South Africa’s familiarity with cloud technology is on the rise, and despite sluggish early adoption there’s a renewed focus on innovation. Quinton Pienaar, CEO of Agilitude a Salesforce.com and Zuora reseller identifies two major current activities in cloud migration: “The first is obviously the increased migration to cloud and the second is the on cloud value a customer can get. We are definitely seeing many customers move into the on-cloud era looking for new ways to innovate and find value from their migration to the cloud.” In the drive towards innovation and agility, cloud is ushering in an era where companies begin de-invest in operational services, something which Pienaar expects will continue as teams are freed of maintenance tasks to focus on delivering business value. “Instead of worrying about infrastructure and technology, business technology teams can focus on building business solutions that solve business issues.” While concerns over job losses persist in some areas Pienaar says the converse is true in that jobs are simply transforming as customer teams migrate from maintenance tasks to forward-looking innovation type activities. As South African businesses begin to recognise the benefits of cloud technology, the country is finally managing to catch up to global peers as local perceptions mature and evolve. “The United States and Europe see cloud as a business advantage and way to produce higher value in a shorter space of time while reducing risk,” explains Pienaar. “They do not see cloud as a cost advantage but as a way to disrupt markets and grow their companies. South African companies are lagging behind this trend but we are seeing some that are starting to show change.” Challenges notwithstanding, the local cloud market is showing positive signs of growth with local small to medium-sized enterprises adopting cloud in considerable numbers, attracted by a greater diversity of solutions tailored to suit specific requirements and budgets. . . .
Mandela Bay’s Tech Incubator SNII Delivers Electrifying Performance in 2014/15 FY • Ten new technology start-ups for Port Elizabeth • 18% year-on-year growth in job creation, and 173 new jobs created through ICT SMMEs • Bay’s ICT small businesses record 25% growth in turnover Port Elizabeth, 25 November 2015 - SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) today released performance results for its 2014/15 financial year, and announced it will continue to drive small business enterprise development through support and incubation of Port Elizabeth ICT and technology start-ups. Announcing the incubator’s results today, SNII Centre Manager Sipelo Lupondwana said that strong growth in job creation, aggregate growth in turnover of the incubator’s clients and new start-ups is good news for the regional economy. “New job creation from ICT SMMEs supported by SNII rose 18% on a year-on-year basis and our clients grew their turnover on average by 25%,” said Lupondwana. Ten new ICT and technology start-ups were established from 11 projects in the period under review. The incubator had 26 SMMEs in various stages of incubation, and 37 direct and 81 indirect jobs were created between April 2014 and March 2015 by new ICT and technology start-ups. SNII’s total number of clients, which represent the incubator’s total portfolio of projects, SMMEs and incubator beneficiaries, stood at 96. In terms of job creation from SNII clients across these categories, 46 direct jobs, 102 indirect jobs and 25 casual jobs were created for Nelson Mandela Bay’s regional economy in the period under review. The combined turnover of SMMEs and incubator beneficiaries added R5, 1 million to the regional economy of Port Elizabeth. Importantly, 100% of incubated enterprises supported by SNII survived their first year in the market, while 94.5% of enterprises were still in operation at their second year of business. Statistically approximately 71% of small business start-ups do not . . .
While technology continues to evolve, we often don’t stop to think about why the world around us seems to be in a constant cycle of change. The reality is that keeping customers happy is what drives most innovation. Whether it is an app or something else in the cloud, the user experience is what matters most. This phenomenon goes further than most would expect and is even prevalent in construction as teams continue to grapple with large and unyielding construction projects, not yet realising that technology innovation can not only make things easier, but also ultimately lead to a happier team. The challenge when it comes to any change in the construction industry, whether technological, process-based or other, is that as with most innovation, a learning curve is inevitable and disruption to the ‘norm’ can be expected. Change is a natural process and will always lead to a more evolved and efficient process, but requires the acceptance of a level of disruption to the established comfort zones in methodologies and mindsets, along with the associated growing pains. John Haefele, managing director of Onsite Control Systems, a South African construction collaboration solution provider, says that the focus on construction projects today needs to shift and technology provides the way in which to do this effectively: “Construction management is one area where the application of collaborative technology can make a significant impact on the end result of a project in terms of time, budget and customer satisfaction.” He says that while the industry is not entirely open to change, the construction and project management arenas understand the value of collaborative interaction around issued information and toward that, one needs to improve how information is created and disseminated: “A cloud-based project management system can address so many of the areas that have historically led to project issues and failures, very evident in the management challenges incurred by . . .
