Archive for Luty, 2011

Win a His & Her’s BlackBerry smartphone hamper this Valentine’s Day

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

This Valentine’s Day, you could win matching BlackBerry® Torch™ 9800 smartphone hamper for yourself and your loved one, simply by voting for the person you would love to have as your BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger) contact on your BlackBerry® smartphone.

To enter, simply head to Channel24 ( and choose the person you’d love to chat to on BBM in our online poll. That will put you in line to win this hamper worth R20,000.

With BBM, you can share pictures, voice notes and text messages with your loved one throughout Valentine’s Day if you’re both BlackBerry smartphone users. The use of BBM is included in your monthly BlackBerry Internet Service fee, so you can flirt and chat to your heart’s content without worrying about the bill you’re running up.

Says Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub-Sahara Africa: “BlackBerry smartphones are all about connecting people, so we can’t wait to hear who South Africans would like to choose as their BBM Valentine. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is a stylish, premium smartphone that combines the best elements of both a touch screen and a physical QWERTY keyboard. This is a competition you don’t want to miss.”

Goodyz launches free mobile Gig Guide in South Africa

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Goodyz, in partnership with BuzzCity’s JAMsked, has launched a free mobile gig guide aimed at South African users and bands. It is free both for users to access and use the guide, and for bands to advertise their gigs on it.

Justin Lavers, Huge Media’s marketing manager, explains: “With Goodyz, we are continually looking for ways to add value to our users’ mobile phone experience, at little or no cost to them. We have been providing free music tracks to our users since our launch last year, and these have been extremely well received, showing that music is important to them. It follows then that an online mobile Gig Guide is a great tool to have on your phone – especially if it is free!”

The Goodyz Gig Guide gives fans instant details of all live music gigs and concerts coming up in their locations. Fans are further able to search the guide for gigs that match their tastes, by Artist, Dates, Genre, Location and Price.

The guide is available to all Goodyz users through a one-click hot-link embedded in the Goodyz application, and can be accessed by non-Goodyz users directly from the web site.

Goodyz is a smartphone application that works on the Symbian (Nokia, Samsung, LG and Sony) and Blackberry operating systems. It displays customized, funky and engaging content and ads to users, and rewards users for seeing ads with free services and content items – including wallpapers, music, games and ringtones.

Goodyz also allows users to comment on and interact with the content, and over time builds a close understanding of what the user wants – which then enables Goodyz to deliver an even better experience to the user.

Lavers is upbeat but evasive on what will be Goodyz’ next development: “Our vision is for Goodyz to be the ultimate digital companion to our users, enthralling, entertaining, enlightening and educating them on an ongoing basis. We are working on some great partnership prospects, to move us closer to this nirvana!”

The Goodyz Gig Guide can be accessed directly from the site – where users with compatible phones can also download and install the full Goodyz application free of charge. Bands can upload their gig listings to the guide, also free of charge, at:

2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors on 3U OpenVPX™ and 6U VXS form factor

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

RedLinX Embedded Solutions, one of the four divisions within RedLinX, announced that they now have available 3U OpenVPX™ and 6U VXS high performance embedded Single Board Computers featuring the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor and Intel® 6 series chipsets from the Intel® embedded roadmap. These products are manufactured by Concurrent Technologies.

The TR 80x/39x (3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer) features the enhanced processing and graphics performance of the quad-core Intel® Core™ i7-2715QE processor and the dual-core Intel® Core™ i5-2515E processor whilst maintaining the power consumption of the previous Intel® Core™ processors.

The VX 81x/09x is a 6U VXS Single Board Computer fully compliant with the VITA 41.x standard.

The TR 80x/39x: 3U OpenVPX™ Single Board Computer

The TR 80x/39x provides support for quad-core or dual core 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors, up to 8Gbyte of ECC DDR3 SDRAM, configurable PCI Express® fabric interface supporting 1 x8, 2 x4, 1 x4 + 1 x4 at Gen 1 or Gen 2 data rates, dual Gigabit Ethernet or dual 1000Base-BX channels, dual SATA600, single XMC slot, serial RS232/422/485 port, dual USB 2.0 ports, independent VGA and display port all in a 3U VPX form factor.

The Intel® Core™ micro architecture virtually doubles graphics performance of previous architectures and when complimented by support for Intel® Turbo Boost Technology capabilities and media acceleration, the TR 80x/39x offers cutting edge technology for security, transportation, military and embedded systems.

