Archive for Marzec, 2012

DCC introduces HP’s multi-touch 3G Slate 2 Tablet PC for business

By admin, 8 marca, 2012, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) has announced the availability of HP’s Slate 2 Tablet PC with expanded touch capabilities, enhanced multitasking performance, embedded security and an integrated 3G slot, providing added flexibility specifically tailored to mobile business users.

Says Deon Botha, HP Personal Systems Group and Magnetic Media Business Unit Manager at DCC, “What differentiates HP’s Slate from the rest is its business functionality. Most Tablet PCs are geared for consumer entertainment whereas HP’s harnesses the power of business functionality in addition to delivering the entertainment component.”

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC provides instant deployment for business and vertical markets such as education, healthcare, government and retail, where jobs frequently take users away from a traditional desk. With a full-featured Microsoft Windows environment, the 0.69kg HP Slate 2 Tablet PC provides professionals with the flexibility to create, edit and review content on one highly mobile and lightweight device. This is a familiar platform that user are already accustomed to using.

Adds Botha, “HP is dedicated to the tablet PC category and continues to listen to customers and improve the product in ways that best address their business needs. The HP Slate includes the right mix of rich features, support for custom-built applications, and the security and connectivity needed for today’s highly mobile and rigorous day-to-day professional environment.”

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC features an 8.9-inch diagonal capacitive multi-touch display for touch and pen input plus includes a new Swype keyboard. The Swype applet enhances the touch experience with comfortable and efficient data entry via one continuous finger or stylus motion across the screen keyboard.

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC comes with an Intel Atom Z670 processor with mSATA SSM (solid state memory) technology to deliver faster boot times, improved battery life of up to six hours and increased performance for business customers.

Additional hardware and software enhancements to the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC’s security and experience include:

• A TPM Embedded Security Chip protects data – from email to information on the hard drive.

• Embedded Security for HP ProtectTools provides user control and management of the TPM chip to increase secure user authentication, improved personal secure drive integrity, secure email and support protected digital certificate applications.

• BIOS support for Computrace Pro helps protect against data theft by allowing customers to remotely delete data at the file, directory or operating system level and keep confidential information more secure.

• Through a single user interface, HP Connection Manager offers easy control over wireless connections, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth and optional integrated 3G Mobile Broadband for convenient internet and intranet access from more places around the world.

For remote workers, a front-facing VGA webcam enables videoconferencing, and a 3-megapixel camera on the back allows for still image and video capture. SRS Premium Sound provides optimised audio settings for voice and multimedia applications and an SD card slot allows for expanded storage and sharing capabilities. The HP Slate Dock provides device connection via two USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port.

The HP Slate 2 Tablet PC comes with optional additional accessories and business solutions including the HP Retail Mobile Point of Sale (POS) Case, which features an integrated magnetic stripe reader and barcode scanner for retailers. The case attaches to the HP Slate 2 and creates a secure portable POS solution that personalises transactions, boosts productivity and sales, and integrates into existing application and hardware infrastructure. In addition, the HP Slate 2 helps retailers combine online and enterprise access to applications and services including task management workflows, inventory data and custom orders.

The optional HP Slate Bluetooth Keyboard and Case accessory is a new sleek, stylish executive-class carrying solution that bundles the HP Slate 2, a rechargeable Bluetooth keyboard, HP Slate Digital Pen, and ID, business, or credit cards inside a single case. These accessories are designed to optimise and tailor the HP Slate 2 Tablet PC for your unique business needs.

The 3G HP Slate 2 Tablet PC featuring 2GB of ram and 64GB of disk space is available to order from DCC at a recommended retail price of R 11,639.00 including VAT.

Informatica Dynamic data masking wins most innovative security product of the year

By admin, 8 marca, 2012, No Comment

Informatica, the world’s number one independent provider of data integration software, has announced that Info Security Products Guide, the industry’s leading information security research and advisory guide, has named Informatica Dynamic Data Masking the Most Innovative Security (Software) Product of the Year in the 2012 Global Excellence Awards. The security industry celebrated its 8th Annual Global Excellence Awards during an awards dinner and presentation on February 29, 2012, in San Francisco by honoring excellence in every facet of the industry.

