Archive for Czerwiec, 2011

Email signature compliance and the new Companies act

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

The provisions of section 32 of the new Companies Act, which addresses the use and publication of a company’s name, provide for similar obligations to those imposed under the previous Companies Act, 1978, with the notable exception of the requirements for including directors’ names and nationalities in business letters and business emails.

Both new and previous Acts require that a company’s name and registration number be mentioned in legible characters in all notices and other official publications of the company, including notices or other official publications in electronic format. The requirement extends to all bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques, and orders for money and goods purporting to be signed by or on behalf of the company in all letters, delivery notes, invoices, receipts, and letters of credit of the company.

However, the new Act does not include the requirement contained in section 171 of the previous Act, which obliged companies to incorporate and display the full names and nationalities of each of its directors on trade catalogues, trade circulars and business letters of the company.

The provisions of the previous Act meant that companies were required to include the names of its directors (or a link to its website on which these names were listed) on all business email correspondence, which in general practice are included in a corporate email signature.

While this requirement is not provided for under the new Act, our view is that the exclusion was an oversight that could be corrected in an amendment to the new Act. We, therefore, would advise companies still to display the initials and surnames of all directors and the nationalities of any non-South African directors on all business letters, trade catalogues and trade circulars, including those in electronic format wherein a link to the company website containing this information would suffice.

By failing to comply with this requirement, should the relevant section in the new Act be amended, companies may be faced with compliance issues.

By Preeta Bhagattjee, Director and Head of the National Telecommunications, Media and Telecommunication Practice and Simone Gill, Director ofTMT and Victor Omoighe, Candidate Attorney, TMT, at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.

Mira Networks to sponsor Mobile Monday chapter meeting

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Mobile Monday is the world’s largest community of players of the mobile industry outside of the GSM Association. The founding meeting of the chapter for French-speaking Sub-Saharan Africa will feature a keynote speech by Laurent Kiba, head of Mobile Payment at Orange Senegal on the topic “Mobile Money: Challenges and Opportunity for Francophone Africa.”

The launch event of Mobile Monday Senegal will take place at JokkoLabs, French-speaking Africa’s first innovation hub. It will be an invitation-only event for key industry players in Senegal such as executives from mobile phone operators (Orange, Tigo, Expresso), handset makers with local presence (Samsung, Nokia), as well as other international ICT players with established operations in Dakar (Microsoft, Google, Viadeo). They will all take part in an open, informal debate after the initial presentation made by the speaker.

Says Alexander Grouet, Regional Director at Mira Networks: “Mira Networks is proud to be the exclusive sponsor of this event. As a pioneer of the mobile industry in Africa, we have provided our clients with connectivity to various markets across the continent including Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, the two leaders in Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Mira Networks’ founding CEO Sean D. Conde, concluded by saying: “Through this event, we hope to facilitate interaction between the industry’s key players. This interaction should help shape the future of mobile technology in the region for the mutual benefit of all players. We know that the most difficult stage for any new initiative such as Mobile Monday Senegal is funding the launch. That is why we did not hesitate to throw our support behind the Mobile Monday Senegal team when they approached us.”

“Serious gaming” can be a learning tool

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Recent research was conducted with the purpose of exploring the relationship between the use of serious games and learning.  The findings of the research project established that participants using the game scored significantly higher than others who did not, says Jackie Launder from Human Performance, a practice within The IQ Business Group, one of South Africa’s leading independent management consultancy.

“Within the research a number of studies demonstrated the effectiveness of serious games and simulations for cognitive, emotional and psychomotor learning.  According to these studies serious games motivate learning, offer immediate feedback, consolidate knowledge, support skills development and application, aid learning transfer and influence changes in behaviour and attitudes,” says Launder.

At this point you might be wondering what serious gaming might be?  It is defined as a game that is designed for something other than sheer entertainment.  The word ‘serious’ in fact refers to the application of games in performance assessment, training and development, education, viral marketing, promotion, recruitment, awareness campaigns, scientific exploration, emergency management, city planning and engineering.
“Serious gaming is a young methodology,” states Launder.  “Play performs an important role in psychological, social and intellectual development and the play associated with games is an important construct of learning.”

