Archive for Październik, 2010

Take on the world of online shopping with mimoney and Wantitall

By admin, 18 października, 2010, No Comment

If you want it all, and you want it now, www.mimoney.co.za is your port of call. mimoney has teamed up with www.wantitall.co.za, a South African online store that can get you anything you can imagine, from anywhere on the planet. Wantitall joins a steadily growing list of mimoney partners including Ster Kinekor, Mr. DELIVERY, www.kalahari.net, www.ewine.co.za, www.edreams.co.za, www.healthspas.co.za, www.netflorist.co.za and more….

www.wantitall.co.za is like a virtual Dubai – when you go there to shop, you’ll never leave empty-handed. We all know that the coolest stuff in the world comes from the United States and how about those exotic treasures like genuine Samurai swords from Japan? Think of any random commodity and you’ll find it on this site – there’s also books, movies, music, video games, electronics, computer hardware and software, musical instruments, jewellery, clothing, health and beauty products, toys, baby products – the list goes on and on.

“Online shopping is becoming a way of life for more and more people and our aim is to make every conceivable product available on the Internet – that’s why we see Wantitall as an ideal business partner,” said John Campbell, business manager at mimoney. “Underlying this is our mandate to make online shopping possible for anyone who is unbanked or doesn’t want to use a credit card online.”

mimoney, powered by Standard Bank, offers you a way to shop online without the need for a credit card. Customers don’t even need a bank account to use mimoney. Your mobile phone becomes your virtual wallet – very handy since no one ever goes anywhere without it, and very safe as unlike credit cards, mimoney can’t be stolen even if your mobile phone grows legs.

“For us at Wantitall, our mandate is ‘I want it all and I want it right now’.  We believe in providing flexible payment mechanisms that makes it as easy as possible for our customers to order and purchase.  mimoney is a tried and tested product powered by Standard Bank and that makes it a welcome partner to Wantitall.  The fact that it is mobile based, makes it doubly cool,” said Justin Drennan, who heads up Wantiall.

There are absolutely no transaction fees for customers when it comes to spending mimoney. The currency can be bought at Ster Kinekor self service terminals or box offices, via EFT, through Standard Bank’s online Autopay facility and on the mimoney website. To pay, just enter your phone number and mimoney voucher code at the checkout point of any online store that carries the mimoney logo.

So, make a list of everything you fancy but haven’t been able to find online and get over to www.wantitall.co.za. To find out more about mimoney and which other online stores accept it, visit www.mimoney.co.za.

Way forward is the Cloud, Microsoft

By admin, 18 października, 2010, No Comment

The rapid consumerisation of technology is fundamentally changing the way businesses procure and use information technology (IT) – and is transforming the entire industry in the process, according to one of Microsoft’s top executives.

Speaking at the opening of Tech-Ed Africa 2010 in Durban, Microsoft’s chief technology officer (CTO) of Worldwide Services, Norm Judah, said people increasingly want Monday morning’s technology experience to be the same as their Sunday evening experience, with access to the same data and devices.

“We hear a lot about the cloud, which is effectively the fifth generation of computing,” said Judah. “Fact is, the cloud is dramatically changing the way IT in general is consumed – and this rate of change is accelerating dramatically. The cloud will automate a lot of the cost out of technology, while increasing its agility. If you’re not thinking about the cloud today, why not?”

Tech-Ed Africa 2010 is Microsoft’s premier event for IT professionals and developers, and runs from 17-20 October at Durban’s International Conference Centre (ICC). It is being attended by more than 2 500 delegates from across the continent.

At the event, Microsoft will be showing off its much-anticipated Windows Phone 7 Series and controller-free Kinect gaming system – both of which launch in South Africa next month. It will also be highlighting some of its key cloud-based technologies, including its Lync collaboration platform and recent releases like SQL Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010.

“I don’t know if we’re always going to be talking about the cloud – that’s a word that might last five or ten years. So the real thing to do today is to capture the dimensions of the thing that we’re betting our company on, and pretty much everybody in the technology industry is betting their companies on,” said Judah.

Judah is no stranger to South Africa: he earned his first degree (in electrical engineering) from Wits University before heading abroad in the mid-70s. He has worked for Microsoft for the past 20 years, and has built an impressive reputation as a speaker and a strategic thinker around IT.