The TR 80x/39x is available in three temperature grades; 0°C to +55°C (N-Series), -25°C to +70°C (E-Series), -40°C to +85°C (K-Series). For extreme rugged applications the TR 80x/39x is available in VPX-REDI variants (type 1 and type 2); VPX-REDI Type 1 Conduction-Cooled VITA 47 Class CC4 -40°C to +85°C (RCS – Series), VPX-REDI Type 2 Conduction-Cooled VITA 47 Class CC4 -40°C to +85°C (RCT – Series).

The VX 81x/09x: 6U VXS Single Board Computer

With the VX 81x/09x, users will benefit from the enhanced processing and graphics performance of the quad-core Intel® Core™ i7-2715QE processor or the dual-core Intel® Core i5-2515E processor.

The VX 81x/09x provides support for quad-core or dual-core 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors, enabling RedLinX, via Concurrent Technologies, to provide enhanced performance and features over previous Intel® Core™ processor based boards. The 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processors offer enhanced graphic capabilities resulting in virtually double the graphics performance of previous architectures, and with support for SATA600, PCI Express® Gen 2, Intel® Turbo Boost Technology capabilities and media acceleration, this Single Board Computer offers cutting edge technology for tomorrow’s applications.

Additionally the board supports up to 16Gbyte of ECC DDR3 SDRAM, configurable PCI Express® fabric interface supporting 1 x8, 2 x4, 1 x4 + 1 x4 at Gen 1 or Gen 2 data rates, dual Gigabit Ethernet, dual SATA600, dual PMC / XMC slots, dual serial RS232/422/485 ports, 6 USB 2.0 ports, dual independent display ports, on-board CompactFlash™ and optional 2.5 inch hard drive.

The VX 81x/09x is available in three temperature grades; 0°C to +55°C (N-Series), -25°C to +70°C (E-Series), -40°C to +85°C (K-Series) and two ruggedized grades; Ruggedized Conduction-Cooled -40°C to +85°C (RC), Ruggedized Air-Cooled -40°C to +75°C (RA). In addition to the VX 81x/09x, Concurrent Technologies will also be releasing Intel® Core™ processor-based boards for 3U CompactPCI, AMC and 3U VPX.

Says Alastair Knight from RedLinX, “These two products enable us to equip customers with the highest-performance processor solutions matched to state-of-the-art backplane architectures.”

Operating systems currently supported for the release of the TR 80x/39x and VX 81x/09x are Windows® 7, Windows® XP, Windows® Embedded Standard 7, Linux® and VxWorks®.

Concludes Knight, “Applications for the TR 80x/39 are expected in real-time, military embedded, aerospace and transportation systems for data acquisition, control systems and video signal processing. Whereas applications for the VX 81x/09x are expected in real-time systems and military embedded systems for data acquisition, instrumentation, control systems and signal processing.”

Alcatel-Lucent brings context-based social engagement to the enterprise

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Alcatel-Lucent today announced the general availability of a solution that dynamically monitors, analyses, and engages consumers over social media and traditional channels, providing visibility into customer engagement and community trends.

Delivering on its social media strategy announced in August 2010, the Genesys Social Engagement solution automates the process of monitoring communications from consumers through social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. The solution analyses the content for sentiment, determines whether it is actionable, and then prioritises it based on customer influence and service level objectives of the company. Based on this analytical approach, the most suitable customer service agent, expert or back-office employee is then engaged.

As social media becomes a more common and impactful customer channel, enterprises benefit from the ability to leverage existing IT and customer service investments to engage in social interactions, using a single platform that delivers continuity across all touch points. This allows consumers to use any channel they desire to reach customer service or other departments such as marketing or corporate communications. The suite includes reporting and analytic applications that allow enterprises to take proactive action to improve customer service and drive social interactions and conversations based on the latest engagement trends.

“To stay competitive as one of the largest contact centre service providers in Chile and Perú, we need to enable our customers to access the new ways consumers now reach them for support, including social media interactions,” said Guillermo Rivera, technology and Development Manager at Entel Call Center. “With Genesys Social Engagement, we will have the tools to move in that direction and so continue giving our customers the best service.”