“Being recognised for offering the most innovative security software product of the year, in this coveted awards programme, further validates Informatica’s dedication to innovation and the delivery of excellent products for our customers,” says Adam Wilson, senior VP and GM, Information Lifecycle Management, Informatica. “This high honour is testament to the fact that Informatica Dynamic Data Masking is ahead of the curve when it comes to helping organisations successfully address a wide range of data privacy challenges, keep their data secure and maximise their return on data.”

Informatica Dynamic Data Masking, the industry’s first dynamic data masking solution and a component of the Informatica Platform, was selected for its innovation and excellence in enabling organisations to meet compliance requirements, protect personal and sensitive information and reduce the risk of a data breach. Informatica Dynamic Data Masking transparently provides real-time, policy-driven obfuscation of sensitive production data without requiring changes to the database or application. By masking and scrambling the data, Informatica Dynamic Data Masking prevents unauthorised users from viewing sensitive information and allows IT organisations to apply sophisticated and highly customisable data masking rules based on a user’s authentication level. Informatica Dynamic Data Masking can be implemented in days, not months, and is scalable across any size company and application environment.

The outlook for cloud is getting clearer

By admin, 8 marca, 2012, No Comment

Small companies opt for pure cloud as enterprises stick with hybrid or CPE setups

By Bennie Langenhoven, Managing Executive, Tellumat Communications Solutions

The outlook for cloud delivery of unified communications platforms is getting ever brighter as bandwidth supply restrictions are lifted and high cost is addressed.

On its own, the value proposition of cloud-based computing delivery is very compelling – with unified communications (UC) as well as most other applications.

- At low upfront cost and predictable ongoing cost, cloud offers companies of all sizes a high degree of application functionality and scalability.

- Capacity can be opened like a floodgate or throttled down to a trickle, depending on what you need at any particular point in time and the contractual agreement with the supplier.

- Technology never gets old or broken as adoption, upgrades, support and maintenance are all sorted by the folks up on cloud 9.

- Also, with just-enough, centralised server and electrical power and cooling, cloud is about as environmentally sound as computing can possibly get with current hardware architectures.

Meanwhile, on earth
That’s the theory, anyway. Down here on earth, certain practical issues continue to dog the cloud phenomenon.

The South African telecoms environment has all but overcome its history of high-priced, under-supplied bandwidth. The result is that cloud solutions still do not scale terribly well.

While small and mid-sized companies are beginning to benefit from wholesale cloud delivery of UC, bigger companies are not in the same position yet. Instead, they rather opt to run hybrid UC environments that embrace the efficiencies and functional enhancements of cloud computing without running up high incoming bandwidth costs.

Such scenarios are possible, for example, when a large company opts for customer premises equipment at its head office and cloud-delivered UC at its branches, thus enjoying the best of both worlds.

Reliability, quality and security
In addition to avoiding the high cost of bandwidth with a wholly or partly on-site solution, there is peace of mind in knowing your equipment and data is on hand – from the point of view of data security, reliability and quality of service (QoS).

If you’re willing to make the investment in solid access technology with extra-line redundancy and other means of assuring QoS and business continuity, then a remote service need not be a scary prospect. However, data security often enjoys a high priority with enterprises, in which case the hybrid model makes sense yet again.

Private cloud configurations, where the infrastructure is dedicated solely to the customer, may offer a way out of this dilemma – whether hosted on- or off-site. It offers dedicated security and reliability while handing over the headache (and cost) of managing the solution to the service provider.

But on the whole, private cloud solutions are pegged at top-scale enterprise clients like banks, and not everyday computing environments.

New directions
Where cloud does represent a viable prospect is with 30 to 50-user clients as well as corporates with branch networks.

To serve these, UC technology and platform providers will increasingly adapt their business models, moving from on-site integration experts to remote delivery managed service partners and infrastructure hosts in the medium to long term.

Not only will this make sense to a market increasingly spoilt for cheap bandwidth and mature, virtualised computing applications, but service providers will find a source of annuity revenue that safeguards their business during difficult times. In addition, users will have the benefit of accessing their entire computing environment from anywhere, on multiple devices.

