Who We Are

First Technology Enterprise Data Solutions (EDS) is a Microsoft Data Analytics and Data Platform Gold Partner that strives to assist our clients and enable them to get true business value out of their data. Data has no value without context, relevance and structure. First Technology EDS provides the knowledge, know-how, tools and skills to enable our clients to make better decisions faster.

As a wholly owned subsidiary of the First Technology Group, First Technology EDS (certified Level-2 BBBEE) provides professional services in Microsoft Data Analytics, Data Platform and Data Science to companies and organizations of all sizes and in all business sectors.

Our team of highly skilled, and extremely passionate professionals have experience across all industries and they love applying their skills and knowledge to enable customer success. These experienced specialists are always up to speed on the latest technologies and are at the forefront when it comes to designing and delivering cutting edge solutions. It is therefore no surprise that First Technology EDS team was one of the very first and selected few South African Microsoft Data Analytics partners to be trained and deliver solutions in Microsoft Cortana and Advanced Analytics.

First Technology EDS is one very proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of the Microsoft SQL 2016 launch!


Working at First Technology EDS

Being part of the First Technology EDS team is both an experience as well as an adventure. We strive to be the best in the industry and therefore are always pushing the boundaries when it comes to new technologies and solutions to a client’s business needs or problems.

At First Technology EDS our people are our greatest asset and therefore we keep investing in each employee. Be it our training, incentives, wellness programs or our attitude towards family life, First Technology EDS always aim to be the best rated employer in the marketplace. Through careful staff acquisition, training and continuous collaboration we have built an exceptional team of industry experts that work together to keep on reaching great heights.


Services Overview

First Technology is committed to supporting the IT products we supply throughout their lifecycle.


In today’s cut-throat markets and competitive technologies, we are able to assist with informed business decisions and avoid the pitfalls so many before have waded through.

At First Technology EDS, we have made it our business to understand data and assist business to effectively transform their data into information. We help companies make wise and informed decisions through the delivery of the right information at the right time.

First Technology EDS’ business is categorized in three specific focus areas namely Business Intelligence, Data Platform and Data Science. Each one of these competencies focuses solely on Microsoft as a platform or provider.

Data Analytics

Companies in practically every business sector today have access to and are accumulating more data than anyone could possibly have imagined a few years ago.

Data Platform

Organizations have become data centric entities with a huge dependency on IT systems and related platforms. Typically, we see operations in a company coming to a halt

Data Science

Data is progressively becoming cheaper and more present in our daily lives. People are constantly creating more data, digitising all aspects of information.

First Technology will determine and provide appropriate products and services to address your technology requirements, providing holistic service and support throughout the lifecycle.

2.5 quintillion bytes of data created daily
Every 2 Months world’s per-capita storage doubles
90% of the world’s data was created 2 years ago
80% of the world’s data is unstructured
6 Exabytes New data stored by consumers globally 2010
300 Hours new video uploaded to YouTube per minute

Case Studies

First Technology has a strong work ethic.

Customer churn is one of the few metrics that can be directly correlated to revenue – therefore, if a business is able to reduce churn among its paying customers, it will, logically, increase its revenues. Moreover, customer churn affects virtually all industries in some fashion.

In today’s world, the increasing amount of data available to organisations means that there is no reason why customer churn should not be better understood and proactively dealt with. It was for this reason that a major financial services sector enterprise contracted First Technology EDS to assist it in developing a solution to achieve this. Specifically, they required help in identifying those customers most likely to churn in the business area of merchant credit card transactions and point of sale.

Since the client was already driving the adoption of Microsoft technologies throughout the organisation, First Tech EDS suggested making use of Microsoft Power BI and the Cortana Analytics Suite to better understand what was driving the churn.

Leveraging big data

What was required was a solution that would seamlessly combine existing enterprise data, external data, and unstructured big data. More critically, it was important to implement a solution that was able to seek out and identify patterns within the information and adjust its program actions accordingly.

A key advantage of the Cortana Analytics Suite is its machine learning capability, which enables the solution, using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look.

Once the solution was set up to analyse specific data sets – such as customer demographics, transaction quantities and merchant type – the machine learning component was trained to predict the possibility of churn. First Tech EDS then built Power BI dashboards on top of this, enabling the client to understand the information being provided and to enable drill downs into specific areas of churn.

Key benefits

Utilising the machine learning capability to process both current and historical data in this way offers many benefits:

  • Understanding churn better;
  • Identifying specific areas or categories of churn;
  • Noting which customers are most likely to churn;
  • Enabling proactive preventative action to be taken

It is ultimately about the data you feed into the tool, says Leon Coetzee, Microsoft Technical Lead at First Tech EDS. The right information enables clients to make significant use of the structured and unstructured datasets that are relevant to their particular organisation or industry.

“In today’s world, monitoring your top customers and being able to predict things like spend and churn enables our clients to proactively take whatever actions are needed, based on a real-time knowledge of the client situation. All the data required to make such decisions is already within the business. All that is needed is the right tool, with the right focus, to analyse and make use of this information. Thanks to Microsoft’s Cortana Analytics and its machine learning component, this is exactly what we were able to supply the customer,” he says.