“The train has left. Organisations must put together a social business strategy that meets their business objectives, matches their organisational culture, and provides the right level of technological support” said Ray Wang, Principal Analyst and CEO at Constellation Research Group. “Not all organisations can and will adopt social business. However, those that succeed will leapfrog their competition with a disruptive technology and business model for 2011 and beyond.”

Gartner says Western Europe PC market declined 4 percent in fourth quarter of 2010

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

PC shipments in Western Europe totalled 19.4 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, a decline of 4.4 percent from the same period in 2009, according to Gartner, Inc (see Table 1). In 2010, PC shipments reached 46 million units in Western Europe, a flat market from 2009.

“Traditionally the last quarter of the year is driven by growth in the consumer segment,” said Meike Escherich, principal analyst at Gartner. “However, between October and the end of December 2010 the consumer PC market in Western Europe continued its downward spiral, with shipments declining 8.1 per cent.” Mobile PC shipments in the consumer market declined 2 per cent, mainly because many PC vendors delayed orders as cautious retailers kept inventory in check.

In a weak economic environment, consumer spending shifted decisively from PCs to other consumer electronic devices, including media tablets, gaming machines and e-readers. A wait-and-see approach impacted PC spending as consumers expected new products and cheaper media tablets in the first quarter of 2011. Additionally, adverse weather conditions in several countries minimised foot traffic into retail shops, diminishing selling opportunities.

Western Europe’s professional PC market remained flat in the fourth quarter of 2010. PC pricing remained an issue as increased Euro/Dollar exchange rates limited any price reductions, resulting in an increase of 0.9 per cent year-on-year.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the top three PC vendors all saw declines year-on-year in Western Europe. HP regained the No. 1 position from Acer with a 22.1 per cent market share. HP retained the lead in the professional and desk-based PC segments, but lost the No. 1 position to Acer in the consumer PC segment. Acer lost 2.2 percentage points of market share, with a 13.5 per cent decline in shipments. Acer was affected by declining demand for mini-notebooks and an excess of channel inventory in some countries. Dell continued to struggle in the consumer PC market, but benefited from a slight pickup in demand for professional PCs.

“2011 will be a defining year for the consumer device market,” said Ms Escherich.” Vendors and service providers will have to rethink how they retain customers and attract new ones if they want to survive in this highly competitive environment.”

Table 1

Western Europe: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q10 (Thousands of Units)


4Q10 Shipments 4Q10 Market Share (%) 4Q09 Shipments 4Q09 Market Share (%) 4Q09-4Q10 Growth (%)
HP 4,287 22.1 4,310 21.2 -0.5
Acer 4,041 20.8 4,673 23.0 -13.5
Dell 1,899 9.8 2,004 9.9 -5.3
Asus 1,850 9.5 1,631 8.0 13.5
Apple 1,203 6.2 1,062 5.2 13.3
Others 6,118 31.6 6,611 32.7 -7.5
Total 19,398 100.0 20,291 100.0 -4.4

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (February 2011)

UK: Consumer PC Sales Were Weak During Christmas Holiday Season

PC shipments in the UK totalled 3.7 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, a decline of 2.7 per cent from the same period in 2009 (see Table 2). In 2010, PC shipments in the UK reached 13.1 million units, representing a 5.4 per cent increase from 2009.

“For the first time since 2006 the overall consumer PC segment showed weak results during the Christmas holiday season, and declined 2.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “Uncertain economic factors and unemployment influenced consumers to delay or be conservative with discretionary spending,” he explained. The PC has also lost the consumer electronics limelight to smartphones and tablets, and without the arrival of new products, growth has fallen quickly.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the UK’s professional PC market remained weak, declining 3.1 per cent. The expected replacement cycle was again delayed as organisations extended PC life cycles.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, HP moved up to the No. 1 position, displacing Acer, with a market share of 23.1 per cent. Apple made its debut among the top five PC vendors, accounting for 6.2 per cent of market share. Apple’s performance was the result of strong retail sales and high demand for the new MacBook Air. Acer faced challenges as a result of a slowdown in the consumer mobile PC market, and was also impacted by weak sales in the mini-notebook segment.

