Archive for Listopad, 2010

Harry Potter tops spam list

By admin, 29 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab issues October Spam Report

On 17 November 2010 the long-awaited Harry Porter sequel was released. The release of part 6 in June 2009 went more or less unnoticed by the spammers. After all, Michael Jackson’s death was more sensational news, but this time there are no distractions. The first messages exploiting the release began to appear in early October where spammers offered users free tickets to the premiere. In order to be among the lucky winners, users were asked to click on the “Submit” button and enter their email address along with other personal data.

Of course, there were no tickets to be won – miracles only happen in the movies  Daniel Radcliffe’s portrait was actually being used to advertise a special offer from a deluxe hotel.  These are just some of the outcomes of the Kaspersky Lab October Spam Report.

In addition to the above, the amount of spam in mail traffic decreased by 3.7 percentage points and averaged 77.4% for the month. Recently, there have been major changes among the top 20 sources of spam: in September India took over top spot from long-term leader the USA, and the changes continued in October with Russia unexpectedly claiming first place having distributed 11.3% of all spam. For the first time in a long time, the USA dropped out of the top 10 altogether finishing the month in 18th place. India (8.5%), Ukraine (5.6%), the UK (4.7%) and Brazil (4.5%) were the other leading sources in October.

The dramatic reduction in spam traffic originating from the USA was caused by the closure of the Pushdo/Cutwail and Bredolab botnet command centres, both of which made use of networks of zombie computers that were primarily located in the USA. The activities of a similar computer network infected by Bredolab were seriously impaired following intervention by Dutch law enforcement agencies, which resulted in a further reduction in the overall amount of spam.

Operations by law enforcement agencies also affected the various spam categories. The most important change caused by the closure of the Bredolab botnet command centres was a brief decrease in the quantity of spam that contained malicious attachments. The level of pharmaceutical spam was affected by the closure of the Spamlt partner program on 1st October. However, this had a knock-on effect, allowing adverts for pornography and online casino to regain their niche in the spam market. When one partner program closes, the spammers immediately look for other ways to make money. “It’s very likely that nearer the end of the year spammers will turn to Christmas-related mailings,” added Maria Namestnikova, Senior Spam Analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

In October, PayPal once again had the unenviable distinction of being targeted most by phishers, accounting for one third of all attacks (61.3%), while there was renewed interest in Facebook (8.4%) after a lull in September. The social networking site ended up taking over second place from eBay (4.5%). The other two most popular targets for phishing attacks were HSBC (4.3%) and Blizzard Entertainment (3.5%), the World of Warcraft developer.

The full version of the spam report for October 2010 is available at www.securelist.com

Zycko SA now offering lifetime warranty on all Polycom handsets

By admin, 29 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Zycko South Africa (SA), an official South African distributor of Polycom voice communication solutions, has announced that it will now be providing a lifetime warranty on all Polycom handsets.

Says Fiona McLean-Banks, Polycom Business Development Manager at Zycko, “Our decision to launch this initiative is based on our great faith in the strength of the build of the Polycom range of handsets, which have an impressive failure rate of just 0.4%. We are happy to be able to give our customers the value-add of peace of mind that when they purchase Polycom handsets from us, that the product is covered for the duration of its lifetime.”

The lifetime warranty covers handsets for five years, or for the duration that the product is supported by Polycom (excludes end of life products).

If the phone is deemed faulty by the customer the phone will be tested by Zycko and if a fault is found, it will be swopped out, within the time period dictated by the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in place between the customer and Zycko.

Concludes McLean-Banks, “This move is an extension of our commitment to our resellers and their customers, and is in line with our constant efforts to provide additional benefits and value-adds to complement our offering.”

A new digital press; the anatomy of a new acquisition…

By admin, 27 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Is your RICA registration safe?

By admin, 25 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab shares thoughts on security and how to protect yourself

Created to combat crime, the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act or RICA as it is commonly known makes sure that every single mobile phone and connection in South Africa can be traced to a specific person, but according to Kaspersky Lab, if not handled correctly, it can open up doors to all kinds of new types of abuse.

Says Costin Raiu, Director, Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab; “Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will soon own huge personal databases of personally identifiable information (PII) as RICA requires mobile operators, service providers and sellers to register the identities, physical address and cellular phone numbers of new and existing customers who purchase or have purchased SIM cards – making security a key priority.”

