Archive for Czerwiec, 2012

South African App Developer Achieves App Store Success with HTML5

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

Maxxor, a Cape Town-based mobile app developer, today announced the global launch of Moonbase, a multiplayer online strategy game for mobile phones.

Moonbase was initially launched on MXit in 2010 and found immediate success with South African youth. The game surpassed 1 million players, and at peak times generates in excess of 10m page impressions per day and more than 60m in-game messages per month. The game has been rated by Brandometer as one of the most influential brands on the Mxit platform. Now Maxxor is aiming to build on that success by tapping into the rapidly-growing global smartphone market with a brand new 3D version of the Moonbase game which targets the Android and iPhone platforms. In the first week of its release, the game has already reached a Top 25 ranking in the Apple App Store’s Role Playing Games category.

Faced with the growing complexity of the mobile phone market and the ongoing “platform wars” between Apple, Google and Facebook, Maxxor decided to use

HTML5 as a cross-platform development technology to address all three platforms with a single codebase. According to Adrian Frielinghaus, Head of Online Games at Maxxor, “HTML5 allowed us to focus our developers on a single set of skills rather than splitting them up into different teams writing different code in different languages for all the different platforms. The productivity benefits have been enormous.”

Despite being written in HTML5 and being accessible on the web, Moonbase is also available as a downloadable app from Google Play and the iTunes Store.

“It is clear that people prefer to use apps on their phones , Frielinghaus said, “so using HTML5 for the core application but writing native code to embed the application in the app stores provides the best balance between development efficiency and customer usage preference.”

In addition to generating efficiencies in the initial development phase,

HTML5 also streamlines the process of updating the application.

“Moonbase is a very competitive multiplayer game,” according to Frielinghaus, “and we need to ensure that all players have the same version of the app so they aren’t able to exploit the differences and gain advantages over other players. To achieve this we ship HTML5 updates to the game that update all players automatically without affecting the native code components of the game which require App Store approval.”

Using HTML5 has enabled the game to be more easily ported to new platforms which has allowed the game to have a cross-platform reach which Frielinghaus thinks is unique. “The game can now be played on Mxit, on Facebook, on Mocospace (a US mobile social network), on Mig33 (a mostly Asian mobile social network), on an Android phone, on an iPhone or iPad and on the mobile web. All players play inside the same game world regardless of which platform they are on.”

Battle of the Sexes: Who’s Better at Driving?

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

By Christelle Fourie, Managing Director of MUA Insurance Acceptances

The findings of the recent online MUA Driver Behaviour survey revealed some interesting findings about the differences between male and female motorists and their perceptions about their driving capability, driving under the influence of alcohol and speed limits.

The survey respondents comprised of 93 males and 101 females, providing an evenly distributed sample group and opened up good debate.

So, who is better at driving?

The majority of respondents believe they are better drivers compared to their partners with a total of 70% admitting they think they are more skilled behind the wheel than their significant other. Male respondents were significantly more confident with 81% of respondents stating they were better drivers compared to only 59% of women.

The argument that female drivers are more cautious than males was also backed up by the survey, which indicated that 89% of women said they drive more carefully with a passenger in the car compared to 79% of men.

These results are interesting in light of numerous studies that tend to reveal women are involved in fewer motor vehicle accidents than men. A recent study by the University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety research unit in Australia found that male drivers are four times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes compared to women.

These studies show why in many cases, women often tend to obtain cheaper motor insurance premiums as they present a lower risk to insure. In South Africa gender is still used as a determining factor when it comes to the cost of motor insurance premiums so it will be interesting to see how the European insurance industry faces the challenge of adapting premiums as of 21 December 2012 to have no gender-based pricing.

Drinking and driving

It was promising to note that a total of 67% of respondents stated that they do not drive under the influence of alcohol. Female drivers once again came out tops with only 24% admitting they drive under the influence, compared with 41% of males who confessed to driving after a few drinks.

