Archive for Wrzesień, 2010

BlackBerry Pearl 3G Smartphone in South Africa

By admin, 7 września, 2010, No Comment

Research In Motion (RIM) today announced the new BlackBerry® Pearl™ 3G (model 9105), the smallest BlackBerry® smartphone yet. The new smartphone will soon be available from MTN and Vodacom for customers in South Africa.*

Despite its impressively compact and elegant design, this stylish new handset is a powerful 3G BlackBerry smartphone with uncompromising performance and top–of-the-line features.

The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone is as powerful as it is compact. Measuring less than 50mm wide and weighing only 93g, it still manages to pack in support for high-speed 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) networks, Wi-Fi® (b/g/n) and GPS, along with a powerful processor that drives stunning images on the sharp, high-resolution display. It also features an optical trackpad for smooth navigation, dedicated volume and media keys for added convenience, a 3.2 MP camera with flash for quality pictures on the go, and support for up to 32 GB of personal content.

“We expect a broad range of new and existing customers will be drawn to this smartphone’s unique combination of powerful features and compact design,” said Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa at Research In Motion (RIM). “This fashionable phone packs in a wide range of advanced and easy-to-use features and includes a comfortable alphanumeric keyboard for quickly typing out messages.”

Key features of the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G smartphone include:

•    Elegant candybar design measuring 108mm x 50 mm x 13.3 mm and weighing only 93 grams
•    624 Mhz processor with 256 MB Flash memory
•    360×400 sharp-resolution display (238 ppi)
•    Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth, plus a comfortable keyboard that enables quick and accurate typing
•    Media player for videos, pictures and music (music plays up to 30 hours), plus dedicated media keys integrated along top of the handset
•    3.2 MP camera with zoom, autofocus, flash and video recording**
•    Built-in GPS for location-based applications such as BlackBerry® Maps, as well as photo geotagging
•    Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) – first BlackBerry smartphone to support ‘n’
•    microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards
•    Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth® (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the emerging Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories
•    Access to BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
•    Support for BlackBerry® Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes® and Windows Media® Player music with the smartphone***
•    Support for tri-band UMTS/HSDPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks
•    Removable, rechargeable 1150 mAhr battery that provides approximately 5.5 hours of talk time on 3G networks

The new BlackBerry Pearl 3G (model 9105) features a 14-key traditional phone keyboard and uses SureType® software that can complete words as the user types, making typing fast and accurate.

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G ships with BlackBerry® 5 and is BlackBerry® 6 ready. BlackBerry 6 is a new operating system for BlackBerry smartphones that retains the trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh and engaging experience that is both powerful and easy to use. BlackBerry 6 is expected to be available for the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, subject to carrier certifications, in the coming months.

* Check with carriers for specific information on availability and pricing.
** Video recording requires a microSD card, which may be sold separately.
*** Certain music files may not be supported, including files that contain digital rights management technologies. Photo syncing is currently only available for Windows-based PCs.

Services-minded Technology Strategy

By admin, 7 września, 2010, No Comment

Leon Erasmus, HP Technology Services Country Manager (HP South Africa), looks at how a services-minded strategy, along with the right funding options, can provide a winning outcome for even the most challenged CIO.

Managing an information technology budget is often like managing a professional sports team. In the sports world, team owners look to managers to acquire the brightest talent and maintain a winning team while keeping a watchful eye on the results. In the technology world it’s the same concept; chief executive officers (CEOs) look to chief information officers (CIOs) to acquire and maintain the latest technology to drive innovation with expected returns.

One winning solution for CIOs is to plan for change, so that functionality can be quickly and easily added as the business requires it. A services-minded technology strategy, from cloud computing to outsourcing, will help the business stay a step ahead of the competition. In developing a technology playbook, ensuring that today’s innovation does not become tomorrow’s legacy is critical to a victorious outcome.

Step one: Redirect investment from operations to innovation.

