Archive for Sierpień, 2010

Sharepoint 2010: Ninety percent of users migrating

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Recently completed survey reveals little to no delay by majority of Sharepoint users undergoing migration

Metalogix Software, a leading provider of solutions for Microsoft SharePoint migration, management, and archiving has released the results of a recently completed international survey of Microsoft SharePoint users and administrators on their SharePoint 2010 adoption plans.

Results indicate that 90% of SharePoint users have plans to migrate to SharePoint 2010. Among those with plans to migrate, 41% will complete their migration immediately, and the remaining 59% will complete migration sometime between now and the end of 2011. Only ten percent of respondents cited no definitive plans to migrate to SharePoint 2010.

Says Chris Hathaway, Director at local distributor Soarsoft Africa, “This trend has been replicated in South Africa, where in addition to this we are also seeing a big move from various Enterprise Content Management (ECM) platforms to SharePoint 2010. When it comes to migrating to SharePoint 2010 – from a previous version of Sharepoint or any other source systems, Metalogix’s migration products ensure that the migration process is completed quickly and easily.”

With the release of SharePoint 2010, there has been growing interest in the major new features for Electronic Content Management (ECM), social computing, PowerShell support, ribbon UI, etc. Many SharePoint professionals are eager to provide these capabilities to their users and organisations.

Rasool Rayani, Metalogix Co-Founder and Director of Metalogix Software explains, “Companies who have made the decision to migrate their users to SharePoint 2010 need to be able to move their content quickly and with great flexibility. We provide companies with reliable tools and solutions to help them not only migrate SharePoint sites, libraries, lists, web parts and permissions from their old environments to SharePoint 2010, but also to then keep their environment running smoothly, and manage their content in a way that allows them to leverage the full power of their SharePoint deployment.”

Metalogix is a leader in solutions that migrate content into SharePoint, keep SharePoint environments running smoothly, manage the content throughout its lifecycle, and archive content for compliance and e-discovery. Metalogix migration products move content into SharePoint from almost any source

system: from one SharePoint version to another (2003, 2007, 2010, WSSv2 or WSSv3), from Enterprise Content Management systems (e.g. Documentum, eRoom, Stellent (Oracle Content Server), Livelink), and from file systems, Exchange public folders, blogs, wikis and websites on-premise or in the cloud. The company’s storage management and content management solutions help customers to run SharePoint efficiently by minimising the growth of content databases and reducing content sprawl. This approach maximises SharePoint’s benefits for both IT and business units while reducing an organisation’s total cost of ownership.

Epson Wins Printer Award

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

EISA has recognised the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 as the European Printer 2010-11

Epson has asserted its position as a leader in the professional imaging industry by winning the ‘European Printer 2010-2011′ award for the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 from the European Imaging and Sound Association (EISA).

Offering flexibility of use across a broad range of media, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 is suitable for use by professional photographers and aspirational amateurs alike. Using Epson’s advanced, fourth generation UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta ink set, with two new colours added, Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta, the printer delivers better reproduction of red, violet and purple shades. Delivering long-lasting, high-quality large format prints in both black and white and full colour, the Epson Stylus Pro 3880 offers fast, flexible printing suitable for a number of applications.

The EISA panel were impressed with the size, resolution and volume capabilities of the printer, commenting: “Epson’s Stylus Pro 3880 is an A2+ professional printer small enough to be classed as a desktop model. The printer specialises in producing high-quality monochrome and colour pictures with print resolutions of up to 2880x1440dpi, using Epson’s UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta pigment-based inks. It is a great choice for photographers who print in volume, as each cartridge has a capacity of 80ml.”

Kelvin Reynolds, general manager, Epson Southern Africa, commented: “The EISA awards are a key industry indicator of quality products, and this recognition for the Stylus Pro 3880 is testimony to our expertise in producing high-quality professional products. This award adds to the achievements of the Stylus Pro 3880, which has already received recognition from TIPA (Technical Image Press Association) earlier this year. The printer is now firmly positioned as an ideal choice for professional photographers.”

