OPTRON has a group structure with subsidiaries segmented and focused by industry. All subsidiaries contract business support services from the holding company. OPTRON’s industry focused structure roughly matches that of Trimble.
In addition, each subsidiary acquires the distribution rights of complimentary (non-competing) technologies and services to meet local industry needs and opportunities. A key part of being industry focused is the ability to expand offerings along the value chain/continuum of an industry resulting in increased addressable market size into existing customers.
Being geographically diversified (throughout sub-Saharan Africa) not only results in larger market growth potential but also provides an element of risk management and shielding against the cyclical nature of many industries, economies of regions and currency fluctuations.
Trimble is leading a strategy to grow recurring revenue as a major contributor to the business going forward. This will take the form of both Software as a Service (SaaS) as well as Hardware as a Service (HaaS). The As-a-Service strategy not only increases the addressable market but also increases the ability to bundle services with hardware and software, resulting in a ‘stickier’ offering.
A common theme of all the industries in which OPTRON operates, is that they have both a field and office component and increasingly the need exists to digitally connect the field/project/pit to the office as well as to create a digital representation (digital twin) of remote field operations. OPTRON’s core business is to supply the technology (hardware and software) that collects, manipulates, and hosts the digital data of the physical world, especially the very important geospatial/positional dimensions of the data. This strategically positions OPTRON well to leverage the growing theme of digitization into the future.
The digital expansion of the industries OPTRON serves creates the growth opportunity to not only supply the hardware and software that collects, hosts, and manipulates such data but also to provide the professional services to enable/integrate the digital data in the business processes. Enabling professional services is therefore a key strategy and incremental to our technology offering.
OPTRON (Pty) Ltd serves the geo-informatics industry, across mining, construction, and other industries.
Geospatial is the core & original business of the group, providing hardware and software solutions used by surveyors in mining, construction, private practice, and government. Applications include conventional land surveyors, surveying in mining operations, road building, general construction, and various mapping functions in government. Continuous technological advances, result in a regular replacement cycle of the products by customers. The product range is growing into software solutions which compile and present the data collected by the hardware products. While this business unit is relatively mature, the innovation curve remains steep.
SITECH SA (Pty) Ltd. serves the civil infrastructure, construction and mining industries.
SITECH SA provides hardware and software solutions that support the concept of a digitally ‘connected’ construction and mining sites. The technology not only connects machines to the office but also provides guidance and control to increase productivity and safety and reduce rework. Revenue can be somewhat variable, due to the cyclical nature of the construction and mining sectors. The focus on cost control in mining, and increasingly in construction, is driving demand for the solutions which SITECH SA sells. Trimble owns a 5% interest in this business.
Vantage SSA (Pty) Ltd serves the Precision Agriculture/Farming Industry.
Vantage SSA supplies the agricultural sector with tractor steering/guidance, positioning and control systems, enabling more efficient soil preparation, planting and pest control. Vantage SSA also offers hardware and software products which will collect and present data from farming operations, to assist management decisions. Vantage SSA sells through a dealer network, resulting in lower margins than the other business units.
The business was started in 2016. Revenue to date has been focussed on positioning and control systems, with future growth coming from data management solutions using the Trimble Ag Data warehouse service.
BuildingPoint SA (Pty) Ltd represents the Trimble Buildings portfolio. Through R&D and acquisitions in the order of >$2 billion, Trimble have comprehensive technology solutions that cover the complete continuum of the building construction market.
BuildingPoint SA’s product portfolio includes Tekla Structure Design Software with the focus on annuity income in Software as a Service (SaaS) revenues for the Structural Steel & developing Concrete Structures Construction market, Sketchup subscription software for Architects and various Trimble Field Technologies (Hardware and Software) purpose designed and built for the building construction software.
OPTRON Moyo PB (Partners in Business) Pty (Ltd) represents the evolution of enabling professional services.
Innovation of technology with an increased focus on business benefits to customers (in addition to being task/process focussed), increasingly requires professional services to enable and support the technology in the customers’ business.
For this reason, OPTRON Group formed a joint venture company with one of South Africa’s leading digital consultancies, Moyo. OPTRON Moyo PB (Partners in Business) Pty Ltd. is a standalone legal entity owned by both OPTRON Group and Moyo. The company houses those enterprise software technologies which require significant professional services to take it to market. With both OPTRON Group and Moyo’s vested interest through its shareholding.
OPTRON Moyo PB can offer high level enterprise technology based projects to customers in a turn-key fashion by providing a single point of contact for both the technology and enabling professional services.