A game in itself is a set of activities involving one or more people playing.  A game has goals, constraints, payoffs and consequences.  It is rule-guided and must often be story-based to become really engaging.  It also involves some aspect of competition, even if that competition is with oneself.

“Stories are one of the most fundamental and powerful learning experiences available to us.  If that concept is applied to produce an imaginative well-executed game, it will result in an interactive story-line that the user can engross themselves in.  Participation in these stories can change learners’ relationships to information by encouraging visualisation, experimentation and creativity in finding new ways to tackle the game,” she explains.

Research shows that first person perspective PC-based serious games are intrinsically motivating and can facilitate learning.  “There must be an element of sense making, such that the learner understands the link between the information and its application to a task or environment.  If the learner is able to understand the outcomes of using or understanding information, then they are more likely to retain it,” she says.

The serious game environment can be optimally utilised for informal learning in general and for industrial learning in particular.  She says, “serious games enable engagement in learning activities that are normally too costly to resource or too dangerous, difficult or impractical to implement in the classroom.”

Launder says that keeping players motivated to continue playing is however a challenge. “The game technology needs to draw the player into the game by making it immersive through realism and challenging tasks.  Serious games can deal with infinite amounts of content and afford differing levels of challenge, which can be instantly updated, customised and modified to adapt to the user’s skill level.”

Significant learning benefits of serious games have been found to include use of meta-cognition and mental models, improved strategic thinking, insight and development of analytical skills.  “Serious games can support both ‘social learning’ and ‘situational learning’ and optimises learning in three broad categories:  skill-based, cognitive learning and affective knowledge such as attitude.  For these reasons, I predict companies and individuals encountering serious gaming as a form of learning more often,” concludes Launder.

Mouser rakes up Fastest Channel to Market award

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Mouser Electronics, Inc., a design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components, has announced that it has been recognized with the Fastest Channel to Market Award from Cooper Bussmann, an industry leader in overcurrent/overvoltage protection, magnetics, supercapacitor and connector technologies.

The prestigious award was given to Mouser in recognition of outstanding distribution performance on all levels of service, from the supplier’s shelf to the customer’s doorstep. Mouser leads the way in the most progressive, efficient methods of bringing its suppliers’ products to the fingertips of today’s design engineers, which has been integral to its enormous success and the inspiration for the award from Cooper Bussmann.

“We are honored and excited to be recognized as Fastest Channel to Market by Cooper Bussmann,” said Andy Kerr, Mouser Vice President of Passives and Circuit Protection. “We have always prided ourselves as the most effective channel for bringing emerging technologies to the top minds in the highly competitive world of electronic engineering. We take this prestigious award from Cooper Bussmann as a clear affirmation of our goals, and look forward to an excellent future for our company, our partners, and our customers.”

Vodacom invests in employee leadership across Africa

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Vodacom, in partnership with the Wits Business School, saw twenty-four employees graduate from the Vodacom Advanced Executive Programme.

The 2010 intake for the employee development programme included representatives from four other African offices for the first time, entrenching Vodacom’s commitment to grow leaders across the African continent.

“The VAEP programme is an important development tool for us, especially since it gives our top employees from our African businesses the opportunity to visit Vodafone operations around the world to extract the top global innovative thinking. They return to South Africa and develop business case proposals which could be applied to our African operations.  This makes the programme exciting for their own development, but the cross-boundary collaboration also carries enormous benefits for Vodacom,” says Mpho Nkeli, Chief Human Resources Officer at Vodacom.

This annual programme has been running since 2003 and is designed to reward talented employees by offering them the opportunity to take part in an educational programme to improve their business and innovation skills for the benefit of Vodacom and their future careers.

“The aim of the programme is to contribute towards strengthening our business, to actively create an environment for our people to excel beyond our innovation borders and to grow Vodacom leaders across the continent,” adds Nkeli.

Employees who are invited to join the programme are expected to attend lectures on multiple modules covering everything from finance, accounting and economics. The course offers both theoretical and practical experience.