Epson Stylus Pro 3880 – Key Features Summary
•    Eight colour Epson UltraChrome K3 Vivid Magenta Ink set expands the printable gamut and includes three black inks for superb grey balance
•    Print on a variety of different media and media surfaces from 4×6″ up to 17×22″
•    Ideally suited for fast and flexible printing in the photography, fine art, proofing, POS prints and graphics markets
•    Uniquely compact A2+ printer makes it ideal for small studios
•    ENERGY STAR® qualified

The Epson Stylus Pro 3880 retails for R 13 795.00.

Comztek signs agreement with HP

By admin, 23 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Technology distributor, Comztek has been recognised for its excellence in delivering networking solutions. The company has been awarded HP Networking distribution rights in South Africa.

Comztek is an established networking distributor, with over a decade of experience and a proud track record as one of the largest 3Com distributors in SA. In terms of the agreement, Comztek’s customer base will have access to all products across the HP Networking range which comprises of former 3Com and H3C products, as well as the previously know HP ProCurve Networking portfolio.

“HP is delighted to welcome Comztek to our current distribution landscape. We believe that their experience in the networking industry and their relevant value add will complement our current distribution strategy and ensure we retain and develop our successful position in the networking market,” says Lorna Hardie, HP Networking country manager, South Africa.

Networks and networking have been the cornerstones of Comztek’s growth over the years. HP’s aim to transform the networking industry through unique and innovative network fabrics, and improved IT service delivery capabilities, dovetails with Comztek’s aim to deliver best-of-breed service to resellers in terms of products, solutions, and support for all networks.

“Comztek strives to be the preferred partner, chosen by customers, for all communication requirements,” says Paul Conradie, Comztek managing director. “We are a systems integrator who happens to be in distribution. Our client-centric approach, complemented by executive brands such as HP, puts us at the foreground of IT distribution in the market.”

“These distribution rights enable us to increase our service offering in a core area of our business. With our existing skills, experience, world-class support and guaranteed service levels, we are ready to commence the HP Networking distribution immediately.”

BlackBerry gets new apps

By admin, 23 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

As you may have noticed over the weekend, the latest edition of BlackBerry® App World™ has been launched. BlackBerry App World 2.0, supports new payment options, includes improved app discovery and search features and introduces a new user identification system called BlackBerry® ID.

The following features have been added to BlackBerry App World 2.0:

-    New Payment Options
o    In addition to PayPal, customers will be able to purchase applications using major credit cards including Visa, MasterCard and American Express®. Starting in the US, certain carriers will also allow purchases by their customers to be applied directly to the customer’s monthly bill from the carrier.  Further carrier partners will be announced in due course.

-    Easier Application Discovery

o    New tabbed sections for lists of application mean users can horizontally swipe or scroll to quickly view the Top 25 Free Apps, Top 25 Paid Apps and Top 25 Themes, as well as lists of Newest Apps and Recently Updated Apps.
o    QR barcode scanning is also supported, allowing users to scan a QR code associated with an application from anywhere – the web, print ads, brochures, etc. BlackBerry App World will quickly find the related application and automatically open the application’s information and download page.

-    BlackBerry ID
o    BlackBerry ID is a new user identification system that can be used with BlackBerry App World. With BlackBerry ID, which is device independent, users can simply enter their password to access their personal library of both free and purchased apps through the My World folder within BlackBerry App World 2.0.
o    BlackBerry ID can also (optionally) keep an encrypted record of the user’s billing information, including all credit card, PayPal and carrier account information, and allow the user to simply enter their BlackBerry ID password and select their payment preference when purchasing a new app.

-    Vendor Updates
o    A series of new features for vendors include the addition of a Vendor Credit System, credit history visibility, credit promo codes, change request management, the ability to override application and vendor names, and application language management features to include all languages supported by BlackBerry.

You will also start to notice apps coming in at a price of $0.99 as developers start to list their apps at the new lowest pricing tier.

The newest version of BlackBerry App World is available for beta preview from BlackBerry® Beta Zone ( as well as and  BlackBerry App World users will receive an upgrade notification on their BlackBerry App World icon.

Boost buisnesses finances with business intelligence

By admin, 23 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

A recently released KPMG survey entitled ‘Improving Financial Performance in 2010’ reiterates, amongst other business priorities, technology as playing a significant role to improve the overall financial standings of corporates, following the recession.

The African wide report highlights that 80% of respondents surveyed* identified improved business intelligence (BI) as critical to their decision-making processes. Relevant information gathering and performance reporting were clear priorities in this regard whether for budgeting, forecasting, evaluating or analysing purposes.

