Archive for Sierpień, 2010

Hardware Support On-Site

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

HP Technology Services has announced it is introducing a new on-site delivery model for its low end hardware support services.  The company will no longer subcontract such on-site support services and will now be performed by HP directly.

This is part of a global HP initiative e to improve customer service delivery through in- sourcing of such services as well as driving a more cost-effective business model.

“HP will now own the whole customer experience end-to-end, which will  significantly improve the services they are receiving because everything will be handled in-house, eliminating the complexities of third party involvement” says Hermien Kuppen, Technology Services Delivery Manager, HP Enterprise Business South Africa.

The company believes that in addition to improved service delivery to its customers, it will also be able to leverage  economies of scale of the entire team to expand the business into new areas.

“We also want to take full control of the management, development and growth of our people who should be able to reap the benefits of being part of an international company in terms of better opportunities to learn and grow. We are confident this will be to the benefit of our customers who will be dealing and serviced by a professional workforce,” says Kuppen.

The first phase of the implementation kicks off on 1November 2010, followed by a transition phase and the final execution is scheduled to take place in February 2011.

This new model only affects HP’s two subcontractors for on-site support services and will have no impact on the HP Authorised Service Delivery (ASP) partners who are certified to provide such services for selected product ranges to their customers.

“We are working very closely with our two subcontractors to ensure a smooth transition whilst making every effort not to disrupt service delivery during the transition period,” she concludes.

Connect to the internet with more insight

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

With South African consumers confronted with a variety of internet access options, Farren Roper, FNB Connect spokesperson takes a closer look at what people should take into account before deciding on an internet service provider (ISP).

At its most basic, an ISP is a company that offers its customers access to the internet. This access can be provided through a fixed telephone line or through a wireless device such as a mobile phone or wireless router (a modem that allows several connections at one time).

Selecting an ISP is just one piece of the puzzle. You also need to consider such things as connection speed, whether you want a shaped or unshaped service and how much bandwidth you will use in a month. While it might sound like you need a computer science degree to understand this, it is actually easier than you think.

Connection speed is the speed at which your fixed or mobile connection accesses the internet. In South Africa, there are a variety of fixed line speeds (through your telephone line) to choose from. These are 384kbps (kilobits per second but do not worry too much about the technical bit), 512kbps, 4mbps (megabits per second) and soon to be 10mbps. The higher the number, the faster your connection speed will be (and the faster you will hit your bandwidth cap but more of that later).

The entry-level speed of 384kbps is fine for people who need email access, browse the web for information and connect to their friends or families on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter. The next step up (512kbps) allows you to watch online videos (through sites like YouTube and Zoopy) faster and offers decent download speeds for music, photographs, and other content. It also offers good connectivity if you use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services (another acronym, but these services allow you to phone family and friends anywhere in the world using your internet connection). The 4mbps gives you great speed and 10mbps will give you the best available speed in South Africa at the moment. This is ideal if you or your family will use the internet for online gaming, to download large files, make video calls, and stream content that much faster.

As mentioned earlier, the faster your connection speed, the faster you will use bandwidth. This is where bandwidth capping comes into play. Some ISP’s allow you to buy bandwidth ‘per gig’, others give you fixed options such as 1 gig, 2 gig, 3 gig, and so on. Finally, there are ISP’s that offer unlimited internet access meaning you can download content and surf the web to your heart’s content. The amount of bandwidth you need is completely up to you but the average user should budget for approximately 3 gigs per month. Those who enjoy downloading content, watching online videos, and online gaming, need to budget for approximately 5 to 10 gigs per month.

When you reach your bandwidth cap, some ISPs will cut you off immediately (hard capping) whilst others will slow down your speed considerably (soft capping).

Fair usage policies are implemented to avoid a minority of people who download excessive amounts of content (think 30 gigs plus) thereby impacting the quality of the internet access for the ISP’s users. When selecting an ISP be wary of contracts with adverse expiry provisions or those with “acceptable use policies” which give the ISP the unilateral right to terminate your usage.

A final thing to bear in mind when it comes to internet access is selecting a shaped versus an unshaped service, as this will influence the speed and quality of your internet experience. Think of shaping as a way the ISP will prioritise internet traffic to you. Internet traffic consists of various protocols such as email, web browsing, downloading, online gaming and VoIP. In other words ISPs may favour ‘business protocols’ such as email and Web browsing during the day and limit the speed you can access ‘non-business protocols’ such as video streaming, online gaming and downloading large files.