Meanwhile, the abovementioned trade-off is in effect.

* Tellumat is the South African distributor of ShoreTel systems, whose offerings are cloud-ready.

Drowning in droplets of data

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

By Chris Harman, Regional Vice President for Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Mindjet

Tweets, Facebook updates, meetings, telephone calls and e-mails – the way we work today involves assimilating information from many sources. The fact that we’re struggling to do this is a very real business issue – one that will only increase as we enter the big data era.

People simply cannot afford to be held back by the volume of information when the current economic climate is so tough. Something as simple as searching for information can at present have a serious effect as businesses are looking to free up employees’ time to be more innovative and productive in order to stimulate the growth most are looking for in 2012.

In fact, research recently conducted by One Poll for Mindjet, a leading provider of collaborative work management solutions that dramatically improves how groups of people work together, found that employees across Britain, Sweden and the Netherlands specifically are drowning in droplets rather than floods of data at work, and are struggling to navigate, organise and digest this collectively, which is costing businesses.

The study highlights that, whilst workers from the three countries might receive small amounts of data, when it comes from multiple sources it quickly becomes hard to manage, negatively impacting the business bottom line and making workers unhappy.
The average number of e-mails received each day might not be as high as previously thought, at 36 for Britain, but the survey has shown a third of these still go unread. Swedish workers, for the most part, receive around 30 mails per day but as many as three out of ten individuals do not read all of these. Individuals from the Netherlands are sent 33 e-mails per day of which one third go unread.

Further results from the survey showed that:

• Brits attend one meeting, make five telephone or conference calls and despite social media hype, just 20 percent spend any time on social networking sites during a typical day at the office;

• Workers in the Netherlands receive an average of six phone calls, attend one meeting, spend approximately 65 minutes speaking face to face to colleagues (outside of meetings) and 11 minutes on social networking sites per day; and

• Twenty five percent of Swedish office workers spend more than three hours per day in meetings or on the phone on a daily basis, with 75 percent of women and 65 percent of men feeling that the flow of e-mails and meetings is stressful.

These results echo e-mail consumption: data even by the droplet still maintains a negative human impact, and is cited as a cause of workplace unhappiness, with two thirds (65.2 per cent) of British office workers, 57 percent of those in the Netherlands and seven out of ten Swedish employees saying that the amount of data they are receiving negatively affects their job.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 UK and 200 Netherlands-based and Swedish office workers, has found that just a small amount of data can leave employees feeling overwhelmed because they are simply not equipped to manage it. It is the reason why more people are enjoying their job less and what’s more, it is having a knock on impact for businesses.

The average UK office worker spends over 21 minutes a day, the equivalent of over two working weeks per year, searching for information they’ve seen but can’t find – that’s costing UK business £1,248.51 Based on working 234 days a year with an average working day of 7.5 hours and an average salary of £25,900, source: Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (December 2010), HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records. (more than R16,000) and organisations in the Netherlands are spending 1,853 euros (almost R20,000) a year for every employee, based on the average wage.

This research has shown it doesn’t take much to feel like people are drowning in data at work. It is costing businesses and affecting employee motivation, which is why companies have to encourage new ways of working and help their employees better manage data. Mindjet is helping them to do this by providing collaborative work management solutions that focus on visualising data to dramatically improve how people can retain information more effectively, work better together, accomplish goals more successfully and be more productive.

Neurobiologist Mo Costandi explains why we’re struggling: “We receive information from a huge variety of different sources, sometimes simultaneously, but the brain is not good at multitasking. When there are e-mails, documents, meetings, tweets and telephone calls to deal with it can be very hard to assimilate all this information in a meaningful way. Visualising information could help us to see the bigger picture and understand connections between pieces of information, but the way we work doesn’t usually allow for this and that’s why we can feel overloaded and struggle to make sense of what we can process. We’re only going to receive more information from more sources in the future so we have to get better at managing it – this is where technology can help, if used in the right way.”