Says Martin Rennhackkamp, COO of PBT; “It’s encouraging to see that BI is finally being recognised as key to decision making, however the extensive benefits of BI will only be truly felt when top management, across sectors, understand the power of real data gathering and subsequent valuable decision making.”

While the exact percentage of organisations using BI in South Africa is not defined, Rennhackkamp does not know of any ‘major’ player in the financial, insurance, telecommunications and retail industries that do not use some form of BI from which they extract value.

Says Rennhackkamp; “In general, information is collected and disseminated to decision-makers throughout the organisation, but not, for example, in real time rendering these systems ineffective compared to what they are designed to achieve. In my opinion, few organisations have matured enough in their BI adoption and more critically BI has not yet properly infiltrated the strategic decision-making powers of most top companies.”

Rennhackkamp goes on to state that his concern is that most of the key executives in organisations still get reports third or fourth-hand, in the form of spreadsheets or report packs prepared and polished by other people. “Decision makers cannot and simply do not have their fingers directly on the pulse of the organisation and this needs to be addressed to harness the benefits of BI – whether getting through a recession in tact or growing a new market unit.”

So while reports such as Improving financial performance in 2010 and beyond create the awareness needed to rally BI as a valuable business tool to recover from a recession for example – Rennhackkamp stresses that BI adoption must become a critical business pillar and start with top management and filter down – not bottom up. “Effective BI is the way of the future for business growth and the sooner this becomes board room benchmark the quicker corporate SA will realise the impact of effective BI on their business – not simply to recover from a recession but to grow effectively into the future as well.”

Elitecore targets African Telecom Market with its Next Generation BSS/OSS Product Suite

By admin, 22 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Elitecore Technologies a leading provider of BSS/OSS solutions announced foray into the African Market with its NGN ready BSS/OSS product suites. Elitecore will offer its Billing & Revenue Management, AAA & PCRF Product suites in the African market.

On the occasion of the 4th Annual Service and Network Operations meet organized by the South African Telecommunications Association (SATA) at Swaziland, Elitecore is showcasing its NGN product suites to the leading Telecom service providers of the Sub Sahara Africa. Elitecore with its flexible and scalable product offerings is strongly positioned to take up the challenges posed by the growing African Telecom market.

“We are uniquely positioned in the OSS/BSS segment as a single vendor offering AAA, Billing & Revenue Management and Rating & Charging solutions, along with that we have significant experience of standalone as well as end-end turnkey solution deployments across regions, for NGN networks, thereby giving the operators a significant go to market and cost advantage.

With proven end-to-end solutions for WiMax operators under one roof, Hot Spot and Wi Fi billing solutions for Hospitality, SME’s, Africa is sure to be out of shadow zone and would be ready to surge ahead,” says Parag Bhave, Director of Middle East & Africa, Elitecore Technologies.

Elitecore has over 10 years of expertise in OSS / BSS Solution & Services with rich features at competitive prices. This backed by a high quality global support services to address clients’ need, positions Elitecore strongly in highly competitive OSS / BSS software markets. Elitecore has won the Frost & Sullivan ICT award 2009 under the category “Price Performance Value leadership Award OSS/ BSS- Billing & Charging”.

Information management critical for King III corporate governance

By admin, 21 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

The accurate management of information and content is critical in all private sector and government establishments, including large corporate organisations  listed or not, state run enterprises, local- or provincial governments and national government departments. The precise control of these intelligent assets has become particularly relevant since the King III Governance initiative became effective on 1 March 2010.

“Information and content needs to be effectively managed,” says Derek Weatherall, enterprise content management (ECM) service delivery manager at Datacentrix, a black empowered information technology (IT) company providing computing power, business value and information management solutions to corporate and government sectors.

Weatherall adds that information and content management has become a priority for businesses endeavouring to achieve and adhere to the corporate governance principles contained in King III – the collective name for the two King Reports on governance and the practice notes to King III issued by the Institute of Directors.

“In current environments, ECM is a means by which corporate and government entities can successfully implement and benefit from correct governance of IT. This provides a springboard from which to achieve the essential governance elements of King III.”

Weatherall defines IT Governance as executive management’s ability to manage, measure and evaluate the use of an organisation’s IT resources and assets to facilitate and enable the achievement of its strategic objectives.

