Digital Transformation is Becoming the New "Survival of the Fittest"
Historically the Rhino had no predators; survival was virtually guaranteed due to its massive size and killer horn. But the world has since changed and the Rhino’s horn is no longer a defense, but instead a highly sought after and valued item.
In a ground-breaking new Rhino Protection Program, Digital Transformation is becoming the Rhino’s new “Survival of the Fittest” defense, along with the help of a community of people and fellow animals. Since Rhinos did not evolve as predators, they do not have the natural defenses to know when a threat exists. However, other animals in their community do. So, a variety of ungulate species from A-Z have been fitted with specially designed animal collars embedded with a GPS and an accelerometer that collectively record movement related data that will be used to combat rhino poaching.
enChoice, Inc. recently announced a partnership with Welgevonden Game Reserve (WGR) to provide project management and technical support for WGR’s unique Rhino Protection Program.
What is Digital Transformation and How Can It Help Save the Rhinos?
Digital transformation can be defined simply as the integration of digital technologies into business processes to make them more productive. It isn’t just about implementing technologies, digital transformation means revolutionizing all aspects of how an organization operates, and the process will be quite different at each organization. As the world has continued to evolve into a digital space, it is more important than ever to adapt and fine tune all aspects of an organization to evolve as technology does. Many businesses don’t choose to transform, but rather they must transform to survive.
Digital transformation is not something that can happen overnight. It requires a well-planned strategy, the restructuring of processes, the integration of new software and services, as well as training and ongoing support. The collaborative effort between enChoice and the Welgevonden Game Reserve will help bring digital transformation to the Wildlife Protection Program. enChoice’s initial participation will include sending a Digital Transformation professional, Jarrod Nash, to work on-site with WGR personnel to assist in setting up and managing the program. Subsequent support from enChoice will consist of additional staffing, software and technology assistance.
Francois Spruyt, Chairman of Welgevonden Game Reserve said, “We are delighted to welcome enChoice as a participant in our Rhino Protection Program. Their IT capabilities and expertise in Digital Transformation will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the program. Our solution uses breakthrough technology and techniques that have the potential to dramatically reduce future existential threats to these iconic wild animals from poaching.”
Tony White CEO of enChoice added “We are honored to have been given the opportunity to apply our expertise in Digital Transformation to such an important cause. enChoice consistently strives to improve processes and we are looking forward to being able to channel our skills and solutions to benefit an endangered species and a cause that is truly critical for the future of our planet.”
About the Rhino Protection Program
In 2007, the number of rhinoceros poached in South Africa per year was 13. Just ten years later, in 2017 an estimated 1,028 rhino were poached. This shows a 7,807% increase in the number of rhinos poached in South Africa over a ten-year period. Why such an extreme increase? Well, in many Asian countries the rhino horn is considered to have miraculous healing abilities and has become a status symbol of wealth and success. Rhino horns have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. However, due to Asian trade bans and rhino horn powder being removed from the Chinese pharmacopeia, demand for the rhino horn decreased in the early 1990s. It is presumed that a rumor spread through Vietnam in the mid-2000s stating that rhino horn powder had cured cancer in a Vietnamese politician, sparking the resurgence of rhino horn popularity. Rhino horns are now being purchased at high rates on the black market across Asia for traditional medicinal purposes, to ingest, and to display or give others as a gift (carvings, figurines, jewelry, etc.). As the demand for rhino horn powder has increased, so has the rate of rhino poaching in South Africa. If poaching continues at the current rate, it is possible that the African rhino will face extinction.
Ecologists at the Wageningen University have found research to suggest that animals are likely to increase their speed and shift their spatial distribution as a result of hearing, smelling or seeing a potential predation threat. With this idea in mind, the Welgevonden Game Reserve (WGR) is using predictive analytics technologies to detect suspicious human activity within the reserve. The hope is that by tracking behavior and movements of many types of animals within the reserve, they will eventually be able to predict any illegal poaching activities before they can occur.
“I don’t believe that we as humans have the right to destroy, but rather the conscious capacity (and hence responsibility) to preserve and protect the environment. It’s often strange seeing technology being used in wild spaces. I have heard one or two comments stating that technology should be kept out of the bush- often perceived as invasive. But technology is being used to improve every element of human life, why not to protect wildlife,” said Jessica Oosthuyse, Wildlife Protection Project Coordinator at Welgevonden Game Reserve.
They say it will take a village to save the rhinos. However, the reality is that it may just take the digital transformation of an entire community; a game reserve, a university, ecologists, an IT company, fellow animals, a team of volunteers, software and algorithms to save the them.
Stay tuned for all the latest news about The Rhino Protection Program!
Welgevonden Game Reserve is located in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The reserve’s 37,000 hectares of breathtaking mountain bushveld in the Waterberg plateau are home to a wide range of species, including the Big 5. The reserve has been proclaimed as a Protected Area and is known for excellence in wildlife management. It aims to be a living laboratory for developing advanced wildlife management techniques; and use of technology in conservation.
For more information about Welgevonden visit www.welgevonden.org
Founded in 1993, enChoice, Inc. is celebrating 25 years as an award-winning Enterprise Content Management (ECM) and Digital Transformation solutions company. enChoice software, services, and support help customers accelerate their digital transformation by leveraging content and optimizing business processes. enChoice is an IBM Gold Business Partner, IBM 2015 Business Partner of the Year, OpenText Technology Partner, and Microsoft Dynamics Partner. Discover why over 1,000 leading companies have chosen enChoice as their trusted experts in enterprise content management (ECM).
Visit www.enchoice.com to learn more.