Nonprofit organisations in every corner of Africa can now harness the profound power of technology for greater impact. TechSoup has launched TechSoup.Global - http://www.techsoup.global, the world’s first fully global technology donation platform aimed at nonprofit organisations (NPOs). TechSoup’s technology philanthropy programme already connects more than 90 technology companies with 700 000 NPOs in over 100 countries, which has resulted in the transfer of 15.9 million donations and total savings of US$5.5 billion since inception. TechSoup.Global will expand the reach and benefits of the programme to 236 countries and territories. "The launch of TechSoup.Global is a pivotal step in helping the world’s estimated 10 million nonprofit organisations gain visibility and connect with support critically needed for their missions and communities. The platform, operated in partnership with the TechSoup Global Network, enables a unique capacity for innovation and the co-design of locally relevant, globally scaled programmes that strengthen impact on the ground", states Rebecca Masisak, chief executive officer of TechSoup. Refer to http://meet.techsoup.org to learn more about TechSoup, the TechSoup Global Network and historical impact of the technology philanthropy programme. The nonprofit sector in Africa will be a significant beneficiary of this new initiative. ”From covering only four countries, we are now in a position to provide technology products and solutions to NPOs in 54 countries across the continent. It is a game-changer for NPOs in Africa, and provides us with a very unique opportunity to strengthen their technology capacity and infrastructure in an affordable and informed manner”, remarks David Barnard, Vice-President: Africa at TechSoup. “In time, TechSoup.Global will also be a mechanism to introduce NPOs in Africa and beyond to the emerging and vibrant African technology sector.” Initially only offering many popular Microsoft software . . .
Allied Mobile Africa announced today that they have signed a strategic finance and partnership agreement with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) for debt funding facility of $55 million (approximately R800million). The facility is to drive the company’s growth in South Africa as well as their expansion on the rest of the African continent. From its inception in 2003 Allied Mobile has grown to be the dominant, cellular product distributor and 3rd-party logistics provider to the mobile telecommunications industry in Africa. Allied Mobile services a fast-growing mobile communications market in sub-Saharan Africa, which is supported by strong demographic and economic fundamentals. From the provision of full supply chain and logistics services, to full turn-key white-label retail operations enablement, Allied’s market offering and geographical coverage continue to grow as the company leverages favourable market conditions together with its increasing experience, capabilities and relationships. The company is well-positioned to capitalise on associated future opportunities with this new funding from the PIC. Leveraging its leadership position in South Africa and other existing markets, the Company has been rapidly expanding its presence into a group of high-growth African countries, with sales volumes expecting to grow between 15% and 20% annually. These countries include Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana and Kenya. “Since these countries are at different economic and technological stages in the development cycle, Allied has to approach these markets with a tailored product offering and a strategy to address specific local needs,” said the Allied Group’s Chief Executive Officer Jacqueline Cole-Courtney. “Allied’s objective is to be present in every country in Africa and the recent funding from the PIC will assist us in achieving this. Our geographical expansion program is being conducted in . . .
Samsung’s Platinum sponsorship underscores its commitment to holistic solutions in enterprise mobility and security JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Samsung Electronics South Africa is proud to announce its collaboration to become a Platinum Sponsor to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) Security Roadshow which will be taking place on the 20th of October 2015. The sponsorship will place emphasis on Samsung’s commitment towards crafting enterprise mobility services alongside leading mobility management organisations as well as delivering exceptional enterprise ready offerings that recognise and address customers’ needs. “The IDC Security Roadshow will provide the perfect platform for Samsung to showcase its security services and technologies for the business arena,” explains Paulo Ferreira, Director of Enterprise Mobility at Samsung Electronics SA: “This environment is evolving and Samsung is at the forefront of this change, driving innovation and developing solutions that allow enterprises to stay protected.” One of the leading enterprise mobility models impacting businesses at the moment is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), where employees bring their own devices into the workplace. This can potentially carry an array of security breaches and information leaks. For example, downloaded apps may include malware that can infect the entire organisation or, if the device is stolen or lost, criminals can access sensitive data as it was not adequately protected. In order to mitigate cyber threats, organisations need to protect devices from a Hardware Level all the way through to the Operating System (OS) and app layer. With Samsung KNOX, the company provides a sustainable security provision that supports both enterprise and employee ecosystems. The locked and manageable mobile device platform builds a trusted ‘Workspace’, based on the hardware security mechanisms. This interface only allows users access to sensitive or enterprise-critical functionality once . . .
Mira Modules and Methods (pty) Ltd is a software development company based in Cape Town. It is a complete solution for the retail industry, including all features of buying, distributing and selling products and related reporting and data analysis. The MIRA system is apt for small to medium sized retail business, a minimum of two stores to maximum fifty stores. MIRA consists of mira Console and Till. Mira Console is set up at head office to maintain the vital information. It has associated management reporting. Till is set up at every warehouse and store to manage and control the movement of product, selling to customer and reporting on the data. StockTake software can be used as a part of MIRA, or modified to plug into other systems. stockTake software is applicable for collating, scanning, verifying and rectifying the physical stock quantities with accessible information in a simple medium. The company offers many advantages to the companies, who are the part of applying the MIRA system. Installing the server, the companies can both be the owner and host their own server,or the MIRA server can be hosted externally. MIRA offers planning and installing the locations whether they are warehouses, head office or stores. The system accepts information from existing systems or spread sheets.It introduces the process of continued data capture and upkeep of every aspect required to drive the system.Software is automatically updated after initial application. For the initial system application, the company offers consulting to decide if there is any requirement of training and plan the roll out. On-going consulting is also offered for new system features and modifies the system, if the need arises. Training is done through online tutorials. Training is given to the head office, store managers and the sales staff. To know more details about MIRA, please visit their website at www.mira-retail.co.za About MIRA: MIRA is aspecialised software development . . .