You can find out how well you cope with information at work by using Mindjet’s online Data Mass Index Calculator:

Mindjet provides leading information mapping software MindManager, which allows you to capture, organise, plan, and act on ideas and information. For a free trial go to

Start your own photo book business with Konica Minolta’s photo-PRESS

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

The photo book market is still in its infancy in South Africa. Although photo books are already being produced, the anticipated growth figures are astonishing. According to Futuresource Consulting, international online purchases continue to dominate with more than 23 million photo books projected for 2012, as opposed to 14.5 million in 2009.

Bidvest company, Konica Minolta South Africa is proud to announce the local availability of photo-PRESS, Konica Minolta’s photo book solution, which is set to provide small to large print providers from both the printing and photo industry with the opportunity to start their own unique and profitable business entities.

“With customers’ increased page throughput, the ROI for photo book production could be huge,” explains Leon Minnie, product manager: production systems at Konica Minolta South Africa. “Larger format and higher value books will also take a bigger share of the market, along with increased page runs, personalised photo covers, glossy paper stock and embossing, which all ensure continued price buoyancy. Konica Minolta’s photo-PRESS solution can assist companies in reaching this high margin, high turnover market.”

Minnie maintains that if the investment in a photo-quality digital press and finishing equipment has already been made, your route to market is a comparatively low cost one. “Because the market is still immature, the potential is huge for the early adopters. Companies have a unique opportunity to access this high margin, high value revenue stream now, and in the future, by offering products that no-one else can.

“Anyone who has access to an Apple Mac or PC, an Internet connection and digital images is a potential photo book solution customer,” he states. “The technology inherently has the flexibility to work with the professional and consumer alike, and official industry market research reveals that approximately 70 percent of photo gift purchasers are more than likely to return for more, meaning an ever-expanding and loyal customer base.”

With its access to unlimited branding, product design, templates and pricing – all out of the box – photo-PRESS users have full control over the business models they wish to promote. “This means that by installing the photo-PRESS solution, you can build different products, brands and web sites for different customers and markets, all with variable looks, pricing and client features.”

The unrivalled flexibility of photo-PRESS provides users with the following benefits:

• Fully customisable and configured software, front and back end;
• A complete solution from one source, including hardware, software and support;
• Unlimited branding\ skinning (business to business to customer);
• Built-in shopping basket, e-commerce and back-office;
• Production management, full control over output;
• Pre-flight check; and
• Output to any device.

“No other printer, photo lab or photo-PRESS licensee holder can output your client’s file as every photo-PRESS download is individually customised with its own specific licence key. This feature enables you to service important house accounts knowing that their print requirements can be fulfilled solely by you and removing the worry of aggressive competition.

“Essentially, Konica Minolta’s photo-PRESS photo book solution will allow you to build a business that can increase profitability, open new markets, secure customer loyalty and increase your customer base – one application that provides endless opportunities,” he concludes.

Recent IT security breach reminds the Board of its responsibility to govern IT risks

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

News release from Grant Thornton

Regular identification and control of IT risks would have significantly helped to prevent the recent security breach at the Post Bank that took place between 1 and 3 January 2012.

That’s the view of Michiel Jonker, senior manager, IT Advisory at Grant Thornton Johannesburg.

“What’s more concerning,” says Jonker, “is that the breach not only resulted in financial losses for the business, but it also caused negative publicity.”

The Post Bank security breach was allegedly caused by a lack of proper IT controls which directly resulted in an estimated R42 million being stolen in just three days.

Jonker emphasises that the King III Corporate Governance report clearly outlines that it is the Board of Directors’ responsibility to govern all business risks, including IT risks, as well as all vital technology investments, for publically listed organisations as well as government institutions.

There is no doubt that the explosive use of information systems has resulted in higher effectiveness and efficiency in organisations, especially in recent decades. But Jonker stresses that it is possible for organisations to implement cost effective IT and manual controls and solutions in order to minimise the potential negative impact of IT threats.

Jonker cites the benefits and power that medical scheme administrators have gained through electronic data interchange (EDI) for claim submissions as an example of how automated information systems directly improve business operations and opportunities.