According to Kaspersky Lab, this is a large task for ISPs, as not only are they required to collect the PII information, which can be very difficult with people living in remote areas, but they also need to invest heavily into securing their data storage, not to mention, implement serious security procedures to make sure that the PII data is secure and protected from intruders.

Continues Raiu; “Sadly, there are documented cases where employees of phone companies have abused their access to steal such confidential data which can be later sold on the black market. However, if it is done internally, if auditing is properly implemented, access to the specific PII data can be traced to a login and to a specific person inside the company. Yet, having said that, the merits of fighting cybercrime pertain to external intruders and such security procedures are key as many criminals use proxy servers in countries such as China or Taiwan that make it hard to trace back to the author.”

“Unfortunately, mobile subscribers do not have many options here with regards to giving their personal information as it is a legal requirement, however they can take measures to protect themselves. Make sure that you do not fall victim to attacks designed to trick you into disclosing your personal information – contact your ISP directly and keep an eye on phishing attacks designed around RICA. Be wary of mail messages from unknown persons and when in doubt, always consult with your ISP first,” concludes Raiu.

Business Connexion offers one-stop security with Symantec

By admin, 23 listopada, 2010, No Comment

With the recent award of Symantec Partner of the Year, Business Connexion has again affirmed its status as a leading provider of security solutions.

Business Connexion’s customers derive many benefits from the company’s long-standing relationship with Symantec, who is a global leader in providing security; storage and systems management solutions to help consumers and organisations secure and manage their information-driven world.

With Business Connexion, organisations have access to a single point of contact for the entire range of Symantec security products and services. They also have access to expert staff who supply, deploy and manage the latest security technology.

“Business Connexion has a highly skilled team dedicated to Symantec solutions,” says Eric McGee, divisional manger for information security at Business Connexion.

“Security today is much more than just a matter of antivirus and firewall products. Within the Symantec range, there are specific solutions for secure storage and backup – online or in-house – server protection, security management of client machines, gateway email security and a variety of hosted services.”

Without expert guidance and consulting, customers can find that managing their security requirements is complex and time consuming.

“Business Connexion is not only a vendor and service provider for Symantec technologies,” says McGee. “We are one of a select few who have been approved by Symantec to support their products and services.

“This has several advantages for our customers. They can benefit in terms of pricing but, more importantly, they have a dedicated, single point of contact to resolve all their security issues. And this is provided by our locally based skilled staff – this negates the need for access to overseas support services.”

The Symantec Partner of the Year award attests to Business Connexion’s reputation as a leading provider of that company’s security solutions. It also asserts Business Connexion’s leading position in terms of market share.

“Security remains a primary concern for businesses of any size,” says McGee. “Among our enterprise customers, we have extensive deployments of Symantec technology in layered security models.

“What is especially noteworthy with the latest Symantec products and services is that they are fully enabled for cloud computing. This means that even smaller companies can take advantage of very advanced products and only to the extent that they require – negating the need to pay for the entire package.

“This also means that smaller companies can get the same benefits as the largest enterprise, without prohibitive cost expenditure.”

Top Channel Partners in South Africa for 2010

By admin, 23 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Five Cisco Strategic Partners Honoured with 13 Awards at South Africa Partner Summit

Cisco recognised the performance of its top channel partners in South Africa in 2010 at an awards ceremony, to mark the culmination of the company’s South Africa Partner Summit.

The Cisco Partner Summit South Africa was held at Velmore Estates in Johannesburg on the 18th November 2010. Themed ‘innovate’, the Summit, a forum dedicated to supporting channel and strategic partners,  focused on the company’s strategy for Cisco solutions encompassing  Borderless Networks, Unified Communications, Data Centre & Virtualisation and Collaboration.

The top performing Cisco partner in South Africa was Dimension Data winning seven awards, including Public Sector Partner of the Year and Enterprise Partner of the Year. Business Connexion was recognised with three awards, including Service Provider of the Year, while Comstor was named Distribution Partner of the Year.

Highlights / Key Facts:

The Cisco Partner Awards recognise exemplary channel partners whose business best practices have demonstrably contributed to the success of the customers they serve, through a combination of innovation and operational excellence. Award winners are nominated by local and regional Cisco executives.

