Attracting and retaining the best talent is widely recognised to be an important success factor, if not the success factor, when it comes to achieving competitive advantage. “Unfortunately, too many companies continue to rely on poor information when it comes to manage their vital human resources,” says Brendon Gass, Director at SmartHR, a locally developed HR software solution suite. “Many HR departments still see their primary function as administrative, using spreadsheets to collect employee data—and this is what executives are expected to use when they try to match the talent at their disposal with the execution of their strategies,” says Gass. “However, people are multi-dimensional, and this is information that cannot easily be represented only in rows and columns.” Spreadsheet data vs relational data The kind of information that is needed to make important strategic decisions would include drawing from multiple records from leave to performance reports, skills, training and so on. Only then will the executive be able to assess how to marshal his or her resources to advance the business strategy. There are other disadvantages to managing HR data on spreadsheets. One is that they have to be manually updated, which not only introduces error but is expensive. It’s also never clear how current the information is—and nor is there any way to record changes or to link to supporting documentation. Typically, too, spreadsheets tend to proliferate within the company’s various silos, so employee information is fragmented—obtaining a holistic view of the employee is virtually impossible. Security is also an issue. HR information is typically highly sensitive, and yet spreadsheets have limited security options. “It’s the difference between lots of data and smart data,” Gass says. Kill the spreadsheet, invest in smarter solution Gass explains that the only way to manage this kind of smart data is to invest in a modern HR system that automates much of . . .
Hlelokuhle Technologies (Pty) Ltd - a newly established software and technology company that strives to be a service provider for small-medium sized business, non-profit organizations, municipalities and commercial businesses - will launch its core product, Muniserv (Municipality at your Service). Muniserv is a mobile application that makes use of various tools such as sms, email, biling sytems and more to provide a single user interface. There are many existing mobile application around the world that are designed for cities, countries and local government, but they all focus on features such as maps, GPS functionality, driving directions or quite often a simple mobile version of a website. However, none provide a way to capitalize on government revenues and improve communication between government and its local residents. MuniServ will ensure that municipalities have the most up-to-date, accurate and relevant data relating to account owners and property information. This will improve revenue management, service delivery and quality of life. Users will have real time communication with their local municipalities and have full access to their municipal accounts, make instant payments, and more. The app will be available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone operating systems. This ‘MuniServ’ app will be launched and ready from early 2017 , it will be available to any South African municipalities nationally, and can be adapted for any municipality around the African continent. Beyond that, Hlelokuhle envisions partnering with the KZN local municipalities and thereafter expand to other municipality while simultaneously providing other IT services and satisfying its current and future clients. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
The University of Johannesburg squash team will focus on their strengths to deal with the pressure of being defending champions in the University Sport South Africa (Ussa) tournament in Stellenbosch from July 4 to 8. Squash manager Linly de Beer said they were not underestimating any of their rivals as they prepared for the annual showdown. "The past has shown that to underestimate a team could be to your own detriment." He believed Tuks, Pukke and Maties all had the potential to win. "I think NMMU may be the dark horses. They have consistently upped their game over the past few years and have shown that with good coaching, commitment and team spirit anything is possible." De Beer acknowledged there would be some pressure on them to defend the title, but said their focus would be on sticking to their plans. "Our plan is to play to our strengths and to enjoy the squash. If every player does his or her best, nobody can be disappointed with the outcome." Despite losing a number of key players, De Beer said good planning had ensured that they had the potential to emulate the 2015 side. "Losing players is expected and planned for and those who have replaced them are of exceptional quality. We have three new players who could surprise our opponents with their skill." He was reluctant to single out specific players and said they would approach the tournament from a team point of view where everyone needed to pull their weight. Their preparations had not been adversely affected by exam commitments, said De Beer. "Our players have always had their priorities straight and never shown a lack of commitment. A good balance is maintained between studies, training and even a social life. "This has always counted in our favour as it has brought the team together and ensured that they support each other and are well motivated." The players at this year's Ussa tournament face a different challenge following the addition of an individual event . . .
For months, there has been strong focus on the so-called Panama Papers and on the pending results of the national investigations faced by several implicated individuals. As more details emerge, there is one clear and significant take-out from this scandal – that white collar crimes are alive and well. The Panama Papers showcase the array of ways in which the rich, the world over were able to exploit offshore tax regimes. Among those cited are world leaders, celebrities, sport stars and in some cases, family members of these individuals. “While due diligence and compliance officers have had success in identifying threats to their business, the sheer scale of the Panama Papers leak proves that suspicious financial activities can easily slip under the radar,” said Rudi Kruger, General Manager of LexisNexis Governance, Risk & Compliance. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) recently identified the names of 1,700 individual South African residents released in the data, ranging from shareholders and directors to beneficiaries. So far 79 of a total 560 offshore entities have been matched to 81 South African residents. These findings indicate a need across the globe to become more cautious against the risks of non-compliance and associating with suspicious financial activity. “Although the act of money laundering itself is a victimless white-collar crime it is often connected to serious and sometimes violent crime. Being able to stop money laundering is in effect, being able to stop the cash flows of international organized crime,” said Kruger. In 2014 international monitoring organisation Global Financial Integrity (GFI) released a report on illegal capital flight, which suggested that South Africa loses an estimated R147-billion a year through the illegal movement of money out of the country. South Africa was one of 151 countries featured in the report and ranked 12th overall. The report also indicated that Sub-Saharan Africa had the biggest . . .