Mteto Nyati, Microsoft South Africa’s MD, said cloud computing was becoming a significant part of many conversations. “IT Professionals are looking for more guidance, standards, support and clarity as they begin to plan for cloud. To get it right, we’ll have to collaborate with the business on the answers to these key questions and about business goals and how best to bring IT experience and innovation to the table,” said Nyati.

Tech-Ed will also feature the announcements of several new and upcoming technologies that Microsoft believes will help enable IT professionals and developers to help their organisations save money and improve efficiencies.

“It’s all about ensuring that IT professionals and developers continue to have the platform and technologies to drive maximum value and business results. Getting the most out of IT investments is even more important in today’s economy,” said Nyati.

Apart from Judah, Microsoft has assembled a formidable line-up of local and international speakers for this year’s event, which will include more than 200 in-depth sessions. They include internationally recognised technology expert, bestselling author, and public speaker Michael Noel, and self-confessed geek Lynn Langit, who co-host’s the MSDN Channel 9 geekSpeak series at http://channel9.msdn.com/shows/geekSpeak/.

Links to videos, blogs, product downloads, and other information about this year’s event, can be found at www.teched.co.za.

MWEB launches Centurion store

By admin, 16 października, 2010, No Comment

MWEB, previously an online only brand announced today the opening of its third retail store in South Africa. Situated in Pretoria’s Centurion shopping centre, the concept store is part of a national roll-out strategy of similar retail stores due to open in South Africa over the next few years.

The Centurion store will complement the store openings of Cape Town’s Canal Walk in August 2010 and Johannesburg’s Cresta shopping centre in 2008. The aim of these retail stores are part of MWEB’s strategy in helping to educate the public about the Internet and improving customer support. Customers will be able to seek face-to-face advice from friendly trained consultants, experience the latest technologies on offer before making a purchasing decision and most importantly being able to interact with the MWEB brand.

Says Carolyn Holgate, General Manager of MWEB Connect, “We are continuing to look for means to improve the way our customers experience the Internet. By being the first ISP to launch Uncapped ADSL in South Africa earlier this year we have seen more and more people exploring the best and most affordable connectivity options. We believe that by having a physical place for our customers to come for advice we’re making their overall experience more tangible.”

The Centurion Store features the latest in technology, including various products, two touch screen monitors and an Internet Café where customers can see the best that the Internet has to offer, including being able to view Google Earth and catching up on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. During the month of October the MWEB store will offer a number of promotions on products and reduced rates on Internet connectivity.

For more information, contact the MWEB store at Centurion Mall on 011 340 7270 or email them on centurion@mweb.co,za

Acer appoints Rectron as new South African distributor

By admin, 15 października, 2010, No Comment

Rectron – South Africa’s leading ICT Distributor announces that it has been officially appointed by Acer as a distributor.

Rectron’s appointment comes at a time when the South African market is steadily recovering from the global recession. The company sees Acer as a major addition to its Product Portfolio, expanding its lineup to meet with the company’s post-recession strategy. Rectron has a well-established, nation-wide footprint, and will be working closely with its dealer base ensure that it is able to meet the needs of Acer’s local distribution strategy.

Tony Chiang-Lin, Business Manager at Rectron says that, “Acers wide range of products fit perfectly with our product line-up, allowing us to expand our current portfolio where we will be offering our channel partners Acers products alongside our current brands, allowing our customers the opportunity to substantially expand their breadth in their respective market segments.”

Acer has established a strong market presence globally and through this partnership, provides a major boost for Rectron’s own strategy, which aims to be a major player and market leader in the mobility segment in South Africa.

“It is common knowledge that Acer notebooks are Number One in EMEA and Number Two Globally and, with us picking up Acer, represents a big leap for us in achieving our vision of becoming the Number One mobility distributor in the Southern African Market.  Acer is a great company with great people, and like us we aim to satisfy the needs of the market in South Africa.”, says Mark Lu, CEO of Rectron.

“Acer wants to cover as much of the market as possible with distributors that are dominant in each different market sector which includes channel, retail, corporate, and government,” added Chiang Lin.  “Appointing Rectron helps both companies and brings Acer a bigger channel for distribution.”

Chiang-Lin states that “Acer makes Rectron that much stronger and allows Rectron to expand its reach within the channel.”