“Resources can be deployed effectively to manage the required information and content and drive the alignment of IT governance with strategic objectives. Measurable value will be delivered, risk managed, and the use and performance of corporate resources optimised.”

The bottom line is that information, resident in the IT solutions and resources of any organisation, has become a critical asset for companies and needs to be managed accordingly.

“ECM is not a means to an end,” says Weatherall. “It is a journey to adopt the principles and governance compliance of King III, over the medium to long term. We have the resources, the know-how and the technology to assist companies through the phases of compliance with King III.”

Datacentrix believes that free enterprise prospers in an environment of “good and balanced” corporate governance. Weatherall says while the company understands that achieving good governance is a complex task, it also believes that sound governance practices offer many practical benefits.

“Organisations should integrate such practices into their daily operational processes and this can be achieved with a sound, well implemented ECM solution and programme.”

Are your communications systems ready for the economic upturn?

By admin, 21 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

As the number of communications devices and contact channels used by consumers and businesspeople continues to rise, organisations face a growing problem in maintaining effective communications with staff, partners and customers.  And it’s a situation that hasn’t been helped by the economic recession when, with stretched IT budgets and limited infrastructure expenditure, many companies chose to cut back heavily on their investment in new office communications systems.

As organisations plan ahead, however, many now realise that by investing in unified communications (UC) solutions they can reduce costs, boost productivity and steal an important march on their competitors as the economy strengthens.

Henry McCracken, regional sales director: Africa at Aspect Software, believes that UC is the next logical step in the communications world.

“In 2009, Aspect conducted research amongst business executives at the IDC Unified Communications: Unified Communication and Collaboration Conference in London, to determine business interest in UC and better understand organisations’ likely timescales for implementation,” he says.

“Fifty-six percent of business executives that took part in the survey stated that their organisations had a UC strategy and when asked about their implementation timescales, eight percent reported that their UC implementation would be completed in under one year; seventy-five percent in one or two years; and seventeen percent in two to five years.”

More recent research, says McCracken, conducted in 2010 by Aspect around UC trends, has revealed further insight.

“2010 survey respondents saw massive benefits in adopting UC – with twenty four percent seeing ‘improved employee productivity’ and seventeen percent seeing ‘travel cost reduction’ as the most significant” he says.

“These were not the only benefits associated with UC as respondents also recognised the huge impact that UC could have on service quality, with a massive eighty three percent agreeing that the value of UC increases when it is extended to customers.”

UC integrates real time communication services, such as instant messaging, presence information, IP telephony, video conferencing, call control and speech recognition with non real-time communication services, such as unified messaging (integrated voicemail, email, SMS and fax).

“Communication can be costly,” says McCracken. “The complexity of multiple communication devices with different interfaces and technologies results in a lack of integration that hinders the efficiency and effectiveness of communication.”

UC is not a single product, he says, but a set of products that provide a consistent unified user interface and user experience across multiple communications devices and media types. It is a solution that is well suited to service-oriented businesses that offer products and solutions to a large customer base.

“Aspect assists companies in formulating their UC strategies and visions, and allows customers to ‘test drive’ UC applications via conferencing programmes,” he says. “Aspect’s UC value proposition is encapsulated in six areas that relate to employees and business:

1.    The cost of lost productivity
2.    Real estate costs
3.    Flexibility over compensation
4.    Typical spend at main office
5.    The average time to commute
6.    Impact on the environment

McCracken says Aspect offers businesses an ‘account profiling’ service that accurately identifies and addresses UC requirements.  And with clients in financial services, healthcare, public sector, services, technology and consumer products, it is well placed to provide real scenarios, examples and savings of businesses that have already adopted UC.

He goes on to says that, while the economic climate may have slowed down adoption of UC, it is encouraging to note that fourty one percent of respondents in the 2010 survey expect to deploy unified platforms within the next two years.

“There is an important conclusion to be drawn here and that is that if implementing UC is perceived to reduce travel costs and improve productivity – and that extending UC to customers improves multichannel communications and access to external knowledge workers – then, conversely, the opposite must be true.

“By supporting multichannel communications WITHOUT investing in unified platforms then productivity isn’t as high as it could be, travel costs are higher than they need to be, contact centre communications with external knowledge workers are not optimised, and so on.  These are not only missed opportunities to impact the quality of internal and external company communications, they are also missed opportunities to improve business performance.”

