Archive for Styczeń, 2012

Looking at seamlessly running your business in 2012?

By admin, 31 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Look no further as MTN Business launches their latest converged offering

MTN Business continues to demonstrate their commitment to small businesses by launching their latest converged offerings – tailored specifically to provide the stable connectivity and innovative ICT solutions that SMEs require to make their business an even greater success. The two converged promotional packages include the following – all at a fixed monthly cost* of R299.00 or R515.00 respectively:
 
• 2G ADSL + 2G Mobile data

• 3G ADSL + 3G Unlimited Mobile data

These packages will be bundled with a SRP527W Cisco Router and a Huawei E367 modem. The speeds of the E367 modem can reach 21.1 Mbps while the DSL speeds will depend on the bandwidth the customer has leased through Telkom*.

“This offer will be the first of its kind within the Telco space, offered through our ISP,” says Nomalanga Nkosi, GM for Business Marketing at MTN Business. “What’s more, this special promotional offering at reduced pricing is accessible at a time where customers and small businesses are looking at efficient and effective ways of running their business seamlessly into the New Year and beyond.”

With MTN Business’s converged offering, your business can:

• Operate conveniently – Wi-Fi provides mobility and GSM modem can be plugged into a laptop computer.
 
• Be always ‘on’ – provides a consolidated/converged solution in one (ADSL + GSM connectivity).

• Increase productivity and efficiency with fail over from ADSL to GSM (3G)

• Enjoy a secure network as all data transfer happens behind a firewall

Customers can use this converged solution for creating a mini network for a small office environment or alternatively to empower their mobile workforce. It’s a plug and play solution and customers do not have to worry about downtime as this solution can switch from ADSL to GSM connection.

“Today, business competitiveness is no longer based on the size of the enterprise and the SME sector is fast realising that technology investments, that enable them to grow in innovation and to provide a ‘distinctive’ application, is no longer optional, it’s essential. We want to be able to give them that value proposition and these converged offerings allow us to do exactly that,” concludes Nkosi.

The promotional offer is available from 31 January 2012 and ends 29 February 2012. For more information on these offerings, contact MTN Business’s call centre on 809.

*Please note: Customers will have to first apply and acquire a DSL line from Telkom before they apply for this package. Monthly subscription excludes data usage cost.

GSM LBS emerges as an asset-tracking alternative

By admin, 31 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

GSM location-based services (LBS) are an attractive alternative or back-up option for GPS asset-tracking solutions in a range of corporate applications. They are cost-effective, easy to use, and simple to integrate with any business environment.

That’s according to Jacques Swanepoel, managing director of Cellfind, a member of Blue Label Mobile and South Africa’s market leader in GSM location-based services (LBS). He says that accurate asset-tracking has become essential for companies that manage a lot of valuable, moveable corporate assets.

“In addition to helping companies safeguard themselves against the danger of theft of valuable assets, this solution can be used to drive more efficient usage of expensive assets, as well as to prevent the abuse of assets by staff,” says Swanepoel.

Asset tracking technology has a range of applications – from helping construction companies to ensure that expensive moveable equipment doesn’t disappear from the site, through to allowing companies to check that drivers are not taking their vehicles outside of designated boundaries.

The technology to track assets used to be expensive, however prices are decreasing dramatically and the business case for asset tracking has expanded into new industries. It is now easier than ever for companies to track assets across the enterprise from the cradle to the grave.

Swanepoel says that there are a wealth of asset-tracking technologies to choose from, such as RFID and GPS solutions, as well as GSM LBS services. Each have a set of benefits and drawbacks which are more suitable for some applications than others. RFID solutions, for example, require extensive investment in infrastructure (such as readers) and have a limited range, making it ideal for warehouses and retail stores.

GPS solutions offer pin-point accuracy and track assets nearly anywhere in the world, even in areas where there is no cellular coverage, but have a high initial investment.

