Archive for Maj, 2011

Unity Technologies Browser Plugin hits important milestones

By admin, 27 maja, 2011, No Comment

Unity Technologies, provider of the Unity development platform for games and interactive 3D on the web, iOS, Android, consoles and beyond, today announced that its registered user base has doubled to more than 500,000 users in just over 6 months; 150,000 of these users are active monthly users representing well over a million hours of game development every month. In addition, installs of the free Unity browser plugin for playing web games have surpassed 60 million.

In 2003 and long before the introduction of Facebook and the iPhone, co-founders David Helgason (CEO), Nicholas Francis (Chief Creative Officer) and Joachim Ante (Chief Technology Officer) had the vision of democratizing game development and enabling everyone to create rich interactive 3D.

They took the very complex and expensive technology required for modern, cross-platform video game development and built a powerful, intuitive suite of tools with smooth and efficient workflows around it. The end result: the Unity development platform. A major feature of Unity is “Author Once, Deploy Anywhere” support for every major gaming platform so that developers can reach huge audiences for their games with great speed and flexibility.

“The combination of Unity’s powerful yet approachable technology has resulted in it being the #1 game engine used for both traditional and casual games,” said David Helgason, CEO of Unity Technologies. “It’s exciting to see how our users build on top of Unity to create mind blowing innovation of their own.”

Unity powers web games for global brand names like Axe, Bigpoint’s Battlestar Galactica Online, Cartoon Network, Cheerios, Coca-Cola, Disney, Electronic Arts’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online, Gazillion’s Marvel Super Hero Squad, Gorillaz, LEGO, Marvel’s Iron Man, Nickelodeon and Pepsi; and Unity has a rapidly growing presence on both gaming portals and social networking sites.

Unity is the most widely-used middleware in games for the Apple iOS App Store. More than 1500 Unity games are in the App Store today with many having made “best of” and “top selling” lists like Battleheart, Gears, Samurai II, Skee-Ball and Snuggle Truck. Unity also powers mobile training apps like Launcher Dogs for the US Military. Unity for Android was generally available in March of this year, and there already more than 100 Android games on the market with many getting rave reviews.
Unity also supports all the major gaming consoles — Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation. Rochard, the first Unity-powered Sony PlayStation game, is scheduled for release this year.

Unity Technologies continues to seek out new ways to radically democratize the entire game industry. In 2010, the company introduced the Unity Asset Store, a digital marketplace where developers can share and sell assets to accelerate development. The Unity Asset Store catalog has grown to more than 630 ready-to-use packages, with some top-sellers earning more than $15,000 per month.

Unity Technologies also introduced Union, a business unit dedicated to distributing high quality 3D games on mobile phones, tablets, set-top boxes, connected TVs and other new platforms. More than 1000 developers representing more than 1000 Unity-authored titles have registered with Union. Union recently announced a partnership with Sony Ericsson to enable rapid development and porting of Unity-based games to the new Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY smartphone and a partnership with RIM to bring dozens of Unity-based games to the PlayBook.

Quency Tech brings new GRC software solution to Southern Africa

By admin, 25 maja, 2011, No Comment

Technology plays an important role in helping any organisation to meet their Governance, Risk and Compliance objectives. In order to help companies in Southern Africa to fully realise the potential of their GRC programmes, Quency Tech has signed an agreement as the sole distributor of Easy2Comply software solutions for the region.

“GRC forms one of the cornerstones of the modern business, and for it to be successful it is vital to first draw up a roadmap for GRC using the advisory services of a skilled and experienced partner, and then bring in technology to enable businesses to meet their GRC objectives,” says Jayen Vyravene, Managing Partner of Quency. “For this reason the Quency brand has now diverged into two companies, Quency Advisory and Training and Quency Tech, which together will help organisations to design and implement comprehensive, end-to-end GRC strategies with technology that underpins these.”

Quency Tech will offer the full range of Easy2Comply software which delivers integrated modular tools covering the various components of GRC, including risk management, compliance, audit and IT GRC. Each of these main modules has sub-modules which can be added to meet the unique requirements of any organisation.

“Because Easy2Comply is completely modular, organisations can select the exact tools they need to assist them in achieving GRC objectives. They are under no obligation to purchase the entire suite of products, and each module integrates seamlessly with all of the others to deliver tailored, comprehensive GRC software tools. Easy2Comply is delivered as enterprise level software or as Software as a Service, so smaller organisations with lower capital budgets can still take advantage of these tools,” says Vyravene.

