JOHANNESBURG (03/03/2004) - The University of Durban-Westville in KwaZulu-Natal last year formed a strategic partnership with software company Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) Africa, in a move which aimed to strengthen its practical training capabilities and add value to its information systems and related degree courses.
As part of the agreement, CA software will be used for a variety of applications, notably the security of the more than 2 500 workstations, laptop computers and servers at the University -- in both administrative and laboratory environments -- in a bid to protect the site against virus and other malicious attacks.
Professor Manoj Maharaj, the executive director, Information Systems and Technology (IS&T), at the university, says the relationship with CA is in line with the university's intention to establish bi-lateral relationships with all its technology suppliers.
"This is significantly more than a customer-supplier relationship," he says. "Once CA's eTrust anti-virus system has been installed and integrated with other CA systems running at the campus, it will perform a far greater role. In addition to protecting our computer environment, the software, together with other CA systems, will also be incorporated into our training programs, giving students the opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge of the levels of security required in a large business application today."
Maharaj says the partnership between the University and CA is geared towards achieving the long-term goal of improving the "employability" of graduates and other students that pass through the system.
"Every move that we make is aimed at providing additional support for the student body and furthering our âEuro enterprise', which is teaching," he notes.
"The success of our relationships with the ICT sector and individual vendors - and the support that they can bring to our endeavors - is measured against these criteria.
"A university may be defined as an institution dedicated to the collection, collation, creation and dissemination of high quality information. Key to this is the support of a sound information technology infrastructure," he adds.
Andy Dalrymple, regional account manager of software vendor Computer Associates (KwaZulu-Natal) says one of the cornerstones to the success of the relationship is a clear understanding of the university's 'business' requirements.
"Because the university is accountable to the taxpayer, return on investment is as important to it as it is to an enterprise in the private sector," says Dalrymple. "In this regard, the functionality of the software in use, in terms of its ability to integrate with existing and future systems, is key."
He confirms that, as part of its commitment to the university, CA will provide technical training manuals and assist with the integration of specialized training programs into the current syllabi.
"ICT will continue to be central to business efficiency in the future, and it is important that the graduates from the University of Durban-Westville have the best possible grounding in this subject," adds Dalrymple. "Together with the university and Professor Maharaj we are pleased to assist in the training and development of SA's future decision-makers."