Stolen vehicle recovery and fleet management companies generally process huge amounts of data on a daily basis – often tens of millions of messages per day – from the devices installed on many thousands of motor vehicles. These entities collect and process this data and turn it into knowledge, which allows them to provide proactive information to partners and customers, ultimately resulting in smarter vehicle usage.

When one such business decided that it needed to achieve a more efficient and effective usage of the data collected by its devices, the company decided to implement a Business Intelligence (BI) solution. This would enable it to decipher the massive amounts of data being gathered daily, and turn this into relevant information that could be fed back to end-customers.

This information could be anything from warning end-customers about a vehicle nearing the end of its warranty or maintenance plan, to information about battery life or mechanical parts that need to be replaced. The company’s aim with this solution is to provide customers with information that will enable them to take relevant action around their vehicles, thereby improving their long term driving experiences.

Analysing data

In order to store, aggregate and analyse the massive amounts of data being generated by these devices, an effective BI solution was required, which is why the company turned to First Technology’s Enterprise Data Solutions (EDS) business unit.

First Tech EDS made use of a Microsoft SQL server for the data platform, which in turn enabled specific features within SQL to be leveraged for the purposes of data analysis.

SQL Server Analysis Services was the tool used for this purpose, as it is a solution that provides the ability to pre-aggregate millions of records. This makes it much simpler to access whatever relevant information is required.

In developing the front end of the solution, First Tech EDS made use of Data Zen, which is another of the Microsoft toolsets and is a solution that sits on-premise, meaning that the data is not taken into the cloud at all. This is crucial when it comes to information of the type generated by vehicle tracking devices, since legislation around what can and cannot be done with private customer information is strict.

The defining benefit of the solution implemented by First Tech EDS is that it gives the client the ability to drill down as far as required into the information, and also to filter this according to pre-determined parameters, as defined by the underlying rules.

Key benefits

With the new BI solution, the client is able to:

  • Obtain an overall aggregated view of the data;
  • Drill down granularly into the information, according to pre-determined requirements;
  • Gain better insight into the behaviour of end-customers; and
  • Provide their end-customers with much more detailed information and reports.

The key focus in the end, says Hardus Odendaal, First Tech EDS enterprise consultant in Microsoft SQL Servers, was to develop a solution to enable the more efficient usage of data by the customer.

“By providing them with this solution, we have enabled them to make much more effective use of the vast amounts of data generated on a daily basis, they are now able to improve their own customer service dramatically, by feeding critical and relevant customer information back to those who can use it most proactively, namely their own end-customers.”

Meet Our Team

The guru’s of First Technology EDS

Making It Happen

The team at First Technology EDS are highly specialised individuals and strive on great business ethics in order to assist and maintain all clients needs in their required fields.We believe that customer service is getting to know our clients individually, thus we would like you to meet our team of professionals.

Hardus Odendaal
Hardus OdendaalManaging Director
Hardus is an experienced enterprise consultant and has over 16 years’ experience in Business Management and Information Technology specializing in Business Intelligence and Data Platform Solution Architecture.

He is a consulting professional with a unique set of business and technical skills and has consulted across many business sectors, including Retail and Franchising, FMCG, Logistics, Manufacturing, Banking and Finance amongst others.

Shawn du Plessis
Shawn du PlessisOperations and Projects Lead
Shawn is a technology specialist with over 13 years of leadership experience in improvement-based technical project management and business analysis.

Demonstrated mastery in facilitating evaluation of requirements for business application integration and service activation; able to consistently deliver enhancements and solutions that drive business and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Proven mentor and trainer, skilled at communicating with all organisational levels and cross-functional teams to develop a shared vision and foster a culture of excellence.

Leon Coetzee
Leon CoetzeeTechnical Lead
Employed as a Microsoft Technical Lead, Leon has more than 15 years’ experience in Information Technology across the Fleet and Logistic, Financial, Manufacturing and Retail industries.

He has a proven record for covering many levels of programming, dramatically improving performance, security and robustness of systems and applications. Leon is highly accomplished in full project life cycles and has worked on numerous projects from conception to completion, performing customer liaison, systems analysis, design and development, programming, testing and implementation.

Neville Marle
Neville MarlePractice Lead (Data Platform)
With over 17 years’ experience in Information Technology and Database Administration, Neville Marle currently works as a Microsoft Principal Data Platform Specialist at First Technology EDS.

Neville is an expert consultant in Microsoft SQL Server and has consulted across numerous business sectors, including the Financial, Mining, Banking, Retail, Petroleum, FMCG and Automotive Engineering industries. He obtained his Bsc Eng (Mech) and is a qualified MCSE BI and MCSE Data Platform specialist.

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Physical Address

26 Augrabies Road, Waterfall Office Park, Midrand, 1685


011 790 4400

Postal Address

PO Box 76014, Wendywood, 2144

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