Vyravene himself has been working in the field of risk and compliance for more than a decade, and is the first person in South Africa to have achieved the GRC Professional certification from OCEG, the Open Compliance and Ethics Group, a level which less than 30 professionals worldwide have attained.

“Software cannot solve GRC, as GRC is not a problem but an ongoing process that requires continual input and involvement from organisations. However it can act as an enabler, automating certain processes required for GRC, lowering the risk associated with these processes and increasing capability for the future of the GRC programme,” Vyravene says.

How Smart is your Smartphone?

By admin, 25 maja, 2011, No Comment

The Android Operating System is changing the landscape of the mobile market bringing dozens of features designed to make the mobile experience even better. In fact, it virtually turns your mobile device into a pocket-sized personal computer – bringing with it full web browser and Internet surfing capabilities, as well as access to over 200 000 applications through the Android Market. Additionally by combining Samsung innovation with the Android Operating System, mobile communication is taken to a whole new level – giving you a device that is a truly an always-on communication and entertainment tool.

So when you answer the question ‘How Smart is your Smartphone’, take some of the facts below into consideration.

1.    Samsung Galaxy uses Android developed by Google
Android Inc. was purchased by Google Inc. in 2005, and has been an open source operating system since 2008, allowing developers to write managed Java code, controlling a portable device via Google-developed libraries. To enable a specific device to gain a license for Android based applications and usage it must pass the Android Compatibility Test Suite and meet the Android Compatibility Definition – as outlined by Google. Samsung met these expectations and testing standards with their first Android OS phone – the Galaxy i7500 – being approved by Google on 27 April 2009.

Through the development of Android by Google, the Samsung Galaxy range, comes with many Google services pre-installed on the units including; Gmail, Google Web, Google Maps, Google Calendar, YouTube and address book. This gives consumers using any of the Samsung Galaxy range of products the option to use these services, as well as – through the Android Market – to install as many additional applications as they would like. Additionally, the Android operating system is actively developing over time and offers a range of key advantages including:

•    Hardware independence– the apps purchased will typically work on any Android based device
•    Security – each programme runs in its own environment – separating the memory and files of different apps. Additionally, the user is prompted to approve certain rights for the system giving the user additional data security and control.
•    User experience – apps use the same clear and natural operating platform creating an ease of use and functionality

2.    Samsung Galaxy with Android can multi-task
With the Android platform, your device is instantly faster, meaning things like searches, email and apps run smoother and feel more responsive. Your device’s web browser will also run JavaScript, a language that enables much of the interactivity on today’s Web, a lot quicker than before. What’s more you can turn your device into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot and use it to provide Internet access to your laptops and gaming consoles, just like a wireless connection you might find in your home or at a cafe. You can download music directly to your device, easily restore app data in case you lose your device or get a new one and share your contacts over Bluetooth.

And this is just the beginning! With convenient notification bars which shows an icon for each notification waiting to be viewed, as well the ability to create a Smart Taskbar from which to reveal all your applications – multi-tasking has never been easier.

3.    Samsung Galaxy with Android has more free Apps
We all know mobile App stores are booming worldwide, and a new market research report from MarketsandMarkets indicates that the total global mobile applications market is expected to be worth $25 billion by 2015, up from about $6.8 billion in 2010. In fact, to date, the Android Market is the fastest growing app store today, and according to Research2Guidance, given the same growth rates (number of apps) as in the previous months the Android Market will reach 425,000 apps in August 2011 to become the biggest mobile content platform in the world!

The free culture of the Android Market has been one of the main characteristics of the Android ecosystem since its launch where the share of free apps submitted to the store is approximately 60% driving its continued success. And with the Samsung Galaxy and its Android Operating System, you can download a world of applications and access them in the palm of your hand. There are a whole range of applications from games and entertainment to news and finance. There is a Samsung and Android app for virtually anything you could need.

South African payment innovation bridges both developing and developed world

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

“Payment innovation in South Africa bridges the imperatives of both the developing and developed world.”  This is the view of Ngoni Simelane, head innovation of mimoney and INSTANT MONEY payment solutions, powered by Standard Bank.

“Payment innovation in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa, tends to concentrate on the movement of cash between sender and receiver, typically over large distances.

“The phenomenon of large scale remittances sent by employed relatives to folks back home in the developing world, is a major stimulant to payment innovation, particularly via the mobile phone,” he said, adding that there is huge momentum to provide seamless money transfer transactions.

