South Africa leads the way in biometrics

Published 29 July 2008

Biometrics conference held today in South Africa highlights a little-known fact: South Africa is an international leader in its application of biometric technology solutions

Two South African companies — Specialist ICT systems integrator Bytes Systems Integration (SI) and technology partner Ideco Group — are using this week’s Biometrix conference as a stage to show local advancements in biometric technologies. The companies currently partner to provide specialized workforce management solutions using biometrics, and they have joined forces at this years Biometrix conference. The conference is held today at the Southern Sun OR Tambo International, and is a joint effort on behalf of smart x central intelligence and Technews Publishing. “It is perhaps not widely known that South Africa is an international leader in its application of biometric technology solutions,” says Gary Jones, MD, at Ideco Biometric Security Solutions. “South Africans have gone through the pains of trying and testing different applications of biometrics and have reached the point where they have identified fingerprint solutions as the number one application. The rest of the world is watching what we do with great interest.”

Bytes SI and Ideco currently work together within the workforce management space. Bytes SI has coupled the use of the SAGEM biometric solutions from Ideco with the Kronos Workforce management solution, to provide a foolproof time and attendance system for many of South Africa’s blue-chip companies. The solution offers customers a safe and fraud-proof mechanism by which to manage workforce data. “Customers have always faced problems with people accessing their premises. For example, people swap cards, others clock in for them, leaving it open for the system to be tampered with and incorrect time and attendance data to be collected as a result,” says Dave Hunter, divisional director at Bytes SI Kronos division. “In our current economic climate companies need more efficient means to save money and improve business efficiencies. Using the SAGEM fingerprint scanners and developing an integration tool called BioAttend which sends the data directly into the Kronos application, we have been able to eliminate the potential for payroll fraud and manage risk more effectively for our customers,” adds Hunter.

The SAGEM fingerprint biometric solutions have been widely adopted in South Africa and are currently used by the SAPS as well as at Home Affairs, a project where Ideco worked on the world’s largest conversion of paper based fingerprint records and converted them to digital fingerprints. “We are very proud of our relationship with Bytes SI and they are integral to our distribution channel as they are one of the country’s top access control companies in the local workforce management space. If a business wants to know all there is about biometric solutions, and see how they have changed the face of many applications for South African businesses then they need to be at this conference,” states Jones. Bytes SI is currently the largest supplier of Kronos Workforce management solutions in the South African market and innovate solutions for many leading South African businesses. The company attributes its success to its credibility in the market, financial solidity and the sheer size of the Bytes Group making it able to provide customers with end-to-end technology solutions for their enterprise.