Unshaped packages treat all these protocols the same and therefore provide you with the best possible performance for everything you do online. If you want to experience the internet, the way it is meant to be then an unshaped account is definitely the way to go although these accounts do come at a premium.

FNB Connect offers its customers the opportunity to buy unshaped bandwidth per gig. This allows our customers to pay for bandwidth as and when required without worrying about being capped. The prepaid offering, expires after 12 months means that our customers can budget appropriately for their bandwidth per month without needing to worry about paying for bandwidth they will not use.

Customers who sign up for ‘Connect Surf’ receive 1GB of ADSL bandwidth once off for FREE, which is valid for 12 months and all new and existing FNB Personal Cheque Account clients on the ‘Unlimited Pricing Option’ can now also receive up to 1gig of bandwidth for FREE EVERY MONTH*.

So research your internet access requirements, your available options and see which ISP offers the best fit to suit your specific needs and budget.

Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle and Accessories

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

The biggest game of 2010, “Halo: Reach,” is getting the ultimate hardware treatment. The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle launches day and date with the game on September 14 and provides both an incredible value and a stunning way to celebrate the iconic franchise. The commemorative bundle will be available with matching custom “Halo: Reach” Limited Edition Wireless Controllers. Additionally, Microsoft and Bungie revealed an onslaught of other “Halo: Reach” news at Comic-Con International.

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle is Available for Pre-Order

The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle features an exclusive silver design and comes with two custom Xbox 360 Wireless Controllers with artwork inspired by the game, a Standard Edition copy of “Halo: Reach,” a token for the Limited Edition Elite armor set, an episode of “Halo Legends” and a “Halo: Reach”-themed Xbox 360 wired headset. As an added touch, the specially designed console in the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle not only captures the look and feel of the game, but also features custom sound effects from the “Halo” universe.

Designed by Bungie, the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle includes all the features of the newly designed Xbox 360 console, such as a 250 GB Hard Drive and the fastest built-in Wi-Fi. The bundle is available in limited quantities and only while supplies last, so fans who want to own a piece of the “Halo” mythology are encouraged to pre-order quickly. The Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle has a suggested retail price of R3999.99 in South Africa. To offer a closer look at the contents of the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo: Reach” Bundle, Microsoft and Bungie unveiled an unboxing video of the bundle, which is available for download on Halo Waypoint and

“Halo: Reach” Limited Edition Wireless Controller and Wireless

In addition to the exclusive new console bundle, Microsoft and Bungie unveiled the “Halo: Reach” Limited Edition Wireless Controller and the “Halo: Reach” Limited Edition Wireless Headset, both of which feature a distinctive silver color and exclusive “Halo” artwork by Bungie. The Halo: Reach Limited Edition Wireless Controller has an estimated retail price of R599.99.   The “Halo: Reach” Limited Edition Wireless Headset has an estimated retail price of R399.99. Both accessories are being produced in limited quantities and are available for pre-order today.

Developed by acclaimed studio Bungie exclusively for Xbox 360, “Halo: Reach” launches worldwide on Sept. 14, 2010, and in Japan on Sept. 15. “Halo: Reach” is available for pre order in Standard, Limited and Legendary editions at participating retailers worldwide. The Standard Edition has an estimated retail price of R699.99 and the Limited and Legendary editions of the game will retail for R799 and R1299.99, respectively, and are packed with extras fans won’t want to miss. Fans are encouraged to pre-order quickly as quantities of the Limited and Legendary editions are selling fast and are expected to be completely pre-sold by launch.

Nashua Mobile preparing for LCR market shift

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Nashua Mobile, the independent telecommunications service provider in the Reunert Group, is moving ahead aggressively with new partnership agreements and the development of new products to prepare for reductions in mobile interconnect rates over the next three years.

The company is one of the largest providers of least cost routing (LCR) solutions to the market. Lower mobile interconnect rates could undermine the business case for traditional LCR over the next three years. Nashua Mobile is ready to help customers to make sense of what this change in the market means for them and to help them transition to new solutions and products when it makes sense to do so.

Tim Walter, General Manager for Product and Marketing, Nashua Mobile, says that Nashua Mobile is already advanced in its plans to introduce new products and services to its business as it prepares for a transition in the South African telecommunications market.

The market might be changing, but Nashua Mobile sees many exciting new opportunities for its business, its customers and its dealers as a result of more competition at both the service and infrastructure levels of the market.

Says Walter: “LCR revenues have already been impacted by a voluntary cut the mobile operators made to interconnect rates from R1,25 to 89 cents per minute earlier this year. Retail rates have remained constant, which meant that we could still offer our customers savings of around 20% on their cellular bills.”