Service Levels

Jean Zorich, Acer Distribution Manager, explains, “One of the things we took into consideration is that many customers are not satisfied with the current state of Support and services from some of the other MNC’s, while Acer on the other hand has one of the highest levels of customer service within the country which is a very good fit for Rectron. Both companies share similar business and service ethics, as we both are very much focused on customer centricity and trying to be more service orientated.”

Chiang-Lin maintains that Rectron’s customer centric approach ensures that its clients receive the highest possible levels of service and support within the same levels as the Acer Products.

Notebook strategy

Cheslynne Britz, General Manager at Rectron says “Rectron’s notebook market strategy has been designed to cater for all segments of the market – from consumer to small and micro enterprises (SMMEs), as well as the corporate and government sectors.  Now, we will be providing our customers with more choice through the addition of the Acer product line”.

The current strategy that the company has adopted includes the likes of other leading international brands, including Gigabyte, ASUS, Samsung, and Sony.  While the Acer appointment primarily focuses on notebook products, Rectron’s line-up of Acer products will also include Projectors, Desktop Computers and LCD Monitors.

Cheslynne Britz notes that the new appointment also provides the local channel of dealers and resellers with more choice amongst distributors.

Components Offering

Rectron has been the leading components distributor for some time and the addition of Acer’s desktop product line, further strengthens the component offering and solidifies the company’s dominant position in the market”

Chiang-Lin concludes “Rectron is the number one player in the desktop components space and we want to extend that position into the mobile space as well”.

Online video set to dominate the web

By admin, 15 października, 2010, No Comment

According to NASDAQ listed company Cisco, by 2013 90% of web traffic will be video based.

This change has come about as a result of the growth of online video sharing sites such as YouTube. Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has grown from a popular US dominated site, to a global phenomenon with over 2 billion views per day. It has been joined in the online space by a number of competitors including; Metacafe, Break, Google Video and Dailymotion, all of which are among the world’s top 500 sites.

This growth has been driven by demand, but it begs the question; why is online video so popular and, more importantly, how can one integrate it into a company’s communication strategy?

Benefits
1.    Personal interaction: Video creates a relationship between the person watching and the product or brand in question. From a business perspective this is almost impossible to recreate.
2.    Face to Face communication: Video makes it possible to show something instead of describing it, whilst also communicating emotions and feelings like passion, desire, concern and even remorse. This would have been an ideal platform for BP to communicate a strategic message to the general public during the recent oil spill crisis.
3.    Credibility: The success of most products or brands is built around credibility; it is one thing reading an article about the new iPad, but an altogether different one seeing it being used.
4.    High search rankings: Video is indexed on all major search engines and is increasingly featured among key business terms.
5.    Visual Stimulus/Standout from the noise: As a business your written copy is potentially competing with thousands of other similar releases, for this reason video can be used as a differentiator. By having video embedded into a general release, the likelihood of your article being viewed will increase substantially.

Index your release

Search engines can’t index video effectively, if it is not labelled it won’t show up under the relevant search terms. To ensure that it is easy to find, always include a title and short description to accompany the video.

Video in PR

Successful PR is all about integration; video plays a key role in this and should be used across all available online communication channels to help build brand awareness.

Due to an abundance of written content, internet users are becoming increasingly sceptical about what they read, making video an important alternative. Reading a release about the latest Ferrari might sound interesting, but accompany that with a video showcasing its speed and handling and you will immediately have a captive audience.

Video doesn’t only have to be used for consumer products. If you operate in the satellite or internet cables business, it would make sense to post a short 2/3 minute video on the relevant platform explaining the technology and its benefits to the target market. It can also be used for internal communication. A video message from the company CEO wishing the staff a happy festive season will be far more meaningful than a ten word email.

Mobile to drive video

The number of mobile devices able to capture and upload video content will continue to increase in the future, resulting in more video content than ever being posted directly to the web.

Online video is here to stay and as a business you need to ensure that it forms a key part of both your internal and external communication strategy going forward.

Expanded range of Wi-Fi security solutions

By admin, 15 października, 2010, No Comment

Bringing  comprehensive UTM security and high throughput performances  to WLAN environments

Cyberoam, a division of Elitecore Technologies, today announced an extension to its CR15wi wireless security appliance, with the launch of two more products – CR25wi and CR35wi for SOHO/SMBs. These appliances come with an in-built wireless access point featuring 802.11 n/b/g standards, MIMO technology and up to eight virtual access points. They also deliver wired network-like security coverage for small businesses in a cost-effective way.