Despite these alarmingly high statistics, a positive to note is that when asked whether they insist on driving if their partner is under the influence of alcohol and they are not, 93% of respondents stated they will insist on driving.

The fact remains that drunk driving is a serious problem in South Africa. According to the Medical Research Council (MRC) 53% of road users who die on South African roads had an alcohol level which was over the legal limit.

It is crucial that people understand the implications of drinking and driving. While it still remains a too commonly accepted practice, driving under the influence is illegal and insurance companies have the right to refuse paying out any claim if the driver is found guilty of drunk driving. The Road Accident Fund can also refuse to pay out claims resulting from a drunk driving accident.

Furthermore, insurance companies may also decide that a driver who has been found guilty of drunk driving is too high a risk for them to carry and refuse to continue their motor insurance cover. Should an insurance company be lenient with a drunk driver and decide to pay out the claim, the drivers’ monthly insurance premium will most likely increase steeply. However, if the drunk driver’s license is suspended, they will not be able to obtain any car insurance.

Will reducing the speed limit result in fewer accidents?

One area which demonstrated a very similar response across gender was whether they think a reduction in speed limits could contribute to a decrease in motor vehicle accidents. 78% of males and 76% of females were adamant that lowering the speed limit was not a sound solution.

While there have been many studies conducted around the effects of lowering of speed limits to reduce accidents, there is no unanimous stance. A study conducted by the Department of Transport in Britain found that reducing the speed limit did not necessarily reduce the number of accidents with the analysis finding that the average number of people killed or seriously injured each year rose from 18.7 to 19.9 since the introduction of slower 20mph traffic zones in 2007.

Some argue that speed kills and a lower speed limit may result in less serious accidents, while the other argument is that lower speed limits frustrate drivers, resulting in greater non-compliance and overtaking.

While this poll provides some interesting insight into the minds of South African drivers, practising safe driving behaviour and obeying the rules of the road are the most effective ways for motorists to avoid being involved in an accident.


Addition of Hundreds of Top Level Domains a Challenge for SA Businesses and Consumers

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

The impending expansion of the global web address regime by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) may initially cause confusion among South African consumers, but can also be seen as a significant brand-building opportunity for many local businesses.

The impact of the addition of hundreds of new top-level domains (TLDs), the concluding part of an internet address that follows the dot and informs you what sort of site you are visiting – like, .com or .org. – needs to be carefully considered by businesses before the scheduled roll-out begins in 18 – 24 months.

This is according to John Ginsberg, Marketing Director of Ensight, a leading international multi-channel marketing company, who says that where previously tens of TLDs existed, now there will be literally thousands. “For example, consumers may now get confused between and, or brand.retail. There will also be a lot of learning curves as local consumers already struggle to differentiate between country-specific domains (i.e., and their dot-com counterparts (i.e.,”

Ginsberg says that South African consumers will turn to search engines and social media to help them work out which is the most reputable source. “Companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are going to score the most from this change, as anything that makes Internet addresses more baffling will drive people to type information into a search box.”

According to reports, companies such as Google have been the busiest, applying for over 100 generic top-level domains (gTLDs), among others, .google, .youtube, .baby, .love, .android and .buy. The search giant has also requested .music, which has been claimed by seven other organisations including the online retailer Amazon.

“To help them decide, local consumers will use cues from one channel to determine the relevance of another. If you’re familiar with a brand via its website, you will expect the same visual identity on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. This will also likely work in reverse and consumers will learn to trust brands with a multi-channel presence more than those with just a website.”

From a business perspective, Ginsberg says the expansion of the global web address regime will be a benefit to certain local brands who want to own a TLD rather than be stuck with a country-specific option. “Now every business and brand can be represented at a global level, based on their type of business or product offered.”

However, he says that a very interesting and perhaps telling statistic is that, to date, only 17 applications for TLDs have came from the whole of the African continent, compared with thousands applied for by other countries. “For South African brands, the question arises – would they consider securing a .africa domain, and would it be a defensive play only or part of an active strategy?”

