Archive for Wrzesień, 2010

Encouraging SA entrepreneurs

By admin, 30 września, 2010, No Comment

Assists in instilling entrepreneurial spirit and thinking in the minds of Southern Africa’s talented youth.

South African technology start-up, Cognician has announced a collaboration with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation that will result in the creation – over the next 18 months – of 120 cognitive guides or ‘cogs’ designed to support the Foundation’s goal of encouraging entrepreneurship amongst South African school and university students.

“Entrepreneurship will over the coming years be a vital catalyst in Southern Africa’s social and economic transformation,” explains Margie Worthington-Smith, Organisational Development manager of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

“And because of the serious shortage of entrepreneurs in Southern Africa by comparison to the rest of the world, addressing this imbalance is one of our Foundation’s primary objectives,” Worthington-Smith adds.

“Over the years, we’ve learnt that even though a sound education can equip young, bright minds with the tools required to solve the problems faced by our region, the entrepreneurial thinking that’s required to get them to the point of finding a workable solution and pursuing it unrelentingly is in short supply,” she says.

Complicating issues, Worthington-Smith says entrepreneurial thinking and the development of an entrepreneurial mindset is one of the most challenging skills or values to teach.

“It’s a value we’ve up until now been successful in instilling on a face-to-face basis during our events and mentoring sessions,” she says, “but as we gear up to go to scale, face-to-face opportunities will become less and less possible.”

As the Foundation aims to reach a larger group of high-school and university students over the coming years, an alternative that is as effective, if not more effective than face-to-face interactions needed to be found.

“Cognician takes knowledge in the form of books and intellectual capital and represents it in such a manner that our Fellows are able to interact with it in an entirely new way,” Worthington-Smith says.

“It’s like having a conversation with an author about the topic matter at hand, instead of simply reading the topic matter in book form and then trying – often inefficiently – to apply that knowledge to a situation,” she adds.

“By interacting with the content stored within a ‘cog’ our Fellows will have the ability to apply that knowledge to a situation at hand, using it as a guide to the thought process that must be applied to solving the problem.

“And in doing so, the content takes on a more pragmatic purpose and becomes a skill and value set that a Fellow can easily adopt into the way they approach everyday situations,” she adds.

“This unique trait makes Cognician the only tool we’ve come across that’s capable of developing an entrepreneurial mindset and instilling entrepreneurial thinking as well, if not better than, a physical expert in that the learners acquire knowledge at the time when they are most receptive to learning,” Worthington-Smith says.

Barry Kayton, Imagineer and CEO of Cognician says that the aim is for his company to build 40 ‘cogs’ on top of the content, intellectual capital and knowledge resident within the Foundation before the end of 2010.

“If the Foundation is satisfied with our efforts at that point, we will be given the go-ahead to complete the remaining 80 ‘cogs’ before the end of 2011,” he adds.

“We’re excited about this process since it will allow a significant increase in the level of access Fellows can enjoy to some of the leading thinkers on entrepreneurship in the world,” he says.

“This is an important contract for us, since it creates a great opportunity for Cognician to show-off its real-world impact by adding these pioneering entrepreneurial mindset cogs,” he adds.

“We can’t wait to get started,” he concludes.

Comztek gets Distributor of the Year

By admin, 30 września, 2010, No Comment

At the recent annual Symantec channel awards, technology distributor, Comztek was honoured with the Symantec Distribution Partner of the Year 2010 and the Norton Consumer Distribution awards. Neal Botje, Symantec business development manager at Comztek, also received a special mention for dedication and commitment to the Symantec brand.

“I would like to think the awards and the special mention were the result of additional focus and improved strategies,” says Neal Botje. “The systems improvements include a user-friendly, filter-based quoting tool for our sales force, and readily available media- and solution-based scoping templates, ensuring the reseller and end user are quoted quickly and correctly first time.”

“In addition, we have bolstered our Symantec team. We now have a dedicated enterprise channel manager, a volume channel manager, a business development manager focused on small business, renewals desk and pre-sales engineer. This allows us to add value to our resellers by providing pre-sales services to the channel at no cost. We have also invested heavily in promoting the brand.”