“Icasa wants a further cut in the interconnect tariffs to 65 cents, which is currently the topic of debate between the regulator and mobile operators. If the retail rate remains constant, LCR will remain a viable product,” says Walter. “In the longer term, Icasa’s plans to force interconnect rates down to 50 cents by 2011 and to 40 cents by 2012 could result in LCR services becoming obsolete.”

All three cellular networks are fighting against the new interconnect structure that Icasa wants to phase in by 2012, which means that interconnect tariffs may be reduced by a lower rate over a longer period of time or that the implementation of the new tariffs will be delayed by legal action from the operators.

“Whatever happens, we believe that interconnect fees will be forced down dramatically over the next three years. That will have a negative impact on our revenues in the short term. But in the medium and long term, we will make up for lost LCR revenues by introducing innovative new products to the market,” adds Walter.

Walter says that employees in the Nashua Mobile LCR division are already being trained in new technologies to support the launch of new products and services in the months to come. The company is also working closely with its dealers to help them skill their employees to resell new technologies and services it will soon introduce to the market.

“For now, customers using LCR will still enjoy significant cost-savings from the technology, but they will not be as high they were in the past,” says Walter. Businesses should gradually phase LCR out when the business case no longer makes sense to use the technology.

“Telecommunications users should be alert to the fact that they will be offered a number of service and product offers in the months to come as service providers scramble to protect their revenues. Many of these offerings will not be as attractive as they appear,” says Walter.

“For example, a customer may be offered a seemingly attractive call rate on it’s telecommunications traffic that does not take into account hidden costs such as line rentals, minimum usage, and maintenance or administration fees that it will have to pay. These fees must be added together and divided by the minutes the customer will expect to use to give a true reflection of what the actual rate per minute will be that the customer will pay.” says Walter.

Walter says that the situation in the market is still so fluid that business customers should be wary of entering long-term contracts with service providers until it is clearer what the real impact of lower interconnect fees will be on the market.

“As an independent service provider, Nashua Mobile can help customers to make sense of this complex environment and choose the products and services that will deliver the best value and cost-savings to their businesses,” he adds.

Vodacom upgrades popular phone for the elderly

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Following the success of its ZTE handset designed specifically to meet the needs of the elderly, Vodacom is now introducing an upgraded version that takes the best features from the previous model and makes them even more user-friendly.

The ZTE S306 cell phone boasts large buttons and an even larger screen than the previous model, making it ideal for anyone who has trouble reading the symbols on other keypads or who may have limited hand dexterity. In addition the SOS button has been improved to make it easier to use in case of emergencies.

“At Vodacom, we believe that all people should have access to mobile telecommunications and that we need to ensure that our range of handsets caters to all needs. The ZTE S306 is elegantly simple and helps make technology work for the user rather than the other way round” said Shameel Joosub, Managing Director of Vodacom SA.

Vodacom has listened to the needs of the elderly and has brought out this updated model to address their specific requirements. The most important features of the ZTE S306 cell phone are the SOS slide button, large keypad, slide key lock button, louder ringing tone, and the handy torch and FM radio.

“We are pleased that Vodacom has responded to the call from senior citizens for a cell phone that caters for their specific needs – and has done so at an affordable price” said Johan Smuts from Pension Power.

Pension Power is also today launching its new website aimed at senior citizens on The organisation will be running a competition on the website where ten ZTE S306 phones can be won.

Vodacom is offering the ZTE S306 cellphone at the recommended retail price of R399.00 (incl. VAT), including a free Vodacom starter pack. The ZTE S306 cellphone is available from all participating Vodashops, Vodacom 4U stores and Vodacom Direct (dial 0861 123 123 or visit

For more information on Specific Needs products and services, customers should contact  Vodacom’s Specific Needs  Contact Centre on 12580, free from a Vodacom cell phone, or by dialing 082 12580 from any other phone (standard rates apply).  Customers can also send an email to .

Ericsson opens world of knowledge to all

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Get certified on the latest technology

Ericsson has launched a new Internet portal known as the Ericsson Academy, where users can access learning services, online courses, lectures, tutorials and learn more about cutting-edge technology such as HD Voice, 4G etc through interactive webinars and specially developed tutorials created by Ericsson experts at no charge.

In a world of rapidly evolving technologies the Ericsson Academy allows the world to tap into one of the richest sources of technology and business expertise. It is a new entry point to Ericsson’s expertise and knowledge about managing competence in rapid technology shifts, competence-related support and learning opportunities.

