Archive for Październik, 2011

CloudSafe provides online backups for SMEs

By admin, 17 października, 2011, No Comment

CloudSafe, a cloud-based backup, storage and recovery solution for small to medium sized businesses, is the latest solution available from local IT company ServiceAssure.

Developed to enable businesses to backup, restore and recover business critical information from anywhere and at any time, CloudSafe can be used as a primary backup, storage and recovery solution or can be used to compliment any existing backup and storage solutions already in place.

According to Niel Malan, chief technology officer of ServiceAssure, the percentage of small to medium sized businesses that do not have sufficient backup and recovery solutions exceeds 50%. “It is concerning that so few small businesses have sufficient solutions to protect their critical information,” says Malan. “With CloudSafe, our aim is to provide small to medium sized businesses an effective and affordable solution which they can use to protect vital information and their businesses,” he says.

An advantage of CloudSafe is that it is supported by locally based support technicians, offering users quick and efficient support when needed and unlike many other backup and storage solutions, CloudSafe allows multiple users to share a backup package. “Keeping our target market in mind and the importance of good support service and cost to this market, we have been able to keep CloudSafe competitive as one package supports multiple users,” says Malan.

CloudSafe comes standard with an install Wizard making it easy to install and configure to each individual user’s requirements. Once installed, the user can ‘forget’ about manually running backups as CloudSafe performs an automatic backup based on user requirements.

CloudSafe is available through selected resellers on an annual or month-to-month basis and is available in 1GB, 2GB, 5GB, 10GB and 20GB packages.

Machine-to-machine communications the future of mobile growth

By admin, 17 października, 2011, No Comment

According to Jupiter Research, the growth of M2M over the coming years is forecast to quadruple revenues in this market to $40.8bn by end 2011. This strong growth is attributable to businesses realising the operational benefits and efficiency savings of real-time data monitoring.

Says Nomalanga Nkosi, General Manager for Business Marketing at MTN Business; “MTN Business always has its finger on the pulse and takes customer feedback seriously so that it can model and tailor solutions that are in the best interest of our customers. It is with such statistics in mind, and given the immense opportunities that such technology presents, that MTN Business believes that M2M will be a key component in the future growth of the mobile industry and Africa going forward.”

Telemetry or M2M remote monitoring and controlling has been popularised since GSM and GPRS technology have been used to link remotely located or moving devices utilising the expansiveness of the network, particularly in rural locations.

“From remote medical diagnostics, to smart automated meters that ‘read’ themselves, to transport tracking solutions that improve route optimisation – the possibilities for industries in terms of growth, productivity and collaboration and connectedness is limitless,” adds Nkosi. “And with Africa being a catalyst for development – M2M technology is well poised to support such growth and drive further expansion of the continent.”

As M2M and telemetry solutions become more proficient, MTN Business will continue to offer a wide variety of M2M and telemetry packages to address the needs of the more specialised customer.

“Widely quoted statistics indicate that there will be 50 billion connected devices by 2020 versus just 8.5 billion people, which clearly indicates the potential M2M has to generate a tremendous amount of data traffic. How we manage that data traffic to innovate and positively impact the well-being of Africa will be a defining moment – watch this space,” concludes Nkosi.

8ta branding on the Hillbrow

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

8ta, South Africa’s fourth mobile operator is increasing its brand equity and awareness in and around Joburg, with the latest exercise being the rebranding of the iconic Telkom Hillbrow Tower

After weeks of speculation Amith Maharaj, Telkom Mobile’s managing executive confirms that as of today the iconic Telkom Hillbrow Tower will for the next three years be associated with 8·ta.

The fiberglass and steel ball, which became an iconic symbol during last year’s 2010 FIFA  World Cup, has been repainted Rhodamine Red to match 8·ta colours. “It really gives us great pleasure to shout ‘Heita” to Joburg residents and visitors from our sky-high position,” boasts Maharaj. The rebranding took just over a month to complete.

8·ta was launched last year on 14 October and has since greeted and introduced itself on taxis, busses, billboards and public transport ranks. “The rebranding of the tower is an expansion to these initiatives”.

Maharaj added that they decided to give the tower a facelift while at the same time ensuring that 8·ta’s presence is being felt by increasing its brand equity and awareness. “This is also to celebrate 8·ta’s first year of operating in  the mobile landscape in South Africa and to mark the tower’s 40th year.”