Currently, corporate Wi-Fi networks allow common pre-shared keys for guests, ex-employees and other users, a privilege which can be easily misused for information theft, malware propagation and cyber-terrorism attacks. Cyberoam’s wireless security appliances prevent this scenario by allowing administrators to gain visibility on the network activity of end users through a patent-pending Layer 8 technology, thereby ensuring corporate IT guidelines can be enforced successfully.

Says Mr. Abhilash Sonwane, VP-Product Management, Cyberoam, “Through the Layer 8 technology, Cyberoam gives the administrator the power to apply customized restriction policies on a range of parameters including user authentication, duration of access, schedule of access, data transfer limits, bandwidth limits and surfing privileges. In addition, the use of segregated virtual access points in the same physical area prevents rogue Wi-Fi users from connecting to networks where they don’t belong.”

Cyberoam’s new Wi-Fi security appliances also serve as a low-cost replacement of firewalls and Wi-Fi routers for SOHO/SMB organizations up to 50 users who require similar levels of protection for both wireless and wired networks.

Adds Mr. Sonwane, “Through the enhanced Wi-Fi security appliance range, we provide our customers a similar range of features and breakthrough performances as is currently achieved with our ‘accelerator’ series of UTM appliances. CR35wi accomplishes firewall throughputs up to 750 Mbps and UTM throughputs up to 90 Mbps which is a very valuable proposition for small businesses looking for a powerful UTM solution, coupled with the fact that they are also getting Wi-Fi security at the same price.”

Among other benefits of Cyberoam’s wireless security appliance solutions, the usage of MIMO and 802.11n technology improves throughput and range values, thus, enabling faster handling of video streaming and high bandwidth downloads.

Vox Telepreneur enters retail market

By admin, 14 października, 2010, No Comment

Vox Telepreneur, a subsidiary of AltX-listed Vox Telecom, has announced its entry into the retail market through its flagship product, the Vox Supafone, an IP-enabled phone.

“The time is right to offer a premier, cost competitive solution to the consumer via a respected and trusted retail brand such as Makro,” says Clayton Timcke, Vox Telecom Marketing Manager.

The Vox Supafone is available at Makro countrywide for R999 and includes a once-off package of R200 talk time.

“Through this IP-enabled phone, consumers will be able to subsidise their communication bills and maximise their ADSL. This will allow them to manage their monthly telecoms bills more effectively,” says Brad Gatter Executive Head of Vox Telepreneur.

Customers using the Supafone on the Vox network will benefit from high-quality voice calls, rebates on incoming calls,  lower cost outbound calls, as well as free on-net calls from a 1st tier carrier-grade network.

The product is positioned for the home or small business user who has an existing ADSL connection. It’s a simple plug-in-and-go solution which requires no technician and no installation charges.

LG launches South African AV Receiver System

By admin, 14 października, 2010, No Comment

LG Electronics gives South Africans opportunity to “Name and Claim” its latest home entertainment system

LG Electronics, a global leader and technology innovator in home entertainment, is unveiling an AV Receiver system specifically designed for the South African market – the ARX8000 – along with a competition to name the product.

“After a lengthy analysis of the local market, LG developed an AV Receiver system that resonates with performances and addresses the needs local consumers seek in a home theatre purchase. The AV Receiver is ideally suited for the South African public and built according to its specific requirements,” says Dr. Michelle Potgieter, Corporate Marketing and Communications Director at LG Electronics.

The LG AV Receiver system features a stylish glossy black design and boasts 800 watt, 5.2 channel surround sound speakers presenting a maximised sound field and reduced interference. The horn compression tweeter increases power output by 50% compared to a normal driver while the dual subwoofers, with combined output of 300 watts, allow for a more intense bass output, resulting in an extreme listening experience. Consumers can also choose between a system featuring an HDMI DVD or a Blu-Ray player.

Concurrently with the launch of the system LG is running a “name it, claim it” competition. Consumers are challenged to come up with a proudly local name for the new system and also stand a chance to win one of the products as well as R50 000 in LG products. The “name it, claim it” competition is currently active and all name suggestion may be sent via sms to 41860. The second phase of the “name it, claim it” competition will involve the public voting for the best name from a shortlist, with five voters also standing a chance to win an ARX 8000 AV Receiver in the process.