Ginsberg adds that local marketers may also be faced with decisions around how they manage an extensive domain portfolio. “For instance, do you build a whole website if you buy a .app domain, or just redirect it to your main site? Could a domain like be used to identify channel-specific traffic from marketing campaigns and use it to better attribute marketing spend?

He adds that in the Internet age, all businesses should have a global business mindset and local marketers should not ignore the impending introduction of TLDs. “From a brand-building perspective, there are clearly opportunities to be realised, but local business decision-makers need to firstly ascertain the impact of TLDs on their clients and then develop a suitable strategy to limit any potential market confusion,,” concludes Ginsberg.

Alcatel-Lucent supplies network equipment to enable Telkom South Africa expand the delivery of superfast broadband services across the country

By admin, 27 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

Telkom SA, one of the largest integrated communications companies in Africa, is to dramatically expand the availability of superfast broadband services to subscribers throughout South Africa. Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) will supply the network equipment to enable this network transformation.

The project – which is part of Telkom’s strategic ‘Network Transformation Initiative’ – includes upgrading the existing access network with new-generation VDSL2 technology serving 4.4 million subscribers, and where commercially viable will also include the introduction of gigabit passive optical network (GPON) technologies to support fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) capabilities. These new technologies will be key enablers for potential future services such as Video on Demand, IPTV, and high quality voice services

Today, new applications are dramatically increasing capacity demands on communications networks. Alcatel-Lucent’s state-of-the-art portfolio of fibre-optic and copper-based access technologies will help Telkom SA connect their customers in the fastest and most cost-effective way. Alcatel-Lucent is providing Telkom SA with its industry-leading Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) product family, which supports passive optical networking (PON) and digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies on the same platform.

Daniel Jaeger – Alcatel-Lucent Vice President for Africa: “We are delighted to meet Telkom SA’s needs with a turn-key solution that will enable them to provide the new kinds of services their subscribers demand. Our equipment will facilitate Telkom SA’s drive to more effectively compete with mobile service providers by delivering a better customer experience.”

With Alcatel-Lucent’s ISAM product family, Telkom SA can support a mix of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), fiber-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) deployment models, giving them enormous flexibility to choose the quickest, most cost-effective way to meet subscribers’ broadband needs. The ISAM family is a cornerstone of Alcatel-Lucent’s High Leverage NetworkTM architecture.

Visit our website to find out how Alcatel-Lucent is delivering faster broadband with a full toolkit of fibre and advanced copper solutions to “get to fast, faster”.


55% of Mobile Devices Using Unprotected Wi-Fi Networks

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

The data on most mobile devices could easily fall into the hands of cybercriminals. That’s the alarming conclusion reached by Kaspersky Lab experts based on research carried out by Harris Interactive in February-March 2012. In order to understand customer attitudes towards modern technologies and security threats, the company surveyed almost 9,000 consumers from the USA, Europe and Russia.

The survey has shown that about 70% of tablet owners and 53% of mobile phone users use free public Wi-Fi hotspots to go online. This is one of the most popular ways to access the Internet, along with cellular networks, which are used by 58% of those surveyed for data communication.

But it seems that many users are unaware of the dangers of free Wi-Fi networks, especially the fact that data transferred across the link can easily be intercepted by cybercriminals. That could well include login data for online banking systems. This is particularly alarming given that interception of sensitive financial data is the biggest source of concern for about 60% of users. The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that mobile devices are generally less protected from unauthorised access than desktop or laptop computers.

“We are experiencing device usage growth like we’ve never seen before – and the impact on networks is profound and permanent,” says Michael Fletcher, Sales Director for Ruckus Wireless sub-Saharan Africa. “As a result, many users are looking for easy and accessible Wi-Fi access to support their own smart devices – and in many cases, in the rush to connect, they forget about the security implications. Neglecting this area in today’s day and age is not acceptable.”

The survey also reveals that security solutions are installed on less that half of all tablets and barely a quarter of mobile phones/smartphones (28%). At the same time, 82% of users have antivirus software installed on their home PCs and laptops. This happens even though there are mobile applications such as Kaspersky Mobile Security on the market already designed for protection of both the device itself and the information stored on it.

