Cape Town, 18 May 2023
Solution House has completed My Incident Desk’s integration with the City of Cape Town’s SAP and C3 service management systems, enabling urban managers and central improvement districts to submit service requests directly, quickly and easily from Incident Desk to the City’s systems.
The integration will next be replicated in Tshwane, the City of Johannesburg and eThekwini, and is the Cape Town-based company’s latest milestone on its journey to delivering a smart country of interconnected smart cities.
From smart city to smart country
While many other service management solutions struggle to properly manage city precincts and metros, Solution House has succeeded in not just enabling smart precincts, but in combining these precincts into smart cities, and the smart cities into a ‘smart country’ model, says Tiaan Janse van Rensburg, commercial director of Incident Desk.
“While the realisation of a smart country vision is still some way off, it starts with smart precincts, interconnected into a countrywide success story,” he adds.
“Over the last few years, we have enabled many city precincts to move from merely managing their areas to joining an integrated, smart city-enabled, real-time environment. Next, we will actively help to move forward-looking urban areas from urban precincts to a smart city set-up and to become part of the smart country paradigm.”
Innovation ahead of the pack
This revolution in city management has been made possible by My Incident Desk’s distributed and decentralised solution architecture and the ongoing addition of innovative new tools including smartphone apps, facial recognition and real-time service dispatching.
And then there’s the people component. Janse van Rensburg says My Incident Desk is underpinned by a network of national, regional and local service providers, security firms and urban managers.
“The first rule of service management is that there is no point in logging anything if no one responds,” he points out. “That is why My Incident Desk started off by focusing on the service providers who manage our urban areas and keep our precincts safe, clean and functional.”
Arguably the biggest private urban management and safety solution in South Africa, My Incident Desk has logged over 2 million service calls to date with well-known city centres such as Cape Town, Century City, Johannesburg, Durban and Umhlanga as customers.
Under the current model, each city metro or municipality has its own separate management system. These are normally centrally managed, which leads to inefficiencies, duplication of systems and resources and islands of data.
Ultimately, however, the vision is to provide a national solution in which all precincts belong to one centralised system. To enable this evolution, further development on the platform will continue in adherence with four main principles:
- Providing an advanced software management platform for smart urban precincts, enabling each precinct to manage itself;
- Providing advanced technology such as facial recognition, mobile worker management and tracking, dispatch management and asset management to precincts at an affordable monthly price point;
- Letting each precinct decide what information they want to share with their neighbouring precincts; and
- Rolling up these precincts into real-time smart cities and the cities into a smart country model.
Janse van Rensburg says modern cities find resonance with My Incident Desk as they are faced with increased service management load and complexity under increasing financial pressure.
“With escalating demand for their services, overloaded infrastructure and financial pressure depleting their cash and skills resources, improved efficiencies are of the essence.
“Put simply, this translates into a requirement for real-time visibility of services, as well as real-time information sharing and end-to-end service management capabilities. The integration with the City of Cape Town makes My Incident Desk the only solution which can offer that.”
Janse van Rensburg says Solution House’s future plans include updating the My Incident Desk mobile app with the Metro integration and expanding its facial recognition capability of smart cities to private property CCTV.
This will allow the integration of numerous participating customers’ devices into one real-time, centralised, POPIA-compliant environment, combining mobile, desktop and peripheral devices into one coherent solution that underpins its vision of a smart country.
Incident Desk is owned, managed and supported by Solution House Software. Its software framework, offering rapid development and deployment of geo-located service request solutions and associated smart phone apps, provides solutions for unlimited service requests across multiple installations, mobile device integration and application deployment, dashboard and trending statistical analysis for several global multi-tenanted clients. Developed for the modern, multi-faceted management company, and catering for various industries, the framework is built on open source components and delivered via the cloud. Incubated, designed, crafted and refined in Cape Town over the last ten years, the Incident Desk solution enjoys full support from a team located in Cape Town and London.