“It’s certainly great to be a part of LG’s new AV Receiver system launch. LG’s style and reliability also perfectly mirrors my personal values,” says DJ Fresh radio and club Disc jockey and product ambassador for this product.

The LG AV Receiver system will be available at most leading retail outlets the first week in October.

The recommended retail prices for the units are:
-    R5 999.99 (featuring an HDMI DVD player)
-    R6 999.99 (featuring a Blu-ray player)

Microsoft looking for the next Mark Shuttleworth

By admin, 13 października, 2010, No Comment

Stand back, Mark Shuttleworth. Get in line, Bill Gates. It’s time for South Africa’s aspiring student computer programmers to strut their stuff in the world’s top student technology competition.

Microsoft has opened entries for the Imagine Cup, where the brightest young minds in the country use technology to tackle the world’s toughest problems. Now in its ninth year, the competition gives students the chance to gain international exposure and turn their ideas into businesses.

This competition is open to any student at a tertiary institution. Students can submit their existing or new projects into the various categories — game design, development and software design — by registering on www.imagine.co.za.  Entries close on 30 October.

The finals take place in early December – and the local winners will get to pit their wits against the world’s best student programmers in New York next year.

“Imagine Cup is a great way for students to apply their creativity, intellect and brainpower to start thinking like entrepreneurs and open up a world of opportunities,” said Nyaladzi Mpofu, the academic developer advisor at Microsoft South Africa.

Winners can not only make a name for themselves in the world of technology. Their projects could secure them an internship or that perfect job – while previous winners have gone straight on to turn their ideas into businesses.

2007 Imagine Cup winner Devin de Vries and his colleagues built a company around ‘Where is my transport’ – a solution that gives Cape commuters up-to-the-minute information on taxis and buses directly to their cellphones.

Last year’s winners, Johannesburg’s Kieron Ekron and Jacobus Bijker, designed a programme that can predict crowd behavior in stadiums, which has real safety and efficiency uses for event like the FIFA Soccer World Cup. These students are proof that South Africans can innovate with the best in the world, and that technology is key to the future of our country.

“Time and again, we’ve seen students lead technology shifts,” says Mpofu. “Sure, R&D often starts with commercial companies and educational institutions, but students are the ones who get to engage with technology and make it real for us.”

Choosing the right information tools for the job

By admin, 13 października, 2010, No Comment

Businesses thrive when executives and managers have timely access to the information they need. But, says idu Managing Director Kevin Phillips, that doesn’t mean everyone needs the same tools.

“Business intelligence (BI) tools can be incredibly powerful,” says Phillips. “They offer great richness and depth of information to senior decision makers. But they are not for everyone: At lower levels of the organisation, full-strength BI is overkill. The systems are expensive, and the information they deliver may be too complex for the cost centre manager who just needs to know a few key metrics.”

But static reports aren’t always the right tools for the job either, says Phillips. “For many companies, the only alternative to BI is to give managers reports directly from the ERP system, either in print or in PDF or spreadsheet format. ERP reports tend not to give enough detail, or to offer information in a format that’s hard to make sense of.”

Spreadsheets introduce a whole range of new problems, adds Phillips, especially once people start doing their own calculations. “You very quickly get to a point where everybody is working on a different interpretation of the facts.”

Business should be looking for the best of both worlds, he says. “That means a web-based solution: You don’t want to have to be installing stuff on multiple PCs and shipping data cubes or pivot tables. You want to allow people to look at and analyse information that’s relevant to them, from a limited range of predefined, useful views on the data.”

It’s important to note, says Phillips, that what should be limited is views on the data, not the amount of detail available. “People should be able to drill down all the way to individual transactions if they need to, in just a few clicks,” he says.  “This provides enough information for effective management, but avoids creating confusion or the analysis paralysis that can flow from having too much irrelevant information.”

Typical managers, he suggests, would benefit most from tools that allow them easily to compare their budgeted vs their actual spending, and their commitments against their budgets. “Managers can only really be effective if they have access to this kind of financial information in real time, not four weeks after the fact in a printed report.”

Information flows should also be two-way, he says. “Companies should look for tools that allow managers to comment on and explain the data. Apart from making information more transparent and easily available to everyone, it means potential problems can be flagged early on. It also saves accountants a lot of time and trouble if they don’t have to phone around asking for explanations. Accountants are expensive staff – they should be spending their time analysing the numbers, not compiling them. “

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