Surprisingly, although tablets are designed to be mobile, they are most often used to access the Internet from home (49% of users) or office (39%). Work networks usually have a better level of protection and use an encryption protocol to ensure security of the data transferred. However, this doesn’t mean other security measures to protect mobile devices can be neglected.

“Fundamentally there is a converse relationship between security and convenience — and in the case of WLAN security; convenience translates into IT management resources in addition to end user time and effort. Finding a balance between the right level of security is critical for control, productivity and most importantly peace of mind,” concludes Fletcher.

The full report on the survey by Harris Interactive for February-March 2012 is available following this link:

Building a business case for unified communications solutions

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

How simplicity dictates TCO throughout the solution life cycle


A recent white paper** by research firm Aberdeen Group revealed how IT buyers can use simplicity to benchmark the total cost of ownership (TCO) of complex unified communications (UC) solutions – thereby avoiding being sold on the hype of a sales pitch.

TCO – the most important issue

With the recent global financial crisis, TCO became one of the most important decision factors in major IT purchases.

Increasingly, companies started requiring business cases that demonstrate the bottom line impact of solutions. IT directors – formerly solely responsible for the buying decision – came to share it with the chief financial officer (CFO) and other business decision makers.

The fox and the hen house

But with this change a knowledge gap opened up in the enterprise. The IT director had little appreciation for the financial returns that technology was meant to generate, and the CFO couldn’t evaluate the technology’s claims of being able to generate them.

A new corporate animal was needed who could ‘synergise’ technological as well as financial considerations to assess a solution’s return on investment (ROI).

In the meantime, enterprises had to rely on vendors to provide cost justifications for their purchases – a situation akin to having the fox guard the hen house.

War on complexity

Aberdeen’s paper resolves this blind spot by identifying simplicity as the factor that affects TCO the most at every stage of the UC solution life cycle. Suddenly, corporates had a yardstick for benchmarking TCO in solutions.

The study cites numerous documented cases of companies reducing their cost considerably by aggressively attacking complexity. For example, Proctor & Gamble realised $3 billion in savings by simplifying operations, and Motorola saved $2.6 billion with its ‘war on complexity’.

Design features that save on upfront and ongoing costs

To be assured of simplicity in the UC adoption experience, customers must ask the following questions of vendors: How does the design of the solution lend itself to easy deployment? How does it expedite learning, and enable ease of use? And how is managing, supporting, upgrading and retiring the solution made simpler because of its design?

If your vendor can demonstrate a link between the design of the solution and a seamless experience throughout its life cycle, you can rest assured that your company will spend less on training and certification, integration, support contracts and overcoming obsolescence.

Aberdeen highlights the following design characteristics as successful in lowering TCO:

-          Pure IP-based design – UC solutions based purely on Internet Protocol communications technology are less complex than the cobbled-together systems of “IP-enabled” legacy technology vendors. They are less complex to integrate new technologies with, and less complicated to manage.

-          A distributed architecture with federated replication as the means to redundancy – if one switch fails, it can simply be replaced, and scaling is as easy as adding another switch.

-          Open architecture that integrates seamlessly with business applications and processes

-          A management setup that allows for management of users rather than devices, thus reducing the time, complexity and cost of systems administration.

Aberdeen examples

Abderdeen’s report fills a gaping void in corporate decision-making concerning major IT investments.

Insisting on simplicity throughout the life cycle of UC solutions allows IT directors and CFOs to operate together successfully to choose the best possible solution.

* Follow Bennie Langenhoven on Twitter: @blangenhoven. Tellumat is the South African distributor of ShoreTel systems.


South Africa’s most productive municipalities use SAMRAS software

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

What do two of the top three district municipalities and six of the top 10 local municipalities in the 2011 Municipal Productivity Index have in common? They are all users of Bytes Systems Integration’s SAMRAS enterprise resource planning (ERP) software for local government .The Municipal Productivity Index  is an annual ranking that combines financial and non-financial data to assess the ability of individuals and economic agents to operate productively in their municipalities.