Table 2

United Kingdom: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Vendor 4Q10 Shipments 4Q10 Market Share (%) 4Q09 Shipments 4Q09 Market Share (%) 4Q09-4Q10 Growth (%)
HP 847 23.1 712 18.9 19.0
Acer 610 16.7 721 19.1 -15.3
Dell 601 16.4 620 16.5 -3.0
Toshiba 313 8.5 391 10.4 -20.0
Apple 228 6.2 202 5.4 12.9
Others 1,065 29.1 1,120 29.7 -5.0
Total 3,664 100.0 3,766 100.0 -2.7

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (February 2011)

“We will continue to see a tough business environment in the first half of 2011, and until additional budget becomes available the PC market will remain under pressure,” said Mr Atwal.

France: Apple Made Its Debut Among the Top Five PC Vendors

PC shipments in France totalled 3.1 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, a decline of 5.2 per cent compared with the same period in 2009 (see Table 3). In 2010, PC shipments in France reached 11.8 million units, a 10 per cent rise from 2009.

“The PC market in France performed below expectations, as demand weakened particularly in the consumer segment,” said Isabelle Durand, principal analyst at Gartner.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the consumer market declined 14 per cent. “Consumer confidence continued to be affected by the uncertain economic environment, and spending on IT products was lower than expected, especially during the Christmas period,” said Ms Durand. PC pricing also remained an issue as increased euro/dollar exchange rates limited price reductions and affected PC promotions.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, the mobile PC market accounted for 67 per cent of PC shipments in France, with volumes declining 1 per cent. Despite more demand for all-in-one models, desk-based PC shipments declined by 12 per cent year-on-year.

The professional segment regained growth, with an increase of 10 per cent. Shipments in this segment were driven by deals from the Department of Education and small and medium-sized businesses, and by large accounts starting to replace aging PC equipment.

Although Acer and HP both registered falls in PC shipments in the fourth quarter of 2010, they remained in first and second place, respectively. The slowdown in the mini-notebook market and weak demand for consumer desktop PCs affected Acer’s overall growth. Apple was the fastest-growing vendor in the top five, with 7.7 per cent growth in the fourth quarter 2010. Apple displaced Toshiba to claim fifth place — this is the first time it has been among the top five PC vendors in France. Dell grew its volumes and benefited from PC replacements in both desktop and mobile segments.

“PC demand in France will remain weak in the first quarter of 2011. During 2011, PC vendors will face increasing competition from consumer devices such as media tablets and smartphones, which will capture a slice of consumers’ PC budgets and will ultimately displace mobile PCs,” said Ms Durand.

Table 3

France: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q10 (Thousands of Units)

Company 4Q10


4Q10 Market Share (%) 4Q09 Shipments 4Q09 Market Share (%) 4Q09-4Q10 Growth (%)
Acer 729 23.3 814 24.7 -10.5
HP 709 22.6 807 24.4 -12.2
Dell 364 11.6 345 10.4 5.5
Asus 345 11.0 336 10.2 2.7
Apple 196 6.3 182 5.5 7.7
Others 790 25.2 819 24.8 -3.6
Total 3,133 100.0 3,303 100.0 -5.2

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (February 2011)

Germany: PC Shipments Fell Again as Consumers Remained Cautious

PC shipments in Germany totalled 3.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2010, a decrease of 5.4 per cent compared with the same period in 2009 (see Table 4). In 2010, PC shipments in Germany reached 13.3 million units, representing 4.7 percent growth from 2009.

“Although PC shipments in Germany recorded a 20.7 per cent increase from the third quarter of 2010, we saw a continuing decline in demand for mobile PCs, which adversely affected annual market growth,” said Ms Escherich. “With restricted budgets and a lack of new technologies in the PC space, a wait-and-see attitude impacted spending. Available money went into alternative products like media tablets, smartphones and games consoles,” she added.

In the fourth quarter of 2010, mobile PC shipments in Germany decreased 1.6 per cent. Desktop PC shipments fell by 13.3 per cent to attain a market share of 33 per cent.

Germany’s professional segment is showing signs of slow recovery. In the fourth quarter of 2010, shipments increased 2 per cent as some businesses started to replace aging equipment.

Despite declining PC shipments, Acer remained No. 1 in all segments with the exception of desktops, and it maintained a lead of approximately 8 percentage points in market share over HP. HP recorded double-digit growth in the professional segment (12.9 per cent). Its decline in the consumer market was less than the market average of 5 per cent, but HP could not match Acer’s overall PC shipments. Asus managed to resist the general trend of decline in the consumer segment, with 16 per cent growth in this segment. Medion, Dell and most of the other vendors showed declines, largely driven by their reliance on consumer demand.