The tower has also been given a “green light” with the use of environmentally-friendly light-emitting diodes (LED) lights. LED lights use 10 times less power compared to the previously used neon lights and have a longer life span. They also have a longer life span even when left on 24/7. “With the use of the LED lights we have also cut down the power usage from 2000 watts to 400 watts per light.  This is a great saving,” adds Maharaj.

The 38 tonne, eight-storey high steel soccer ball was erected as a symbol of Telkom’s readiness to provide 99.99 percent network availability during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. To complement the ball the 269 metres high tower has been covered with three 14.4 x 52.0 metre 8·ta branded leg wraps made of mesh material.

Soarsoft Africa and Binary Tree demo Exchange migration product

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

Soarsoft Africa recently secured distribution rights for the Binary Tree toolset for the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Says George Amoils, Director at Soarsoft Africa: “The Binary Tree solution is particularly relevant with many organisations planning Exchange migrations to Exchange 2010 onsite and hosted offerings.  With the imminent launch Microsoft’s Office 365 productivity suite in South Africa we expect Binary Tree tools to be a key enabler for delivering organisations to the cloud.

However, migrating to the cloud offers its fair share of challenges.  The BinaryTree toolset is specially designed to meet these challenges, simplifying and accelerating such projects.”

E2E Complete provides unique features for migrating from Exchange 2003/2007 to Exchange 2010 in both intra-organisational and inter-organisational migration projects, and very soon for migrations to Microsoft Office 365 and other Hosted Exchange providers. E2E Complete creates a migration workflow process that facilitates end-user communication, minimises end-user downtime, and dramatically enhances your project management capabilities.

Adds Chris Hathaway, Director at Soarsoft Africa, “We have over a decade of Messaging and Migration experience and the Binary Tree tool set immediately caught our attention with the slick Silverlight front end and automated built in user management during the migration process.  A deeper look into the tools revealed an architecture that leverages Power Shell, with no need for unnecessary agents and slow replication processes.  We are well prepared for enterprise migration to Microsoft 365 and the other Hosted Service providers, with an extensive toolbox of services for Message Archive, SharePoint and Exchange Co-existence and migration.”

HTI acquires eRes development

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

Hospitality Technology International (HTI) has acquired its eRes Development sister company with immediate effect, said Rory Montgomery, marketing manager of HTI.

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 seamlessly 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.

Montgomery said that in terms of the merger all eRes development and administration staff now fall under the auspices of HTI, with Andre Richards, the current managing director of eRes Development, being appointed as a director of HTI.

“This move makes HTI even more resourceful in terms of overall development – as the entire development team has been absorbed into HTI. Overall efficiencies will also be enhanced as the merger will enable us to reduce any duplication. With this renewed business focus, development work will also be sped up – a benefit that will definitely be felt by our growing client base.”

HTI recently announced its new road map for its eRes Central Reservation (CRS) and distribution software for the next two years, adding it will be spending up to R12 million on software development.

Montgomery said the company is looking at a slew of feature enhancements that will have the effect of making eRes the continued first choice of many property groups and companies in the coming years. The new version of eRes would be “browser-based and would include major architectural changes”.

McAfee detail Mobile device security approach

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

According to Andrea van der Westhuizen, McAfee Product Manager at AxizWorkgroup, IT security operations that were once smooth-running have recently come under intense pressure to adopt new technologies and fully support entirely new platforms, operating systems, and architectures.

McAfee Labs established that new malware targeting Android devices jumped 76 percent in the last quarter. “The need to secure mobile devices from attacks has never been more important,” says Van Der Westhuizen.  “Enterprise needs new technology and comprehensive security policies that will help them to address the challenge of securely incorporating these new mobile platforms into their environment.  I believe that the emerging mobile malware that we are seeing today is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Traditional endpoints relied mostly on email and web for application framework. Mobile has a whole new freedom in custom applications. But each new application – either public or private – introduces new threats and risks to corporate IT.  Today, challenges include the consumerisation of IT, mobile platform diversity that includes Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone to name a few in addition to an explosion of applications.

“We follow a three-pronged approach for protecting mobile devices, mobile data, and mobile applications.  It is designed to help businesses and consumers manage their devices securely, as the threat environment quickly evolves,” says Van Der Westhuizen.