The Cisco South Africa Partner award winners for 2010 are:

•    Dimension Data which won seven awards -  Public Sector Partner of the Year; Enterprise Partner of the Year; Data Centre Partner of the Year; Collaboration Partner of the Year ; Borderless Network Partner of the Year; Academy Partner of the Year and Commercial Partner of the Year. The company was commended for contributing significantly to Cisco’s increased revenues and year on year growth in various sectors in South Africa.
•    Business Connexion which walked away with three awards – Service Provider of the Year; Services Partner of the Year and Product Champion of the Year. They were recognised for amongst other accolades, the development of innovative new Cisco Managed Services, product bundles, their sales approach, their adoption of Cisco channel programmes, collaboration with Cisco teams as well as active participation in Cisco events.
•    Tarsus (Marius Vermeulen) was awarded Product Champion of the Year for owning and driving Cisco initiatives as well as their collaboration with Cisco teams.
•    Comstor was awarded Distribution Partner of the Year for creating the best home-grown incentive initiatives and being Cisco’s best performing distributor.
•    NIL Africa was awarded Learning Partner of the Year for their success in end user certification as well as alignment and leading with architecture.

Kaspersky gives business IT a boost

By admin, 22 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab Delivers High Value to Business IT Security through its New and Refreshed Product Line

Kaspersky Lab has announced the launch of its new and refreshed product line for business customers. The range of solutions that the company will be launching is especially designed to meet the anti-malware protection needs of businesses of all sizes and complexity.

Kaspersky Lab’s corporate products and solutions line targets small, medium-size and large businesses, as well as public-sector organisations. A high level of security, an ability to adapt to changing objectives, scalability, compatibility with a variety of platforms, high performance, fault tolerance, ease of operation and cost effectiveness makes the line an optimal choice for a company, no matter how large it is. One of the principal advantages of Kaspersky Lab’s corporate product line is convenient administration: the system is managed efficiently across the network, regardless of the number and types of platforms.

This range of solutions provides world-class protection for a broad spectrum of corporate IT infrastructure: from gateways to smartphones. The products and solutions are easily integrated into the heterogeneous corporate IT environment, protecting servers, gateways, network storage, workstations, terminals and mobile devices. It is also compatible with the range of platforms that are popular among business customers and the latest versions of operating systems and applications. It also supports virtualisation and hierarchical data storage.

The updated corporate products and solutions line has flexible configuration settings: system administrators can configure in-depth scanning of certain objects at their discretion and choose the right balance between scanning depth and speed. The Kaspersky Administration Kit is a tool that is used to set policies and organise and monitor protection of the corporate IT infrastructure, providing excellent levels of reporting and problem resolution. Security updates only need to be downloaded once to a selected server and can be propagated from there to the rest of the infrastructure, whether simple or highly complex, helping achieve significant Internet traffic savings.

Anti-virus scans can be performed and updates downloaded in accordance with an optimized schedule, e.g., during periods of minimum load. Default settings will suit most companies, allowing them to deploy and use protection without additional time and labor expenditure. Product interfaces have been simplified and optimised. They are user-friendly and provide access to all the necessary information.

Kaspersky Hosted Security Services provide cloud-based solutions that extend a company’s security perimeter to the cloud, away from the corporate boundary. Clients’ email and web traffic are filtered and stripped of spam and malware, to deliver a clean flow of traffic to clients.

The new line of IT security products and solutions for businesses of all sizes includes solutions for server and workstation protection.

Server and Gateway protection:

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 8.0 for Windows Servers Enterprise Edition protects data on servers running under the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems (including x64 versions) from all types of malicious programs.  The updated product performs scans 5 to 7 times faster than the previous version. The product is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, VMware virtualization systems and other popular third-party solutions for corporate customers.

The settings that control the exclusion of objects from scanning in Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Linux File Server 8.0 are now more flexible, resulting in higher product performance and better compatibility with various applications. The new Kaspersky Web Management console provides remote management of antivirus protection via a web interface. It is now possible to set the precise time that antivirus scans start and finish, scheduling scans for example, for periods of minimum server load. The updated product now provides support for such platforms as Novell Open Enterprise Server 2, the latest version of FreeBSD and the popular Samba server, as well as new 32 and 64-bit versions of Red Hat, Fedora, SUSE, open SUSE, Debian GNU and Ubuntu.