A global survey of more than 500 business and technology executives commissioned by HP and conducted by Coleman Parkes Research Ltd. in April 2010, reveals that one out of every two business executive’s feel their companies suffer from innovation gridlock. Innovation gridlock is a situation where IT organisations are blocked from driving new business innovation because the majority of their funding is consumed by operating the current environment. More than 50 percent of business and technology executives feel this gridlock prevents their organisations from keeping up with the competition.

By adopting technologies like cloud computing, CIOs are able to lower costs and redirect funds to fuel innovation and help drive business growth. New cloud-based services can quicken time to market for new offerings, improve efficiency, and free up resources while lowering the risks associated with the adoption and management of cloud computing initiatives.

These types of offerings help organisations get applications in a much quicker and more efficient way than it takes for current processes to deploy applications.

It is crucial to take into account the full lifecycle of cloud services by helping CIOs plan and design, automate and manage, and most importantly, assure that cloud services will meet the performance as well as cost objectives required to drive business outcomes. In cases, these projects can be “self-funding,” meaning that CIOs are not asking CEOs for more money, but rather, improving upon what is already in place.

Step two: Obtain essential knowledge and know-how to make the most of technology solutions.

Excellence in business is dependent upon excellence across an organisation’s technology environment. That, in turn, demands expert staff and an efficient technology infrastructure that is highly available, consistently reliable, readily scalable and totally secure. Enterprise infrastructures are inherently complex and rely heavily on skilled staff. However, many technology companies are challenged with having the in-house expertise to prevent and rapidly resolve issues associated with these complexities.

Outsourcing services help CIOs simplify and streamline their organisation’s infrastructure environment to achieve business goals while reducing costs as well as maintaining their competitive edge. Outsourcing services should work to support businesses, helping clients drive measurable value from technology investments.  This can dramatically reduce the time, cost, complexity, disruption and risks associated with creating and managing dynamic data centres as well as updating existing applications.

Step three: Transform the approach to facilities and IT resourcing to reduce ongoing energy and operation outlays.

Organisations need ever increasing computing capabilities to stay competitive, yet many data centres are reaching their capacity limits.  As the workload requirements for data centres increase so does the need for power and cooling increase.  At the same time, technology executives are tasked with reducing overall energy costs as well as lowering the organisations carbon footprint.

Engaging in a services approach can help overcome these challenges. Services organisations are able to devise and implement a sustainable energy-efficiency strategy to:

•    Eliminate over-provisioning of power and cooling resources
•    Improve power usage effectiveness
•    Analyse the impact of prospective changes in layout, equipment or cooling capacity
•    Identify the return on investment of moving to industry benchmark best practices.

Whether it’s a sports team seeking out the next great sports star, or an enterprise business developing a data centre that is engineered for change, the best move is to utilise experts that can ensure success. A services-minded strategy, along with the right funding options, can provide a winning outcome for even the most challenged CIO.

Looking Up; Kodak see’s a light at the end of the tunnel, they just hope it’s not a train!

By admin, 7 września, 2010, No Comment

HP Pro 3120 for space conscious SMBs

By admin, 6 września, 2010, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) has expanded its business orientated range of PCs by introducing the HP Pro 3120 Small Form Factor PC and the HP Pro 3120 Mini-tower Business PC to their product offering. These business desktops offer the ideal solution for Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) and are performance and space conscious with their compact design but powerful processing power.

The HP Pro 3120 business desktops are half the size of a conventional PC but offer all the standard performance that business users require to run Microsoft Office productivity applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as well as Line of Business Applications such as Pastel or Orange Accounting and other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Applications. The intelligent, multi-core technology behind the Intel Core processor enables these computers to multi-task applications, determining where the processing power is needed most, making the PCs highly efficient, reliable and durable for typical office environment needs.

“The difference between the two form factors is that the HP Pro Small Form Factor PC incorporates available optional wireless networking and internal antennas for 802.11 WiFi allowing users with limited workspace to have a neat and cable free working area,” comments Deon Botha HP PSG Product Specialist at DCC.

