EXPLORE goes global while staying local
International utility project spearheads prospect of South Africa as data offshoring destination
By: Expore Group
These plans include the setting up of a division serving global utility businesses, off the back of its data science work at Thames Water in the UK, as well as an SMME credit risk division, to service clients within the founding shareholder Lombard Group.
Opportunities within Utilities
Early in 2019, EXPLORE AI, EXPLORE's consulting arm, was appointed by Thames Water to deliver the analytics involved in monitoring the water levels of over 150 000 kilometres of water, waste and collection piping. The information will enable the utility to pre-empt blockages that result from flooding or pollution.
Thames Water supplies over 15 million customers within London and the greater Thames region with 2.6 billion litres (570 million imperial gallons) of drinking water a day, and treats some 4.4 billion litres (970 million imperial gallons) of wastewater daily. Currently over 500 factories assist in the treatment of its water or waste.
According to Thames Water's Chief Digital Officer John Beaumont, the decision to appoint EXPLORE AI was based on its inhouse data science capability and as well as its proven expertise in mapping the various data sources that could contribute to understanding the factors affecting Cape Town's water supply.
"Thames has given us an opportunity to build a substantial outsourced competence for data science based out of our premises in Cape Town. We will leverage our learnings to pursue opportunities within other global utilities," Dippnall says.
South Africa as data management offshoring destination
Apart from the focus on utilities, both in South Africa and internationally, there are more expansion possibilities in the pipeline. One is to make South Africa a remote data science resource centre for international companies.
"Why not set up a local infrastructure where companies from across the world can remotely outsource their data operations to us? We have the skills and resources and there is the currency advantage for companies paying in Sterling, Euros or Dollars," Dippnall says.
"This is a great opportunity for the country to use local talent for offshoring data science and related projects, and for us to upskill and become globally competitive. We believe that South Africa can become an international centre of excellence in data management."
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