The irony of one of the world’s oldest and most primal industries — getting hard stuff out of the ground — being aided by the latest, cutting-edge and largely intangible technology, 3D "immersion" training, is not lost on Andreas Cambitsis, director and co-founder of Cyest Corporation.

"Cyest is a hybrid that provides professional business and strategic services, but also uses and develops technologies. We provide analytical technology services across various industries but with a strong focus in mining," he says.

Started in 2000, Cyest was self-funded from the start.

"Our premise was always that if we had a good idea, let’s find forward-thinking clients to help co-fund it. If the client buys into the idea, then we will deliver on something we know is useful," says Cambitsis.

A mining company that first agreed Cyest had a good idea was Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), an "anchor client" since 2003.

"Amplats has worked in collaboration with Cyest for more than 10 years in a variety of domains," confirms Clive Govender, the company’s head of supply chain.

"However, it is the developments in virtual reality and 3D visualisation over the past two years that are especially exciting from an innovation perspective. Technologies most frequently seen in the gaming environment are now being used in the mining world to assist with training and post-event analysis."

Cambitsis says he learnt to programme at 10, but also loved building things, and so studied aerospace engineering in the UK before completing a Master’s in operations research, "which is using computers to solve business problems". His first job was with US strategic consulting firm Monitor, in SA, which did a lot of mining work.

"This gave me and the team — who would later start Cyest — a really good understanding of the ‘big picture’; of what drives shareholder value, and decision-making at an executive level. We had a strong foundation in the mining sector and so when we started Cyest, a lot of them came calling."

Source: BusinessDay - See full article