Archive for Lipiec, 2012

As Microsoft makes its first quarterly loss since 1986, the market waits for its regrouping moves

By admin, 27 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Last week’s news concerning Microsoft’s first quarterly loss since it listed in 1986 highlights just how the business landscape has changed. It throws a sobering curved ball into the fray and allows us to reflect on  just how the once nigh-invincible behemoth – Microsoft- seemed to fly above the rest of the pack, and was regarded as the leading company in the world. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Alright, perhaps not fallen – but certainly stumbled. Now we have the revival of Apple – who once lost its way – and the emergence of technology giants like Google and Facebook. There are some big kids squaring up in the technology sandpit now – and software vendors are moving into the hardware domain and hardware vendors are moving into the software domain. There is a battle on for turf.

Microsoft took the profit blow mainly due to the inexorable worldwide move into the online world – and Microsoft had to write down the value of its ailing online unit. However, it is not time, yet, to place an epitaph in the Wall Street journal bemoaning the death of Microsoft : excluding the multi-billion dollar write down – which was indicated earlier in the month – and factoring in some deferred Windows revenue, the world’s (still largest) software company actually exceeded Wall Street’s expectations.

Microsoft reported a net loss of $492 million for its fiscal fourth quarter , compared with a profit of $5,87 billion in the year-ago quarter. While the fundamentals of Microsoft remain strong – because we all know PC sales are suffering somewhat – there are some warning signs of shifting sands, exacerbated by the rigours of the recent global financial meltdown.

But Microsoft is certainly regrouping and chasing new revenue streams in an effort to stay at the top of the totem pole. The company’s recent move into the vigorous and profitable tablet market – with the launch of its Surface tablet – is evidence of this. By bringing out its own hardware, Microsoft runs the risk of alienating OEMs, or hardware partners. But the allure of gaining a foothold in a market that is still on a growth curve was seemingly too tempting for the company.  Although Microsoft has the knack for good marketing – and it will have the added benefit to be able to exploit all the feature of Windows 8-  the jury is out on just how much market share it will snatch from Apple and its iPads.

One expert, Christopher Riley, MD of The Notebook Company – and a long-standing Inkworks client (initially with BE Agency) – believes, however, that if Microsoft secures 5% of the tablet market in the next two years it “will be a lot”.

One thing is for sure, the unfolding turf wars between the technology giants is going to be exceedingly fierce, and exceedingly interesting. Blood will flow – and maybe some more red ink.

Bryn Evans, Inkworks

Syntech to distribute PENPOWER range

By admin, 27 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Leading IT distributor, Syntech, continues to expand its product offerings with the announcement that it is to distribute a business card scanner, photo and A4 scanner and iPad stylus from  PENPOWER, the company leading the market for devices with built-in “smart human-to-machine“ technology interfaces.

According to Ryan Martyn, a director of Syntech, PENPOWER  has forged its name in the marketplace since its establishment in 1997 and currently invests around 30% of its annual turnover into new technology innovations – such as voice recognition, optical character recognition, business card recognition and face recognition.

The addition of the PENPOWER range is part of Syntech’s strategic decision to expand its product range further into the “consumer side of the market”.

Established in 2002, Syntech offers a wide range of product lines and has become recognised for its focus on professional storage and memory with high performance products such as Patriot, ATTO, OCZ, Sonnet, G-Technology and Rocstor.

More info on WorldCard Pro

WorldCard Pro is an ergonomic and creative business card scanner which, thanks to its clever design, allows information to be scanned and stored effortlessly. An intuitive and  ‘humanised’ design provides on-the-go professionals with an intelligent device that enables the easy storage of contact information – straight onto a database – before returning to the office.

More info on WorldocScanb Pro 

No connection to a computer is required. WorldocScan Pro provides a full range of business applications to create the ultimate mobile office. It is a compact off-line scanner producing high-quality results. It can save scanned documents without assessing a computer and let the user digitize a range of products on the go – as well as enabling real-time data card input.

More on Q Pen 

Q Pen is the first extendable capacitive-touch stylus. Its ultra-soft rubber nib is ultra-sensitive and glides easily over the surface of the iPad or other touch screen tablets. Users can also extend the Q Pen’s body to surround the iPad or other touch screen tablets to enjoy a pleasurable portable benefit. Q Pen makes drawing or writing comfortable and works with all iPad & iPhone apps.