“One of the most important elements of the course is the Janus Project, where participants analyse an international organisation of their choice in an integrated case study and extract learning points of global solutions whiles remaining locally relevant for future consideration by Vodacom,” says Nkeli.

This programme allows Vodacom to always be a step ahead of its competitors by promoting strategic thinking and innovation amongst its employees. The suggestions, research and findings that are developed from this programme are carefully analysed and considered by Vodacom’s executive team.

“The VAEP programme ensures that our employees always strive for excellence and are always looking for ways to be creative, dynamic and innovative,” says Nkeli.
VAEP continues to be a success and it allows Vodacom employees to work in a positive and challenging environment.

“VAEP allows us to retain and attracts the best employees in the market. The programme also offers us the opportunity to identify and build future leaders of Vodacom,” concludes Nkeli.

VAEP is aligned with a high calibre of reputable leadership programmes and has also been customized to meet multidimensional industry and global standards. It has recently been enhanced with a Telecoms Mini MBA, whilst providing a diverse learning approach.

Internship key to sustained workforce in SA – Intel

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Leadership starts at home according to Intel. In the case of large corporates, no other statement expresses this with more clarity, especially during a month where the youth take centre stage in South Africa.  Intel is doing just that with their successful internship programme, which country manager for South Africa, Videsha Proothveerajh, refers to as the ‘engine to power a strong workforce’.

In 2009 Intel South Africa introduced an internship programme for exactly this reason and has jump -started the careers of young South Africans both is Sales and Marketing roles as well as in the technical roles with the belief that this not only creates a pipeline of skilled employees for Intel but for the whole ICT industry as well in South Africa

Ms Proothveerajh believes the secret to cultivating young, successful and innovative leaders in the highly competitive South African technology industry, is in the creation of a sustainable cycle of consistent mentoring. “Giving the youth the chance in the first place to add the title ‘up-and-coming leader’ to their portfolio is the cornerstone to growing and developing any organisation’s leadership structures. In essence, a wheel of empowerment is created. Great businesses need great people whose energy and ideas inspire the next wave of visionary leaders – especially on senior level.”

During times when there are literally thousands of often confusing streams of messages clogging our digital airwaves, self-belief is critical to stay the course, and internships provide the perfect vehicle for establishing a platform of self-belief through experience. The only way young people can truly believe in themselves is if they are empowered in such a way to garner experience in their chosen field of study.  Ms Proothveerajh says, at Intel, interns are encouraged to think outside the box constantly to stay ahead in the always changing world of technological innovation.

21 year old Meruska Moodley Intel South Africa’s intern for Marketing and PR says ‘ In my six months with Intel I have not only learned to understand the marketing and PR in the ICT industry over and above that I have come to discover myself in the workplace, I understand my strengths and development areas. My mentors have really guided me and I now realise that university has equipped me with the knowledge and here at Intel I have been given a platform develop the skills and discover my own self-belief in what I can achieve. I feel I can only grow further from here’

As empowered youth leaders, our interns respond to setting goals that constantly stretch them and keep them interested. You’ve got to get them thinking about how your business can do things better, provide far better value, never be satisfied with the status quo, never give up. In this way its becomes a two way processors where in return they inspire us at Intel to never be complacent and to continue to innovate for the consumers of tomorrow”

“Great leaders grow other leaders,” Ms Proothveerajh ardently explains. “At the end of the day one leader alone simply won’t do the trick, you’ve got to have what is known as ‘leadership bench strength’. As one of the recognised best companies to work for, our mentors at Intel have unrestricted access to inspire and drive their people in the way they think best to power a new generation of leaders.”

HP Compaq 6200 Pro Desktop now available from DCC

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

The new HP Compaq 6200 Pro Desktop PC series, available from distributors Drive Control Corporation, has been designed with business in mind. With platform stability and upgradability to enable standardisation throughout the organisation, the 6200 series supports the technology strategy of any business and ensures return on technology investment.

“These high end desktop machines are designed for long term use, with stability on the platform to ensure that the machines will not be outdated quickly. From a corporate and business standpoint this means that organisations can standardise on these machines, which will continue to work solidly and have support until the next technology refresh,” says Deon Botha, HP PSG Product Specialist at DCC.