GSM LBS solutions are simple and relatively affordable with a low initial investment. They require little investment in new infrastructure beyond a GSM modem. The solution can be used to trace any MTN or Vodacom SIM card, provided it is installed in a GSM modem which can be attached or installed in valuable items such as vehicles, shipping containers, courier packages, vending machines, moveable equipment, public payphones and telemetry devices.

The location information can be requested as either raw latitude and longitude data, or can be plotted on a map. The information provided includes the date, time and accuracy of the location data. The accuracy of the information depends upon the density of the cellular network in that area. A SIM in a built up area can be plotted to within 70m whilst a SIM in a rural area may be plotted to within 15km.

“GSM LBS is particularly well suited to applications that GPS is not suitable for, such as tracking valuable goods in shipping containers, as well as a back-up for GPS in fleet management, telemetry, and asset tracking applications,” says Swanepoel.

Turn Mobile Risks Into Business Efficiency – says Samsung

By admin, 31 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

The continued proliferation of mobile devices in South Africa, along with cheaper bandwidth, has resulted in more people wanting to access corporate information and applications from cellular phones and tablet computers. Business is now facing the challenge of making mobile access simple and convenient, while mitigating the security risks mobility brings.

“To keep their data secure and comply with the Protection of Personal Information Act and the Consumer Protection Act, not to mention governance standards such as King III, companies need to implement effective mobile device management processes to govern access to their systems,” says Paulo Ferreira, Head of Mobile Product and Software Solutions for Samsung SA. “Effective management will not only empower organisations to protect and manage their systems and information, but will also secure their mobile devices should they fall into the wrong hands.”

Ferreira notes that security is uppermost in the minds of IT leaders when it comes to mobility. Devices can be lost and information stolen, while the common practice of downloading apps from public sites opens the door to mobile malware. Once infected, a smartphone can easily infect the corporate network the next time the user logs on, or covertly share sensitive information with the wrong people.

“That’s not to say apps are bad,” adds Ferreira. “In fact, I would recommend companies provide users with in-house apps written to fulfill a business need. In this way, the company controls the flow of information as opposed to allowing open access via a mobile Web browser.”

Mobile management processes will also ensure devices that are lost or stolen can have the data on them wiped, keeping corporate information safe. Additionally, a missing device can be locked and, in certain cases, it can also be traced – just look at an app such as Samsung Dive*.

To control the risks of mobile technology some companies try to limit which devices are allowed to access business information, but this is not a feasible option in a world with almost unlimited choices. There is a global move to BYOD (bring your own device) in which users choose their own hardware for business use. This allows everyone to use the system they prefer, but can lead to access control headaches for companies if not managed correctly.

“In today’s connected world, companies can’t control the mobile systems that try to access their systems, but they can ensure access is only granted according to approved corporate policies. Mobile Device Management (MDM) suites ensure users gain access to what they require from whatever device they choose, while ensuring the company meets its management obligations. Samsung smartphones and tablets support a variety of third party MDM solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Active synch policies, Syabse Afaria, Mobile Iron, and Airwatch. Mobility is a reality, but it doesn’t have to be a security or management calamity,” concludes Ferreira.

* The Samsung Dive application is currently only available locally on the Samsung Galaxy S II

RIM Launches BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365

By admin, 31 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced general availability of BlackBerry® Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365 – a new service for business and government organizations that extends Microsoft Exchange Online to BlackBerry® smartphones and allows customers to manage their BlackBerry deployments in the cloud. The service is available at no additional charge to current medium-sized or enterprise subscribers of the Office 365 suite or standalone Exchange Online and works with BlackBerry smartphones on business or consumer data plans.

“RIM is pleased to launch BlackBerry Business Cloud Services for Microsoft Office 365. This new cloud-based option allows customers to cost-effectively support mobility across their organizations and easily manage and secure their BlackBerry deployments,” said Alan Panezic, Vice President, Enterprise Product Management and Marketing at Research In Motion. “We continue to build upon the end-to-end BlackBerry solution for our business and government customers with both on-premise and cloud-based solutions, a range of technical support options to suit any size organization, and a growing ecosystem of apps and services for users.” 

