2017 once again saw IMQS showcasing its infrastructure asset management (IAM) software solutions at the annual Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers (CIGFARO) and Institute for Municipal Engineering of Southern Africa (IMESA) conferences. We spoke to IMQS Head of Marketing, Erick Underhill, to hear more about what these events mean to the company.
CIGFARO and IMESA are important occasions on the local-government events calendar. Each conference brings together thousands of delegates from specific municipal domains to better share industry knowledge, ideas and best practices. The goal is to improve service delivery and work efficiency within South African local government.
CIGFARO’s 2017 conference was held in October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Over 1500 senior municipal personnel, councillors and government finance, performance, audit and risk officials gathered to tackle topics such as governance, financial management and service delivery. IMESA’s 81st conference was held at Emperor’s Palace in Johannesburg. The occasion built a platform to share knowledge and best practices as well as uncover issues faced by the municipal engineering community. Topical papers were presented, products exhibited, and a social environment created to share ideas between like-minded engineers, municipal representatives and non-technical associates.
As part of the broader EOH group, IMQS proudly exhibited alongside other outstanding EOH companies such as GLS Consulting, Exigo, Dihlase and EOH Industrial Technologies, showcasing its software and giving visitors a taste of their particular corporate culture.
IMQS builds technological solutions to help overcome major challenges to human security in South Africa. By assisting hard working municipal personnel in their everyday jobs, IMQS’s products can make a real difference in the lives of the millions of South Africans lacking basic services on the ground. CIGFARO and IMESA is where the software company meets their prospective users and engages with them in person.
CIGFARO and IMESA are important spaces where IMQS markets its products and services to prospective clients. However, as noted by Head of Marketing at IMQS, Erick Underhill, these conferences are of a far greater importance. “CIGFARO and IMESA are windows into the real world needs of municipal managers in South Africa”. From Erick and his teams’ perspective, “these events offer one an opportunity to engage with people who have a real understanding of the IAM domain".
Living at the forefront of infrastructure management as a practice, "these men and women know what municipalities need to keep service delivery moving forward in our country. It is, therefore, vital that we meet with them and learn more about how our products can help them in carrying out their work each day”.
Public infrastructure management can be a very serious domain, and rightfully so. Municipal engineers and financial planners are the custodians of vital infrastructure that is the bedrock of our economy and which is central to South Africa’s Development Plan.
The challenges on the ground can, however, become disconcerting. Therefore, at IMQS, “we try to remain positive and creative, while always being realistic”, says Erick. “We think that creative, relevant solutions are what stands out most in this day and age. We use events like these to showcase our vision and creativity in addressing South Africa’s local government issues”.
IMQS’s approach at CIGFARO and IMESA was to enlighten prospective users to the benefits of its products through interactive learning and knowledge exchange. Fun, animated product-overview videos and training screen flows serve to showcase IMQS capabilities, while case studies and short readers offer delegates an avenue to delve deeper into what IMQS actually does for its clients.
“This year we promoted our project management software with a friendly, but competitive game”, explains Erick. Delegates were encouraged to create and manage a capital project on the IMQS Project Control System. In turn, they were entered into a lucky draw win a brand new IPad mini!”
The game was a “was a huge success!”. Not only did we get to really showcase the practical manner in which our software makes management tasks centralised and comprehensive, but we were able to give people the opportunity to take home a bit of tech-knowledge, which they will never forget. This is what makes working for IMQS such a pleasure.”
Congrats to Vani from the uMshwati Municipality. She was the lucky winner of the IMQS iPAD-mini at CIGFARO.
South Africa has many challenges with regards to infrastructure. Restricted budgets, work overload and skills shortages will continue to be the order of the day. However, the future looks promising when you walk the halls of conferences such as CIGFARO and IMESA. And see the energy in which delegates from all over the country engage and share knowledge. This can be truly inspiring. IMQS is excited to be part of the solution, working within a realm that has a greater purpose. The purpose is to bring reliable and efficient services to municipal citizens on the ground. The ultimate goal is to band together and build a better future for every South African.