The latest version of the Index shows that the most productive district municipality in South Africa, the West Coast Municipality, as well as the third-ranked Overberg District Municipality are both users of the SAMRAS software. Among the top-10 local municipalities, number-one ranked Saldanha Bay, plus Overstrand (2), Bitou (3), George (4), Breede Valley (6) and Witzenberg (8) also use the same product. So do another 28 other municipalities.

SAMRAS, or the South African Municipal Resource System, is an ERP system developed by Bytes for local government. The Classic portion of the system (SAMRASclassic) has been in existence for several decades, and now also includes a Plus version built on Microsoft technologies which include several additional modules.

“SAMRAS has been refined over the years in close collaboration with the SAMRAS user groups, which meet once a quarter. This means that it is tailored to the needs of South African local government like no other enterprise software,” says Brian Brougham-Cook, general manager for SAMRAS at Bytes Systems Integration. “It’s also enormously stable and our growing team of consultants is on hand not only to assist where necessary but, crucially, to transfer knowledge so that municipal staff can use the technology effectively and maximise service delivery.”

Brougham-Cook says that SAMRAS competes with leading enterprise resource planning solutions from the likes of SAP and Oracle, but is considerably less expensive to implement and much more closely tailored to local requirements. For example, SAMRAS is constantly updated to accommodate the requirements both of the provincial administration and National Treasury. Recently, additional functionality such as NT Reporting was added to support the automatic population of Excel-format returns for submission to the National Treasury, thus improving accuracy and productivity.

“Local government has perhaps the most vital role to play in delivering services to the country’s citizens, and government is making it a priority to correct poor performance,” says Brougham-Cook. “SAMRAS, as this research shows, can play a role in helping municipalities to deliver. This is a South African solution tailored for South African local government—and it shows!”

Hudson & Knight reinforces safety and risk management with IntelliPERMIT

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

Hudson & Knight, local refining specialist of fats and oils for the South African food manufacturing industry, has implemented ApplyIT’s IntelliPERMIT at its Boksburg facility to improve compliance with safety regulations on site.

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby Berhard, Hudson & Knight boasts a long history in the fats and oils industry dating back to the early 1900s, and is currently Sime Darby’s only African-based operation. The Boksburg plant is a state-of-the-art refinery with flexible blending capabilities, producing premium bakery fats, frying oils and bulk industrial fats for the food manufacturing industry.

Designed and implemented by process manufacturing software specialist ApplyIT, IntelliPERMIT is a computerised permit-to-work system which controls the process by which permits and isolations within an operating plant are prepared, authorised, issued and managed. By checking that all hazards are correctly identified and safety precautions adhered to, the solution ensures compliance to safety procedures on any site.

IntelliPERMIT replaced a manual permit system at Hudson & Knight. Being paper-based, the old system was complex, inaccurate and unreliable – the handwritten entries on the permits-to-work were often illegible, with records poorly kept and lacking in detail.

“If the integrity of a permit is in question, the risk of unsafe work practices increases,” explains Hudson & Knight plant engineer Rodney Ndonyane.

“Hazardous work environments need tight controls over the risks involved, and ideally these controls need to identify what is lacking before an accident does exactly that.”

Hazards at the plant include high pressure steam lines, ammonia refrigeration, the hydrogenation plant and confined space entry. IntelliPERMIT is specifically designed to identify safety risks and ensure that personnel on site are properly trained and equipped for their tasks. Only once employees are fully compliant – such as being specifically authorised for a job, appropriately equipped with the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task, and safety measures such as the correct isolations are in place – will the system issue the permit.

Ndonyane says since the implementation of IntelliPERMIT in April 2010, the safety awareness on site has improved considerably.