Originally launched to employees, the Academy which features content developed by Ericsson along side online lectures from renowned professors of Harvard Business School has now opened its doors to the world. By making available its expertise and learning opportunities, Ericsson aims to inspire people and organisations throughout the industry to collaborate, exchange ideas and stimulate innovative thinking and behaviours.

Ericsson’s training portfolio comprises more than 1000 courses covering different technology systems and service areas. For easy navigation, courses are grouped into predefined training packages within a certain area and participants receive a printable course certificate upon successful completion.

With an extensive portfolio of online and instructor-led training packages made available through the Academy and Education Centers around the world, Ericsson Academy guarantees strong, flexible, end-to-end educational and people performance offering through a combination of learning, consulting services and broad spectrums of learning products and delivery methods.

“This new approach to learning, leveraging on the use of technology to bring development initiatives closer to users across Africa, is received with much enthusiasm and will greatly aid Ericsson’s drive towards improving competence development on the continent,” says Tade Oyinlola, Head of Ericsson Academy for Region Sub-Saharan Africa.

Novell and VMware extend agreement

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

The dedicated Novell division at Workgroup has announced that VMware and Novell have expanded their strategic partnership with an original equipment manufacture (OEM) agreement through which VMware will distribute and support the SUSE Linux enterprise Server operating systems.

Under the agreement, VMware also intends to standardise its virtual appliance-based product offerings on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

“Customers who want to deploy SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for VMware in VMware vSphere virtual machines will be entitled to receive a subscription to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server that includes patches and updates as part of their new purchased qualifying vSphere license and Support and Subscription,” says Sally Berimbau, business unit manager: Novell at Workgroup.

“Under this agreement, VMware and its extensive network of solution provider partners will also be able to offer customers the option to purchase technical support for Linux Enterprise Server delivered directly by VMware for a seamless support experience.

“This expanded relationship benefits customers by reducing the cost and complexity of deploying and maintaining an enterprise operating system with VMware solutions.”

As a result of this expanded collaboration, both companies intend to provide customers the ability to port their SUSE Linux-based workloads across clouds. Such portability will deliver choice and flexibility for VMware vSphere customers and is a significant step forward in delivering the benefits of cloud computing.

McAfee DLP solution announced

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

The dedicated McAfee division at Workgroup has announced the local availability of the latest version of McAfee’s data loss prevention solution that addresses concerns around the security of regulated data and sensitive information.

McAfee Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technology is planned to include a common policy across all components, database crawling, easier workflow through the McAfee ePolicy Orchestrator (ePO) platform and greatly improved support for Microsoft Active Directory.

Built using unique data analytics technology, McAfee DLP technology provides comprehensive data protection – from the USB drive to the firewall and beyond.

Andrea van der Westhuizen, product manager: McAfee at Workgroup says the DLP market is rapidly growing, fuelled by increasing government and industry regulations and businesses emphasizing the importance of protecting valuable corporate data such as product plans, financial records and intellectual property.

“Until now, the DLP customer has had to endure such challenges as large amounts of build-out time, costs and effort,” she says. “McAfee DLP technology changes the game by delivering high level data protection quickly and efficiently. Organisations now have a way of meeting their data security needs without the added expense of endless rounds of consulting and trial and error tuning.”

McAfee DLP technology differentiators:
•    Deployment can occur within days as opposed to the typical six to nine month period, allowing organisations to immediately test policies against corporate data and achieve faster time to value. Advanced and intuitive data analytics lets IT departments gain knowledge of unknown data risk and understand how to quickly and effectively protect corporate data.
•    Users have an easy workflow to manage data incidents from ePO platform, a single console which supports case management, configuration, reporting, monitoring while providing historic data-use insight that can be centralised or delegated to best suit specific user requirements.
•    Tight integration between DLP technology and the rest of the McAfee data protection portfolio allows for automated responses to threats in a coordinated way. Integration with rights management technologies such as Adobe allows the protection of sensitive data to extend beyond the boundaries of the enterprise, increasing security and confidence and enabling the flexible business to thrive.
•    Advanced data analytics gives customers deep understanding about how their data is used allowing them to better anticipate problems that would otherwise go undiscovered.

“McAfee’s approach to DLP is unique in that it is delivered via pre-integrated, hardened appliances and a host agent that is simply pushed via the ePO platform, so data is protected in days, not months,” says Van der Westhuizen.

“That same ease of use also applies to policy creation, delivering a wealth of knowledge about how data is actually used – providing the ability to test policies against actual data history before putting them into production.

