Puk IT students now use Sagent

Susan Andre2004

A module in data warehousing is presented as part of the Honours programme in Computer Science and Information Systems of the School for Computer, Statistical and Mathematical Science at the PUK campus of the North-West University. The students mainly do practical project work during the second semester of the module. However, the availability of products widely used in the industry remains a problem.

Sagent SA, recently re-launched as Alicornio Africa, is one of the biggest consultancy firms in data warehousing in South Africa. Their clients include institutions like the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Sanlam Capital Markets (Gensec Bank), Credit Guarantee and other large banking groups. In their consultancy work Alicornio recommends the Sagent product as data warehouse software and they provide the technical know-how to implement the product. Alicornio is now making this product available to the PUK for use by its students.

The donation to the PUK includes the licensing fee for the Sagent product of more than R700 000 as well as training for each group of honours students in Computer Science and Information Systems. Alicornio SA negotiated this donation with Group 1, the holding company of Sagent in the United Kingdom. Alicornio will assist the PUK with the initial installation as well as certain further technical assistance.

With this module the PUK attempts to get a head start on the other universities through special emphasis on practical training in data warehousing alongside the theoretical work. Alicornio thus also benefits from this cooperation since the PUK could deliver to the marketplace in 2004 more than 20 graduates already familiar with the Sagent product. This presents wider employment possibilities to the PUK students who complete the module as part of their Honours programme.

The donation was presented to Professor Frikkie van Niekerk, Vice-Rector Academics of the PUK, by Me. Susan Andrè, managing director of Alicornio Africa, during the project day of the Honours students. The function was attended by a number of academics from the university. Group 1 and Alicornio Africa's joint contribution is proof that private businesses can have a positive impact through closer cooperation with South African tertiary institutions. For more information visit www.alicornio.co.za or the PUK's web page.