The best feature of the HP Pro 3120 business desktop is the flexibility, enabling users to expand and adapt as their business needs evolve. With available ports, slots and bays that allow for customisable configuration users can easily configure the PCs to meet their needs today and expand the capabilities for future requirements.

“The main advantage of the HP Pro 3120 Mini-tower business PC is its upgradability, which allows for investment protection and better return on investment as users stretch their Rands and lengthen their refresh periods – a benefit in an uncertain economy,” comments Botha.

Both desktops provide out-of-the-box productivity with Windows 7 Operating Systems, dual monitor support when upgraded with a second screen card, a variety of optical drives, hard drive capacities of up to 2 TB and up to 8 GB DDR3 SDRAM memory. HP preinstalled software such as HP ProtectTools Suite, HP Power Manager and MacAfee Total Protection Suite ensure the PC is ready to operate optimally ‘out the box’ from the first power up.

CIOs play a key role in security

By admin, 6 września, 2010, No Comment

Africa brings unique experiences and visions to IT and security

Kenya is preparing to host the CIO Africa Summit, a conference designed specifically with the CIO in mind, which will explore and define the emerging disciplines critical to organisational effectiveness to compete on a global scale – one of these being security.

Says Sergey Novikov, head of EEMEA Research Centre, Kaspersky Lab; “Given East Africa’s recent Internet connectivity boom, with the landing of SEACOM, it’s interesting to note that the number of security infections in Kenya has increased approximately 10 times since the landing of the fibre cable and roughly 4 times during the last 6 months. What’s more, today Kenya ranks number 1 on the list of East African countries for computers that are infected with dangerous threats and malicious viruses.”

Such statistics are cause for major concern as hackers infect computers to gain access to private and important information, from personal banking details to company data bases and information that should not be shared.

“Looking at the number of security detections in East Africa during the last eight months, Kenya ranked in first place with 40%, Tanzania in second place with 14% and Ethiopia in 11th place with 1.1%. However, on an international scale, in terms of security threats, Kenya has less than 1% and ranks at 37th place, but the percentage of infected computers in Kenya is one of the highest,” continues Novikov.

“The threat landscape continues to change and the conference will bring together pertinent market players to discuss investments in strategic IT initiatives to maximise efficiency and define the challenges and opportunities of IT security for the continent, making its findings a critical component for all CIOs operating in Africa, to consider. CIOs have a priority role to play in security and they need to understand this role now more than ever. As more digitisation takes place and more broadband becomes available, security becomes more of a challenge and CIOs need to ensure that not only are they on top of industry threats and developments, but that they work closely with skilled and professional security officers, educating staff and managers around the dangers and how to patch systems and remain security wise.”

Taking place at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, The CIO Africa Summit will bring together CIOs who are currently investing in innovative solutions which will positively impact their bottom line to meet with solution providers who will need to position themselves at those precise IT investment hot-spots to reap the benefits. While CIOs in Africa will look to budget IT spend effectively, their investments must emphasise the use of IT to put their organisations in a competitive position during these game changing times.

“As a leading provider of secure content solutions, Kaspersky Lab is proud to be part of this all important conference and feel that our participation not only enables us to share our immense knowledge and expertise, but allows us to actively participate in addressing the most topical and pressing security issues to improve not only the role of the CIO, but also African business development going forward,” concludes Novikov.

Nology signs on Du Pont Telecom to distribute Yealink range

By admin, 3 września, 2010, No Comment

Nology, a supplier of quality security-driven broadband, networking and communication solutions, is pleased to announce that it has signed Du Pont Telecom to become an official distributor of the company’s range of Yealink products.

Du Pont Telecom specialises in the distribution of world-class voice communication solutions throughout South Africa and Africa, and will be adding the Yealink ‘T’ range of IP and video phones as well as accessories such as expansion modules and headsets to its comprehensive product offering.