Kaspersky Security 8.0 for Microsoft Exchange Servers 2007/2010 provides exceptional malware and email spam detection. It includes a fourth generation anti-spam engine, which implements cutting-edge technologies. Unwanted mail detection rates reach 99%, while false-positive rates are kept to a minimum. The product has the capability to treat infected archives and is controlled via the MMC (Microsoft Management Console).

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 8.0 for Lotus Domino includes a significantly improved administration system: multiple servers can be configured instantly, based on one predefined template. The solution is managed via a fully functional web interface that is supported by all the popular web browsers. The antivirus application can also be managed via Lotus Notes Client and Domino consoles.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus 8.0 for Microsoft ISA Server and Forefront TMG Standard Edition provides centralised filtering of web traffic. In addition to incoming web traffic scanning, the application scans outgoing traffic of published servers and VPN connections. The product’s flexible settings include load management for protected servers, while its optimized architecture improves its level of fault tolerance. The application supports new platforms, including Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway 2010 and Windows 2008 R2, as well as the VMware virtualisation system.

Protection for workstations:

The solution that protects Linux workstations – Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Linux – has also been updated. The new anti-virus engine built into the product provides excellent protection from all types of threats, targeting not only Linux, but Windows and Mac operating systems as well. A new, easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) is adapted for both KDE and GNOME desktop environments. Traditional signature-based detection is complemented by advanced heuristic protection technologies to combat new malware. For the first time, the updated product line includes Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Mac, a solution which protects Мас OS X from all types of computer threats. The solution handles threats that target not only the Mac OS, but Windows and Linux as well.

In today’s world, successful business is impossible without mobile devices that allow employees to work remotely and without delays. Smartphones are increasingly used to access confidential data, making security requirements for such devices more stringent than ever. Now Kaspersky Lab can offer protection for mobile employees. Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone provides reliable protection against unauthorised access and data leaks in the event that a device is lost or stolen, it also combats malware and blocks unwanted calls and messages. The product now supports the BlackBerry platform and the latest versions of SymbOS 9.x and Windows Mobile, which means that it can be installed on most current smartphones. Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 for Smartphone offers unique features that ensure that the smartphone owner’s personal contacts remain private. The solution can now be managed via Kaspersky Administration Kit as well as Microsoft Mobile Device Manager and Sybase Afaria.

Kaspersky Hosted Security Services:

Kaspersky Hosted Security Services deliver the ideal solution for combating email, web and blended threats. The services are designed to ensure that company email and Internet users are not inconvenienced by spam, malware and other unwanted content likely to jeopardise the integrity of the IT systems, unnecessarily use system resources and hinder employee productivity.  Kaspersky Hosted Security Services can be quickly set up to provide real-time protection to both in-office and remote workers.  The hosted model delivers enhanced levels of service and decreases an IT department’s burden on system management and maintenance, further reducing the total cost of ownership. The subscription model makes costs predictable, eradicating hidden maintenance charges and unexpected upgrade costs.

By launching its new and refreshed product line, Kaspersky Lab has established a solid base for sustainable growth on the corporate market. The company brings high value to businesses as it offers solid anti-malware protection for heterogeneous IT infrastructures and expert global support. In future, the company is going to further broaden its offering on the market and add more products and solutions to its portfolio.

For more information about Kaspersky Lab’s updated corporate product line, please visit the company’s website at: http://www.kaspersky.com/business

BlackBerry smartphone apps for the summer holidays

By admin, 22 listopada, 2010, No Comment

Summer holiday means long days, warm nights, and lots of travelling. To make your vacation more enjoyable we have selected a dozen of our favourite vacation apps for your BlackBerry® smartphone. These little gems will help with flights, weather forecasts, social networking, restaurants, sightseeing, and more.

Download these apps from BlackBerry App World™ (www.blackberry.com/appworld) and you will be prepared for your best vacation yet.