Standard Bank’s INSTANT MONEY cash transfer solution offered at SPAR retail outlets, has shown substantial growth since its launch in March last year, with a 40 percent month on month growth.
While remittances provide the major impetus for cash transfer innovations, major opportunities exist to supply ecurrencies within a mobile wallet in Africa.  For example, locally developed virtual payment mechanism mimoney is currently being piloted in that country to facilitate virtual payments on behalf of Standard Bank.

There are an estimated 45-million phones in South Africa .  This is three times the number to those who have access to the Internet.

Indeed, the mobile phone is pivotal to international payment innovation at present. At a recent conference on Alternative Payment Systems Innovations in San Francisco, most of the focus was on the mobile platform.  At the same conference, Mohammad Khan, President of ViVOtech, the NFC payment and promotion solution provider, claimed that 2011 would be the year of NFC and at least 60 to 70 million NFC enabled phones are expected to be released, mainly in the US this year.”

Armed with this new functionality customers would begin to ask for places to use it, driving merchants to  merchants to upgrade their POS equipment to accept tap-and-go payments.

“South Africa is still some way off mainstream NFC, but several pilot projects are already being mooted,” Simelane said.

Predictions made at the conference were that NFC enabled smart phones would generate the next generation of phone apps that have nothing to do with payments but would rather get consumers hooked on tapping.

“Tapping for consumers would incorporate tapping posters to receive coupons, tapping labels on store shelves to learn about products, tapping when you walk into a store to check-in and receive offers, tapping phones with someone you meet instead of exchanging business cards, etc.,” Simelane said.

Bytes acquires majority stake in TSPI to drive sales growth

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

TSPI, founded by CEO Geoff Garrett, has an exceptional track record in boosting companies’ sales strategies with its Salestracker solution. Bytes has taken the opportunity of the acquisition to invest heavily in Salestracker, which has been used extensively to boost sales, initially at Bytes Systems Integration, and then elsewhere in the Bytes group. It will also be used in Altron and in the rest of the market.

TSPI stands for “Think Sales Performance Improvement”, and arose from the renowned Think Corporation.
“We provide sales performance improvement solutions for companies where sales are business-to-business,” says Garrett, who retains the balance of the shares in his company. “We work closely with our clients to address sales performance issues, ensure sales people meet and then exceed their targets, and identify and fulfil cross- and up-selling opportunities.”

Bytes, in particular, and Altron as a whole, has many opportunities to sell a deeper set of solutions to its thousands of customers. Cross- and upselling is one of Bytes CEO Rob Abraham’s key strategies to drive top- and bottom-line performance.

“We were introduced to Geoff and his team through Bytes Systems Integration MD Rob Griggs,” says Abraham. “TSPI had a powerful impact on our performance in the first year, so we were very keen on the one hand to gain access to the company’s intellectual property, and to ensure we could drive sales performance across Bytes and Altron.”

Typical issues that impact sales and that TSPI can address include:

• Underperformance on the top line – sales people are not making target;
• No sales process;
• Insufficient differentiation;
• Competitors are winning more often;
• Lack of accountability;
• Busy sales people, but input does not match effort;
• Incorrectly aligned sales teams;
• Lack of timeous visibility into the sales pipeline; and
• Poor planning

“These are just some of the reasons sales teams underperform,” says Garrett. “We address all of these and more, and we proved it at Bytes Systems Integration. We helped boost the top line and took underperforming sales people through to exceptional performance.”

TSPI has an exceptional track record of success, with clients including Modena, the No 1 Autodesk solution provider; PC-Ware; Dovetail Business Solutions – the leader in logistics solutions;, Netsurit; Mint Management Technologies; iSolve; the National Empowerment Fund; and Microsoft Dynamics South Africa.

“We implemented Salestracker across 12 business units,” says Griggs. “We were able to right-size our sales teams; identify and execute on the upside; improve sales management; enhance cross-selling; constantly enhance our forecasting; and positively impact our customers’ perception of us.”
TSPI does this through a process-based engagement model based on the TSPI BluePrint. It also implements a tool to help with visibly using the in-built process configured to each customer’s business. The process analyses underlying symptoms and faults, and produces remedial strategies, leading to success and growth.

HP Personalises Customer Support Experience for Instant-On, Connected World

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

HP today announced a milestone in its evolution of Always On Support by empowering clients and HP partners to solve support issues on their own terms by providing access to the information, people and technology needed to personalise their support experience.

