Archive for Sierpień, 2011

Analysis: Africa 2020 and beyond

By admin, 11 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

Africa’s position in the global economy is marked by dramatic contrasts. Although the continent faces high levels of poverty, ailing infrastructure and regulatory uncertainty, the potential for growth in many of its markets is unmatched anywhere else in the world.

To support businesses looking to take advantage of this potential, Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, has completed an analysis entitled “Mega Trends in Africa: A bright vision for the growing continent”. The bextensive study incorporates insights from Frost & Sullivan’s team of African analysts, and highlights the macro-economic forces that will shape the continent’s future for the next ten to thirty years.

The findings of this analysis will be presented at Frost & Sullivan’s inaugural GIL 2011: Africa – The Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership, which takes place on 25 August 2011 in Cape Town. Frost & Sullivan’s analysts and delegates will examine this study and discuss innovative ways of taking advantage of the opportunities these Mega Trends present for success in 2020 and beyond.

Three of the nine Mega Trends discussed in the study are “connecting the unconnected”, “urbanisation” and “regional integration”.

The study projects that, by 2020, mobile penetration in Africa will have more than doubled from the numbers recorded in 2009. Broadband penetration will increase nearly seven-fold over the same period.

“This spurt in connectivity will generate $200 billion in opportunities for networked sectors by 2020,” says Frost & Sullivan’s ICT Industry Analyst Vitalis Ozianyi. “ICT will also become a major employer of skilled manpower.”

By 2025, Africa will have 350 million middle class consumers, and the second highest number of city dwellers of any global region. This urbanisation will occur mostly in West Africa, but will offer opportunities to business throughout the continent.

“Urbanisation in Africa will require the development of innovative products to meet the specific needs of the urban poor and wants of an emerging consumer class,” states Frost & Sullivan’s Healthcare Industry Analyst Ryan Lobban. “These will include low cost housing options and basic infrastructure needs such as transport, power and healthcare. Space will likely become a currency as demand increases in concentrated areas.”

Other knock-on effects of urbanisation will include greater demand for private sector industries such as banking and telecommunications, as well as growing levels of education. Africa’s new middle class will become champions of the private sector, the study contends, driving a more competitive economic environment that will be attractive to foreign investment.

Another key driver of growth will be increased regional integration across Africa. Not only does Frost & Sullivan foresee the creation of a grand free trade zone incorporating most, if not all, of the countries on the continent, but also a rise in electricity trade through power pools that will ensure supply security.

“The development of a grand free trade zone and the strengthening of the regional power pools are expected to significantly increase the size of the consumer market for large scale infrastructure investments,” says Frost & Sullivan’s Energy and Power Industry Analyst Ross Bruton. “Infrastructure investment is expected to be developed primarily within key regional economies that have the potential to export products to surrounding countries cheaply.”

The other Mega Trends covered by the study and to be discussed at GIL 2011: Africa are “innovation to zero”, “renewable power”, “new business models”, “the responsible revolution” and “future infrastructure”.

Logicalis and Promon extend partnership

By admin, 11 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

Datatec Limited, the international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) group, announces that its subsidiary Logicalis Group and its partner in Latin America, Promon SA have agreed changes to their ownership of Promon Logicalis Latin America Limited that will result in Promon continuing as a long term partner of Datatec in Latin America.

Promon is a large privately held technology, engineering and investment group that was formed in 1960 and which has regional business interests. It has been a good partner for Logicalis and has assisted in the growth of PLLAL operations in multiple countries in Latin America since 2008. Promon currently owns 30% of PPLAL and has a put option on this interest to Logicalis.

Promon has now purchased an additional 10% of PLLAL from Logicalis for $15 million in cash, increasing its share of the business to 40%. As a result Datatec’s equity ownership of PLLAL through Logicalis will reduce to 60%, with effect from 31 August 2011.   At the same time Promon has agreed to cancel its put option on its shareholding in PLLAL.