“By standardising machines across the business organisations ensures that IT staff need only be trained on one hardware platform, which reduces an organisation’s operational expenses in terms of maintenance. And with upgradeable capability, organisations can add more RAM and hard drive capacity as demand requires without needing to purchase brand new machines when applications begin to run slowly, further extending the initial investment,” he adds.

The 6200 series features integrated dual independent monitor support via VGA and Display Port and wireless NIC options to increase connectivity options.

For easy manageability the 6200 series includes HP business PC BIOS, which helps maintain control over IT resources by providing diagnostic and service information, making upgrades easier and keeping lifecycle tracking information easily available. On the security side the integrates a Trusted Platform Module 1.2 compliant security chip, USB Port Disable features and HP Business PC Security Locks to help protect business hardware and data.

“To enhance manageability even further HP’s business machines can take advantage of VPro technology, an innovative hardware-based solution that enables technical staff to remotely login to a crashed machine using the hardware to conduct repairs without leaving their offices. For technical staff this makes their jobs far easier and more efficient and for the user of the crashed machine repairs can be done without disrupting their day too much, leaving them to get back to productivity quickly with a minimum of fuss,” Botha adds.

The 6200 series incorporates the latest Intel Core i3 processors for enhanced productivity, performance and usability and comes standard in 2GB and 4GB RAM options and hard drives space of between 250GB and 500GB for plenty of storage. Bespoke special builds for unique customised requirements are also offered and can be ordered on request.

DVT launches QA unit in Gauteng

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Software developer DVT has expanded its quality assurance offering in South Africa by opening a dedicated QA division in Gauteng, following the success of the company’s QA Cape Business Unit.

“Software QA is a critical component of what we do as software developers says Chris Wilkins, CEO of DVT. “The combination of competitive pricing, internship opportunities, mentoring and other complementary services offered by DVT has made QA Cape a great success. Our clients have seen the benefits well supported, educated software QA analysts can offer to their software development efforts. We aim to replicate this in Gauteng.” Yvonne Smith, business manager of DVT QA Gauteng, says the unit was set up to meet the growing demand for software QA from DVT.

Smith will bring her own experience in QA and testing to bear on the new unit. She will also use the Cape QA model experiences and incorporate these into her planning for the future. “Yvonne’s vision, determination and practical approach are just what we need to give life to the new unit,” says Wilkins.

DVT’s QA units focus on mentoring and coaching, with the company bringing new and inexperienced graduates into DVT and the broader IT industry. “It’s exactly what is required in an industry that has traditionally been very difficult to break into without years of experience and leading-edge skills,” says Wilkins. “Our interns work in the QA teams for a few years and after that they can consider moving into software development, business analysis or other roles.”

Wilkins says that starting an IT career in QA is a softer option that allows young people to familiarise themselves with the generic aspects of IT before having to learn the specialised and complex skills involved with other roles in software development and related professions. “Our QA business units are an ideal mechanism for job creation and graduate training at DVT, at our clients and in IT in general.”

He adds that DVT clients are benefitting from the readily available supply of recently trained graduates whose skills are complemented by experienced DVT QA staff. “Given the shortage of testing professionals in the industry, DVT has come up with an affordable and practical solution that works. We also have agreements in place with our clients so that they can make permanent job offers to various DVT QA interns once both parties are satisfied that there are good reasons for doing this. This gives the client a chance to ‘test drive’ an inexperienced graduate prior to making an appointment. Although our model does not lead with this service, it is still comforting for clients to know that they have this option.”

Mouser Receives 20 Awards at 2011 EDS Conference

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Mouser Electronics, Inc., a design engineering resource and global distributor for semiconductors and electronic components, received numerous accolades and awards from its supplier partners at the recent Electronic Distribution Show and Conference in Las Vegas, NV.  Suppliers cited many reasons for the honors, including double-digit sales growth, fastest introduction of new products, breadth of inventory, successful marketing campaigns and commitment to teamwork. Suppliers said it is easy to do business with Mouser.

