Archive for Czerwiec, 2011

Samsung to provide specific content for African Market

By admin, 2 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

To coincide with the Apps World Series taking place in Cape Town, Samsung South Africa is responding to market trends and demands by implementing a new team structure to address the growing need for Android/BADA users and to cater with a range of applications/content that suits their lifestyle needs and provides mobile content for both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.

Worldwide mobile application store downloads are forecast to reach 17.7 billion downloads in 2011, a 117% increase from an estimated 8.2 billion downloads in 2010, according to Gartner. In fact, by the end of 2014, Gartner forecast over 185 billion applications will have been downloaded from mobile app stores, since the launch of the first one in July 2008.

Says Paulo Ferreira, Head of Product and Software Solutions at Samsung; “New talent has been recruited to discover new ways to apply innovative technology and form a new content and apps team. This team will create and provide localised African content and apps for smartphone and tablet users and in turn contribute to the local software ecosystem. We have recognised the opportunity in the market, as highlighted by Gartner and others, to provide engaging and relevant content as smartphones are becoming more accessible to all Africans.”

While providing the market with cost effective smartphone options is a good start, it’s important to educate the market to understand that smartphones and tablets are more than just cool and convenient devices, they also hold the potential to transform many industries. Brett Loubser, B2C Apps Development Lead, adds; “Through this education and understanding Samsung aim to bridge the gap between the unique challenges and opportunities around innovative mobile applications, in Africa.”

“As we look ahead, Samsung sees the opportunity to expand not only the breadth and depth of apps, but also how users interact with them, making it easy to discover and enjoy digital content across multiple devices. The potential of apps and content to change the landscape of Africa is boundless,” states Adrian Lee, Mobile Content Lead.

T-Systems a cloud service Leader

By admin, 2 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

The international analyst firm IDC considers T-Systems to hold a leading market position for private cloud services in Europe, after gaining a head start on competitors by moving early into this market.

According to IDC, the German-based ICT service provider is in the lead particularly in private cloud services for enterprises and in bringing cloud services into large outsourcing projects. T-Systems provides a large number of solutions that enable companies to outsource business applications to the cloud and use them on demand.

IDC also stated that T-Systems has strong experience and integration expertise for private cloud services in Europe, based on having offered cloud computing services as its Dynamic Services offering since 2004. More than 500 customers already use these services and some of them have been doing so for as long as seven years. IDC notes that through more than 160 “plugs” (templates), T-Systems can migrate and operate a wide range of applications as a cloud computing service. That includes operations that are based on strict German security regulations and that fulfil comprehensive compliance requirements. While competitors are set to replicate such offerings, T-Systems was a proactive early mover and is currently reaping the rewards.

“Cloud offers are an important component of the Deutsche Telekom strategy,” says Reinhard Clemens, T-Systems CEO and member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management. “The Group plans to grow by two billion Euros with T-Systems by 2015. One key driving factor here is the growing demand for current and new cloud offers.”

IDC expects the European market for private clouds and infrastructure as a service in secure environments to experience rapid growth in the next few years. According to IDC, while some service providers held back with offering cloud services in order to protect the outsourcing projects they were involved in at the time, T-Systems used cloud computing as a growth engine.

In its analysis, IDC also emphasized that the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary launched interesting initiatives with cloud solutions for intelligent networks. These include the connected car, online healthcare solutions and smart power grids.

IDC considers T-Systems’ competence when it comes to providing secure IT and network services from one source to be an additional advantage. The company’s comprehensive ICT management services comprise a significant unique selling proposition on the market.

In summary, IDC describes T-Systems as “a provider that enterprises need to consider when moving to cloud, and one that competitors need to watch closely”.

T-Systems in South Africa recently announced its plans to enter the Cloud Computing market with its dynamic service solutions.  With its dynamic IT services, T-Systems will meet the business demands of their customers for scalability, agility and usage based computing.

Says Gert Schoonbee, head of Sales, Major Accounts and Strategy at T-Systems in South Africa, “A key differentiator of our dynamic services is T-Systems’ ability to offer advanced automation, controls and management functionality.”

Afresh Consult now a Sage ERP X3 Diamond partner

By admin, 2 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

With a rapidly growing presence in sub-Saharan Africa, enterprise resource planning specialist Afresh Consult has added the Sage ERP X3 suite to its software solutions portfolio. The company, which has made a name for itself in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Kenya, has opened a dedicated division which focuses exclusively on the solution and is investing in training and personnel to take it to market across the region.

According to Immo Böhm, Afresh Consult MD, it sought an ‘upper-midrange’ ERP solution to complement its existing software offerings. “We’ve done very well at the mid-lower tier of the market, with over 60 clients in Anglophone sub-Saharan Africa; however, there is a clear opportunity emerging for software which is above that level,” he says.