In accordance with IFRS, the fair value adjustments to this put option liability have been accounted for by Datatec through its income statement in previous reporting periods. This substantial charge (as the valuation of PLLAL increased annually) has been the major component of the negative difference between underlying earnings per share and headline earnings per share / earnings per share reported by Datatec.  This charge to the income statement associated with this put option will now fall away. The effects are set out in the table below.

Jens Montanana, Datatec CEO, commented:

“Since Logicalis first partnered with Promon in May 2008 and formed PLLAL to develop its existing Latin American business, the PLLAL business has gone from strength to strength. We are delighted that Promon has committed to the long term future of PLLAL by acquiring a further 10% interest in the business. We both see exciting potential for further growth of our shared business in Latin America”

Small related party transaction per the Listings Requirements of the JSE

Promon is defined as a related party to Datatec due to its existing shareholding in PLLAL. The Listings Requirements of the JSE require Datatec to obtain written confirmation from an independent professional expert that the Transaction is fair to Datatec’s shareholders. Accordingly, Datatec has appointed BDO Corporate Finance (Pty) Ltd (“BDO”), as the independent professional expert to provide this fairness opinion.  The fairness opinion is still subject to approval by the JSE and a further announcement will be made once JSE approval has been received.  The Transaction is conditional on receipt of this approval.

The pro forma financial effects of the Transaction calculated relative to the year ended 28 February 2011 are set out in the following table:

(US cents) As reported Pro- forma after transaction % change
Earnings per Share 22.8 29.8 +30.9%
Headline Earnings per Share 23.9 30.9 +29.4%
Underlying Earnings per Share 37.9 37.5 -0.8%
NAV per Share 392 419 +6.9%
NTAV per Share 159 192 +20.8%

The following assumptions have been made:

  • Figures as reported are the audited results of Datatec for the year ended 28 February 2011;
  • 186 million Datatec shares in issue at 28 February 2011;
  • Interest rate of 5.5% in South Africa where sale proceeds assumed to be held;
  • Tax rate of 28% on interest receivable;
  • the NAV and NTAV pro-forma assumes the disposal occurred on 28 February 2011 and that the put option had never existed;
  • earnings per share pro-forma assumes the sale proceeds invested and no mark-to market adjustment relating to the put option in the year ended 28th February 2011 (minor effect on underlying earnings per share as this mark-to market adjustment is already excluded from underlying earnings).

Miro IP Convergence Conference a success

By admin, 11 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

IP-CON was a one day event to inform industry delegates about new financial opportunities and creative solutions made possible by the convergence of technologies such as audio, video and the Internet.

Miro decided to host this conference as they felt there is no proper platform to inform the industry and share information on the opportunities for Wireless Networks and the convergence of VoIP and IP Video technologies.   “We want to inspire the industry to take a fresh look at the opportunities and features made possible by the convergence of these technologies.” says Bertus van Jaarsveld, CEO of Miro distribution.

IP-CON also featured and exhibition area with stands by local as well as international manufacturers and service providers.  Most of these exhibits were fully interactive, the client could touch the products, as well as see how the products worked in real-life situations, thanks to the live-demos on these stands.

Miro’s exhibitors were full of praise for the conference:

Nancy Bang from Engenius (Singapore) said: “IP-CON has been a great event and I am impressed by Miro’s teamwork and efficiency in setting up this event and make it a successful one! I had made a promise to Bertus that Engenius will work with Miro again next year!”

The IP-CON conference had three basic themes, Wireless, VoIP and IP Video. Each of these sections delivered the latest industry news, a product overview and highlighted the opportunities made possible by these technologies through case studies on how these technologies can be implemented.

Comments from Andrew Lange, one of the the delegates included:

“This is a quick thank-you and congratulations on an incredible well put-together and managed IP Convergence Conference yesterday. Not only were the speakers interesting and the topics relevant to the IP industry, but your conference was impressive and a huge success for all who attended. I believe those in the industry, who did not attend, have missed out!”