Enterprises need to optimise products, exchange ideas with peers and proactively prevent problems to succeed in today’s dynamic environment. The new HP Support Centre platform delivers one-stop access to IT professionals, online support tools and the industry’s first mobile technical support application.
In fact, deployments of the HP Support Centre platform have resulted in an 18 percentage point increase in web support customer satisfaction and a 30 percentage point increase in resolving clients’ support requests in the first attempt.

“Clients in an instant-on world expect a support experience that delivers immediate access to relevant people and information,” said Leon Erasmus, Technology Services Country Manager, HP South Africa. “Our approach to support has evolved to be more accessible and available – on our clients’ terms – so they can get the most value out of their IT environments.”

The HP Support Centre platform offers clients:

  • One-stop access to the HP Always On community to interact with thousands of IT professionals, exchange best practices in problem resolution, and submit content to the knowledgebase. In addition to standard keyword and product search capabilities, clients can rapidly locate information through a step-by-step troubleshooting tool and access the most popular support documents.
  • Instant mobile technical support to speed problem resolution for HP and select third-party products via mobile devices. HP is the first to deliver this patent-pending innovation, which leverages the capabilities of smartphone platforms. Expected to be available in app stores for webOS, Android and iOS 4 this summer.
  • Online support process management to troubleshoot issues, manage contracts and warranties, submit support cases and connect with HP experts online. These processes are integrated with HP’s call centre infrastructure, resulting in a convergence of service delivery models that improves a clients’ overall support experience.

“HP is applying its strengths in innovation to deliver clients tools that will help them completely refine and refresh their organisation’s technical support practice,” said Rob Brothers, director, Hardware and Software Support Services, IDC. “The HP Support Centre raises the bar for clients to take online support to a new level.”
Availability

All capabilities are available at no additional cost as part of warranty, HP Care Pack Services and contractual support agreements. Some capabilities require specific levels of support. HP Support Centre will be available globally next month. More information is available at www.hp.com/services/supportcenterintro.

The enhanced HP Support Center is an enabler of the Instant-On Enterprise, which embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with whatever they need, instantly.

HP’s premier client event, HP DISCOVER, takes place June 6 – 10 in Las Vegas and Nov. 29 – Dec. 1 in Vienna, Austria. The event showcases how organisations can get started on their Instant-On Enterprise journeys.

Foris Telecom Operates Alvarion® 4G Network in Uganda and Mozambique

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

Alvarion Ltd today announced that Foris Telecom, a mobile broadband Internet and applications service provider, has launched its 4G network in Mozambique and Kampala, Uganda. The network, operating in the 2.5 GHz frequency range, is the first 4G deployment in Uganda and Mozambique.

“Alvarion’s best-of-breed solution allows us to meet the specific demands of the African market,” said Dov Slook, CEO and Chairman of Foris Telecom. “Given the countries’ struggle to connect to the Maritime cable, Alvarion’s cost-effective solutions enable us to offer our existing and new customers 4G broadband services at very competitive rates.”

The network will provide broadband connectivity to residential and business users as well as local municipalities. This deployment will contribute to the economic growth of the region and help bridge the digital divide.

“We are pleased to join forces with Foris Telecom to provide 4G wireless broadband services in Uganda and Mozambique,” said Eran Gorev, president and CEO of Alvarion. “With more than 70 commercial 4G deployments across Africa, we have strong experience enabling broadband services in the region. We are committed to supporting Foris Telecom in building a future-proof network that will deliver high speed data services to the market.”

Tablet market could spur mobile data boom

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

The growing tablet computer market could spark new demand for mobile data that will handsomely benefit South African cellular operators and service providers in the next few months.

That’s the word from Tim Walter, executive head of marketing at Nashua Mobile. He says that the tablet market in South Africa can be expected to show sharp growth throughout the rest of the year as new tablet products arrive on the scene.

Gartner forecasts that annual global tablet shipments will jump from less than 18 million in 2010 to 294 million in 2015.* Much of this growth is cannibalising worldwide sales of PCs and notebooks as end-users start to consume more of their media on the run from their tablet computers rather than from their desktops and notebooks. Similar patterns of growth will be seen in South Africa.

Says Walter: “The success of the iPad and the iPad 2 in the South African market indicates that there is a real hunger among local consumers and business users for tablet computers with cellular data connections. Apple’s local distribution and retail partner sold hundreds of iPad 2 units within hours of the product hitting the shelves on April 29.