“Microsoft’s partnership with RIM exemplifies our commitment to providing customers with the best productivity experience across the PC, browser and phone,” said Julia White, Senior Director of Microsoft’s Exchange Product Management Group. “The availability of BlackBerry Business Cloud Services is great news for Office 365 and BlackBerry customers who want to get the maximum benefit from these two business collaboration services.”

BlackBerry Business Cloud Services offers advanced administration and flexible smartphone self-service features to support an organization’s BlackBerry deployment in the cloud. Key features include:

- Wireless synchronization with Microsoft Exchange Online email, calendar and organizer data from a BlackBerry smartphone

- BlackBerry® Balance™ technology, which presents a unified view of work and personal content on a BlackBerry smartphone while keeping the content separate and secure

- An intuitive web-based console for IT administrators to provision, manage and secure BlackBerry smartphones from anywhere

- Online access to employee self-service smartphone security functions, allowing users to easily reset a device password or remotely lock or wipe a device in the event of loss or theft

Managed service providers, systems integrators, carriers, resellers and other partners can also use the cloud service to manage BlackBerry deployments on behalf of their customers.

The service is available today in over 50 countries. Customers can go to www.blackberry.com/cloudservices to get started

Snapplify – transforming publishing content into mobile apps

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

South African company launches and signs first deal at Frankfurt Book Fair
 

The recent launch of mobile app developer Snapplify gives the publishing market a full turnkey solution for transforming their content into mobile apps within minutes, for global distribution via the Apple App Store. It is the first to offers this kind of service to publishers at zero upfront cost.

Profitable from the first month without any marketing, Snapplify has had great market validation of its service from clients. One, an academic institution, is using Snapplify to convert textbooks into apps, describing it as “a much easier and affordable way to teach and learn”.

Snapplify features

• Turnkey mobile apps

• Target and reach a global audience

• No upfront costs, so even smaller publishers can target niche markets

• Open to everyone regardless of scale of company

• Publishers use Snapplify’s Apple account, meaning they do not pay development fees to load their apps to the iStore.

• Publishers pay commission on book sales

• Apps can contain multiple e-books

Future developments

Lynch says a critical success factor has been Snapplify’s choice of mobile apps over physical magazines and books (EPUBS), for example – “they are easier, more cost-effective and interactive”.
 
Snapplify is aggressively developing its technology to incorporate many new features in the future. “We are working on enhancing the apps’ interactiveness, to allow publishers to add features such as quizzes or mobile colouring books.”
 
Snapplify will also incorporate a social media component and interactiveness in the future, he adds.
 
Frankfurt Book Fair

The company was founded by entrepreneur, investor and software developer Wesley Lynch, whose 11 years in the industry will stand the company in good stead as it grows.

Snapplify was publicly launched at the recent worldwide Frankfurt Book Fair. Lynch reports being inspired by the vibrant, deal-making culture at Frankfurt. “There is an immense hunger for going digital. Every presentation talked about it, but besides the larger players – publishers, retailers and device manufacturers – few had the strategy or knowledge to do it.

“It didn’t take much to see the enormous benefits of our solution for publishers in their current predicament. We told one publisher we could instantly repurpose their publication for iPad, and they gave us their content there and then.”
 
Destined for great things

Snapplify has already established a UK and South African office, and has begun working for various publishing clients including in multiple regions including Africa, the UK, Asia and South America, says Lynch. They include iMaverick, Random House Struik, New Holland Publishing and Fiell Publishing.
 
Visit http://www.snapplify.com for more information.

Kaspersky Lab Named a “Leader” in Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces that it has officially been named a “Leader” in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms. The Gartner* Magic Quadrant is based on complex analysis of endpoint protection platforms of a wide range of IT security vendors. It is the most influential benchmark for companies seeking to evaluate vendors and products in the IT security industry, and plays a very important role in purchase decisions of enterprises on a global scale. This Magic Quadrant is based on criteria in two categories – completeness of vision and ability to execute. Completeness of vision reflects the vendor’s standing on innovation, and whether the vendor drives or follows the endpoint protection market. Ability to execute summarises factors such as the vendor’s financial viability, market responsiveness, product development, sales channels and customer base in the endpoint protection segment.