A quote by Bertus van Jaarsveld, CEO of Miro distribution, sums up what Miro wanted to achieve with this conference.

“I believe that Miro achieved what we set out to do, that is to inspire people about the opportunities within the IP Convergence field.”

Opinion: It’s an Android world…

By admin, 11 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

By: Johani Marais, HansaWorld South Africa country manager

The notion of taking enterprise resource planning solutions out of the back office and on to mobile devices isn’t a new one. However, with the growing popularity and ubiquity of the Google Android operating system, a viable, simple and low-cost platform is already in the hands of businesspeople everywhere. More than that, from a vendor’s perspective, Android offers the ability to create standard applications which can be easily bought, configured and deployed by the user.

That’s probably the major difference which is ushered in with the advent of more powerful smartphones and the open platform which is Android. Custom-developed solutions which require armies of developers and testers and ongoing maintenance and version control are simply no longer necessary.

HansaWorld, for example, offers ‘Mobile Reports’, released in April on the Android Market. This application uses back-end data to provide the user with detailed insight into company performance in real time.

The proof of the pudding, of course, lies in whether or not Android-based devices really are getting into the market. While it may be a little late to the party compared with Symbian, BlackBerry OS and iOS, Gartner already puts Android’s market share on smartphones at near 50% (April 2011). That’s staggering growth which is reflective of the value seen by the market (and the ecosystem which delivers apps to users). Already, some estimates put the number of apps available on Android at above 250 000.

As business owners and managers continue to see the value if mobile information access, the vendors of ERP solutions will continue to develop more applications that extend company systems out of the back office and on to smartphones.

The emergence of tablets, initially dominated by the iPad, is likely to have a further stimulatory effect. Similar to the handset market, Android provides several advantages over tablets based on other operating systems; it is inexpensive, it allows for competition between manufacturers and it has a growing ecosystem of developers interested in creating applications for the platform.

And Android is a Google product; Google is arguably the leading pioneer in profitable, yet free to the end user, software systems.

With the researchers like Gartner and IDC anticipating further growth in Android, and as more developers turn their attention to creating compelling apps (both the fun ones we use for entertainment and the serious ones we use for business), it is looking very much like an Android world. A world in which work and play are combined on to increasingly powerful mobile devices and insights into the most detailed metrics describing company performance are always readily at hand.

Samsung’s Ch@t shows significant growth

By admin, 10 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

Samsung has announced that its instant messaging (IM) service, Ch@t, has reached over 150 000 registered users since its inception in December last year. In fact, in the last two months, Samsung Ch@t has seen a 1500% increase, with one record day – adding 20 000 users.

Says Brett Loubser, B2C Apps Development Lead at Samsung South Africa; “Since the launch of ourcommunications platform Ch@t, we have seen significant growth in the use of this service among consumers, showing the large need for consumers to always be in instant contact. And now, given the fact that Ch@t is at present open to other devices – not only are we seeing users move away from current leading chat services, but we are likely to see this growth increase going forward.”

With an estimated 5.3 billion mobile subscribers globally (which is an estimated 77% of the world population), there is a high demand coming from the consumer market to be able to access relevant applications on their mobile devices that best suit their everyday needs – one of which is instant communication at a convenient cost.

In line with this and in an aim to continue to provide consumers with mobile applications that they want, as well as to provide them with added benefits, Samsung South Africa are now offering loyalty rewards to users of the Samsung Ch@t application. Continues Loubser; “At its core, Ch@t is an IM messaging application, but it is also a loyalty based reward scheme. Points can be earned in the application, and these points can be redeemed in-app for airtime. Samsung users earn twice the points of non-Samsung users so in essence, it pays to use Samsung!”