“Selling hardware has become less about the hardware itself and more about software, services and applications,” Ms Escherich said. “The fourth quarter of 2010 is a good indicator that the market will have to get used too much slower demand for consumer PCs in the future,” Ms Escherich said.

Table 4

Germany: PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 4Q10 (Thousands of Units)


4Q10 Shipments 4Q10 Market Share (%) 4Q09 Shipments 4Q09 Market Share (%) 4Q09-4Q10 Growth (%)
Acer 796 20.2 808 19.4 -1.6
HP 494 12.6 462 11.1 6.9
Asus 493 12.5 414 9.9 19.1
Dell 323 8.2 354 8.5 -8.8
Medion 295 7.5 325 7.8 -9.2
Others 1,537 39.0 1,801 43.3 -14.6
Total 3,938 100.0 4,164 100.0 -5.4

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs. Media tablets are excluded.
Source: Gartner (February 2011)

Sony Discloses Basic Specifications of the “E-mount” for Interchangeable Single Lens Cameras

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Sony Corporation announced today it will disclose the basic specifications of its “E-mount” for interchangeable single lens cameras, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting 1 April this year.

This opens the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to effectively develop products conforming to “E-mount” specifications.

Users of the Sony’s “NEX-3”, “NEX-5”, “NEX-VG10” and other “E-mount” compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future will now be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and various other manufactures, while they will also be able to attach non-Sony lenses to their Sony digital imaging products via a mount adapter.

Sony believes the growth of digital imaging products employing the “E-mount” will further increase the enjoyment of photography and video shooting among an even wider range of users.

These basic specifications will be disclosed to manufactures of lenses and mount adaptors following a predefined process of approval and the signing a license agreement with Sony.

As of today, the decision to disclose basic specifications of the “E-mount” has been endorsed by the following companies:

Carl Zeiss AG

“As an independent lens provider, Carl Zeiss welcomes the disclosure of the “E-mount” specifications by Sony. It helps manufacturer’s product development, benefits customers and therefore assists in establishing “E-mount” as a new, healthy and strong system on the market. ”

Cosina Co., Ltd.

“Cosina Co., Ltd is excited by the potential of Sony’s “E-mount” which enables to a large-size image sensor to be incorporated in a compact, interchangeable lens camera. We have high expectations for the “E-mount” with its aims to create a new photography culture, and express its assent to Sony’s decision to provide information related to “E-mount”. ”

Sigma Corporation

“Sigma Corporation fully supports Sony’s decision to disclose basic “E-mount” specifications. We believe this move will spur the further growth and diversification of camera system across the industry, provide photo enthusiasts with a wealth of choice and enrich in their photographic lifestyles. ”

Tamron Co., Ltd.

“Tamron Co., Ltd endorses Sony’s decision to disclose basic “E-mount” specifications. We aim to offer our customers new solutions and unprecedented photo-shooting enjoyment through the manufacture and sale of “E-mount” lenses.”

Tips to avoid hosted/virtual PBX failure

By admin, 9 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Widespread adoption of hosted PBX technology, a new relatively technology which offers businesses incredible productivity and cost-savings benefits, is under threat.

So says Graeme Victor, CEO of telecommunications solutions company Du Pont Telecom, which recently launched one of the country’s first hosted PBX solutions based on carrier-strength TELES Class 5 technology.

According to Victor, suppliers with no real understanding of the technology or its place in the business environment are jumping on the bandwagon and flooding the market with cheap “virtual PBX” products without providing the support and back-up required for any hosted solution.

“This could sour the reputation of this amazing advance in business telephony, which has the potential to bring about a paradigm shift in the way businesses communicate with their customers, suppliers and staff,” he says.

According to Victor, a hosted PBX solution generally offers a remarkably cost-effective way for an organisation to get high-end PBX features and all the business advantages of IP telephony affordably and without risk.

The PBX is located, owned and managed off-premises by the supplier, and leased to the business.

It’s ideal for businesses that can’t get reliable connectivity, as well as those with multiple branches and sites, as they need only one centralised attendant consol to fulfil the traditional “switchboard operator” role.