“Unusually for a computer product launch in South Africa, people were queuing for the iPad 2 before stores even opened on that day. The most popular models of the iPad 2 were those with both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, which sold out in many stores within the space of a few hours.”

Walter says that the tablet market can be expected to enjoy strong growth in the coming months, with new Android tablets from the likes of Motorola arriving in South Africa as well as the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook.

“Users have only a few tablet options to choose from right now – basically, it’s the Apple iPad or Samsung’s Android-based Galaxy Tab. But that picture is changing fast. With more choice from June onwards, more competition and more marketing, we can expect to see the tablet market really take off,” Walter says.

“Since so many tablets ship with integrated 3G connectivity, this will be good news for mobile operators, opening up a whole new market for them to address.” Although initial shipments of the BlackBerry PlayBook and some of the other new devices may be Wi-Fi only models, tablets with 3G connectivity will eventually dominate the market, believes Walter.

Walter says that some of the growth will come at the expense of cellular data usage on smartphones and notebooks, but much of it will be new. End-users will begin to devour more cellular data as they use their tablets to browse the Web, send and receive emails, read magazines and books, play online games, watch video and use business applications.

Walter says that to capitalise on the growth of the tablet market, service providers and operators will need to put together affordable data bundles, possibly with subsidised hardware. Eventually, this market will add up to a substantial opportunity since tablet users will be consuming a lot of data to cater for their appetite for rich online media and applications, he concludes.

Software AG Maintains Leader Status in Enterprise Service Bus Technology for the Fourth Consecutive Time

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

Software AG today announced that it has been named a Leader in the April 2011 The Forrester Wave: Enterprise Service Bus, Q2 2011 report. Software AG is ranked the highest in current offering, strategy and market presence, from among nine Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) vendors and 11 ESB products.

Software AG’s ESB provides the foundation for a service-oriented architecture (SOA), combining application integration capabilities, high-speed messaging, and event-driven technologies to create a complete integration infrastructure solution. According to Forrester Research, Inc., Software AG and the other leaders’ top-ranking position in this report is based on having “the most-comprehensive support for ESB features.”

The research firm has cited Software AG as a Leader in the past four Forrester Wave evaluations in this category. According to Forrester, “Software AG delivers an easy-to-use ESB” and has a “… long track record of providing ease of implementation and delivering value to customers.” In fact, Software AG has the largest number of ESB implementations of any vendor in this evaluation.

ESBs have evolved quickly over the past several years, according to Forrester. The use of ESBs in enterprises is poised for continued growth. Forrester observed that 58 percent of organizations responding to their survey are already using an ESB, and another 32 percent are considering an ESB.

“To be named a leader in an industry that is built on delivering robust, innovative solutions to the marketplace is an honor,” said Dr. Wolfram Jost, Chief Technology Officer and Member of the Executive Board, Software AG.

The evaluated components of Software AG’s ESB included webMethods Integration Server, webMethods Broker, CentraSite and webMethods Mediator. webMethods Integration Server provides businesses a complete integration platform to integrate any system from any vendor.

webMethods Broker is a messaging “backbone” supporting high-speed messaging requirements between applications. CentraSite, the Business Service Repository for SOA and BPM, is a complete governance solution keeping services aligned with business needs. webMethods Mediator, when combined with CentraSite, completes the solution with governance of all services from development to run-time.

MapIT provides interactive web mapping for this year’s Comrades Marathon

By admin, 24 maja, 2011, No Comment

he Comrades Marathon is renowned as the world’s greatest ultra marathon and on May 29 thousands of brave runners will take part in the ‘up run’ starting at the City Hall in Durban and finishing at The Cricket Oval in Pietermaritzburg – a staggering 89km.

“The Comrades Marathon is a world class event in its own right, attracting the best ultra marathon athletes locally and internationally and MapIT is extremely proud to be supplying the mapping data to ensure the successful coordination of the marathon on the day.  With the online map we hope to alleviate any stress on the day for both the runners and the spectators and to achieve an enjoyable and hassle free day for all,” says MapIT Managing Director, Etienne Louw.

With the logistical support of MapIT, runners and spectators will be able to visit the official Comrades website [http://comrades.mapservice.co.za/] and view the interactive online map and familiarise themselves with the route, refreshment stations with the exact kilometre mark as well as coordinate their support teams route and meeting spots.

Runners will also be able to view both the start and end points to ensure the best parking on the day of the race. For spectators and support teams, the zoom in function on the map allows users to get a much better view of the route to ensure the best path is taken along the course of the race.

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