02 March 2021 | Story Dr Nitha Ramnath
Francois van Schalkwyk, Keenan Carelse, UFS Alumni, Bertus Jacobs, UFS, University of the Free State, alumni relations, IoT.nxt.

We are pleased to host Bertus Jacobs in our second episode of the Voices of the Free State podcast series. As Chief Technology Officer at IoT.nxt. (Internet of Things), Bertus’ mind is constantly searching for new techniques, and imparting these to his team of developers. Evident from his ‘always on’ approach, Jacobs has optimised his passion for turning ideas into mainstream realities. He co-founded a successful software company, CSS Software, which saw its humble beginnings grow from Bloemfontein-based to an international-footprinted company. CSS Software is regarded as having some of the most innovative products in its market segment and was acquired by a JSE-listed group.

François van Schalkwyk and Keenan Carelse, UFS alumni leading the university’s United Kingdom Alumni Chapter, have put their voices together to produce and direct the podcast series.  Intended to reconnect alumni with the university and their university experience, the podcasts will be featured on the first Monday of every month, ending in November 2021.  Our featured alumni share and reflect on their experiences at the UFS, how it has shaped their lives, and relate why their ongoing association with the UFS is still relevant and important. The podcasts are authentic conversations – they provide an opportunity for the university to understand and learn about the experiences of its alumni and to celebrate the diversity and touchpoints that unite them. 

Listen to the podcast: 

Our podcast guest

While studying towards his BScHons (Computer Science) at the University of the Free State, Bertus developed an SDK (Software Development Kit) with low-level integration into various graphics hardware.  

Bertus has researched many ways of contributing to the growing IT industry – from developing point-of-sale systems that still run today, qualifying as MCP and MCSE, engineering telematic and biometric solutions for clients (UFS was one of them). After being approached to consult in developing a solution for the government, his search for a certain hardware problem and his expertise in the IT realm resulted in his invention of a controller and the birth of the RAPTOR.  Reports that took eight weeks to compile previously, are now at the fingertips of those who need it – all through data harvesting and dashboarding that combines software and hardware. The world-changing RAPTOR delivers a complete IoT solution, which has been internationally validated as being at the forefront of the emerging IoT wave.  IoT.nxt was named Best Commercial and Best Overall Winner at the MTN Business M2M Awards in 2017.  

Stay tuned for episode three to be released on 5 April 2021. 

For further information regarding the podcast series, or to propose other alumni guests, please email us at alumnipodcast@ufs.ac.za 

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