“Because there is such a compelling business case for hosted PBX, ‘fly-by-night’ operators are starting to enter the market offering bargain basement systems. These systems are said to have many of the features of more expensive solutions. The problem lies in the support provided by the supplier – it may be non-existent, or hugely expensive.

“Because the hosted PBX concept effectively requires the business to hand over its crticial telephone system to a third-party supplier, support becomes crucial to the success of the system,” he explains.

In order to avoid what could be a potentially devastating mistake when considering going the hosted PBX route, Victor suggests businesses ask prospective suppliers the following questions:

  1. What is their onsite service availability? Will they come to your premises?
  2. What is the charge for onsite service?
  3. Is the solution redundant – if your IP network goes down, will your telephone system also go down?
  4. Is a carrier grade solution being provided – or it is a “cheap and nasty”?
  5. What features are included in the price? How many “optional extras” will you require – and at what additional cost?
  6. Are customer references authentic? Check them out. 
  7. Can the system grow with you?
  8. What are the fixed and what are the variable charges?
  9. What is the installation charge?
  10. Are there penalties for downsizing?
  11. How good is the voice quality? Ask to test it.
  12. Do they have sufficient faith in their system to use it in their own business?

Public Private Partnership to boost inner city health precinct

By admin, 8 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Hillbrow, Johannesburg‟s inner city residential neighbourhood, received a major boost today with the announcement of a Public Private Partnership to provide the area with maternal and child HIV/Aids and tuberculosis (TB) services.

Thousands of women and children living in this densely populated precinct will benefit from the partnership between Vodacom, Altron, Altech and the Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases (WRHI) to establish the Vodacom Altron Altech Centre for Specialised Services for the Gauteng Department of Health.

The Centre will be a vital component of the Hillbrow Health Precinct, the only one of its kind in the world in which a basket of health services is mobilising inner city renewal. It will be situated in the old operating theatre of the former Johannesburg General Hospital in Hillbrow, and will serve the approximately one million people living in one of the most densely populated areas of southern Africa.

Once renovations to the dilapidated buildings are complete, the Centre will become a hive of excellence for maternal and child health. Apart from HIV/Aids and TB care and services, it will train health care providers, community workers and researchers, and conduct world-class research into HIV prevention and management, infectious diseases, reproductive health and social science.

The renovation costs of R28-million will be contributed by major JSE listed companies Vodacom, Altron and Altech.

The public sector partners of the Hillbrow Health Precinct are WRHI, the Gauteng Department of Health and the City of Johannesburg. The project seeks to create a visionary, world-first health precinct addressing HIV, poverty and urban renewal in Johannesburg‟s inner city. It does so by delivering outstanding health services and health care worker training, in addition to developing best practice models and world-class research that is relevant to the African continent.

Commenting on the announcement of the partnership, Mthobi Tyamzashe, Chairman of the Vodacom Foundation said: “The Vodacom Altron Altech Centre for Specialised Services will constitute one of the key health projects supported by the Vodacom Foundation. We are excited at the possibilities created by this Public Private Partnership in enhancing child and maternal health and simultaneously contributing to inner city renewal through the Centre. It is also a demonstration of our commitment to complementing government efforts in the fight against HIV/Aids.”

“The Altron Group believes in the value of public and private partnerships as it provides a platform for meaningful intervention by the various partners to uplift and enhance the quality of life of all South Africans. We are proud to be playing a part in the renewal of the inner city of Johannesburg through the offering of vital health services,” said Seara Macheli-Mkhabela, Altron Group Executive: Corporate Affairs.

“Altech‟s involvement is an indication of our commitment to the widespread development of disadvantaged communities by focusing on areas with the maximum long-term benefits. This project will go a long way to reducing maternal and child HIV/Aids and TB infection rates in the province and uplifting the community in general,” said Johan Klein, Altech Group Executive: Human Resources and Industrial Relations.

Eugene Sickle, Head of Strategy and Development at the WRHI said: “The establishment of this Centre within the Hillbrow Health Precinct represents a „tipping point‟ for this project and creates a crucial focal point around which further development will take place. The public and private sector partners are to be congratulated for their extraordinary commitment to this endeavour. The WRHI has a long-standing commitment to work with the inner-city community around the provision of health services and issues of transformation. We recognise that partnerships of this nature are crucial to addressing the long-term challenges we face as a country.”