Ch@t launched as a Java application that runs on many Samsung mobile devices with Java capabilities. Users are able to download the application free of charge, allowing them to communicate via a chat client in real time and at a reduced cost over standard SMS messages. Ch@t draws contacts from the user’s contact list on their mobile phone – enabling users to communicate with each other simpler and faster. It was also created locally, in line with Samsung’s built for Africa drive – further driving software skills developments and local app development. Jason Perthel, CEO & Founder of Blazingchilli Limited and developer of the Ch@t platform and service says; “Our single-minded objective in developing ch@t, was to provide an exceptional user experience based on open-accessibility, speed, reliability and effectively at zero cost. The current growth trends and positive feedback are testimony to this.”

Ch@t is one of the few truly cross platform IM solutions currently available out there, connecting to the BBM platform as well as iOS to name but a few – where consumers can Ch@t from a Galaxy S II smartphone right down to our E2120 device – where in fact, over 500 phone models are currently supported.

Concludes Loubser; “We have a long term strategy with this application for our consumers, where additional features and functionality are being added constantly, like this loyalty based reward scheme. Samsung is committed to not only offering the South African consumer the latest innovative technology, but also the ability to have access to applications that will truly make a difference to their communication experience, and that will reward them in the long run. This Ch@t service and reward scheme is just another way we are enhancing the overall user experience of Samsung mobile devices – through convenience and rewards.”

Opinion: Mobile mapping takes business solutions into the field

By admin, 10 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

Mobile mapping solutions are all the rage in the consumer space, as tech-savvy urban youth geotag all their activities and check in to their favourite haunts, says Mike Steyn of Aspire Solutions. However, South African companies should not overlook the technology’s serious business uses.

“Any organisation that has people moving around in physical space can benefit from mobile spatial systems,” he says. “Whether it’s sales teams visiting clients, drivers making deliveries or technicians servicing vending machines, using mobile spatial technology to link them to central systems and to track their geographical location can deliver huge benefits.”

ATM technicians are a good example, says Steyn. “If you own a network of ATMs, you have teams of people on the road all day servicing them,” he says. “If you can track those teams in space, and match them to ATM locations, you can realize huge benefits. You can plot the shortest routes, avoid traffic jams and direct your resources efficiently. This can support increased revenues and better customer satisfaction.”

These mobile solutions can be run on mobile smart phones, but often benefit from more sophisticated mobile handheld devices built specifically for field work. “These units tend to be more rugged, have a long battery life and have better processors,” he says. “They need to be easily programmable and customizable to fit a larger system solution.”

Specialist mobile devices for business are a good option – but even then, simply issuing mobile workers with handheld devices is not enough, says Steyn. “They can be very expensive toys if the technology is badly implemented and people don’t use it,” he says. “You need seamless integration to core systems, a clear business case and the ability to build in repeated returns on a single investment. The implementation is the biggest challenge.”

The two primary uses for mobile mapping are data collection and data dissemination, says Steyn. “On the data collection side, it’s a boon to anyone doing surveys or meter reading. With maps enabled, you can pinpoint the exact point at which a particular piece of data was captured, without the need to type in addresses which may be misleading. You can even attach photographs to the location.”

Spatial solutions are equally useful for data dissemination, he says. “You can give your field staff hours more each day if you eliminate the need for them to come into the office,” he says. “If you know the exact location of each technician, for example, you can allocate work packets based on who’s closest to what needs to be done next.”

“The critical thing is that whatever spatial solution you choose, it must be a logical extension of your core business solution, and integrated with it as much as possible,” Steyn concludes.

Sophos launches free mobile security toolkit

By admin, 10 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

Although almost a quarter of consumers (22%) have lost a mobile phone in the past, and a further 12% have had a phone stolen, 67% don’t have passwords set up on their mobile phones to protect stored data.

Of those surveyed, 60% acknowledged that device theft or loss was the biggest security threat to mobile devices, however, only 57% have password protection enabled even on their laptops, with 18% admitting to using the same password for everything.

