a corporate (PMT™ included) to move to the Cloud/AWS goes through many stages, and while at it, many proponents for and against it, as the world evolves and changes rapidly. Some key ideas are below:
- A realisation is that once you are in the Cloud, it is suddenly overwhelming with the vast number of services available to you to pick from, read up on and use. This can make one feel inadequate to even take up the journey as you quite easily feel that what you have is not sufficient to even start;
- The idea that all the new components, tools and services are much better than what you have built over the years and have invested possibly 1000s of hours in and that you have to throw away and start from scratch;
- A thought that what you know does not apply, related to common best practices, architectural designs, etc., and that before starting you have to know everything there is about every service available, meaning it delays the adoption and forward movement;
- That you have to rewrite instead of adding on, or replacing where required (defined by your own needs and wants), and that it is an “all or nothing” approach to Cloud;
- That skills already in the business become irrelevant, for example, PMT™ makes use of Erlang (the Ericsson programming language) with great success to ensure uptime and reliability of our services to our clients, and it is easy to mistake the idea that you have to build in the Cloud in any other language, or have to learn a new “supported” language first before you can run your services.
A fun fact is that PMT™ has done this journey already, we have the expertise and gained the knowledge in this already and we can help other corporate’s see through the “challenges” to kick-start their journey and uptake of the real value.
Our thinking is AWS First
For us taking an AWS-first approach has resulted in a new approach to how we think when dealing with challenges. We go to AWS first as they have a vast amount of components to support us in many challenges previously faced, meaning less time trying to find a solution, and more time reviewing the multitude of available options and best practice architectures already available, often with full AWS support.
This has also allowed us to take the energy that we would use to solve these issues to build something bigger or more effortless. This is our approach to thinking about market-facing challenges now.
Our future vision in AWS
In working towards this future vision in AWS, we are doing so by partnering with First Distribution and AWS SA. We are still growing and investing in this relationship, so that we are fully supported in what we deliver in AWS, for our products as well as our customer’s.
PMT™ also remains committed to our continuous effort and investment to learn and grow in competence, including certifications as well as to look for ways for PMT™ to grow in tier levels and this is a constant motivation for PMT™ to strive for.
CTO, Pieter Janse van Rensburg
PMT’s Emerald™ product has experienced significant growth in the last few years. This product has had multiple new integrations and Application Programming Interfaces (API). The team has aimed to evaluate, identify and develop software solutions to satisfy our customer needs and provide the simplest, most stable scalable solution for the industry’s ever-changing market.
The most recent addition to the product was the introduction of the Number Portability Lookup API.
Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was historically launched in SA by ICASA in 2006. This allowed customers to port their telephone numbers between cellular networks such as Vodacom, Cell C, MTN and Telkom.
With Emerald™ being a major VAS service provider, the need was identified to provide integrated Emerald™ clients with a means of confirming the customer mobile network before purchase attempts.
This additional API allows clients to perform controlled mobile network lookups and in doing so, minimises transaction failure rates and simplifies financial reconciliations.
Senior Software Developer, Maro Asmaclis
The Obsidian™ Service Connectivity Platform!
Many great new features have already been released this year with Version 4.2.0 of the Obsidian Service connectivity platform which included:
- Abusive IP Monitoring and Reporting
- Blacklist Management
- AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) Integration
With the Obsidian™ Gateway introducing the Blacklist Management feature into the Gateway will allow the client to retrieve a list of IPs that have been recorded that is reaching the gateway but are not linked to a service. This feature also allows for an IP to be added manually and to either be blacklisted globally or per service selected. This feature will also be able to expose an internal Obsidian™ API for external parties to retrieve the list of blacklisted IPs to allow management externally.
Another key addition was also made to pull in flagged IPs for potential bad actors by external IP services that can in turn be added to our blacklist list. Each blacklisted API added or removed also links directly to the WAF service within AWS and updates the affected IP group.
We are excited to share more about additional features coming in our next release! This will be shared in more detail in our year-end newsletter.
This year PMT™ has continued group coaching and individual coaching, as well as PMT™, introduced the leadership coaching journey to help with the growth of the excellent minds of our staff members in PMT™. Coaching in PMT™ is designed to work with teams in groups or individually to learn new skills, stretch themselves to reach their goals, grow, be uncomfortable, keep an open mind to new possibilities, and build their work relationships.
Having these coaching journeys within PMT™ over the last year has already brought so much growth and value to PMT™ and all those involved. We look forward to seeing what’s still to come with these coaching journeys for the reader of this year and beyond.
How some team members have experienced this coaching Journey:
“My coaching experience this year has been much more focused on specific areas I felt was lacking and as a result, I saw much larger progress. Coaching sessions with Willem are always a highlight of my week, whether it is individual or group-focused. It is definitely a journey I would recommend to anyone that seeks self-improvement and growth within themselves.”
Senior Developer, Michael Venter
“Being part of the coaching Journey at PMT™ this year has been an incredible eye-opener for me, I have learned incredible tools that have steered me much closer to personal and group growth, made me more conscious of my goals and what impact my part plays in the entire organisation and even personally. I highly recommend coaching as that major step to taking ownership towards your own success.”
