About Us

Learn more about us

Obsidian is the name that has become synonymous with providing peace of mind when it comes to Open Source Software requirements.

With close to two decades of knowledge and experience in the OSS realm Obsidian understands how Open Source can be utilised, modified and succesfully implemented in today's business world. Regardless of your company's core focus, OSS can play a valuable role in reducing long-term IT expenditure and increasing efficiency, all the while ensuring complete control and ownership of your valuable data.

Whether it is identifying the most appropriate places in your business to implement OSS solutions, or assisting with those mission critical implementations and back-up services, Obsidian can help you. It is Obsidian's mission to provide OSS and its accompanying services (including the Linux operating system) to the African continent. As a partner to businesses and the consumer community, Obsidian provides consulting on how open source can benefit anybody from home users, through small and medium sized businesses, to large corporations. Obsidian can help anybody to optimise their existing IT investments through the proper use of Open source Software Solutions.

Professional support for OSS systems and applications remains a point of concern for many IT decision makers. Obsidian has implemented and maintained OSS in business areas ranging from the infrastructural level to back-end solutions, as well as custom developed solutions. As one of the first OSS solution providers in South Africa, Obsidian has forged strong partnerships with some of the IT industry's top players. These partnerships offer Obsidian access to a wealth of knowledge that is vital in providing the very best Open Source solutions to our clients.

A Brief History of Obsidian

Obsidian started as a dream of 3 graduate students at RAU. We believed we wanted to work for ourselves, we loved technology and had just encountered the incredible idea of Open Source Software. This was 1995. The Internet had just started becoming an option for business, the web was young and Linux was unknown to anyone except geeks.

We started by installing Samba for small businesses, email and proxy gateways for schools and pushing the boundaries of what could be done with Linux in the university setting where we started out. In 1997 we moved from our original home at RAU into our own offices. We were discovered by a company that wanted to see if their SCO-based application would be able to run on Linux (which it did) and so became involved with our first large client: Nando's Chickenland.

Through the Linux Professionals Association, we helped bring young Open Source companies together and together we staged stalls at the Computer Faire that significantly raised the profile of Linux in the South African business world. In order to establish international grade Linux training we accepted some venture capital and brought the excellent Red Hat Certified Engineer certification to South Africa. 

Obsidian strives to bring three legs to the South African market. The first being vendor certified training and certification, the second being vendor certified products and the third being local skills providing consulting and support. With these three elements, any organisation can trust the enterprise Open Source Solution provided.

Obsidian Culture

One of the key factors in Obsidian's success and sustainability has been it's organisational culture.

Obsidian Systems has a culture of dynamic innovation coupled with a strong tendency towards trying new things (among many other attributes), and not to be afraid to make mistakes. This, and taking full accountability and responsibility for actions is encouraged. Our people are encouraged to learn and grow themselves into their full potential as managers, innovators, problem solvers, and citizens of South Afica. The Open Source movement runs in our blood and forms the spill around which almost everything revolves at Obsidian, it is almost inseperable from the Obsidian-way of doing things.

Integrity and professionalism in our relationships with our clients, and our commitment to excellence, forms part of our unwritten code. We are proud of our clients and want them to be proud of us!!

Meet the Team

Muggie van Staden

Managing Director

Wilhelm Strydom

Vendor Relations

Jean-Marie Hamman

Operations

Kyle Kietzman

Sales

BEE

The legacy of apartheid has excluded the majority of South Africans from ownership and/or control of productive assets and resources as well as severely restricting the acquisition of advanced skills and generally the effective participation in the economy. Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) has been adopted as an initiative of the South African Government aimed at promoting economic transformation in order to enable meaningful participation of black people in the economy. The BEE Act of 2003 outlines the required targeted areas of development within the South African economy. In February 2007 the Codes of Good Practice on B-BBEE were gazetted and released in providing a clear and comprehensive framework for the measurement of broad-based BEE across all sectors of the economy. The Codes specifically set about defining the seven measurable scorecard elements of Ownership , Management, Employment Equity, Skills Development, Preferential Procurement, Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development. Obsidian is a level one contributor to Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment resulting in a procurement recognition of 135% for our customer's Preferential Procurement Element. Over and above this, Obsidian is a Category B organisation (25% black ownership with a B-BBEE level of between 1 and 6) and we encourage our customers to engage with us regarding reduced payment terms, as our customer's can claim up to 15% of the value of Obsidian invoices towards their Enterprise Development Element.