“Due to this, policies are right the first time without guesswork, costly consulting or business disruption caused by false positives. That historic data knowledge can also be used to accelerate incident investigations which can be completed in minutes and allows for a deep understanding around how organisations use data.”

Overland’s SnapServer N2000 is now available

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

SnapServer N2000 is ideal for businesses with increasingly complex storage environments and mission critical data requirements

The Overland SnapServer N2000, a unified block and file storage solution scalable up to 144 Terabytes in a compact 2U form factor is now available from official distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC). Fully integrated with Microsoft Windows and designed for virtualised server environments running VMware, Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer, the SnapServer N2000 provides a comprehensive feature set that includes replication, snapshot capability for both file and iSCSI volumes, the ability to manage multiple SnapServer devices from a single console and support for both high performance SAS and SATA drives in a single device.  The SnapServer N2000 is ideal for businesses with mission critical data requirements that also demand high performance, reliability and flexibility within the same storage solution.

“The rate of virtualisation adoption by medium-sized businesses continues to increase. These businesses need to deploy storage solutions that will work within their increasingly complex environments but without the higher price tag associated with enterprise systems,” comments Rajen Naicker, Overland product specialist at DCC. “The SnapServer N2000 delivers the right mix of NAS and iSCSI, price and performance ideal for midrange businesses that are virtualising their data infrastructure.”

Reliable, Simple and Unified Storage

The SnapServer N2000 is among the simplest NAS solutions to deploy and manage. Built on the award-winning GuardianOS, it features intuitive wizards to guide users through installation and creation of storage volumes and a web-based management console for system administration. In addition, Overland’s SnapServer Manager enables IT staff to manage all SnapServer NAS and SAN devices from a single interface.

The SnapServer N2000 provides a unified storage architecture that enables companies to simultaneously store and access both block and file data across Windows, UNIX/Linux, and Mac OS platforms as well as virtual servers, databases, email, and backup applications.  In addition, the ability to mix SAS drives and SATA drives within the same system enables users to customize the performance and capacity of every volume created.

Features and Benefits

.    Effortless Storage Management – With the integrated SnapServer Manager, storage administrators can easily monitor and manage all SnapServer NAS and SAN systems remotely or locally from a single, browser-based interface.
.    Instant Capacity Expansion – Overland’s Instant Capacity Expansion (I.C.E.) feature provides companies with the ability to easily scale volumecapacities instantaneously – without downtime or degraded performance.
.    Flexible Disaster Recovery – The SnapServer N2000 provides a comprehensive set of data protection features including the optional Snap Enterprise Data     Replicator (Snap EDR) software for continuous, secure and efficient replication of data between sites for disaster recovery.  In addition, IT managers can take snapshots of both NAS volumes and iSCSI LUNs for point-in-time recovery as well as backup to disk, VTL, or tape devices.
.    Complete Windows and UNIX Integration – Featuring complete integration with Microsoft Active Directory Services (ADS) and UNIX Network Information Service (NIS), the SnapServer N2000 maintains true native Windows and UNIX permissions and supports the full set of 30 distinct Windows permission attributes.
.    Redundancy for Reliability – Companies can ensure maximum data availability with hot-swap drives, redundant power supplies, and variable hot-swap fans.
.    Scalability to 144TB – The SnapServer N2000 is a 2U, 12-drive system that can seamlessly be expanded up to 144TB utilizing SnapServer E2000 expansion units.

Facebook users beware of hippo-vomiting anaconda

By admin, 19 sierpnia, 2010, No Comment

Sophos is warning computer users about a new survey scam that is spreading virally across Facebook.  The attack involves a rogue application that automatically posts status updates and wall posts on affected user profiles with the following message:

“OMG, this is the biggest and scariest snake I have ever seen, check out this video [LINK REMOVED]”

The link takes users to a rogue Facebook application which tricks them into granting permission for the app to access their profile, list of friends and to be allowed to re-post the offending message as a status update and wall post.  Once a user has granted access to the application, they are then directed to complete online surveys with the promise that only then can they see a video entitled “Anaconda Coughs Up An Entire Hippo!”

“This is one of the most bizarre scams seen on Facebook, but its purpose remains familiar – the rogue application sends spam to draw Facebook users into taking these surveys,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

“Each time a victim completes a survey, the scammers make some commission.  Even if you don’t take the survey, the rogue application has already abused your Facebook account – changing your status message and spreading an advert for the alleged ’shocking video’ to your news feed and spreading the scam even further.”

A video demonstrating how Facebook users can delete entries related to the offending application, and how to remove the application itself, is available for journalists to embed from

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