1.    Nav4All
Need directions this summer? With Nav4All, you will never need a map book again. Nav4All is an advanced and inexpensive navigation system, accessible on your own BlackBerry smartphone whenever you need it.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/2243

2.    WorldMate Live
WorldMate Live can turn your BlackBerry smartphone into a personal travel assistant taking the stress out of travelling. The application gives you instant access to all trip details including flight details, hotels, itineraries, weather updates, currency converters and more. It enables you to create itineraries that sync between your BlackBerry smartphone, Outlook Calendar, personal website and WorldMate Live website, making sure you keep up to date with your schedules. Get weather forecasts, currency rates, and more – WorldMate Live is a terrific tool for summer travel.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/836

3.    WeatherBug
WeatherBug keeps you informed and prepared for a day at the beach with live local weather, severe weather alerts, in-depth forecasts, camera views, detailed radar maps and international weather.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/760

4.    BlackStar
Using your BlackBerry device and BlackStar, you will be able to keep track of your current latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, direction and the distance to your destination. As long as you brought your GPS capable BlackBerry, you’re all set.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/2083

5.    BlackBerry Messenger

Share your pin or unique barcode to connect with friends anywhere, anytime. Take comfort in knowing your friends and loved ones are only a BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger) message away – forget that postcard, BBM instead. You can chat and share experiences such as funny stories, holiday pictures and videos and more with individual contacts or groups of friends instantly.
For more information, please visit: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3729.

6.    Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones

Stay on top of your social life with Facebook® for BlackBerry® throughout the Holiday. This application makes Facebook services – like sending messages, poking friends, writing wall posts, inviting friends to join and uploading photos – available on the go.
For more information, please visit: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/680

7.    MP3 Ringtone Creator
Sitting on the beach and got nothing to do? Easily create your own ringtones directly from your BlackBerry smartphone. All you need to do is choose a song, select a starting point and save your new ringtone file
For more information, please visit: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/543;jsessionid=BB96DAB8C7E5930AD1D93284E70CD4DC

8.    DriveSafe.ly
DriveSafe.ly reads your text messages and emails out loud so you can concentrate on the road. Eliminate the temptation to reach for your phone by letting DriveSafe.ly read to you and automatically respond for you. Stay connected by listening to your messages without texting while driving or reading emails in your car.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/3381

9.    In Case of Emergency
In a medical emergency while on vacation it is best to be prepared. This simple app has saved lives, and it could save yours in case of an emergency, providing emergency personnel with critical personal and medical data: your name, who to contact, important notification telephone numbers, blood type, allergies, your physician’s name and number, the meds you take, existing medical conditions – even the name of your health insurer, so you get the medical attention you need now.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/2281

10.    Navita Translator
When things get lost in translation in a foreign country turn to Navita Translator for help. It can translate more than 50 languages and read words aloud in languages sucj as English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/522

11.    OANDA Currency Converter
You can make your travels even easier by using a currency converter like OANDA Currency converter on your BlackBerry smartphone. You simply need to select the currency you want to convert from and to, fill in the amount, and OANDA Currency does the math.
For more information, please visit http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/5765?lang=en

12.    Flickr

Share your summer vacation with the world! Snap a picture and post it to your Flickr® account right from your BlackBerry smartphone.
For more information, please visit  http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/1938

Make Google your best Friend

By admin, 19 listopada, 2010, No Comment

While Google is unarguably one of the highest valued and most respected conglomerates in the world, one of the problems is that it is taking away business from traditional companies – large and small.

This is according to Christopher Riley, MD of notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company (www.notebook.co.za).

“I believe Google is wonderful technology – make no mistake. But even mothers sitting at home are googling symptoms for their children when they are sick and getting advice over the Internet, before rushing off to the doctor and paying his fee. This might sound insignificant, but it is cutting across all companies. All the information you need is a finger-type on the keyboard away – and people are able to get almost any specialist advice before even having to consult a specialist. Even on legal issues, many consumers first consult Google before rushing off to a lawyer at a drop of a hat. It is, arguably, changing the way many people do business.”

Riley said he recently sourced a neon light transformer. “I got one for R900 at the end of the day, via Google, whereas my supplier wanted to charge me R1 900.

Sure, this can benefit consumers, but it might be taking away potential earnings from a slew of companies out there – which now have to compete with Google, certainly at the starting blocks.”

Riley said that rather then viewing Google as a foe, companies should view the “conglomerate as a friend”. “Find ways to work with Google. Because let’s face it, Google also brings a lot of work for companies – who search Google to find out details of companies, and to search for products and services. At the end of the day, it is a two-sided sword. If you have not changed how you work with Google in the last few years – you could find yourself dead in the water.

“We have two web-sites – www.notebook.co.za, which has always been easy to use and which I prefer …but Google typically likes www.laptop.co.za. We have to accept this and plan accordingly.”