WASP Administration, Nonduduzo Jail
“This coaching journey has been an incredible experience. It has taught me so much about myself and how to work more effectively and challenged me to grow in how to show up in a team as well as an organisation. The tools and methods learnt have helped me tremendously with my journey of growth and to reach new heights. A big thank you to William and PMT™ for providing us with this journey.”
Lead Brand Manager, Joshua Adair
PMT’s Coach Will van der Walt to share more about coaching:
Change is something we all face, all the time. I read somewhere that in the average organisation, leaders face up to 15 changes at any point in time. PMT™ has embarked on another focus for coaching. Team and Group coaching had specific foci, while individual coaching was open for people to bring their focus areas, as usual.
Change is a normal part of organisational life and, sometimes it is harder than other times. What is always remarkable to witness is the resilience of the human spirit when faced with changes in new areas; the courage to face uncertainty and remain true to who we are and the relationships we remain committed to.
This is especially true when we change how we show up as individuals and leaders in organisations. Facing into work in this domain, while normal life carries on, can be especially demanding. It has been a privilege to witness this human spirit at work in each team, group and individual; I celebrate each learning, growth area and result with them and look forward to see what this organisation will create next!
Coach, Will van der Walt
PMT™ supports TymeBank to create accessibility for thier customers on their banking app through Revered Billing!
This year, as part of our disaster management plan, PMT™ has undertaken critical steps as a company to plan for redundancy in connectivity should there be an event where South Africa undergoes a complete blackout on the power grid due to the electricity crisis that the country is currently facing. PMT™ is achieving this by providing key individuals in the company with backup Internet connectivity using satellite Internet in such an event.
As satellite connectivity has no reliance on local Internet service providers (ISP). This means PMT™ will maintain Internet connectivity and this business can continue to operate and engage our clients should any local ISPs be down due to a grid failure.
Head of IT, Warren Clarke
PMT™ is passionate about Human Upliftment and making a change in people’s lives through Technology and Education for Future Generations.
This passion steered PMT™ to partner with an NGO that is now close to our hearts called The Family Africa Organisation for over a decade now. The Family Africa team supports local communities through various initiatives, including ECD centres, youth education programmes, health & safety awareness and food parcel distributions.
PMT’s collaboration with The Family Africa organisation over the years has led to PMT™ supporting various impactful initiatives that have brought real change to the lives of many.
The EaziTeach™ Programme!
The EaziTeach™ programme, which is kindly run by The Family Africa team, has continued to make a positive impact in the lives of children and teachers in South Africa this year.
The EaziTeach™ programme has a focus on bringing educational aspirations for the future of South Africa. Since the start of 2023, PMT™ has continued to support The Family Africa team in the rolling out of The EaziTeach™ learning programmes, to many Early Childhood Development centres (ECD) across the country.
At the start of the year, teachers from 35 ECD centres attended a workshop on how to implement the EaziTeach™ curriculum during load-shedding. As part of this workshop, these teachers also received the updated 2023 digital resource kit and character-building kits with a total of 40 books for each Early Learning centre!
As well as this year we are building on the success story of supporting the education of 10s of teachers as part of our EaziTeach™ programme. PMT™ has been able to sponsor another 14 teachers this year to go on and complete a computer literacy course!
As part of this programme teachers who complete the computer literacy course can go on to do their ECD centre training levels 1 and 2 which is a NQF levels 4 and 5. In total for this year, PMT™ is privileged to provide sponsorship to over 16 teachers as part of ECD centre training into an NQF level 5 learning Qualifications!
This is creating a huge impact on the lives of those in communities and this forms part of building a better future for future generations of South Africans because if you have teachers trained the quality of teaching improves and the learners are able to excel further with the better education provided.
PMT™ is honoured to be part of contributing to building the next generation of South Africa through education and technology. We are aspiring to see this programme grow even further in the years to come!
With there being much still to be done. Visit the EaziTeach™ webpage, where Corporates and Individuals can easily get involved with making a positive change in these children’s educational future.
The Family Africa Blanket Drive!
For the last few years, PMT™ has taken part in the yearly Family Africa Blanket Drive as part of our Mandela Day donations! At the start of winter, the PMT™ team came together to donate hundreds of blankets to people and children in need, to make sure these families were kept warm over this winter.
The Blanket Drive has become a tradition for PMT™ to be involved in. It is always heart-warming for our team to be a part of this.
We give regular updates on the progress of the EaziTeach Programme and The Family Africa’s initiatives on our blogs.
Celebrating the Women of PMT™!
As part of our Celebrations for Women’s Month, PMT™ sent our remarkable women of PMT™ to have a relaxing Ladies’ Spa day and lunch to thank them for everything they do each and every day!
Thank you ladies of PMT™ you are all remarkable and highly valued women!
As we look towards the rest of 2023 and what is still to come, we are motivated and excited about the projects our team will be working on this year and beyond. PMT™ remains committed and driven to delivering you a service of excellence beyond expectations without exception.
We are confident that the rest of 2023 will be successful and productive and we will continue to build and grow our journey with you all.
This Newsletter was proudly created by PMT’s Lead Brand Manager Joshua Adair