“We are raising the bar for the year ahead, and this award has definitely bolstered our enthusiasm and commitment to the market leading brand in security and storage software!”

Says Lara Kotze, Symantec South Africa distribution account manager: “The Symantec team would like to once again congratulate Comztek on the award for distributor of the year for 2010. The team definitely deserves it and has shown their commitment to Symantec over the year. We look forward to another great year ahead.”

Gijima named as Microsoft Server Platform Partner of the Year

By admin, 28 września, 2010, No Comment

Gijima Microsoft Services has been named as the “Microsoft Server Platform Partner of the Year” for 2010. The announcement was made at the annual Microsoft Partner Summit’s gala dinner held recently.

The company, one of South Africa’s leading information and communications technology (ICT) services company, was also recognised as a finalist for both the “Microsoft Security and Identity Partner of the Year” and the “Microsoft Systems Management Partner of the Year” awards for 2010.

“This is a wonderful achievement for the Gijima Microsoft Services team,” says Hannes Burger, Business Unit executive: Distributed Computing Services of Gijima. “It is pleasing that our team has been recognised for its excellent solutions and the outstanding quality of engagements performed on behalf of our clients.

“The team’s commitment and dedication to the Microsoft brand has paid off, and I believe we now have a stronger foothold in the local market,” says Burger. “I would like to congratulate not only the Gijima Microsoft Services team for all its hard work and dedication, but also Microsoft for the continual support and commitment to its business partners, proving that working together that can make a difference,” concludes Burger.

Getting an edge with a power packed workstation

By admin, 23 września, 2010, No Comment

With the increasing popularity of mobility in the workplace the notebook has certainly encroached into the PC market.  Further driving the demand for notebooks, they are also regarded as more ‘hip’ with the many designs and form factors that have emerged. However, there is much to be said for the workstation, a more powerful desktop that is purpose built for applications requiring a machine that packs a substantial punch. Enter the Workstation.

This is according to Deon Botha, HP PSG product specialist at distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC).

He explains, “The difference between a personal computer (PC) and a Workstation boils down to performance and power.  Many PC users don’t require a powerful computer for most business applications such as work processing and spreadsheets but there are certain industries and professionals such as graphic designers, software developers, engineers, architects and financial analytics that require more than a standard computer system can deliver.  These individuals have heavy demands and require a workstation that not only features power and performance but reliability, robustness, professional service and support and high end graphics.

Processing Power

A good Workstation will feature one or multiple Intel Core i5, Core i7 or quad-core Intel Xeon processors that deliver higher performance for power hungry applications and tasks.

Remember the memory

High end applications and tasks are memory intensive.  Workstations feature more robust memory subsystems such as your choice of mission critical Error Correcting Code (ECC) or faster non-ECC RAM.  This is crucial to tune and allow you to improve the performance of the workstation but also prevent those dreaded ‘crashes’ and incorrect computations.  Workstations can feature memory of up to 192 Gigabytes (GB), increasing performance of interactive sessions.

Pushing the hard drive

Hard disk drives (HDDs) are an important component of workstations with some high end versions including up to 5 3.5″ SATA drives, or up to 6 2.5″ SATA drives, or up to 5 3.5″ SAS drives, featuring 7200 to 15000 rpm. So what does this mean? Says Botha: “These higher rotational speeds of the hard drives reduce latency and increases data transfer bandwidth thus improving the performance of the workstation significantly.  In addition, high end workstations can include external expansion bays to accommodate even more hard drives including eSATA and SAS drives.”

Grabbing graphics

Workstations are designed to support the most powerful graphics cards and are able to support the additional power and cooling requirements of these cards. Workstations feature a range of NVIDIA and ATI professional graphics with some even including software that combines real-time 3D graphics sharing and four-way HD video conferencing.

Hey good looking!

One would think that with a rugged, powerful workstation that looks will be compromised. Not so. The latest generation of workstations not only transforms the way you work but also makes the most of your desktop space with remarkably compact designs that can be used as a desktop or tower and surprisingly good looks.