To reap the benefits of employee satisfaction, productivity and profit, South Africa should adopt global practices when it comes to the function of payroll in businesses. While payroll professionals are internationally recognised as valuable contributors to management, strategy and finance, often sitting on the board of large companies, this is unfortunately not the case in South Africa. “The South African organisation needs to break old habits and look to new ways of redefining payroll,” says James McKerrell, CEO, South African Payroll Association. “Stop relying heavily on technology or simply appointing a data capturer to work the system, neither of these solutions can provide the business with the insight and support it really needs. Internationally, payroll is more proactive, advising employees on how to structure their pay packages for greater benefit and liaising with management in terms of overtime spend, staffing and productivity targets.” This means that payroll departments in companies abroad has inordinate value and businesses are benefitting in terms of bottom line and employee morale. Save or spend “In the UK organisations typically use two people to do the job of payroll, which has the additional benefits of no burnout, no overwork and a work-life balance,” says McKerrell. “In SA, there remain historical skill gaps and dissimilarities in work ethic steeped in cultural differences. The result is that technology, an excellent resource with impressive functionality in SA, is picking up the slack. However, technology can’t advise on roles, employment numbers and employee benefits and cannot solve all payroll problems.” Therefore, if the local business sector rethinks its model and invest in the role of payroll, despite it being 1.5 times higher than current salaries, they will undoubtedly experience significant overall savings. “Internationally, payroll professionals are not as busy and they have more time for manual processes,” adds . . .
HCM practices in South Africa are ever evolving, and with this a growing demand for software that’s more agile, mobile and flexible in order to support today’s dynamic working environments. Mandisa Seleoane, Human Capital Executive at Adapt IT – a JSE listed provider of specialised software solutions and services, amongst them the SAP HCM Outsourcing and SAP cloud solutions which Seleoane heads up, says that signs of cloud’s growing influence within the sector are becoming more apparent. While uptake of cloud has been relatively restrained in South Africa in comparison to other parts of the world, Seleoane believes that as it becomes more commonplace, a broader shift is inevitable. “It may look like it’s taking a long time, however once we reach the tipping point, it will shift quickly. It’s also up to service providers to address legitimate concerns such as data protection, access, internet availability and certain regulatory aspects in a holistic manner,” she says. Today’s outsourced HCM platforms already present an attractive option because they offer a seamless single point of information, and through integration require very little manual intervention. Cloud-based HCM platforms take the advantages one step further. “Cloud allows for the same functionality, but with a much reduced upfront capital outlay. There are huge advantages for organisations in terms of total cost of ownership, for instance the technical expertise required to maintain the system is carried out by the service provider and at Adapt IT, we have been executing this on behalf of our clients for more than 15 years,” Seleoane explains. As more organisations move to the cloud to benefit from standardisation, simplification and greater efficiency, service providers are also enhancing their offerings to meet specific business needs. One insight to emerge from South Africa’s Outsourcing & Offshoring summit in 2015 confirmed that the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector has shown . . .
South Africa celebrates 40 years of colour, Samsung makes it brighter with SUHDTV JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 21 June, 2016. 2016 saw the South African Communications Minister, Faith Muthambi, congratulate the South African television industry as it entered into its 40th year of broadcasting in colour. It was in January 1976 when the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) sent out its first colour show to the nation after spending several months transmitting experimental broadcasts. Times have changed since that pixelated analogue broadcast and the television has evolved into something remarkable. For those who watched that first colour broadcast back in 1976, the quality was amazing and the experience utterly immersive. Today, few can imagine sitting clustered around such a tiny screen – a mere 11 inch, 90 degree Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) – and being captivated by tiny people in bright colour that the technology of the time could deliver. As the television’s popularity grew, so did its functionality. The last vacuum tube set was the Philco-Ford in 1973 and 1978 was the year in which the last black and white consoles were manufactured. At that time, the screens felt perfect and the fact that the shows were in colour was a huge deal. Then, in the 1980s, things really began to take off with accessories, consoles and Video Cassette Recorders (VCRs). Yes, this was when people were inflicted by Betamax and Video Home System (VHS) and the tedious enjoyment of unravelling a cassette stuck inside the machine. In the United States, cable television took off in the 1980s and marked the arrival of classics such as The Cosby Show, Married with Children and Rosanne. South Africa saw the first Digital Broadcast service in 1985 with Multichoice (Mnet), Africa’s first Pay TV Service. The 1980s also saw the release of the Sinclair Pocket TV set which could possibly be the first mobile device used for enjoying television viewing. It came with Polaroid power packs and . . .
