Cipro goes electronic


Staff Writer
By Staff Writer, ITWeb
Johannesburg, 24 Mar 2009

The Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro) will soon become a fully electronic environment.

The office says it will implement an enterprise content management (ECM) foundation by using service-oriented architecture (SOA) - which will allow the office to use a single e-form to capture data from all its clients.

Keith Sendwe, CEO of Cipro, says the organisation has already made progress towards achieving its goal and the transformation should be complete in the next few months. Cipro, which has over two million companies listed on its database, hopes its new system will enable it to interact more meaningfully with companies and increase economic activity.

The "new-look" e-Cipro is already in the implementation phase and will be accompanied by a "changing approach to business, a new strategy, organisation structure, skills and systems," Sendwe says.

Improving efficiency

"This will enable us to fulfil our mandate, which is to become the gateway for formal economic participation within SA. While we will always be part of government, this will assist us to operate like a well-honed private organisation."

Sendwe adds the transformation was necessitated by the need to implement "appropriate infrastructure, systems and people to provide solutions that can withstand any downturn in the economy".

According to Dr Michael Twum-Darko, CIO of Cipro, the ECM system will allow the two million entities to be kept in a uniform format that can be read by several different kinds of devices, from computers to cellphones.

"The SOA approach will allow current and future applications to be introduced with very little changes to the environment. For example, should SA wish to enter into new bilateral agreements, we would be able to introduce this seamlessly," says Twum-Darko.

The transformation will also address interactive company transactions, as companies will have access to Cipro`s database in order to retrieve services and supplies that are unique to the industry they operate in.

Fighting crime

Sendwe hopes the new system will help fight crime: "Money laundered through various companies will be traced easier since the ECM solution will have the information in a common format.

"It will allow Cipro`s database to be linked to other government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Home Affairs, Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the South African Revenue Service (SARS)."

When a company is to be provisionally liquidated, Cipro will advise the UIF of employees that will need unemployment grants, and SARS will take appropriate measures for affected employees. "All this before retrenched employees even enter the UIF`s doors," says Sendwe.