Be an energy star

Energy efficiency is just as crucial in a workstation as it is in a PC or notebook.  Energy conscious vendors deliver workstations that include Energy Star qualified systems that can deliver up to 85% efficient power supplies as well as lower energy consumption in ‘off mode’.

Botha concludes, “Business and professional users should look towards workstations to deliver the ultimate in computing performance and are equipped to handle the most demanding tasks with ease.”

Train like a pro with Garmin

By admin, 23 września, 2010, No Comment

Visit the Look & Feel Good Expo to experience all of Garmin’s Fitness products

With Garmin Fitness products, you don’t need to break the bank on high-end fitness technology to train and perform like a professional.

This is according to Michelle Letcher, Head of Fitness at Garmin Distribution Africa, who will be showcasing Garmin’s extensive range of fitness products on stand C22 and C35 in the Main Arena of this year’s Look & Feel Good Expo taking place at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, from the 8th – 10th October.

“With the products that Garmin has on offer, there’s no reason why South African health and fitness enthusiasts can’t train like professionals, utilising the same products and technologies that help the pros reach their peak performances,” she says.

“At this year’s Look & Feel Good Expo, we’re going to be giving everyone the opportunity to experience the same training, navigation and performance measuring products behind many top-level athletes, such as our Garmin Ambassadors Natalie du Toit (gold medal swimmer), Dan Hugo (Xterra triathlon champion), Riaan Manser (adventure explorer) and the Team Garmin Adidas MTB riders – to name just a few.”

The Garmin Fitness range of products is designed to support the many and varied requirements of sporting and leisure enthusiasts participating in a broad range of sports, whether they are indoor gym enthusiasts, outdoor walkers, runners, cyclists or swimmers and water-sports fanatics.

From your entry level indoor and GPS-enabled watch (such as the Garmin FR60 and Forerunner 110), to the most advanced multi-sport, and cycling computers (including the Garmin Forerunner 310XT and Edge 705), Garmin’s Fitness devices provide support to users throughout their fitness journey – whether they are actively training and competing, or simply trying to reach and maintain their health and fitness goals, such as weight loss or increasing endurance capabilities.

With an experienced team of Garmin product and fitness experts at the expo, visitors are welcome to visit the Garmin stand and get one-on-one assistance and advice on which Garmin product is best suited to help them achieve their health, fitness or specific sporting goals.

For the more adventurous, visitors will have an opportunity to go further than just touching Garmin’s fitness products out on the showroom floor.

“We’ll invite anyone who is keen to get active, to wear a Garmin FR60 watch and heart rate monitor and take a quick five-minute run on a treadmill,” explains Letcher.

“This will really demonstrate the power of Garmin’s Fitness products – where we’ll download the data from the watch to Garmin Connect and give you a detailed overview of your run, calories burnt and fitness level.”

Renowned Surfski racer, Barry Lewin, as well as 94.7 radio celebrity and fitness enthusiast Brad Brown will also be giving visitor’s talks on their first-hand experiences with Garmin’s Fitness products and share their inspirational stories on how they achieved their sporting goals.

Barry Lewin will be giving two talks on Saturday, 9th October at 11am and at 2pm; and Brad Brown will give a talk on Sunday, 10th October at 1pm.

Letcher says that Garmin will also be running a competition to win one of four units (a men’s and women’s FR60 and a limited edition men’s and woman’s Forerunner 110 watch), and will also offer a 5% discount on Garmin Fitness products purchased from any participating Cape Union Mart and Sportsmans Warehouse stores. The competition draw will take place at 1.30pm on Sunday, 10th October with Brad Brown.

“We are delighted to be able to showcase Garmin’s range of fitness products at this year’s Look & Feel Good Expo. We want to ensure that professionals and fitness enthusiasts alike have the opportunity to see and experience the full range of available products and accessories Garmin has on offer,” Letcher says.

“Having a trusted Garmin training assistant on your wrist or mounted on your bicycle’s handlebars takes the guess work out of training and gives you the facts, which will help you to train harder, find areas to improve on, and reach your goals just like the professionals.”

