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Jul 20, 2012

Software to assist mining companies

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New Zealand-based software developer Professional Software On Demand Anywhere (Psoda) is marketing its Psoda project-management software to mining companies.

“Since its development in 2008, the software has been used successfully in the energy, infrastructure, education and government sectors, besides others. “We are now recommending it to mining companies all over the world,” says Psoda CEO Bruce Aylward.

He notes that the software will help mining companies lower their costs, gain repeatability of processes and improve connectivity, as well as communication.

“The software is cloud-based and runs using the Internet. It can be accessed anywhere from any device with a screen and an Internet connection, so clients are able to easily update the project details from the mine site, or while travelling.

“All project information is stored in the software, giving mines repeatability of projects and processes, making each project more predictable and more likely to succeed.

“Project managers are usually on short-term contracts at mines and this software allows new project managers access to data from all the current and completed projects,” notes Aylward.

“As there is no software to install on your device, there are no maintenance costs. The software is automatically updated and backed up for our clients’ convenience,” he adds.

Psoda is a suite of tools for portfolio, programme and project management. It covers business applications like scheduling, budgets, expenses, risks, issues, contract management and lessons learnt.


“The software is designed for ease of use and functionalities can be adjusted according to the user’s capabilities. If users have little experience with this type of software they can begin with a few functionalities that can be built up as their skills improve,” he says.

It also works in real time – an important factor for businesses, as their project circumstances can change daily.

“Every update is entered in real time. As soon as the project manager on site updates the project’s progress, users in their offices and all stakeholders will immediately be able to see the update.

“One of the problems with traditional project management software is that only one person could access the data at a time. With Psoda, multiple users can access and work on the data simultaneously, which improves productivity,” says Aylward.

He points out that there is also greater security to protect business-critical data.

“We make sure all the data is secure, with interfaces between clients’ devices and our devices being encrypted,” he says.

A new feature of the software that Aylward feels will be of particular interest to mining clients is the electronic whiteboard.
“[This] allows users to draw diagrams or make notes on site, or at their current location, which can then be shared with all other users and stakeholders,” he explains.

The company has also added offline capabilities to the software, enabling users to use portions of the software while offline or out of range of an Internet connection. The data is then instantly synced with the central server as soon as an Internet connection is restored.

Many mine sites use a via satellite (V-sat) connection, which often presents latency issues such as lagging and timing out of requests when trying to access data from the Internet.

“Psoda is designed to work on any Internet connection, including V-sat. We reduce the amount of data being sent from our side, which prevents latency issues,” he says.

The company currently has clients in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the US, Sweden, the UK, South America and Africa.

The company plans to expand its client-base.

“We are looking to become the Microsoft of the project management world.

“We are looking at Africa and, being a South African by birth, there is an obvious connection to Africa for me. We are also considering [marketing our products to the mining industries] in Australia, New Zealand and countries in the Asia Pacific region, like Singapore and Malaysia.

“We have recognised a lot of growth in mining in developing regions like Africa and countries such as Indonesia, as well as huge mining developments in China,” he says.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
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