“IntelliPERMIT has raised the level of safety awareness and preparedness of every shift worker on site by providing detailed risk information and enforcing site safety rules. Communication has improved, correct information is passed from one shift to the next, and at any one time management can see what jobs are underway anywhere on the plant. By eliminating incorrect job preparation procedures, we have significantly reduced the risk of accidents or near-misses at the plant.”

The solution makes available a comprehensive audit trail, and allows a high visibility of work in progress, enabling management to delegate their responsibilities to operations with clearly defined safe work procedures and rules enforced.

Site access and entry into hazardous areas is more controlled, and site exit without closing off permits can be restricted through the system.

ApplyIT MD Gavin Halse says the design of IntelliPERMIT allows the customer to benefit from industry best practices and latest statutory requirements to reduce risk and improve safety compliance in hazardous environments.

“Pre-configured templates and a proven project methodology enabled a very rapid on-site implementation of the system at Hudson & Knight, demonstrating that IntelliPERMIT is not only well suited to the food and beverage sector, but can effectively scale to all size plants. The system forms a strategic part of the OpSUITE solution, designed to improve all aspects of operations performance.”


Pessimistic economic outlook results in IP EXPO cancellation

By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

Despite the successful launch of IP EXPO in 2011, Montgomery Africa has announced that the technology show will not take place as planned in August this year.

The organisers reluctantly took the decision because many Information and Communication Technology (ICT) vendors and resellers whose technologies were on show have cut their advertising budgets again as the recession continues to bite.

Damion Angus, Managing Director of Montgomery Africa, said the cancellation was a disappointment after its successful début last year. “This has been particularly frustrating as the response to the inaugural show was so positive,” he said.

“Pressure on global marketing budgets has made it difficult for ICT vendors to focus on developing markets such as South Africa,” said Hugh Keeble, Managing Director at Imago Techmedia, Montgomery’s partner in the project. “We will be keeping a keen eye on the region, however, and hope to make more announcements when conditions are right.”

Keeble also said that perhaps the show was a little ahead of its time for the South African market, since it focuses on the still-emerging technologies of cloud computing, IP infrastructure, and virtualisation. The recession has forced businesses to reduce or delay their investments in IT infrastructure, and at the moment those bandwidth-intensive technologies are still at the early adoption stage in South Africa. But that would inevitably change in the near future, Keeble said. “The benefits of IP networks on increased business agility and collaboration are well understood, and the impact of technologies such as virtualisation and cloud computing means that adoption is inevitable,” said Keeble.

Imago Techmedia has staged IP EXPO in London since 2007, and it is now the UK’s leading technology event. The event was also launched successfully in Sweden earlier this year.



By admin, 26 czerwca, 2012, No Comment

The rise in online shopping in South Africa has reached new heights, with the recent launch of ZANDO, who are offering South African fashionistas access to over 400 local and international brands at the click of a mouse.

It’s not just SA who will benefit. ZANDO has extended its reach and now also delivers to Nigeria, Mauritius, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland. What separates ZANDO from the rest is its unrelenting determination to have a company that is based on consumer satisfaction and delivery of high quality items.  If this is not enough incentive to become involved in the ZANDO experience, ZANDO also offers free delivery for transactions to the value of R150 or more.

To ensure that the customer is content with the item purchased, couriers wait for the customer to try on their purchases and can return them if they are unsatisfied with the fit. This further emulates the ZANDO culture of ‘hassle free and convenient shopping’ and is a step up in the online shopping experience.

Click here to view the ZANDO YouTube video

How fashion briefs work at ZANDO

  1. Select an item from the website. If there is any customer queries regarding stock at the time of press our customer care line alerts our purchasing department if there are any orders for out of stock items.
  2. For high res/ low res images, please send the SKU Number, brand name and price.
  3. If you require the fashion items for a shoot we deliver within 3 days.
  4. Fashion items not online, we have access to a lot of fashion items that will be coming to. To preview and get samples, you will need to meet with the PR manager at ZANDO to go through the range review folders.

Please address all future fashion briefs to the following email addresses:

Gennaro Pisapia:

Megan Pascall:



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