Harmony awards project to Xantium Technology

JOHANNESBURG (02/18/2004) - Harmony Gold Mining Co., the largest gold producer in South Africa and the fifth largest in the world, recently enlisted the support of Xantium Technology Holdings Pty. Ltd., a black-empowered full service ICT organization, which provides focused infrastructure, business and ICT consulting solutions.

In line with the company's recent merger with Armgold in November 2003, Harmony required a technology infrastructure implementation that would align its business processes effectively and efficiently to ensure complete standardization and collaboration, whilst still complementing its existing infrastructure.

Xantium Professional Services, a division of Xantium Technology Holdings, undertook an extensive analysis of Harmony's existing infrastructure to ensure that a process design was developed and implemented that was compatible and relevant to Harmony's requirements.

Logan Shaw, group sales director at Xantium Technology Holdings, says, "We believe in ascertaining a thorough understanding of our clients' requirements before suggesting a technology solution. Providing sound consulting advice, prior and post-technical implementation, is essential in today's corporate environment, and is the competitive advantage that Xantium offers."

Yusuf Jardien, CIO of Harmony, says, "We needed to partner with a company that would guarantee a seamless and successful transition of our technology infrastructure within a managed timeframe, as well as having the methodologies and expertise required to drive long-term sustainability."

Xantium Technology Holdings has partnered with Microsoft Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co (HP), and Computer Associates International Inc. aiming to ensure the success of the project.

Included in the implementation is Microsoft Active Directory Exchange, which aims to allow for a single view of Harmony's internal structures, Computer Associates Unicenter that is said to enable enterprise management capabilities, and, finally, HP, to supply the hardware from a server and storage perspective.

This technology infrastructure will be underpinned by Xantium's ITIL best practice methodology, which aims to provide a consistent framework for ICT service management -- aligning Harmony's business requirements with its ICT ability.

Jardien continues, "Xantium Technology Holdings has been chosen to implement our ICT solution for a number of reasons. The company is black-empowered with alliance partnerships and certification status from most of the blue-chip technology enablers in SA. Xantium has a unique business model by which it operates, whereby it does not merely have a technical "box drop" approach, but rather a focus on true strategic business processes. These reasons, coupled with the intellectual capital and expertise held by Xantium staff members, made it our partner of choice for this initiative."

The technology architecture, which Xantium IT Services is currently assisting Harmony to deploy, was designed to meet Harmony's business needs both now and into the future.

The architecture is flexible, scalable and manageable, and is intended to support Harmony in any future opportunities to take advantage of additional merger and acquisition activities.

Harmony says that its ability to seize opportunities and execute on its business strategy is clear, based on the approach that Harmony and Xantium Technology Holdings have taken. "As one would expect, our full methodology is a framework that covers the complete project lifecycle, from business strategy definition through to deployment and benefits tracking," adds Shaw.

As part of the implementation, both Harmony and Xantium Technology Holdings have undertaken to employ ten graduate students to participate in the implementation of the project over the next eight months.

The students will be working closely with Xantium Technology Holdings and its strategic implementation partners to give them an opportunity to develop the necessary technical and business orientated skills for their career development and sustainability.

"It is no longer viable for organizations to merely undertake black ownership and empower the elite few," says Jardien. "Harmony supports this initiative, as it aims to ensure that skills transfer becomes a reality for these students, and gives us the opportunity to support and comply with the requirements of the recent Mining Charter legislation on skills development."

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