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Earlier this year, Real IRM’s Paul van der Merwe received an Outstanding Contribution Award from The Open Group for his contribution to TOGAF® 9, as well as for facilitating The Open Group South Africa's participation in the review of the various draft versions of TOGAF® 9. The South African member companies submitted more than 200 comments on the various draft documents, and represented more than 25% of the members who actively participated in the review process.

The Open Group South Africa launched the Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals Vertical (EMMMv) at the MMP’08 Conference in Johannesburg on 12 and 13 November 2008. This is a first-of-its-kind global collaborative to set enterprise architecture standards and create reference models for the exploration, mining, metals and minerals industries.

Sarina Viljoen, who heads up The Open Group South Africa, is on a drive to grow both local and international membership of the collaborative so as to deliver reference models for the natural resources industries similar to the telecommunications sector’s eTOM and supply chain’s SCOR reference models. According to Viljoen, "Companies in the natural resources industry have realised that they need to redefine their processes in response to new drivers that support agility, such as flexibility, responsiveness, optimization, value chains and collaboration. Enterprise architecture will help natural resource companies to achieve these goals."

Grant Faber, Stuart Macgregor, Sarina Viljoen and Steve Rasmussen
Grant Faber, Stuart Macgregor, Sarina Viljoen and Steve Rasmussen

Paul van der Merwe, COO of Real IRM, has been elected as Chair of the Architecture Forum of The Open Group. The Architecture Forum is the body that owns and develops TOGAF®, the industry-leading enterprise architecture framework.

The Architecture Forum has 304 member organisations including IBM, SAP, HSBC, Capgemini, Bank of Montreal, Sasol, Eskom, PWC and Accenture - 65% of the votes for the Chair of the Architecture Forum were casted in favour of Paul.

Information Management, previously known as DM Review, published an article written by Paul van der Merwe, on TOGAF® 9. The article covers the history, how to migrate from TOGAF® 8 to 9, and an implementation guideline. Click here to read the article.

Sarina Viljoen, Senior Consultant at Real IRM and Forum Director for the Exploration, Mining, Metals and Minerals Vertical (EMMMv) of The Open Group, is to present on the use of TOGAF® 9 in developing a business architecture reference model. This will take place at the 22nd Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference in London, being held from 28 to 30 April.

Run under the auspices of The Open Group, which Real IRM represents in South Africa, the conference is the most important event of its kind on the annual enterprise architects' calendar. It brings together the industry's leading practitioners, clients and vendors, and serves as a rallying point for the industry.

140 enterprise architecture practitioners got together at the monthly Enterprise Architecture Forum to celebrate the launch of TOGAF® 9 at Summer Place in Sandton.

Johannesburg and Pretoria attendees flocked to Summer Place for the February Enterprise Architecture Forum, which doubled up as the launch of TOGAF® 9, the next generation of the world's leading framework for designing and delivering enterprise architecture.

During the first week of April, we have welcomed two South African organizations as members of The Open Group: Nedbank and the Meraka Institute. Both have joined the Architecture Forum.

Following on the recent launch of TOGAF® 9, we are pleased to announce the first four certified TOGAF® 9 Practitioners in South Africa. They are Grant Faber, Louw Labuschagne, Paul van der Merwe and Sarina Viljoen. For further information on how to become TOGAF® 9-certified, contact

Introducing Usability and User-centred Design

The March Enterprise Architecture Forum introduces the concept of usability. This is the science of designing goods or software applications in such a way that they easily fulfil the requirements and expectations of users. In this forum we’ll find out why there is so much focus today on usability and the related topics of eye-tracking and user-centred design. We’ll examine the benefits and return on investment related to these issues. UNISA‘s usability laboratory is an example of the emphasis being placed on usability. Our presenter will share examples of usability and eye-tracking studies and results and give us a demonstration of the work taking place in the laboratory. Attendees will also gain an insight into how a focus on usability and user-centred design improves their delivery of the various layers of an enterprise architecture.

The next version of the TOGAF® specification, known as TOGAF® 9, is due to be publicly launched in early 2009. The TOGAF® certification program will be updated to include certification for this new version.

Existing certification programs for TOGAF® 7 and TOGAF® 8 will continue to be available and supported by The Open Group in parallel with TOGAF® 9 (as long as there is market demand), and TOGAF® 8 certification will be a recognized learning path to TOGAF® 9 certification.