Smokoo: A Modern Aladdin’s Cave

By admin, 23 września, 2010, No Comment

When browsing through the recent offerings on the Smokoo.co.za online auction site, it would be easy to draw the conclusion that one had lost touch with trends in modern technology.

By now, most South African internet users have been made aware via press releases, newsletters and social networks that Smokoo has a reputation for outrageous discounts and tension filled excitement.

Their new generation pay-to-bid online auction site has captured the attention of thousands of visitors and enabled many of them to buy top-quality branded items for mere lunch money.

In addition to these awesome bargains, however, this innovative new site has been filling its virtual shelves with a selection of some of the most desirable and hard-to-find electronic items ever seen in the country. In fact, you may have never even have heard of some of them!

Take the “Dell Streak Tablet”, for example.  First released in May this year in the UK and a month or so later in the United States, it is still something of a rarity in South Africa. This amazing little widget is a hybrid device, that operates somewhere between a smart phone and a netbook and combines the functions of a mobile phone, a video messaging system, a laptop computer, a Gameboy and an MP3 player. Always exploring the cutting edge of technology,  Smokoo became the  first local auction site to offer South Africans the product and one of its bidders recently grabbed this R9 000 gem for just R14.39.

Flat screen TVs are not exactly new, but LED driven models most certainly are. Claimed to outperform and outlast the more common LCD technology, the LED format appears set to become the new benchmark for high definition TV sets. Once again Smokoo has gone the extra mile to bring their members the latest and best and, tonight at 8.00pm, the clock will begin counting down on a truly amazing SONY LED 40” model. Not only is it compatible with everything but the kitchen sink, this machine can even detect when there has  been nobody in the room for a while and switch itself off.

Among the other highly sought-after goods to find their way into the homes of lucky Smokoo bidders was this year’s big double act from Apple. Several of those amazing iPads that combine all the facilities of a Kindle online book reader with the full functionality of a hand-held computer were among the first to be won and these were closely followed by a clutch of iPhone 4 mobiles. Naturally, every one of these still-rare toys was bought for less than two percent of the recommended retail price.

For the electronics fan, Smokoo has positioned itself as a veritable Aladdin’s cave with distinctly modern tastes. However, for those less interested in gadgets, there is still the prospect of a Louis Vuitton handbag for the ladies, a Rolex Daytona for the gents or a relaxing vacation for the couples.  At Smokoo, all things appear possible.

On-site courier service for laptops

By admin, 23 września, 2010, No Comment

Notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company (www.notebook.co.za), now offers an on-site courier service that will speed up customer delivery of new laptops, repaired laptops, or rental laptops.

This is after PostNet in Queenswood (Pretoria) relocated to the office block owned by The Notebook Company, situated in Hatfield, Pretoria.

“Our nationwide deliveries will now be conducted faster and smoother,” said Riley. He said the two companies had agreed to “collaborate”.

“We are now in a position to make courier deliveries within 24 hours to your nearest PostNet outlet, or within 48 hours to a client’s physical address,” said Riley.

C.a.T.S provides free IBM Lotus software to Addulam school in Secunda

By admin, 23 września, 2010, No Comment

In a social responsibility initiative worth R50 000 Computer Assisted Telephony Systems (CaTS), one of a number of active business partners for IBM’s lotus Foundations Start solution – a version of Lotus specifically aimed at the small and medium enterprise business market – has provided software to a 140-student underprivileged school in Addulam, Secunda.

The software donation will now give the school access to up to date business software, including e-mail and Internet connections.

This was confirmed by Johan Grobler, MD of CaTS, who said the company had recently launched its social responsibility programme and will “be targeting schools with IBM’s Lotus Foundation Start Solution.”

“We are going to try and donate as much as we can to schools, or at least offer substantial discounts – but were are certainly going to be targeting the educational sector,” he said.

The new ‘sewn-off’ IBM Loutus solution – which still comes with all the necessary features – is said to be around 50% cheaper then the “fully-fledged version”, said Grobler.