Samsung invites budding entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to win funding and mentorship JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – 13 June, 2016 – If you have a great business idea but don’t know how to take it further, Samsung’s Mixed Talents campaign is running a new competition aimed at young and aspiring entrepreneurs - officially opening to the public on 13 June 2016 and closing on 3 July 2016. Following on from its previous competition earlier this year, which saw three winners each receiving R50 000 in start-up capital, as well as support from a training and mentorship programme, this competition is going to see ten finalists pitching their ideas to a panel of business experts in much the same manner as the popular ‘Dragons’ Den’ television programme. This is according to Dr Michelle Potgieter, Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications at Samsung South Africa, who adds, “Earlier this year, Samsung Launching People, in partnership with METIME, unveiled the Ideas Bank - a way to turn your entrepreneurial ideas into a reality, and help address the issue of youth unemployment in South Africa. Samsung created this technological platform for young local entrepreneurs, offering them an opportunity to voice their ideas and link them to expert partners for guidance.” “Now once again, we invite young entrepreneurs to visit the Mixed Talents Ideas Bank, hosted by METIME, to find out how to take their ideas further and stand the chance of winning an amazing prize that has both monetary and mentorship components.” Potgieter goes on to explain that the prizes offered for the latest local Mixed Talents competition will include another Trade Safe grant giveaway to three promising young entrepreneurs, who will each receive R 50 000 to help launch their business dream. “In addition, winners will be given access to over R 300 000 worth of invaluable business support tools from our partners, such as serviced office space for each organisation through Work Central and . . .
The Official Opening of City Lodge Hotel Newtown Johannesburg - The City Lodge Hotel Group held an official hotel opening on the 26th of May 2016, in its new spot right in the hub of Newtown. 160 invited guests stepped through the doors to celebrate the creative thought put into this ‘home away from home’. Representatives from the travel industry, including Rennies Travel, BCD Travel, TWF Corporate and Amextravel, were welcomed with drinks, snacks and live music to tour the new hotel and all of its facilities. Guests were in good spirits, with spot prizes awarded to lucky winners, and the mouth-watering appetisers leaving the kitchen were in high demand. Newtown: a cultural and creative hub in the inner city One of the highlights of the night was being able to view the immense work of art above the lounge – a plaster wall mural of the panoramic Johannesburg skyline, created by the talented artist, Carl Maritz. Over the course of two weeks, consisting of 14-hour days, Maritz chipped away at the plaster to reveal the raw beauty of the Johannesburg city centre, now on display for the official launch of City Lodge Hotel Newtown. City Lodge Hotel Newtown is situated right across the road from Newtown Junction and The Workshop, where local talent create and showcase their work. This area on the Johannesburg map overflows with history and holds the ruins where determination and passion grew from barren land to the busy city. Iconic landmarks such as the first Park Station and the Nelson Mandela bridge can be seen from the window of the newly opened City Lodge Hotel. Staying in this trendy new space allows you to experience Newtown’s rejuvenation right on your doorstep. “We want this City Lodge hotel to be seen as a destination and that is why us working together with all in the area is so important. We want to sell an experience not a hotel room.” – Anton Rademeyer, General Manager at City Lodge Hotel Newtown, Johannesburg. To book a room at City Lodge . . .
Olatorera Oniru is one of Africa’s notable women entrepreneurs currently acknowledged as the new rising stars with ambitions to witness the continent catch up with the rest of the world’s developed nations. She has taken a strong passion for fashion and the retail industry and has scaled up Dressmeoutlet.com rapidly, a company she founded only 6 months ago. As Dressmeoutlet.com continues to witness massive growth, Olatorera Oniru continues to push for stronger development and growth in Nigeria and other African economies. She is an avid growth enthusiast and development speaker passionate about all things Africa. Olatorera is one of the inspiring women speaking on the 5th of July, 2016 at the Women in Business Seminar in South Africa. “The Women in Business Seminar will be a game changer for many of us. Africa right now, more than ever before, needs the strongest of women coming together to collaborate on growth opportunities for the continent while brainstorming to mitigate on related issues that have plagued each country” Says Olatorera Oniru “I look forward to meeting with some of South Africa’s best leading women, established and emerging creative manufacturers, the media and retail experts at the Women in Business Seminar and at other times during my one week visit to South Africa.” Dressmeoutlet.com is an e-commerce company that is keen on growing the African fashion industry by retailing uniquely made-in-Africa fashion, beauty and health products. The company retails quality African products at affordable prices with fast lightning delivery to anywhere in the globe, increasing global visibility and appreciation for African fashion and creativity. Dressmeoutlet.com’s products and services are positioned to unlock the citizenship and entrepreneurial potential of millions of young Africans through harnessing the potential of e-commerce and other initiatives. Before establishing Dressmeoutlet.com, Olatorera flourished her career working for two Fortune . . .