Ever start your computer, then have to find something to do while it wakes up? Your computer should be ready when you are – not the other way around. Make long wait times a thing of the past by loading apps in seconds, booting up almost instantly, and accelerating nearly everything on your computer. Enjoy your computer again…..the next Generation Crucial BX200 SSD is an ideal Hard Drive replacement. This affordable new BX200 SSD enables users to enjoy their computers again, loading apps in seconds and making long wait times a thing of the past. Up to 13x faster than a typical hard drive Accessing your data on the Crucial BX200 is like flipping a light switch – it’s almost instant. The Crucial BX200 delivers true 540 MB/s sequential reads on both compressible and incompressible data, which allows you to access files and apps almost as soon as you click on them. Stop pulling your hair out waiting for your computer to catch up to you. Life moves fast – your computer should too. Up to 40x more energy efficient than a typical hard drive Since SSDs access data on cutting-edge flash memory chips rather than on outdated spinning platters, they consume significantly less power than hard drives. Enjoy the ability to do more with longer battery life and experience a cooler, quieter system. Increase your laptop’s portability, worry less about finding an outlet, and boost your productivity. More durable than a typical hard drive Since SSDs don’t use moving parts that wear out over time, your photos, music, videos, and everything on the drive is less susceptible to a crash. Dropping a laptop with a hard drive may damage the small mechanical parts it uses to read and write data, and could cause the hard drive to fail. SSDs can sustain more physical trauma since they don’t rely on these mechanical parts. The Crucial BX200 leverages proven flash memory technology that’s been thoroughly vetted and engineered to extensive Micron quality standards. Upgrading to . . .
Many years ago Michael left his small town for the big city to pursue his studies in Law. Although just 19 years of age, he believed ambition and intelligence was his perfect recipe for success. Upon obtaining his LLB degree from one of the countries top universities, with a Cum Laude, finding a top firm for his articles was a smooth and quick process, actually this would be the first time that Michael would experience being headhunted, how exciting he thought, a real Harvey Spector. In just 5 short years, after completing his articles and being accepted to the bar, Michael had made a name for himself in several prestigious law firms. His talents brought-in huge profits and most firms couldn’t wait to headhunt him, or at least have the opportunity to sit-down with the industries now dubbed ‘wunderkind’. Little did they know, Michael was not thinking along those lines, in fact all he really cared about was making a tangible difference in the world he lived in. You see, his big goal was to save-up enough money to build his mother a mansion in the city, a dream she’s had since childhood but never had the opportunity to fulfill. With such a great plan in mind, Michael continued to excel and work exceptionally well. Cashing-in on his numerous career moves. One Saturday night bored to death from working hard and never actually “enjoying life” Michael went to a bar, a small smoke filled room that’s overcrowded, with people always peeling out of the door, looking like they’re free divers catching fresh air after a long dive. It was close to Michael's apartment and many nights after work he would walk past the bar wanting to go in, but it always seemed a bit to noisy for his ear, how can you strike up a conversation when it’s too loud to hear anything clearly. Tonight was different, tonight would be the first time he meets his father-in-law and soon-to-be his business mentor. About 6 months down the line, with his father-in-law’s guidance, Michael opened his own law . . .
By Liezel Visser With these tech savvy times we live in, an awesome gadget is born every day. From mini quad copters to removable shoe soles that are able to track your steps and heat your feet and everything in-between. Some are pure genius, and some are, well, pretty pointless to be honest. For those creative tech buffs amongst us, here are a few gadgets that could make your life so much easier. THE 3DOODLER PEN The latest addition to the list of awesome tech gadget is the 3Doodler, the world’s best 3D printing pen. What is this you might ask? Well, the 3D pen is exactly that – a pen that is able to draw in three dimensions. You can now bring your doodles to life, and create almost anything you can imagine. The “ink” is strands of plastic that melts when drawing and hardens when it comes into contact with air, and comes is bright fun colours. There are also a few accessories that go with the 3D Pen, which include a DoodleStand, storage for your pen and plastic strips. You can also get different tips and a smoothing tool for a more polished 3D drawings. It may take some practice to get used to, but is a great creative outlet and will get your creative juices flowing and soon you will be able to create masterpieces. INTUOS PRO PEN & TOUCH This tablet-like device was designed for creatives to be able to easily capture their illustrations, drawings and other digital artwork. The multi-touch screen can be used as a replacement for a normal mouse when drawing or creating other design elements. It also works wonders if you have photos to edit. The pad allows for a more natural wrist movement as if you were putting pen to paper. This professional tool will make for quicker and more comfortable designing and creative projects. LIVESCRIBE SMARTPEN 3 Another pen, but with a completely different purpose. This pen is designed to function like a normal ballpoint pen, but when you write with it everything is sent to your smartphone or tablet. The pen is . . .