Introduction of advanced telecom services made simpler and lower in cost

By admin, 8 lutego, 2011, No Comment

Telecom operators will soon be able to introduce new cost efficient voice, mobile data and multimedia services rapidly. Nokia Siemens Networks has launched the Open Core System, a suite of products based on off-the-shelf ATCA hardware. The Open Core System delivers higher processing capacity and can ensure a seamless evolution to all-IP core networks with minimal footprint and power requirements.

“We are witnessing a steady growth in new smart devices that are being introduced in the market along with growing demand from end-users for advanced services,” said Jukka Luoma, head of product management, voice & IP transformation at Nokia Siemens Networks. “Our Open Core System decouples application software from the underlying equipment, providing more flexibility to operators in adjusting their networks according to the demand. In addition, the use of a single, commercial, off the shelf platform for all core products brings efficiency gains for the operator that directly impact operational and capital costs.”

Operators can deploy the Open Core System as part of an expansion of their existing fixed and mobile networks as well as over their existing systems. Existing Nokia Siemens Networks’ customers, using proprietary hardware can also deploy the Open Core System and maintain feature parity due to the same application software being used in both platforms.

The other important aspect derived from the HW/SW decoupling is the possibility of redefining the function of the Open Core System units according to the traffic demand. This means that if an operator, for instance, experiences a decrease in mobile voice traffic and an increase in IMS traffic, the MSS blades can be reconfigured and transformed into IMS units, redistributing processing capacity according to the real domains. This is done by just updating the application software on the HW units.

The Open Core System comprises of the Open MSS (mobile softswitch); Open MGW (multimedia gateway); Open IMS (IP multimedia subsystem); Open VoIP Server; Open PCS (policy control server); Open HSS (home subscriber server); Open SAM (signaling application manager); Flexi NS (network server incorporating serving GPRS support node and system architecture evolution gateway); Flexi NG (next generation, incorporating gateway GPRS support node and packet-switched gateway); and HLR (home location registry). All these products handle the operators’ voice and multimedia services and use the same hardware platform that is based on the commercial off-the shelf ATCA architecture.

Out of the overall suite, Open MSS will be the first to be shipped commercially in the first quarter of this year followed by Open MGW. Flexi NS and Flexi NG, which are also part of the portfolio, have been available since 2010.

The new Open Core System is being launched at Mobile World Congress, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.

Gartner recognises SAP Business All-in-One as a market leader

By admin, 8 lutego, 2011, No Comment

SCT Services, a local SAP Business All-in-One FMCG and Consumer Products Partner, has announced SAP Business All-in-One has been positioned by Gartner in the leaders quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for ERP for Product-Centric Midmarket Companies”. SAP Business All-in-One is recognised as a market leader for both its “ability to execute” and its “completeness of vision”.

According to the report, “Gartner sees this market as undergoing a major modernisation, by which established systems with deep functionality on older technology are being displaced by more modern and agile systems. These new systems enable users to be more agile in their responses to changing market conditions and to grasp new business opportunities faster.”

SCT Services CEO, Victor van der Watt, says the Gartner report shows that leaders are well-prepared to evolve their products to model-driven applications to allow for high flexibility, with tools for embedded analytics and interpretation of transactional data that allow for easy adoption by different types of users. “Leaders have compelling strategies for addressing the on-going market changes related to emerging technologies, such as SOA and BPPs.”

“They also have built structures to extend their systems with industry-specific solutions, often in cooperation with their partner ecosystem, which delivers the best support for the specific processes in vertical markets, while offering good enough support for the less-differentiating processes. Finally, leaders cultivate a broad and generally overwhelming level of customer satisfaction in a number of geographies and industries,” he explains.

According to the report, SAP Business All-in-One demonstrates a clear vision and the ability to execute against this vision. Midmarket ERP leaders like SAP Business All-in-One have deep and robust functionality that address a range of core user requirements. It says these vendors do have proven products as well as track records of customer success and demonstrated momentum in growing their market presence.

In addition, leading vendors have offerings that appeal to the specific process needs of midmarket customers, are straightforward and simple to use, and are designed or streamlined for low Total Cost of Ownership, while being available and well-supported in multiple regions.