Said Riley: “www.notebook.co.za is my personal favourite, because of the simplicity associated with it: sales, rentals and repairs. But this site has seen a decrease of referrals from Google in the last 12 months, while on the other hand, www.laptop.co.za has witnessed an increase of over 200% in referrals from Google. I personally don’t like the site, but Google currently seems to like it.

“There are so many things to keep in mind: site rankings, referral sites, referral links, tags, keyword, search words, social networking, blogs and frequently asked questions (FAQs). It makes it nearly impossible for a business to stay on top of the latest important aspect, and what might work now will not necessarily work next month. I advise that all small to medium sized retail/distribution businesses that want to stay in business to seriously consider spending at least 10% of their marketing and advertising budget to continuously check what works for Google, and what not. Google might decide that some of the information you list is trickery and what worked well the month before can end up penalizing you the next.

“Google has also shaken up the whole channel completely.  What gave me the competitive advantage before was knowledge of who is the best, or cheapest local distributor. Now everybody has this knowledge – and that in itself does not give me any competitive edge. I need to find new ways of adding value to my customers, like giving them a ‘motorplan’ /  ‘laptop plan’” with their Laptop – that solves the right problems.  I would like to use the example of my own BMW X5 3 L Diesel that was covered by motor plan but that spend as much as 30 days a year in waiting for parts – the repair would not be for my account, but being without a car for 30 days caused me a lot of damage.

We find that laptop users have the same problems, a warranty does not offer 100% computing ability – that is why we offer a Gold Contract at a R1000.00 more to our customers, which then offers them an immediate loan unit while theirs is being fixed ‘under warranty’. The bottom-line is that none of us can afford to be without our laptops for more than one day.”

Paying leave is a breeze with Pastel’s Automated Payroll

By admin, 19 listopada, 2010, No Comment

The end of the year is in sight and companies face the administrative burden of making the complex calculations related to determining the correct leave pay due to individual employees.

The process is governed by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA) which sets out the legal structure of all employment contracts and the rights of employees to ensure they are fairly treated in terms of annual leave and severance or notice pay.

Many of the calculations for leave pay are quite complex and arriving at the correct allocations manually or on spreadsheets is a time consuming exercise.

“All of these calculations have to be correct or the company will breach the provisions of the BCEA,” says Grant Lloyd, managing director of payroll and HR software specialist Softline Pastel Payroll.

The BCEA aims to ensure that leave pay is fully representative of individual employees’ actual earnings and Lloyd says the calculations have to take into account variable income types and must be based on the average earnings of each employee over the 13 weeks preceding the date upon which leave becomes effective.

“There are many elements that affect the calculations such as overtime, commissions, allowances and other payments. The bottom line is that they lead to fluctuating income so each employee’s income has to be calculated individually. It can be a nightmare to execute this manually or on spreadsheets.”

Automated payroll and HR software retains detail of all of the variable income paid to each employee so that the calculation for the average income over the 13 weeks preceding the leave is not only accurate but is available immediately with a few key strokes.

Circumstances may lead to some employees benefiting from higher variable earnings during the three months prior to the leave date. For example accounting staff may take leave when company financial year-end audits are completed, thereby benefiting from the overtime payments they may have received during the preceding 13 weeks.

Similarly, people employed in the construction industry which usually shuts down in mid-December, are also likely to have worked overtime to ensure contracts are completed before shut-down and therefore their leave pay calculations will be affected.

“In consultation with management, payroll administrators can establish parameters that the software will automatically follow so that calculations of average earnings are always consistent with the requirements of the BCEA and fair to all concerned,” said Lloyd.

Users of automated payroll and HR software also benefit from the fact that the software developers monitor amendments to the BCEA and provide updated versions whenever new legal requirements are promulgated. “The automated payroll and HR software therefore always operates in full compliance with the Act, ensuring also that the BCEA leave payments are not subject to basic finger trouble, interpretation or even fraud.”

In addition, automated payroll and HR software solutions offer functionality that enables the user to give the entire company an increase, based on either a set value or a specific percentage as well as process a production bonus or commission using only one screen. This not only saves time, it allows global changes to be made to any transaction within the payroll system for all, or a selection of employees.

Automated payroll systems turn leave and bonus processing into a quick, accurate and simple task that eliminates administration headaches before the December holidays.

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