“We approached Du Pont to become a distributor as the organisation is an established player in the telecoms field and is recognised as an industry expert. It also has a good footprint into sub-Saharan Africa, which opens up new markets for us,” says Gregory Solz, Sales Manager at Nology. “They can also provide a range of value added services that we, as a hardware vendor, do not offer.”

Yealink VoIP phones offer quality high definition voice technology to users at a much lower price point than competing products. This makes HD voice technology more affordable to small and medium businesses. Combined with crystal clear LCD displays and intuitive touch screens on the video phone devices, Yealink brings high end technology within reach of more consumers.

“The Yealink VoIP phones are a brilliant product and we were looking to import them ourselves when Nology approached us. These products complete the loop for us, allowing us to offer full service cloud telecoms,” says Robert Don, Distribution Manager at Du Pont Telecom. “The products themselves are very well manufactured and the speakers offer great clarity of voice. They compete with top of the range devices but come in at entry level on pricing so value for money is excellent. There is nothing on the market that can compete with the Yealink range in terms of value.”

Both Nology and Du Pont Telecom expect the agreement to be a mutually beneficial one as there are many synergies between the two companies, including a strong focus on research and development and high levels of service. From Du Pont’s side Nology has a strong business strategy and is able to procure volume stock so that distributors benefit from lower prices.

For Nology, the benefit comes from Du Pont’s established footprint as well as industry knowledge and ability to fully understand, install and support the products they sell.

“Our strategy going forward is to make the Yealink range our flagship products, with the aim to use the products on every install. We will take it to our dealer base, look for new channels and market aggressively to our existing ones,” says Don.

The Yealink phones feature modern, stylish aesthetics, support for advanced functionality such as HD voice, full-duplex hands-free speakerphones, head-set boards, and connectivity to Wide Area Networks (WANs). The products are available through Du Pont effective immediately.

Phishing campaign lures McDonald’s fans with cash offer

By admin, 3 września, 2010, No Comment

Sophos is warning computer users to be cautious following the discovery of a widespread spam campaign that is promising cash in return for completing a McDonald’s customer satisfaction survey.  The emails, claiming to be sent by “McDonald’s Survey Department” and with the subject line “McDonald’s Customer Survey” direct recipients to the survey that poses questions on McDonald’s food.

Once the survey has been completed, computer users are asked to provide a raft of personal information, including their credit card number and security code, so that they can receive a $90 payment for taking the time to complete the questions.

“Exploiting online surveys is a popular way for scammers to make money as legitimate customer satisfaction surveys are becoming increasingly common,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

“While it is not unusual to be offered a reward for completing an online survey, a legitimate questionnaire will never ask you to part with your credit card details.  Anyone falling for the scam is more likely to have their bank account emptied by the spammers.”

Sophos believes that some users may be more likely to hand over their information to the scammers behind the McDonald’s phish.

“Ironically, some internet users may be more likely to hand over their credit card information in these instances because they’re more used to receiving phishing emails pretending to come from online banks. Phishers use a multitude of disguises – posing not just as online banks, but social networks, online stores, web email providers and now fast food giants too.”

Sophos recommends that companies protect themselves with a consolidated solution which can defend against the threats of spam, hackers, spyware and viruses.

Virtualising Business-Critical Applications Made Easy

By admin, 3 września, 2010, No Comment

Symantec Corp. today announced key technology developments designed to help customers more effectively deploy, protect and manage their essential applications and databases running in virtual environments. Security, availability and data protection challenges have restrained many organisations from realising the full benefits of virtualisation for the applications that are critical to their businesses, including CRM, ERP and email. Symantec’s integrated solutions for security, high availability, endpoint management, storage management and backup and recovery enable customers of all sizes to benefit from virtualisation, trusting that their business-critical applications are secure, available and recoverable in spite of the high demand placed upon them.