Van der Watt points to the key changes in this market since the last publication of this Magic Quadrant. “Customers are starting to adopt the reworked user interfaces, which offer more role-based concepts, personalisation and collaboration features. The improved ease of use, extended search capabilities and more-integrated analytics features drive the use of ERP by more types of users, e.g., those that only occasionally access an ERP system to retrieve information or to complete business activities that used to be done manually.”

Furthermore, the interest in software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based ERP is growing, but Gartner does not yet see a big adoption in core ERP. Most customers that were surveyed for this research continue to use their ERP solutions in an on-premises model, but they are starting to complement them by additional solutions in adjacent areas like CRM and collaboration. To react to this growing interest, vendors are creating hosted offerings with subscription models and administration services that offer some of the benefits of a SaaS ERP, but only a smaller number of vendors offers multi-tenant solutions.

“The report shows that many customers have reported that shortages in skilled and experienced resources for consulting and implementation created issues in their ERP implementation or deployment projects. To improve this situation, SCT Services has put a higher focus on improving the quality of resources. Rather than merely offering technical skills, deeper industry expertise, business consulting expertise and the acquisition of certifications are becoming important differentiating factors,” he explains.

SAP Business All-in-One is one of the broadest and deepest solutions in the market, and its Best Business Practices and the fast-start program reduce the effort needed for the early phases of an implementation. It is based on extensive experience from SAP’s large partner channel, which has turned their expertise into pre-packaged and pre-customised versions of SAP’s Business Suite.

More importantly, SAP Business All-in-One applications are pre-packaged, industry-specific solutions that use the traditional Large Enterprise SAP Business Suite functionality to support midmarket businesses. With pre-integrated Customer Relationship Management, Supplier Relationship Management and ERP functionality, SAP Business All-in-One is actually the SAP Business Suite product with a templatised deployment methodology, implemented by SAP partners.

Each partner remarkets and implements an industry-specific offering that uses a combination of SAP industry templates, as well as partner-specific templates, to configure a turnkey solution for the customer with fixed scope and implementation at a fixed price. This approach delivers the full scope of the underlying solution, not a reduced or trimmed solution, and helps to reduce the effort needed in the early phases of an implementation. Additional changes, enhancements and customisations, beyond simple configuration and “turning on” additional functions, are possible, but users doing so have to cope with the full complexity of the SAP Business Suite.

He says SAP’s recent development initiatives around Business All-in-One deliver improvements to the user experience via a new version of the NetWeaver Business Client and a deeper integration of the acquired BusinessObjects BI products. “Many of the enhancements and innovations delivered via the Business Suite become available in Business All-in-One, albeit with a certain delay that is used for streamlining and packaging activities. Examples include the addition of functionality originating from SAP’s Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) solution, of which parts like self-service procurement have been included.”

Gartner says from the perspective of global penetration, ability to scale, market share and SAP’s commitment to the solution, SAP Business All-in-One is one of the strongest solutions in the market. The price transparency delivered via SAP’s Solution Configurator has been expanded so that partners can include their individual offerings, scope and prices, which is a unique approach in the industry.

The combination of SAP’s undisputed leadership in the large enterprise market with the on-going efforts to enable smaller organisations to adopt the preconfigured packages makes SAP Business All-in-One one of only two products in the Leaders quadrant in this Magic Quadrant, with a specific fit for companies at the mid to upper end of the midmarket and for companies with very aggressive growth ambitions that need the scalability and functional strength of an enterprise-class solution.

SAP Business All-in-One offers rich functionality and a wide number of well-documented industry-specific best practices, which together address a wide range of requirements out of the box. SAP’s fast-start program aims at helping lower midsize enterprises to make the implementation easier and has proved its value in the early phases of an implementation project, e.g., system configuration, personalised demo and easier installation.

The “life-cycle workbench” for Business All-in-One solutions helps implementation experts define and manage an All-in-One solution by combing various tools like the solution configurator and builder, the installation wizard and the BusinessObjects Data Integrator for migrating data. It is fully integrated with SAP Solution Manager, and the BusinessObjects Edge server, which is used for the data migration, is used at no additional costs.

BusinessObjects Edge BI offers integrated analytics and dashboards throughout the application. “This is marketed as BI in SAP Business All-in-One and its pricing has been adjusted to be closer to the expectations of midmarket companies.

“Gartner believes that SAP Business All-in-One is best-suited for upper-midmarket companies or for fast-growing companies with demand for broad and deep specific functionality for a variety of industries,” he concludes.

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