“Companies who understand the role UC can play and are currently planning their UC strategies will play a role in setting a new standard, leaving those without a UC strategy behind.”

T-Systems gets thumbs up from SAP

By admin, 20 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

T-Systems has been awarded three respective certifications for its development of implementation and project templates on the SAP solution platform, as part of its longstanding relationship with SAP in South Africa and commitment to the channel.

The template certifications encompass the SAP All-In-One HR, Baseline and Healthcare solutions and provide T-Systems clients with the assurance that their projects are based on 35 years of industry excellence and best practices while also improving implementation turnaround times and related costs.

The SAP templates are in essence pre-built and designed solutions that enable T-Systems to provide fixed project costs and delivery times. The templates provide a solution that is: predictable; affordable; and supported.

Len De Goede, Vice President of Systems Integration at T-Systems in South Africa says: “The certification is regarded as a ‘stamp of quality’; providing the guarantee that the solution is ‘fit to purpose’ and will be supported by SAP.  We believe this is a major benefit as our clients can be rest assured that there are no hidden costs, as the solution is based on industry best-practices.”

“The templates also greatly decrease the time it takes to implement a solution, which traditionally can take up to a year. The SAP Healthcare All-In-One solution offers hospitals and clinics implementation time of between two and four months which is a significant improvement and crucial to any provider of critical 24X7 services.

The SAP All-In-One Healthcare template is among others based on the award-winning implementation by T-Systems at the Ethekwini Hospital & Heart Centre (EHHC).  The EHHC was awarded the 2008 Excellence Award from the Hospital Association of South Africa (HASA). The hospital won the Medical Technology category which recognised the groundbreaking technology employed at the hospital.

At the ceremony, the previous Minister of Health, Barbara Hogan presented the award to EHHC chairman, Dr Diliza Mji for ‘raising the bar in establishing world-class medical services with their state-of-the-art digital hospital system. This system integrates all the hospital’s IT systems making it easier to record and monitor patients’ progress.

“Our templates are also aligned with legislation which again mitigates a lot of the guesswork and enables both T-Systems and the client to move ahead while knowing all requirements relevant to their industry have been met. The templates obviously evolve as new criteria, regulations and legislation are introduced,” says De Goede.

The SAP HR template from T-Systems, for example, incorporates IRP5, payroll requirements while the Baseline offering includes total back office, procurement and finance solutions, again based on experience, customer successes and benchmarked installations.

Mobile Banking to reach 90 billion text messages a year

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

New types of SMS mobile banking alerts will help to treble the volume of mobile banking messages to almost 90 billion p.a. by 2015, equating to one message every 2 days, per mobile banking user, according to a new in depth study by Juniper Research.

Juniper’s in-depth interviews with mobile banking vendors and banks revealed that there is considerable scope for banks to offer new messaging based services on top of basic balance alerts. Banks are seeking to exploit these new process alerts to speed up customer communications during applications for products such as loans and mortgages.

Mobile Banking report author Howard Wilcox explained: “Our research found that messaging is a ‘win-win’ for banks. They can improve customer service significantly, whilst simultaneously eliminating the cost of servicing customer enquiries placed with call centres.”

The Juniper report, however, identified that some banks are still to seize the potential of SMS services. The overall strategy behind alert messaging development is to encourage customers towards the self service world, with information delivery SMS which most people are familiar with.

Juniper Research also announced that the winner for the Future Mobile Award for Mobile Banking 2010 has been Wells Fargo, taking account of its multiple platform strategy and continued service innovation such as the recent near real-time warning of potentially fraudulent activity.

Further findings of the report included:
•         Over 80% of banks offer some form of mobile banking;
•         Western Europe will be the region with the highest penetration of users in 2015;
•         Transactional mobile banking usage will see similar growth rates to SMS.

The new Juniper report features the Juniper Mobile Banking Technology Strategies Survey of 77 banks across all regions which determined the popularity of SMS, mobile browser, smartphone apps including iPhone and Android and other apps such as Java.

The report provides forecasts of user take-up, user-level messaging traffic, user-level transaction volumes and gross transaction values for Mobile Banking Information Services, and Transactional Services.

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