In seeking a suitable software suite, Böhm says functionality and performance was just one facet of the process. “We also wanted a vendor which has an appropriate channel strategy which would fit with our own approach: Afresh does not enter into partnerships lightly. With the investment in terms of money and time, we wanted a partner which would bring the same levels of commitment to value creation.”

He adds that a track record which would provide some indication of future longevity was also considered. “In Sage, we have found a vendor with the right software, the right channel programmes and the right level of partner support for our organisation.”

As a Sage ERP X3 Diamond-level partner, Böhm says Afresh is investing in training to sell, implement and support the solution through its new division. That investment includes a recently kicked off internship programme in terms of which six individuals have joined the company, focused on programming and consulting on this software.

Sage Software describes its ERP X3 as a compact and affordable software system for mid-sized companies, which supports all business processes across finance, distribution and manufacturing. Diamond Level is the vendor’s highest partnership distinction and is awarded as recognition of reseller participation in training and other partner programmes offered by the software company.

“As we take Sage ERP X3 to market, there will be specific focus on manufacturing and distribution; there is considerable opportunity for Afresh Consult to grow its presence and reputation as a provider of ERP solutions which accelerate business performance,” Böhm concludes.

Portfolio Management extends beyond project lifecycle

By admin, 2 czerwca, 2011, No Comment

Portfolio Management extends beyond the traditional project lifecycle

CEOs and their executive leadership teams must focus on their bottom lines to ensure future sustainability, the chainsaw approach to cutting budgets is long gone. Executives now need to move beyond tactical portfolio management to the next level by using strategic portfolio management as a strategy execution mechanism.

UMT Consulting SA, a local Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution provider, has introduced Strategic Portfolio Management, a set of practical tools and processes for expanding strategic throughput to close the gap between strategy and results.

Strategic Portfolio Management ensures the translation of strategy through a closed-loop, strategic portfolio management process that anticipates capacity constraints and risks. It determines the current state of the enterprise and the initiatives, programs, and projects required to achieve the organisation’s strategic objectives. Furthermore, it also incorporates senior executive perspectives and what c-level executives want from their portfolio, program, and project managers.

Strategic Portfolio Management is thus the mechanism for strategy engagement and delivery and supports the organisation’s achievement of strategic, risk and financial objectives within the required parameters of cost and time with optimal resource allocation. It is the continuous process of, selecting and managing the optimum balanced set of portfolio investments to realise maximum business value. Most importantly, it considers the portfolio costs, risks, and returns of all projects within the portfolio as well as the tradeoffs between them.

RPM Systems Corporation chairman Stephen Garfein says on average, company strategy is executed to plan only 56 percent of the time. “There is enormous room for improvement in strategic throughput, especially between an average organisation, where strategies are executed according to plan only 56 percent of the time, versus high performing organisations that achieve an 83 percent strategic throughput.”

“The performance is measured on whether projects are aligned to the organisation’s business strategy; whether the organisation works on the right projects, whether project resources are allocated optimally, whether projects are completed on schedule and on budget; and whether the organisation’s strategies are executed according to plan,” he explains.

UMT Consulting’s Strategic Portfolio Management specialist Dr. Marthi Pohl, says the portfolio must be aligned to company strategy, balanced for levels of risk and return as well as provide optimal business value. “Strategy needs to be engaged through pro-active corporate portfolio management. Strategic Portfolio Management is the place where an organisation’s purpose, vision and culture translate into performance and results.”

She points to conflicting direction in project investments decisions as a major concern. “All projects across all investment categories (e.g. growth and sustainability) cannot be evaluated with the same set of criteria. More concerning is that investment allocation percentage across categories is not targeted in advance, but is rather an outcome of project funding. Furthermore, return on investment potential may be considered for an individual project investment, but the impact on the portfolio as a whole is ignored.”

“Correlation/dependencies between investments is ignored whilst quantified non-financial benefits analysis in business cases is almost non-existent. Resource utilisation may drive decisions rather than a business objective focus. More importantly, managing the company’s tolerance for risk is lacking and portfolio risk is not addressed and dependencies not managed,” she explains.

UMT Consulting CEO Pieter Meyer says executives must ensure strategy is effectively translated into tactical execution through programs and projects, while ensuring these initiatives are delivering the intended value. “At a strategic level, they need to access and analyse cost, risks, benefits and trade-offs across the total investment (Capex & Opex) within an accepted investment framework with defined categories and appropriate mix in order to select, prioritise and balance.”

“At a tactical level, executives need to manage their spend in accordance to the strategic level decisions, ensuring real business benefits and optimising business performance, and also giving feedback to strategic level,” he concludes.

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