2020 End of Year Newsletter
The Big Reset…
Traditionally, its nothing but a joy to communicate the end-of-year message from my desk. So it’s with a very mixed and sombre mood, that I share these thoughts with you, despite all the incredible things that happened for PMT right to the moment of writing this note. What is clear is that we never take certain things for granted ever again, nor can we forget those we lost directly, or even by way of extended family, friends and community. What we ultimately must keep front of mind is those still being impacted daily as a result of Covid-19 and sometimes for a lifetime to come.
Early in the lockdown, I coined the phrase, the “Big Reset”. Later it seemed widely used across many platforms, and this I think is because its world-shifting events like this where our shared consciousness becomes more overt, profound. It is also these times that we are forced into reevaluating our personal lives, our work personas and even our society and how we are connected – and even how all of us across every nation on earth is so vulnerable and always exposed in the same connectedness. Often, that our selfish living goes unnoticed or unchallenged until we are shocked back by something so life-altering, so tangible to all of us all the time – to remind us all that we are all connected – all the time.
Many of us who were not used to working at home had to learn new tools, skills and habits, and often I heard how families were forced into difficult circumstances in small spaces, leading to pressures over and above that of the lock-down itself. It seems that many took on the challenge constructively, got back to studying, fixed hurt or damaged relationships, reconnected with their children and loved ones, and even more positively, relearned how to communicate with people in new ways, not only at home but through masks and other challenging requirements. In my own case, I was blessed to spend more personal time with my bigger team on video and voice, more so than in my pressured trips between cities and other travel. So for some, adversity lead to learning, growing and new opportunities – and this is what we need to take away from the adversity and overcoming, developing grit…
To exploring those new opportunities that painful things of 2020 forced us into, I feel that we go into 2021 much stronger in many ways, with heaps more awareness of the global ecosystem, let alone the needs of our close Company Team and all their families. PMT as an organism adapted well and very quickly, and so experienced a significant gain in productivity as one positive outcome. We have even innovated a brand-new product to be released early next year (big reveal will be announced January or February). Whilst we still have co-located working spaces on offer to those who desire it, more than 90 % of the PMT Team polled continue to be committed to work-from-home and mostly virtualised digital culture. I personally can only acknowledge and humbly thank all my Team for their tireless bravery, courage and overcoming at this time, especially those who lost loved ones.
Of course in closing, and as always, to our most valued Clients, thank you for the deep and mutual commitment to making PMT exceptional. Many Clients this year are 10 years or more in tenure, and continue to grow and thrive, even in the most challenging times. May we all thrive in 2021, and remain acutely connected to each other as people, communities and as a very fragile global ecosystem. Please travel safely if using our roads, and obey all our laws, including those that may seem inconvenient at times, like masks and sanitisers. After all, whilst we are here and safe, many have passed on, and left many magnitudes of orders more unsafe or more vulnerable. We need to support them in their challenges ahead.
Wishing you all a blessed and safe, peaceful festive season ahead. Warm regards, Markus.
As the end of the year draws near we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for the support during 2020.
As for most, 2020 was quite an unusual year in all respects; with the imposed lockdown, digital communication and interaction closed the great divide that existed, allowing for interaction between business partners to co-exist and create an interconnected ecosystem. We’ve moved from a company built around “bricks and mortar” to a completely remote and “work from anywhere” environment which in turn also allowed us to broaden our vision as well as our footprint. Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) Ltd seized the opportunity and expanded our services into multiple territories including Namibia, Eswatini, Botswana, Malawi and Lesotho amongst others and look forward to expanding this ever further during 2021.
As part of our 2020 objectives set the company focused actively to implement products and services into the Cloud under our AWS strategy and also adopted a new Mobile Application Framework using React and React Native.
At the start of 2019 Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) Ltd undertook to move our primary and redundant services into Teraco as a world-leading Data Centre and as published, Africa’s most interconnected Data Centre positioning us well for our strategy to expand into other territories as well as AWS. We are very happy to announce that we have been able to achieve exactly that!
Being well-positioned in the Teraco Data Centre and by utilising the Africa Cloud Exchange, we were able to expand our ever-growing connection footprint to existing customers for improved link performance and redundancy and provided us many more options connecting new customers into our environment.
As an appointed AWS business partner Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) set out to move our services into AWS as a leading services provider; our AWS first strategy included following a full agile methodology, selecting best of breed components from the AWS service suite, to build a new product for the cloud.
By adopting Agile, PMT started a journey to create a brand new product in the cloud, for the cloud, leveraging AWS services. During this exciting journey, we were able to prove that not only is it possible to migrate on-premise Proof of Value (PoV) projects, but that being agile enables anyone to move from PoV to production readiness in weeks, not months or years.
As a team, we were able to leverage many of the AWS services, including Kubernetes (EKS), Load Balancers (ELB), DynamoDB, Timestream and CloudWatch to support our Edge enablement strategy. As our team grows in skill and confidence in AWS, PMT has ignited our innovative abilities to deliver core-grade solutions to the market.