“Large South African medical schemes today are able to process the majority of their claims electronically – without any human involvement,” says Jonker. “Faster processing, improved accuracy in claim assessments and a streamlined staff component are some of the benefits experienced by these institutions.”

“With the implementation of automated and manual controls, Post Bank officials would have been able to prevent and detect the occurrence of identified risks and reduce the impact of these risks through various correction procedures before they occur,” says Jonker.

Many incidents can be prevented by controls addressing normal day-to-day issues and risks. Simple controls such as the prevention of password sharing among users, the sound management of user accounts in order to disable dormant accounts from a system in a timely manner, the active promotion of security awareness among employees and the regular implementation of important policies, procedures and standards would have added significant security to the information systems.

“It is a well-known fact that many security exploits on the Internet and within company networks could have been prevented in the past but that it was as a result of neglecting to update basic operating and application security systems as well as the timeous implementation of available patches, that these security incidents did occur – many times with devastating results,” Jonker concludes.

Love, Politics and Sport: targets for Spammers according to Kaspersky Lab

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

Spam in January 2012

The main topics exploited in spam mailings in January 2012 were Valentine’s Day, elections in Russia and the USA as well as the upcoming London Olympics.

The lion’s share of Valentine’s spam was distributed by partner programs offering flowers for sale, with program participants getting a cut from every customer they attracted. One of the traditional types of spam at this time of year is malicious messages imitating Valentine’s Day e-cards. Users should be particularly vigilant with all e-cards received from people they don’t know, especially those with an .exe link.

The first month of 2012 saw spammers making active use of upcoming elections in both Russia and the USA. The mailings contained messages canvassing for potential candidates and included unflattering videos of their opponents. Interestingly, French spam lacked any political overtone despite forthcoming presidential elections there. The spam analysts at Kaspersky Lab expect no let-up in the amount of political spam in the coming year compared with 2011.

Sporting themes have also become “newsworthy” for the fraudsters. The 2012 Olympic Games is the bait exploited by “Nigerian” spammers to distribute emails containing fake notifications of Olympic lottery wins. Advanced Internet users have no difficulty in recognising them as fraudulent messages, but less experienced users can easily fall victim to such scams.

Sources of spam
India and Indonesia remain the two biggest sources of spam. South Korea rounded off the top three in January after rising two places. The first six places in the rating of the most popular spam sources were occupied by Asian and Latin American countries.

According to data gathered from the cloud-based threat monitoring system Kaspersky Security Network1, phishing links are clicked from mail clients in about 65% of cases. In about 26% of cases phishing links are clicked directly from Internet browsers, including links clicked on webmail interfaces and social networking sites. Financial and e-pay organisations as well as banks are traditionally the prime targets for phishing attacks. In January, almost a quarter of the anti-phishing detections registered by Kaspersky Lab came from phishing sites designed to steal users’ bank and e-pay accounts.
Online stores and e-auctions were the second most popular target for the phishers followed by social networks and search engines in third and fourth places respectively.

The full version of the spam activity report for January 2012 is available at:

Samsung’s ChatOn opens up to include additional operating platforms

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

Samsung’s ChatOn – an Instant Messaging (IM) service – is now available on the iOS and RIM platforms.

Says Deon Liebenberg, MD of Samsung SA; “ChatOn is an ideal IM tool for the mobile device user who wants to stay instantly connected to colleagues, friends and family, irrespective of the mobile device or feature phone that they use at no cost. Opening up the application to various platforms to now include iOS and Blackberry in addition to Android and bada, allows consumers to experience a richer, more interactive communication application.”

Chat on with Samsung ChatOn

Samsung ChatOn is easy to use and includes not only standard IM features, but interactive features that allow users to share animated messages and photos/videos with friends, calendars with work colleagues as well as GPS co-ordinates. “At Samsung we are all about collaboration, especially from a content and development point of view and as such, it makes perfect business sense for us to open up our ChatOn application. This will not only expand the ChatOn user community, but to allow enhanced cost effective IM communication – something that our customers are asking for. We listened to the market – and an open ChatOn application is the result,” concludes Liebenberg.