Datatec unaudited interim results highlights

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

Datatec Limited, an international Information and Communications Technology (ICT) group has published its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 31 August 2011.

FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Group revenue up 14% to $2,44 billion (H1 FY11: $2,13 billion)
  • Overall gross margin expanded to 14,1% (H1 FY11: 13,2%)
  • EBITDA up 46% to $85,4 million (H1 FY11: $58,5 million)
  • Underlying* earnings per share up 38% to 21,8 US cents  (H1 FY11: 15,8 US cents)
  • First interim capital distribution per share of 7 US cents
  • Total capital distributions since 2006 of $125 million (approximately R1 billion)

*Excluding goodwill and intangibles impairment, amortisation of acquired intangible assets, acquisition related adjustments, profit or loss on sale of assets and businesses, fair value movements on acquisition related financial instruments and unrealised foreign exchange movements.

OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

  • Benefitting from business diversification, international scale and market share gains
  • Continuing strong financial performance and operational leverage
  • Improved business mix and growing annuity income stream
  • Earnings increase at more than twice revenue growth rate

Jens Montanana, Chief Executive of Datatec, commented:

”These are very good results given the current environment. Despite the difficult economic conditions around the world, we have been able to grow revenues and improve margins in all divisions.

“In this economic climate many customers and suppliers are increasingly seeking to do business with large well capitalised multi-national companies.  This is directly benefiting the Group as our businesses are gaining market share in many of the markets and geographies in which we operate.

“Gross margins and profits are up significantly as we continue to benefit from operating leverage and an improving business mix. Based on current trading conditions and exchange rates, our forecast for the full year remains unchanged.

“We are pleased to be paying our first interim capital distribution, which will result in a total of $125 million (approximately R1 billion) having been distributed to shareholders since 2006, reflecting the stability of the Group’s performance.”

Eastern Cape FET colleges implement ITS Integrator

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

“The ITS Integrator system combines all spheres of FET including business, financial reporting, human resources, student administration and the smooth running of the institutions as a whole,” says project coordinator Elmarie Bremner.

The implementation process started with the business process mapping, which involved a consultant visiting the colleges to map out what processes had already been put in place by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), in August this year. The next phase involves ITS setting up the client system and implementing it. After implementation the system will be tested using different test cases. Transactional processing training then takes place, during which users are trained on-site at the colleges. The systems are due to go live in June 2012 following which a post implementation support period will make sure that the institutions use the system as prescribed.

“The main benefit of the ITS Integrator is that it provides an integrated system that combines all business units into one comprehensive system,” says Bremner. “The FET colleges in PE and Buffalo City will be able to accurately report to the DHET and the city council’s on their financials, HR and student administration,” says Bremner.

The 2 colleges were previously using the DB2000 management systems, but when the Eastern Cape Department of Education made funding available they decided to put it towards upgrading their management systems. The 2 FET colleges will be implementing core systems in student management, student financial management, financial management and HR management, which include personnel management and payroll.

“We have had generous support from the Eastern Cape Education Department and went with their recommendation of ITS as a preferred supplier in the education field,” says PE FET college Natasha Daysel. “We are well into the planning phase and looking forward to the full implementation,” she says.

At Buffalo City FET Fanie Van Rensburg is enthusiastically looking forward to the new and timely challenge. “We have been looking at ITS for a number of years and, with the education department’s support,  realised that it is time to move on with a new data base. I am very positive about this development,” he says.

There are numerous other projects in the pipeline for other upgrades and advances for FET institutions and as funds become available these projects will come to fruition,” concludes Bremner.

Olivine Industries use Softline VIP

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

Currently we have 600 permanent employees in addition to the odd 400 contract employees that are stationed across the major centres in Zimbabwe,” says Victor Nkomo, the Human Resource Director at Olivine Industries.  “Essentially, we needed an HR system that is robust enough to grow as Olivine grows, and be able to support future plans of pursuing business opportunities outside of Zimbabwe.”

Munya Mazhande, and his team at Omni Africa in Harare, facilitated the implementation of Premier HR at Olivine.  Omni Africa is a leading wholesaler of branded technological hardware, peripheral equipment and software to business enterprises in the Southern African region and is a certified alliance partner to Softline VIP.  “We identified 263 different job profiles within Olivine that had to be recorded into the system.  It effectively created a blueprint in terms of skills, experience and development that will help Olivine shape its existing and future investment in its human resources and optimising the outcome thereof,” says Mazhande.