High Availability

Virtualisation of business-critical applications has become mainstream, and many organisations are moving applications such as MS SQL, MS Exchange, Oracle databases, and SAP to virtual platforms.  Virtualisation provides simple and robust infrastructure availability, but until now has lacked solutions to protect applications inside virtual machines.  Based on industry-leading Veritas Cluster Server technology, Symantec ApplicationHA integrates with VMware vCenter™ Server and VMware High Availability to ensure high availability for applications running in virtual machines. Symantec ApplicationHA complements VMware HA with application health monitoring and control. The recently announced ApplicationHA is the result of extensive collaboration between Symantec and VMware to help organisations accelerate the virtualisation of business-critical applications while providing simple application-aware availability.

Storage Management

At VMworld 2010 Symantec is also unveiling Symantec VirtualStore, a new solution designed to minimise storage costs in VMware environments. As organisations scale their virtual environments, they face increasing storage requirements and performance bottlenecks associated with retaining hundreds or even thousands of virtual machine images. Based on Veritas Storage Foundation technology, VirtualStore is a software-based NAS solution that scales servers and storage independently, efficiently provisions virtual machines, and delivers advanced storage optimisation capabilities for VMware environments. VirtualStore was developed in collaboration with VMware and integrates with VMware’s management tools such as VMware vCenter Server and VMware vMotion™.

Backup and Recovery

Applications handle an organisation’s most important information, and regular, reliable and efficient backups are essential. But the backup process itself can’t interfere with the performance of the production application. Symantec NetBackup 7 provides streamlined protection across both physical and virtual environments, helping organisations reduce complexity, maximise operational efficiency, centralise administration and simplify recovery. NetBackup 7 natively integrates with the VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection, supports VMware vSphere™ 4.1, and delivers flexible, built-in virtual machine-optimised deduplication.

Symantec Backup Exec 2010 helps small and midsized organisations backup and restore an entire virtual machine or a granular data object from a single pass backup, reducing backup and recovery times and shrinking storage hardware requirements. Backup Exec 2010 includes new support for VMware vSphere 4.1 with block-level backups including incremental/differential support to reduce backup windows and storage costs. Data deduplication can also be applied to VMware client backups to further reduce and consolidate storage resources.

Security

Symantec is working closely with VMware to ensure Symantec security solutions work seamlessly in VMware deployments. Symantec security solutions are optimised for virtual environments and help harden servers, secure endpoints and enforce security policies.

Symantec Critical System Protection provides real-time hardening and intrusion monitoring while maintaining high performance and availability.  It protects the VMware vSphere host and guest instances with layered controls. The resource utilisation leveling technology in Symantec Endpoint Protection is crafted to ensure simultaneous scans and updates don’t impact performance of virtual hosts.  The Symantec Protection Center centralises security management, to manage, update and monitor security policies and configurations across both physical and virtual environments.   Symantec Brightmail Gateway 9.0 is optimised for VMware vSphere and is certified as a VMware Ready™ Virtual Appliance, enabling customers to scale their messaging security infrastructure while taking advantage of the resource utilisation benefits of virtualisation.

Endpoint Virtualisation and Management

Desktops and laptops, rich clients and thin clients, physical desktops and virtual desktops, shared systems and dedicated systems each have their place in today’s enterprise. With all of this disparity, manageability has become the next big challenge for IT. Symantec Endpoint Virtualisation Suite turns this challenge into an opportunity with dynamic desktops and application provisioning, application conflict elimination, and proactive license compliance and optimisation.

In addition, Symantec’s endpoint management solutions seamlessly manage VMware environments and maintain the stability of tier-one applications. Altiris Server Management Suite 7.0 from Symantec provides the essential capabilities to discover, provision, manage and monitor server infrastructures across a range of physical and virtual platforms, allowing IT administrators to increase the availability of applications and automate manual efforts to ensure a consistent, reliable and supportable IT environment.