As well as affecting an individual’s data, lost mobile devices are also a growing issue for businesses since increasingly we are using one device for work and personal purposes. In fact, Sophos believes users are one of the biggest weak spots in an organisation’s security, making education a key focus for IT managers. To help businesses educate their employees on the threats associated with mobile technology, Sophos has launched a free mobile security toolkit containing top tips for users for creating secure passwords, a user-targeted video and presentation, whitepapers and a sample security policy.

“More and more people are using personal laptops, smartphones and tablets when they’re working remotely. While this helps to improve productivity and innovation in a business, it is essential to address the security and operational issues relating to mobile devices now, rather than getting caught out later,” says Brett Myroff, CEO of regional Sophos distributor, Sophos South Africa.

“If an employee’s unprotected personal laptop falls into the wrong hands, it can be easy for someone to access personal information as well as any work related documents saved on the laptop’s hard drive, or even to use the laptop as a way to gain access to the corporate network.”

Mobile devices have revolutionised the way we access, store and transport information. In order to manage the increased risk of data loss that this presents, companies must adopt wide platform support to cover the vast range of operating systems that are used to access corporate information.

The proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and the variation in operating systems that these devices use, means that the potential attack surface is greater than ever before. Businesses therefore have to ensure that a policy is in place to protect corporate data, regardless of the devices being used to access it.

“Most data breaches on mobile devices are typically due to basic security failures such as weak or no passwords being in place, failure to encrypt data or falling victim to phishing or other social engineering attacks,” says Myroff. “If devices are used for business, it’s important that IT teams get the basics under control. By making sure that they can purge devices when they go missing, businesses can both minimise the risk of data loss and can also satisfy regulators.”

Mweb considers the benefit of Cloud computing

By admin, 10 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

MWEB’ introduction of uncapped ADSL has led to tumbling connectivity costs, and bandwidth constraints rapidly becoming a distant memory. The playing field has been levelled and South African Business of all sizes are now free to explore the many benefits Cloud computing has to offer. “ . This is the word from Andre Joubert, GM of MWEB Business who points out that in regions like North American and Europe, where abundant bandwidth has been a way of life for many years, Cloud computing is rapidly becoming mainstream.

He cites a recent report, “The Arrival of Cloud Thinking”, by Management Insight Technologies, as proof of this. The report, which is based on a survey of over 400 IT professionals in Europe and North America, clearly indicates that the Cloud as a computing platform is real.

The survey found that over 80 percent of large organisations have at least one cloud service and many use up to six.

Most of these (75%) are collaboration services including hosted email and web conferencing. The Cloud is also widely used for disaster recovery backup and for software services including anti-virus/spam filters.

A growing number of respondents reported that they also host their critical applications in the Cloud – albeit fewer in the public cloud than a private cloud.

The greater popularity of the private Cloud can be attributed to security concerns – but these are being addressed by growing numbers of Cloud vendors.

Most IT executives quizzed said they invested in Cloud initiatives because they believed it saved money; made costs more predictable; improved efficiencies and productivity; and promised greater efficiency, flexibility and scalability.

“There is no question that these same benefits are now within reach of local businesses. We are already seeing increasing interest in our Cloud-based services such as Hosted Exchange, CRM and SharePoint, along with Virtual server hosting and Online backup services. We anticipate that adoption rates will increase as companies become accustomed to life without data caps and similar inhibiting factors,” Joubert concludes.

Opinion: IT security should be top of mind for African businesses

By admin, 10 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

By Sergey Novikov and Kaspersky Lab

As Kenya prepares to host the IDC IT Security Roadshow, Kaspersky Lab is proud to be a part of such a thought leading event, as the company aims to stress the importance of proactive security measures that businesses operating in East Africa need to understand and implement today, for future success.

