Prokon Software Consultants was founded in 1989 by structural engineers Karl Eschberger and Jacques Pienaar. Leading up to this
moment, they realised that structural analysis and design software had the potential to revolutionise the structural engineering sector.
At the time desktop computers were still a novelty and the duo focused their energy on writing programs for DOS-based personal
computers. Their work was extremely well received and before long most of their colleagues started to incorporate their software into
their daily work routines.
The advent of the personal computer - the catalyst for growth
In the 1980s, desktop computers were becoming widely used and soon most engineers were migrating from mainframe computers to PCs. It was a natural progression for Karl and Jacques as well. Their first DOS-based programmes were an instant hit, and a few months later they decided to establish their own venture. Thus, PROKON® Structural Analysis and Design was born.
PROKON grew in popularity in its native South Africa, but they knew that their software had the potential to be a global success. In 1992, they brought Brian Zeederberg on board to establish a United Kingdom office. This was a defining moment for Prokon and their global reputation started spreading like wildfire. The popularity of Windows 95, placed a PC on the desk of virtually every structural engineer. This provided Prokon with a new market opportunity which they pursued. They soon expanded their solutions to fit. In 2003 a Canadian office was opened, providing the company with a platform from which they could further expand their activities around the globe.
Today, PROKON software is used and trusted by structural engineers in roughly 80 countries. Prokon software is not only developed for engineers, but is developed by engineers. Prokon employs a dedicated staff compliment of structural engineers and other competent staff, and is supported by a well-trained sales force and a skilled technical team.
Simplicity, form, function - a winning recipe
Improving productivity and simplifying complex structural engineering tasks have always been priorities for the team at Prokon. PROKON Structural Analysis software can be used in the design of simple structural elements, and yet it is powerful enough to complete full structural analyses and designs of complex frames with ease.
The South African branch of Prokon Software Consultants became an Autodesk® Gold Partner for the Southern Africa region in 2001. This status has since expanded to Autodesk®Authorised Training Centre (Southern Africa), and Autodesk®Authorised Developer (worldwide). Today, Prokon Software Consultants is one of the largest Autodesk® resellers in South Africa.
There is no doubt that since its inception in the 1989, Prokon has had a major influence in the South African structural engineering sector. This contribution was recognised in 2009 when Karl Eschberger was selected as a finalist for the National Science and Technology Forum Awards, which honours outstanding contributions to science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) with annual awards in a number of categories.
Into the future
As a market leader, Prokon recognises the importance of innovation in an ever changing environment. The recently released Sumo Structural Modeller, a 3D finite element analysis application, builds on previous analysis modules. It integrates with and extends Autodesk′s world-leading AutoCAD® Revit® Structure and AutoCAD®. It simultaneously addresses the growing need for Building Information Modelling (BIM). The exceptional level of integration between Prokon modules continues to improve and extends automatically to Autodesk product.
"We are celebrating a quarter of a century as a leader in structural engineering software solutions. Prokon is set for even greater heights in the future."
Karl Eschberger, CEO Prokon Software Consultants (Pty) Ltd.