Commenting on the Gartner’s report, Eugene Kaspersky, Chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said: “I can not underestimate the importance of Gartner’s analysis. Being among the “Leaders” in the Magic Quadrant is very important for us. I believe it will help us in expanding of our corporate clients’ base and further improving the company’s market positions. I want to stress that the work behind becoming a Leader was truly a team effort. The Kaspersky Lab team has been working hard on our latest corporate product – Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8. And we are happy that we achieved the results that were estimated by Gartner.”

Among the strongest advantages of Kaspersky Endpoint Security 8 are rapid and comprehensive malware detection complemented by reducing the potential attack surface, as well as the product’s manageability, advanced HIPS features, and broad endpoint platform support. Kaspersky Lab offers a product range that meets all the main information security requirements that businesses and large state organisations must adhere to. Kaspersky Lab’s corporate client base exceeds 200,000 companies across the globe, ranging from small and medium-sized businesses, to large government and commercial organisations, such as Generali and BASF.

RDB Consulting buys back shares from Webcom – returns to 100% shareholding

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

RDB Consulting, an ICT outsource and consulting company has recently reacquired full control of the organisation by completing a transaction to purchase their outstanding shares from The Webcom Group. The Group had acquired a 50% stake in RDB Consulting when founder and current CEO Jaroslav Cerny sold half of the private company’s shares in 2009.  

The buyback will enable the company to develop a sharper emphasis on its  core business, as RDB Consulting now represents 100% of its own interests once more, enabling the organisation to maintain its high service levels to customers through improved business operations and focus.

In addition, the transaction will allow RDB Consulting to implement a performance bonus scheme for all employees – across the board.  By providing an incentive that is directly linked to the health of the company, performance of individual employees and customer satisfaction, employees will become more acutely aware of the importance of maintaining RDB Consulting’s high service levels.
 
Says Jaroslav Cerny, CEO at RDB Consulting, “We experienced significant growth over the last year and motivating our employees with performance bonuses will allow us to maintain our high service delivery standards.”

“Having not just weathered the economic recession but also growing through it, we took the decision to invest back into our business, using our excess capital to repurchase company stock. Regaining full control of our business once more not only shows our confidence in our ability to further grow and serve our market, it will also allow us to reinforce our areas of core business,” says Cerny.

“Our positive cash reserve stood us in good stead with the acquisition of our outstanding shares. We are looking forward to the growth and change this move will gear us for in 2012,” he concludes.

Realtime Bytes takes the cloud to Zimbabwe

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Realtime Bytes, a collaboration between Realtime Zimbabwe and Bytes Technology Group of South Africa, is offering cloud services to the Zimbabwean market. The enabling equipment, which arrived in December, has been successfully installed and commissioned in a Tier 3 data centre in the capital city, Harare.

This means the carrier-grade cloud system is hosted in the country’s only data centre at this level, protected with three tiers of power backup, connected via multipath to the Seacom cable, and with multiple local fibre-based service providers within metres of the equipment for cross-connect opportunities. Bytes Technology Group is part of JSE-listed Altron.

The Realtime Bytes Virtual Data Centre, hosted in the country’s most advanced Tier 3 facility, is an innovative IT services concept engendering a creative computing model that is committed to delivering high-availability, utility-based infrastructure solutions that are high-performance, scalable, energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

The virtual data centre (VDC) offering provides clients with access to IT as a service whereby Realtime Bytes, as a service provider, make computing resources and infrastructure management available to customers as needed. Realtime Bytes charges against consumption of resources rather than at a flat rate like other types of on-demand computing (such as grid computing). Its utility pricing model seeks to maximise the efficient use of resources and/or minimise associated costs. Its enterprise-class offering is built on the industry’s most robust, scalable, fully redundant architecture, which results in unmatched performance and availability with 99.9% SLAs.