“It is very gratifying to be recognized by so many suppliers,” says Mouser President and CEO Glenn Smith. “We appreciate the partnerships and the recognition from these industry-leading suppliers. It’s really great to work with such world-class manufacturers who share our philosophy of Service Excellence and recognize the importance of technology leadership.”

For the third consecutive year, Mouser won the prestigious Catalog Distributor of the Year award from Littelfuse – the first distributor ever to win three times in a row.

Top distributor awards also came from C&K Components, Neutrik, VCC, APEM, and CTS.

Mouser won the award for Fastest Channel to Market from Cooper Bussmann, recognizing Mouser for its focus on new product introduction. Mouser also won the prestigious eCommerce Distributor Excellence Award for Circuit Protection Products from Bourns.

Several suppliers honored their Mouser product manager as PM of the Year. These include: Alfredo Arteta for C&K, Eric Flodstrom for VCC, and Kelli Carvino for Omron. Mouser Product Specialist Joe Fox won the Outstanding Sales Performance Award for 2010 from Kingbright.

Other achievements given to Mouser at EDS include:

  • Sales Achievement, Highest Percentage Growth in Fiscal Year from  TDK/EPCOS
  • Above and Beyond Award for Outstanding 2010 Performance from Amphenol Industrial
  • A Distribution Channel Award from Emerson Power/Johnson
  • Two Year Member Million Dollar Club Award from NKK Switches
  • Outstanding Customer Growth from Qualtek
  • Diamond Club Award from NTE Electronics
  • Superior Sales Performance from Keystone Electronics
  • 2010 Premier Distributor in Recognition of Sales Excellence and Continued Dedication from Alpha Wire.

CEO Smith elaborated to say that, “Mouser is a preferred resource of design engineers worldwide because of the speed in which we introduce new products, our up-to-date product information, and our broad selection of in-stock components, not to mention our dedication to providing the best-in-class customer service.”

Mouser offers customers 17 global support locations and the world’s largest selection of technologically advanced components for their newest design projects. Mouser Electronics’ website is updated daily and searches more than 7.5 million products to locate over 1.9 million orderable part numbers available for easy online purchase.  Mouser.com also houses an industry-first interactive catalog, data sheets, supplier-specific reference designs, application notes, technical design information, and engineering tools.

Singer Group opts for eRes system to handle reversations/distrubutions

By admin, 15 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

After successfully installing the Apex property management System solution from Hospitality Technology International at the Montagu Springs Resort in the Little Karoo, the  Singer Group has now opted to install its eRes  central reservation and distribution software.

HTI’s eRes solution is supplied to over 90 groups, spanning more than 2500 properties in sub-Saharan Africa. The software- a web-based application that interfaces with most major property management systems, travel agents, tour operators and marketing portals – is said to be the most widely used CRS in South Africa.

Brian Singer, MD of the Singer Group, said the group said Apex provided the Montagu Springs Hotel with a simple to operate, cost efficient PMS solution. “Apex replaced a purpose-built system that was previously in use, which had, over time, become outdated. With Apex we are now enjoying a cutting edge system, which is providing us with better control and reporting.”

Singer said that earlier this year the company assumed the management of Dolphin Beach Hotel, deciding to link HTI’s eRes CRS to its existing property management solution. “This has enabled us to better manage and control the various distribution channels that we currently use, including third party web-sites, various tour operators and Global Distribution Systems.

“In addition, we have purchased HTI’s Apex PMS for Gardens Centre Apartments, and are in the process of installing the system. We are expecting to see the same benefits from the system that we are enjoying at Montagu Springs and Dolphin Beach Hotels.

“We plan to roll out Apex where possible, or required, at any of our existing properties – and also at any future properties we may manage. We are currently securing commercial arrangements with a variety of third party web-sites, tour operators and travel agents that make use of eRes.

“This will lead to increased reservations. We are also currently redesigning our hotel web-sites and will integrate eRes’ live booking facility, providing our clients with live access  to our room inventory. Thanks to the capabilities of eRes,  as a reservation is made, our inventory and PMS update automatically,” concluded Singer.

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