Softline VIP’s Premier HR offers fully functional HR capabilities that stretch from job management and document management to fully integrated performance management, succession planning, suitability analyses for recruitment and selection, and much more. The functionalities, flexibility and reporting capabilities of the system were of particular interest to Olivine Industries, says Gerhard Hartman, the Head of Department in Softline VIP’s Africa Division, part of the Sage Group plc.

“The implementation at Olivine Industries is well underway and is scheduled to be finalised in three month’s time,” says Hartman.  “The system will allow the client to access employee records from any location and print HR management reports. There are over 150 standard HR reports to choose from that include various summary, detail, grid analysis and graph reports.  Premier HR provides Olivine with a means of keeping a finger on the pulse of the organisation of this size and will optimise their HR efforts.”

Nkomo at Olivine says that HR planning, reporting and decision-making can now be done with accurate information that is available at the click of a button.  “Management of vacancies will now be so much easier and a great deal more accurate.  The qualifications, experience, competencies and skills that each position requires are now clearly crystallised per position.  It paves the way for effective HR administration, recruitment, selection and performance management, utilising a system that is fully integrated into our ERP System,” concludes Nkomo.

Mimecast research shows Mass Email migration imminent

By admin, 15 października, 2011, No Comment

The Great Email Migration Report by Mimecast, which surveyed 500 senior technology decision makers from the US, UK and South Africa on their attitudes to, and plans for, email migration, found that over half (57 percent) of companies planned to make their migration in the next year.

The Great Email Migration is being spurred by the need to manage rapidly increasing amounts of business data stored in messages, as well as to accommodate changes in support offered for older versions of Microsoft Exchange. The research from Mimecast reveals that 76% of SA companies are planning a move to Exchange 2010, and 69% are upgrading in the next 18 to 24 months.

South African companies have slightly longer migration timescales than their US and UK counterparts, with US businesses being the most proactive.

In terms of the sheer volume of the email data to be migrated, the upgrade will see approximately 6.36 petabytes of data transported from one location to another in the next 12-18 months. This is equivalent to:

  • 127.2 million four-drawer filing cabinets filled with text
  • 84 years and 7 months worth of HD video
  • 1,707,249,500 MP3 audio files

Fuelled by the need to accommodate increasing amounts of business data, as well as changes in support offered for older versions of Microsoft Exchange, email system upgrades by their nature involve exposing businesses to risk factors such as the loss of intellectual property and business-critical information – 60-70 percent of which is likely to be stored in email systems.

Companies are becoming increasingly concerned about archiving, managing and optimising their e-mail infrastructure.  They are also looking at new methods of reducing risk of data loss, downtime and security breaches.

“South African businesses are seeing the need to upgrade to Exchange 2010, and at the same time are starting to see the benefits of moving their systems offsite ‘into the cloud.’ Our telecoms infrastructure is still playing catch-up, and so the decision to host offsite is remarkably hard for them to make – take a chance on cloud that is in its infancy in SA, or invest large amounts of capital in onsite systems?” said Grant Hodgkinson, Business Development Director for Mimecast SA. “Many of the customers we are talking to are looking for a middle ground that lets them mitigate the risk of over-investment in infrastructure, but still take advantage of related hosted email services such as archiving and remote access – whilst protect themselves from data loss and downtime. It’s not an easy decision to make.”

According to the research, potential data loss (52 percent), concerns about email downtime (44 percent) and managing the sheer volume of data (41 percent) are key concerns around managing email migration.

The report highlighted that South Africans are dedicated email users. While most companies are moving scores of gigabytes, 36% of South African organisations are migrating more than 500GB, compared to only 26 and 27% doing so in UK and US. This vast amount of valuable, commercially sensitive knowledge will be at risk during the migration.

Of those IT managers planning to upgrade in the next 12 months, 62 percent are planning to move to Microsoft Exchange 2010 on-premise, whilst 21 percent are opting for hosted Microsoft Exchange. The key reasons for this choice were to take advantage of the new platform’s new features (57 percent) as well as part of a general server estate upgrade (57 percent).

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