“Adullam is not a big school, but most of the students are under-privileged, so this is a rewarding programme for us. We are also able to offer fairly hefty discounts to schools, including pre-schools, as IBM itself has an education drive and is offering its business partners 50% discounts on its software in some instances.

“So this is not purely a CaTS drive. We luckily are enjoying the support of a large IT player in the market, which gives us space to maneoevere our prices and, in so doing, give back to the community. But with the Adullam school deal we are simply giving them the software – and installing it for free. It will be a big boon for the students,” he said.

Samsung makes dreams come true

By admin, 22 września, 2010, No Comment

Samsung, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, along with their local partner The Triple Trust Organisation are delighted to be holding the Samsung Real Dreams Graduation ceremonies in Johannesburg and Cape Town on the 22nd and 29th September respectively.

In 2009 Samsung partnered with the International Youth Foundation (IYF) to launch the Samsung Real Dreams initiative to increase economic activity in Africa by promoting job skills and preparing youth for successful, long-term careers. “The program ran throughout 2009, aiming to empower over 4,500 young people across the Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South African regions with the right opportunities, tools and training needed to realise their dreams,” says Andrea Hattingh, Corporate Responsibility Manager at Samsung Electronics SA. “Today this becomes a reality for our South African graduates, of whom we are exceptionally proud.”

During the last year, Samsung assisted in the training of 290 young South African adults from disadvantaged backgrounds in the skills they will need to be able to successfully find employment and give back to their communities. Continues Hattingh; “Leveraging Samsung’s technology innovation and expertise, Samsung Real Dreams students develop a diverse range of job-related competencies including ICT training, vocational skills, life skills for employability, leadership, entrepreneurship and more. In turn, they benefit from job placement and enterprise development services in their community.”

Samsung believes that assisting today’s youth with career- as well as life skills, is a critical step for not only the individuals themselves, but also for the social and economic development and upliftment of the country and will continue to drive and support what they view to be a critical initiative. Concludes Hattingh; “We are delighted to see this group of South African students graduate. We would like to wish them well as they start their careers and use these newly learnt skills to empower themselves to compete favourably for jobs and fulfil their dreams and aspirations for a better future for themselves and their communities.”

Microsoft’s take on print and online advertising

By admin, 22 września, 2010, No Comment

A White Paper from Microsoft found that more people, below the age of 34, regularly use the Internet over reading a newspaper

The roles of print and online media in Europeans’ lives are changing – and print and online advertising strategies need to follow suit if they are to maximise exposure to consumers throughout the day.

These are the findings of a new White Paper from Microsoft Advertising, which surveys key print media audiences in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the UK and Switzerland. It includes important insights for how best to use print and online advertising to target those information-hungry consumers exposed to both.

The number of Europeans regularly using the internet is projected to surpass those reading a newspaper by 2012 (and already does amongst those below the age of 34). Just as rapid is a shift in the roles that the two channels play in readers’ lives. Amongst Europeans who read both print and online media, the internet is used more frequently, provides access to a greater range of content and information, and is fast taking on many of the most compelling qualities of traditional newspapers and magazines.

In an average day, newspaper or magazine readers spend more than four times as long online as they do with their print publication, drawn to a broader range of content including games, video, music, analysis, news and conversations.

More than three quarters (76%) of Europeans who both read print publications and use the internet consider the web their more comprehensive source of information, and 69% agree that they can find all of the information they need online.

When comparing print and online advertising campaigns, online emerges as an increasingly essential channel at every stage of a consumer’s path to purchase, whether users are searching for product recommendations, seeking reassurance or comparing brands. Web users also show loyalty to their favourite websites, with 84% visiting these at least once a day.

The findings suggest that marketers should ensure that the balance between print and online advertising reflects their changing roles in audiences’ consumption habits, in particular online’s growing importance at different stages of the purchase funnel and its increased relevance and trust.

While print still has a role to play in brands’ advertising strategies, online is rapidly becoming a dominant medium by enabling more dynamic advertising through a wide choice of formats and channels which allow brands to engage with audiences through highly creative and targeted messages.

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