To download ChatOn today, visit:

To learn more about ChatOn, please visit:


MDM partners with Global Data Excellence – delivers successful data governance tools to businesses

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

Master Data Management (MDM), a specialist South African provider of data management solutions, has announced a reseller agreement with data governance solution provider Global Data excellence (GDE). This will provide South African and African businesses with access to a solution that assist to deliver successful data governance through MDM.

According to MDM’s Gary Allemann, “GDE’s unique show me the money approach bridges the gap between the business and IT data communities and addresses the common pitfalls that hamper successful data governance. In particular, we were impressed by the ability to visualise the financial impact of poor data from various perspectives, as well as by the platform’s support for both issue resolution and root cause assessment.”

GDE provide two core products, both of which will be provided by MDM. The Data Excellence Framework describes the methodology, processes and roles required to generate business value by supporting the cultural shift to a focus on data excellence. The framework places the business transaction at the centre of data quality and data governance by aligning and linking business, IT and data management objectives.

The Data Excellence Management System, or DEMS, is a data governance application which measures and governs non-compliant data in terms of rands and cents through the automated support of the data excellence framework. The system measures the value and impact of data on business operations and presents this visually – allowing the business to prioritize and manage the fixing of poor quality data using the inbuilt issue management capabilities.

According to Dr. Walid el Abed, CEO and founder of Global Data Excellence, “MDM shares our vision that the goal of data governance must be to enable business improvement, and have a track record of delivering on this vision. Local companies can now enhance their data governance implementations using our proven platform and framework.”

Bytes replaces 8 000 POS units at Pick n Pay

By admin, 7 marca, 2012, No Comment

Bytes Managed Solutions has been awarded a contract worth over R100 million in total to refresh the existing point-of-sale (POS) hardware infrastructure at all Pick n Pay stores over a two-year period. The Pick n Pay Group is one of Africa’s largest and most consistently successful retailers of food, clothing and general merchandise. Under the Pick n Pay banner the group includes more than 600 stores of the following formats:

• Hypermarkets
• Supermarkets
• Franchise
• Daily
• Express
• Pharmacies
• Liquor
• Clothing
• Home shopping (online shopping)

A change in technology – both hardware and software – was required to support Pick n Pay’s overall new in-store architecture which will provide customers with an enhanced shopping experience into the future, while also providing business with additional functionality, flexibility and support. In addition, Pick n Pay will be taking advantage of the green issues that are available with the new technologies.

New POS software had been identified and the existing NCR POS hardware platform, being more than 12 years old, was simply not able to support the new technologies and position Pick n Pay for the future. The hardware platform therefore needed to be replaced before the software implementation could take place.

After an intense closed tender process which included the direct engagement of the three leading suppliers of POS hardware worldwide, the NCR RealPOS solution was finally identified as the most appropriate and a contract for the hardware, maintenance and roll-out services was awarded to Bytes Managed Solutions.

NCR International played a significant role in identifying the most suitable platform and architecture and engaged in a human factors study with Pick n Pay to identify opportunities to improve the productivity at POS and to determine optimum check-out lane quantities.

In summary, the contract calls for the complete replacement of some 8 000 lanes across all Pick n Pay stores over a two-year period. As of 1 January 2012 Bytes Managed Solutions had rolled out some 4 500 NCR RealPOS 80XRT POS units, mainly into the corporate base. The balance, including all franchise stores, will be completed this year.
Apart from laying the foundation for the new POS application, the new hardware solution will provide both Pick n Pay and its customers with increased performance and productivity at the checkout point In addition it will contribute significantly to sustainability and cost savings through reduced power consumption and a significant reduction in maintenance costs.

As per previous generations of NCR POS hardware, Pick n Pay will enjoy the assurance of longevity; NCR hardware supports extended lifecycle management and is targeted to last a minimum of at least seven years. In addition Bytes Managed Solutions provides all hardware maintenance support to Pick n Pay on a national basis.

“Pick n Pay is a highly important client for us,” says Bytes Technology Group CEO Rob Abraham. “It has been a privilege to assist them with these technology implementations which will impact the lives of millions of South Africans every day and add significantly to Pick n Pay’s bottom line.”

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