We set out with a well defined and designed product with a requirement set and architecture. We built the backlog, from which we created Sprints and set off as a team to deliver in 2-week cycles. In the sprint, we set a minimum baseline for the core team, but also allowed additional teammates to come and go when they could contribute. This was done with specific intent because it was a new project and we wanted the wider organisation to participate in delivering this AWS first project, which is not based on any of our existing product sets.
During this agile journey, we explored various options and building blocks and experienced what it means to be empowered to take agile decisions, sometimes changing course multiple times a day. Although we stayed true to the original design, we soon realised that one must also be agile in decision making when trying to deliver items from the sprint. The team members had the freedom to firstly explore the original design (yes we did not go in blind with just an idea of what the product must do 😉) and if we got stuck on anything, or felt that as we learned more about how components should interact, there were better ways that were not revealed upfront, we could change and swop out that component or integration between them, to deliver a better overall solution.
Perhaps to give an example, we wanted to standardise on a statistical component to store all analytic values, both from our statistical capturing engine as well as the post-processed enhanced billing data stream so that we can use a single data source in the final reporting engine. As we started processing the billing data stream we found a more suitable component that is closer to post-processing engine that serves time-based data metrics and the storage of thereof much better, so we added this data store into the component set and linked it up with the rest of the architecture. In essence, none of the previously designed record generation, post-processing and storage ideas changed, just the component which delivered value into that area. We still achieved what we wanted to in the end-to-end analytics and billing pipeline.
As a business, we experienced the value, and the “fun”, being agile brings to an organisation and team. It gives the ability to make day-decisions to steer the overall delivery but still keeping true to the principle of agile delivery, empowering the team to deliver on the vision and truly showing incremental output, improvements and ultimately achieving the milestones of the defined sprints.
By staying true to our 2020 objectives and by expanding our own as well as adopting best of breed technology stacks, we were able to deliver very exciting new products.
- Reverse Billed Gateway – By listening to the need in the industry, Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) Ltd implemented a solution that not only allows for the provisioning of services at the Edge, but allows service providers to offer reverse billing of these services, while staying true to industry trends and best practises around securitisation, consumer protection and scalability and redundancy.
- Amber™ SNS Secure PUSH Messaging and OTP Replacement – Our Secure Push Notification Service is a robust, highly efficient push notification mechanism, that securely sends text between your server and a mobile device, including alerts, transaction, and authentication data. The service provides fast and effective communication for multiple industry verticals requiring special and secure treatment of sensitive client communications such as OTP’s and service/product approvals.
- Mobile Application Framework and Endpoint Securitisation – Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) Ltd developed a Mobile Device Security Module, which is a service providing a means to securitise data between a mobile device and your service, in transit and rest, with core grade and banking industry cryptographic functions. The MDSM service facilitates secure and unique device registration, message signing and data encryption key generation and easily and securely plugs into your existing framework through native modules or a React Native bridge.
- NI USSD Namibia – In working closely with the Mobile Operators; Pattern Matched Technologies (Pty) Ltd is one of the first commercially launched NI USSD service providers within Namibia.
2020 was another year of growth within Pattern Matched Technologies where we saw our dynamic team grow with 5 new employees, each of whom brings years of collective industry experience and expertise. Their individual impacts have already been felt throughout the business and we are confident that any engagement with them will, as always, be positive and bare the fruits of their incredible skills and passion. We once again welcome them to our team and look forward to their continued contributions.
Pattern Matched Technologies has for the 7th year been involved with an NGO very close to our hearts called The Family Africa who is based in Diepsloot, Gauteng. The NGO supports local communities through various initiatives including early childhood development centres, youth education programmes, health and safety awareness as well as food parcel distributions and we saw it fit that communities such as this, which have been hardest hit by the tumultuous year that was 2020 need all the support they can get. As part of this we sponsor a programme PMT pioneered for them called EaziTeach™, and this enables digital education at the creche level. We are also continually looking for more sponsors to roll out more digital teaching aides.
This year has been filled with a multitude of both challenges and victories, not only as a company but as a global community and is with this that we have taken the decision as an agent of change in our local communities to forego our yearly client gifts and instead donate the funds to The Family Africa, a cause worthy of needing all the support they can muster.
Should you want to learn more about The Family Africa and the change they are driving within the local communities, please do see their website. http://www.familyafrica.com/
With the end of the year and festive season approaching, kindly note of PMT’s freeze period and other key dates. PMT will still have support staff available should any emergencies arise during this period.
The success of Pattern Matched Technologies is based on the relationships we have built over the years, and we wouldn’t be where we are without you. We remain committed to delivering you a service of excellence beyond expectations without exception. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with, and for you and we look forward to continuing this journey with you in 2021.
We once again thank you for the support in 2020 and wish you and your families a safe, joyous and happy festive season.