Paperless contracts for cellphones

By admin, 2 września, 2010, No Comment

Nashua Mobile has become the first telecommunications service provider in South Africa to offer a completely paperless process for customers that are signing up for cellular contracts. The company has implemented a digital signature solution in partnership with Signatura, a specialist provider of solutions for secure paperless contracts.

The move towards digital capture of signatures will make the process of signing up for contracts faster and more convenient for Nashua Mobile customers. In addition, it supports the company’s migration towards paperless business processes in line with its goal to conduct business in a more environmentally friendly manner. The system went live nationwide on September 1, just in time for Arbour Day.

Says Barry Venter, General Manager for Business Services at Nashua Mobile: “Customers that visit any of our stores countrywide to sign up for a new contract, or that get a new handset delivered to them by our courier partner RTT, will be able complete the process without signing a single piece of paper.

“They will enjoy a faster, more convenient experience since there will be no more need to print, scan and photocopy documents any more. In addition, we will be able to cut down on the amount of paper that we use, which will benefit the environment.”

Nashua Mobile has been long been on a drive to reduce the amount of paper in its business to benefit the environment. It has a longstanding partnership with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) and makes a donation of R10.00 to FTFA for every Nashua Mobile subscriber who opts to receive monthly accounts by email instead of in the post. To date, this initiative has helped FTFA to plant about 5,000 trees in total.

Customers will be able to store their contracts electronically on their cell phones or personal computers. In addition, the move towards a fully electronic process will reduce opportunities for data capture errors to creep in. From Nashua Mobile’s perspective, eliminating the need to recapture data from application forms and other documents will allow the company to streamline business processes and save time and money.

The customer’s signature is captured on a digital signature pad and is electronically attached to the electronic ‘paperwork’ generated by Nashua Mobile’s systems. The signature is stored in an encrypted format for security reasons and cannot be copied. It is also time and date stamped so that it cannot be reused for any purpose besides the original contract it is attached to. Any attempt to change the document after it has been signed will invalidate both the signature and the contract.

The digital signatures also strengthen security by offering more information than paper-based signatures and offers biometric functionality. This form of digital signature is recognised by the Electronic Communications & Transactions Act, and makes paperless contracts legally binding.

bizhub: Thinking inside the box

By admin, 2 września, 2010, No Comment

Electronic document management has become both simple and straightforward with the bizhub business process management (BPM) range of solutions by Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa.

“Today’s organisations need document management solutions that go beyond mere document creation and filing,” says Mohammed Vachiat, product manager at Konica Minolta South Africa. “Business users need ease of access to any type of content or document when and where they need it and the ability to control documents throughout the organisation so that they are secure and accessible.”

According to Vachiat, bizhub BPM offers a complete answer to any business’ electronic content and document management need, irrespective of the size of the business. “It delivers on the promises of document security, control and access without the technical complexity and cost typically associated with document management solutions.”

He adds that bizhub BPM has the ability to automate repetitive business processes using configurable workflow, by ensuring that these tasks are completed as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. “That means managers can monitor and measure performance and ensure optimum output from the business and its most costly resource – staff.”

The solution integrates directly and easily with popular applications such as Microsoft Office and QuickBooks. This allows for instant archival of items such as purchase orders, delivery notes, e-mails, mail attachments, invoices and other important documents.

“bizhub BPM is compatible with an existing office copier or multifunction device, so no special scanners are required to convert paper and hard copy documents into electronic format as they are received,” says Vachiat. It is also browser-based for ease of user adoption and instant return on investment.

“Furthermore, bizhub BPM simplifies compliance by ensuring that a business easily meets its legal and regulatory document storage requirements. It helps a business speed up month-end cycles and lengthy audit processes with its quick and user-friendly system functionality,” he adds.

Other benefits include: freedom from paper, no annual license fees, unlimited users, configurable workflow, support for multiple types of content and file formats, including video and audio, easy finance model with no upfront capital outlay, and installation and configuration included.

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