Once provisioned, the virtual data centre will enable an IT division to access resources on demand that are flexible, agile and supported on high-availability, regionally located hosting environments from production, test and development servers to high-demand, mission-critical application environments. The Realtime Bytes cloud solution will enable an IT division to rapidly deploy systems and infrastructure, eliminating the need for costly, cumbersome individual servers, software and storage, effectively allowing an organisation to reshape its ICT environment on demand at short notice.

The services that Realtime Bytes can deploy now to the Zimbabwe market are:

1)            Virtual servers
2)            Virtual desktops
3)            Storage as a service
4)            Hosted exchange
5)            Hosted CRM/service desk
6)            Monitoring and reporting
7)            Managed firewall including an IDS/IPS system
8)            Managed router service

“These are exciting times for the Zimbabwean market as companies can now move IT capex items to opex and remain viable,” says Winston Mutasa, MD, Realtime Bytes Zimbabwe. “This is the first pay as you go, best fit, deployment within minutes, commercial data centre and cloud services solution for the Zimbabwean market. Blighted by high borrowing and financing costs, CEOs and CFOs alike will find this model ideal for provisioning CIOs with the tools they require to meet the ever changing challenges brought about by technological advancement at an affordable and workable cost.”

Consumers vote Norton Internet Security 2012 “Product of the Year”

By admin, 28 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Norton Internet Security 2012, one of Norton’s leading products in South Africa, walked away with the impressive award, Product of the Year in the Computer Protection Category. 
 

Norton Internet Security 2012

Norton Internet Security 2012

Run in association with The Sunday Times, Nielsen, The Creative Counsel (TCC) and D!d You Know, the Product of the Year awards are dedicated to recognizing and celebrating innovation in consumer goods.
 
Nielsen conducted the research nationally and a jury selected products for the consumer survey, ensuring that winners were voted for ‘by the people’. The opinions of 5 000 South Africans are what decide which products are awarded.
 
“Norton is delighted to win Product of the Year, an award which reflects the choice of the people,” said Kara Rawden, Senior Marketing Manager Middle East & Africa, Consumer Business Unit, Symantec. “With eight in ten adults (84 percent), in South Africa having been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetime,[i] the best defence and the greatest way to protect oneself, is to utilise up-to-date, comprehensive security software such as Norton Internet Security 2012.”
 
Norton 2012 brings key new features to address emerging threats and powerful protection against one of today’s greatest consumer concerns: ensuring online personal information remains confidential. Additionally, Norton brings a powerful combination of reputation, file, behavior and network based protection to provide our most comprehensive security to date.
 
Product of the Year is open to all consumer products launched, re-launched or innovatively reformulated in South Africa over the past 18 months. Products should demonstrate innovation in one or more areas, whether in design, function, packaging or other aspects.

Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 Ranked Top in Comparative Testing by Computer Bild

By admin, 28 stycznia, 2012, No Comment

Computer Bild, one of Europe’s most popular IT magazines published in nine countries, has ranked Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 as the best consumer security software product. This result was achieved in its comparative testing, the results of which were published in its second issue of 2012, in which eight security suites from different vendors were evaluated. Based on a large number of parameters, Computer Bild came to the conclusion that Kaspersky Lab’s product “established its superiority” against all competitors.

In particular, Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 was the only product to neutralise all active malware on an infected system. It also achieved the best result in a real-world test, effectively blocking all malicious objects before they could infiltrate the test system. Apart from best-in-the-class effectiveness of malware detection, Computer Bild also highlighted its easy-to-use interface and minimal impact on resources as the product’s advantages.

The detailed results of the testing show that the Computer Bild experts also noted the usefulness of Kaspersky Lab’s rescue disk and the availability of a wide range of additional security features, such as Parental Control, ad-blocker, vulnerability scan and others. Commenting on the results, Nikita Shvetsov, Director of Antimalware Research at Kaspersky Lab, said: “Computer Bild is well known for its detailed approach to comparative testing. They take into account all the different characteristics of a product in order to come up with a well-justified verdict. That is why we especially welcome the results of the latest security software review, where our product has come out on top thanks to the effectiveness of protection, its complete feature set, and ease of use.”

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