In this rapidly evolving digital world, industry sectors are increasingly moving towards shifting their strategies and adopting new operating models to improve processes, and increase value through deliberate business transformation initiatives.
Within the mining sector, digital technologies effectively allow mining operations to reach enhanced levels of performance across the whole mining value chain, from pit to port, so it follows that continued investment into enhanced technological capability is understandably regarded as an imperative.
Here, the Third Platform comprising Mobile Technologies, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, and Data Analytics is the cutting-edge capability being adopted by mining companies as they look to increase productivity and safety while reducing costs.
Client engagement as a key differentiator
As a leading ICT solutions provider to the specialised mining sector, BCX understands the complexities involved when it comes to the technologies used in day-to-day mining operations and in the highly competitive market in which it operates. Client engagement continues to be a key differentiator.
Dr Nkosi Kumalo, Managing Executive of Sales: Mining, Industrials, Health and Telecoms Division at BCX, believes that the complexity and volatility inherent to the mining sector provides the opportunity to be innovative, and customise delivery models that enhance operational and cost efficiencies, while meeting the safety requirement of the mine.
“We see ourselves as a long-term trusted advisor to mining companies where we may not necessarily be mining sector experts but rather experts in how technology can be used to maximise mine value,” he comments.
For Dr Kumalo, BCX’s approach is not to force technology onto its clients, rather it’s about stepping into their environments and gaining an understanding of the challenges they are experiencing. Based on experience, learnings, and insight into the sector, we recommend best-fit technology solutions that not only address their immediate challenges but can also add value in the longer term.
BCX delivery models that deliver cost efficiencies
As a primary driver of IT investment, cost is a key focus area for BCX when engaging with clients. Through the provision of individual contract terms, we strive to ensure that clients pay only for what they need, thereby reducing wastage on IT spend and allowing maximum return and cost containment.
Dr Kumalo explains that the underlying approach is to go further than just providing a cost-saving, but instead the aim is to free up IT spend to reinvest in other business imperatives. He likens this approach to a self-funding model for digital solutions
“Key is to make sure we remove wastage in your IT budget and provide maximum return for every rand you spend toward technology, through a pay-as-you-use model, underpinned by Cloud Computing commercial guidelines.
“Through appreciation of the pressure CIOs are presented with to deliver on cost-efficiencies, we take time to understand each and every mining operation’s unique requirements, and tailor solutions to ensure we maximise value along the entire value chain,” he says.
Delivering IT Services through the “leveraged models” in our tier four data centres, BCX is able to remove additional operational overhead costs, leveraging resources in a way that creates economies of scale across multiple clients, while keeping data and security segregated.
Other areas where BCX can add further value to its delivery models include:
- cost of running IT Infrastructure
- a pre-determined engagement governance model
- an integrated service management function
- a consolidated back office function
- flexible solution and financing models
“We understand the contractual nature of our relationship with clients and can optimise that contract for flexibility. We amalgamate our contracts if necessary, allowing the opportunity to add or remove services as needed,” adds Dr Kumalo.
Engagement that delivers process insight
When it comes to what Dr Kumalo describes as platform-driven engagement, he explains how BCX brings specialised industry insight to clients through quicker, more cost-effective ways of doing things.
“Platform-driven engagement is a technology capability built using industry insights to address a common pain point within the same set of customers. This improves speed of execution and assists in creating a safe environment to learn and drive efficiencies on the costs of innovation,” he comments.
Whether through technology-enabled capabilities that provide an overall view of the clients’ business environment, improving overall financial management and forecasting, or by using data to gather insights that make it possible to proactively anticipate events, BCX’s platform driven engagement allows mining companies to change the way they do business, and maximise the value they obtain from their equipment and people investments.
Business transformation that makes technology relevant
For Dr Kumalo, business transformation is always a risky conversation. “You can have good intentions at the beginning, but what you planned might not end up exactly what you deliver at the end. You have learnings as you go, and companies must create a flexible and fluid environment that allows you to fail fast and fail forward. You really can’t anticipate every challenge that comes your way. You have to engage costs in a way that allows you fluidity in your business plan implementation,” he emphasises.
While efficient mining is enabled by cloud, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the like, Dr Kumalo believes that it’s only once you break all of these down into the life of a mining supervisor and show them the actual benefit they stand to gain out of a day-to-day engagement, that people then truly see and understand that value. “Just talking about technologies can otherwise come across as fluff,” he adds.
He further explains that in its trusted advisor capacity, BCX can identify and make suggestions around projects that may or may not have beneficial value to clients. Projects that will not add tangible value are flagged with clients, and projects where technology is implemented for its own sake are never pursued.
Technologies, people, and processes that enhance operational efficiency
BCX recognises that our success will be measured on how well our solutions meet our customer’s needs and helps them solve their current and future challenges. This requires organisation-wide cross-functional collaboration across multiple teams to bring our solutions to market. The combination of our technologies, together with the people- and process-focused approach, enable our clients to enhance operational efficiencies and meet business imperatives.
Our end-to-end integrated offerings aim to address pertinent business challenges in the short and long term underpinned by the relevant third platform solutions. They are designed to re-invent customer experiences considering industry trends that has direct impact on how people live, learn, and work.
And while technology may change, one thing remains the same. We’ll put your business right where your customers are. Because at BCX our most important customer, is yours.
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