Says Sergey Novikov, head of EEMEA Research Centre, Kaspersky Lab; “91%¹ of companies have experienced at least one IT security event from an external source in the last 12 months. This high statistic certainly proves just how crucial corporate IT security is now more than ever. The reality is that cybercriminal activity targeted at the corporate has, and will continue, to grow on a global scale, especially as newer, more innovative technologies evolve and become critical business competitive tools. And with the prediction that East Africa will be a significant contributor to Africa’s forecasted growth of 3.7%² in 2011 – the African continent will continue to boom economically where the business landscape will grow – making businesses operating in African countries an ideal target for cybercriminals.”

In their recently released report, Worldwide Security Products and Services 2011 Top 10 predictions, the IDC drew some interesting conclusions that closely correspond to Kaspersky Lab’s strategy and vision in this regard. Of these, the IDC predicts that consumers and enterprises will continue to grow their spending on Endpoint Security at surprising rates – the reason being obvious – corporate IT security is a necessity! Customers and enterprises are looking  for  an  integrated  approach  that  offers  a  broad  range  of  protection from malicious cyber attacks, accidental  disclosure  of  sensitive  information  (consumer  and  corporate),  usage  by  unauthorised  users  (identity  fraud), and  applications (botnets).

Continues Novikov; “For many years now, Kaspersky Lab has taken an integrated approach to protection in our product offering and believe that IT Security should be top of mind for all businesses operating within the African continent. Apart from the traditional organisation of DDoS attacks, cybercriminals today have a main focus of targeting corporate servers for stealing corporate data and African businesses are not excluded”.

The IDC further predicts that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) globally will see more targeted attacks against data and resources. Small businesses will see increasing attacks on customer data.  Attempts to take full control of servers, PCs, and storage arrays for botnets, DDoS attacks, spam, phishing, hacktivism, and other uses are also expected to increase. “With SMEs accounting for an estimated 60%³ of all employment in East Africa, and contributing up to 30% of gross national product, the SME sector in East Africa cannot afford to experience such attacks on their organisations, as the results could be detrimental likely having a ripple effect on the economy,” adds Novikov.

The conference will be taking place at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi, where Novikov aims to provide insight into the above at the IDC IT Security Roadshow, to ensure that businesses operating within the African landscape are made aware of such threats that exist and take the necessary action required to avoid the impact of these attacks.

“The reality today is that proactive security is a requirement for all businesses, to ensure effective protection against such threats and attacks. Corporate servers are being attacked continuously and should such activity continue to take place, a business could stand to loss everything. Implementing the necessary corporate IT security measures now is the next major step for East African based businesses in effectively protecting enterprises – ensuring success and as such, continued positive growth of the African continent,” concludes Novikov.

BlackBerry recommends 5 apps for female users

By admin, 9 sierpnia, 2011, No Comment

BlackBerry have put together a list of 5 applications for the woman on the go. All applications are available for download on BlackBerry app world.

“Balancing the demands of a hectic social, work and personal life is much simpler with a BlackBerry smartphone in your handbag,” said BlackBerry.

Calorie Counter by FatSecret

The essential app to find nutritional info for the food you eat and to keep track of your meals, exercise and weight.

Healthy Recipes

Lose weight and save money cooking at home with this selection of 200,000 delicious recipes from SparkRecipes.

EverNote

Evernote turns your BlackBerry smartphone into an extension of your brain. This award-winning app lets you remember and recall anything that happens in your life. From notes and ideas to snapshots and recordings, put it all into Evernote and watch as everything instantly synchronises from your BlackBerry smartphone to your Apple Mac or Windows desktop.

Lister

Lister is the perfect tool for any multi-tasking woman. It’s a simple, easy to use application that allows you to create and manage multiple lists at once.

BlackBerry Travel

BlackBerry Travel makes it easy to plan, book, manage and share your travel activities. Find flight schedules and great hotel options, all right from your BlackBerry smartphone. The automatic trip scanning feature will automatically recognise itineraries that are emailed to you and push them to your BlackBerry smartphone – no matter where you booked.

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