More on PENPOWER 

Since its establishment,  PENPOWER has grown into a group of companies. Local sales and service offices have been established in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the US to provide locally adapted products and timely responses to meet local demands. In 2002, PENPOWER went public and was listed on the Taiwan stock exchange, making it much easier to not only finance global expansion and investment in the development of innovative technologies for future growth but to recruit the best talents in the industry as well.

Over the years, PENPOWER has licensed its core technologies to major OEMs to add value to their PCs, mobile phones and other devices. PENPOWER took one step further and developed a series of consumer products based on these core technologies. As a result, WorldCard Mobile, PENPOWER’s new product in 2009, has ranked in the Top 10 of the business section of the iPhone APP store for over one month.

PENPOWER’s products have not only gained market acceptance but also have won awards from different organizations including government agencies, industry magazines, and trade show hosts. Among the best awards, PENPOWER was presented with awards by three Presidents of Taiwan in recognition of its dedication to innovation.

PENPOWER Inc. is the wholly-owned subsidiary of PENPOWER TECHNOLOGY. Founded in 1997, the company specialises in the development of new and innovative products, particularly in the area of business productivity software, Asian language-based software and mobile electronics. PENPOWER Inc.’s growth is inextricably linked to the successful development and introduction of new and exclusive products, spearheaded by a sales-generating marketing approach. Over the years, PENPOWER Inc. has established a network of resellers, as well as other channel distribution networks.

Olive Convention Centre in Durban installs Rendezvous software from NFS

By admin, 27 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Olive Convention Centre in Durban installs Rendezvous software from NFS in an endeavour to become a leading local and international meeting venue

In a move to position itself as a leading local and international meeting venue, the 1 700-capacity Olive Convention Centre in Durban has installed Rendezvous, the latest events and conference centre software from NFS Technology Group

Sastri Ramiah, the CEO of the Olive Convention Centre, said: “We considered our current and future growth potential and wanted to position ourselves as a leading local and international meeting venue and we believe Rendezvous software is as an important tool in this respect.

“The software,” he said, “which was installed earlier this month, is expected to improve our internal event planning efficiencies – and will provide critical reports for analysis, review and decision making.”

Rendezvous Events is a user-friendly convention centre management software system that can be implemented and supported cost-effectively.

Nicolette Kruger, software implementer at NFS Group, said it is designed for conference centres and unique venues, with the scheduling software able to control all aspects of a meeting or event – including reserving space and resources, requesting deposits and managing payments, assigning and overseeing tasks, tracking booking changes, and ensuring the proper delivery of catering and AV equipment.

Ramiah said that the most important characteristic of the Olive Convention centre is its location – and its size. “Perhaps our most important characteristic is our size – we are a large meetings venue, with a 1 700 seat capacity plus additional exhibition space. To maximise this we needed an efficient software solution and, after studying the marketplace and various solutions on offer, it was concluded that Rendezvous had the means and the pedigree.”

The Olive Convention Centre is regarded as the latest addition to the many world class facilities Durban has to offer.  Ramiah said the venue prides itself on being technologically advanced and is “versatile, flexible – with seating being able to be configured for theatre style, classroom style and banqueting style”. 

He said the Olive Convention centre meeting rooms and facilities are now also completely WIFI enabled.

 

Prepaid vouchers: the perfect way to reach a mass market in SA

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Blue Label Media, a subsidiary of Blue Label Telecoms Limited, has introduced a powerful form of advertising that enables marketers to easily reach the millions of South Africans who rely on prepaid vouchers to recharge their cellular airtime. The new advertising recharge voucher makes it cost-effective for brands to reach consumers wherever they are, including those that don’t have easy access to TV, newspapers or the Internet.

This advertising platform allows marketers to print a message or call to action on prepaid airtime and electricity vouchers distributed through Blue Label Telecoms, one of the largest producers of recharge vouchers in South Africa. Blue Label distributes some 100 million prepaid vouchers every month, reaching an LSM 1-8 audience with its products.

Says Wayne Miller, head of Blue Label Media: “Our media platform offers South African brands a cost-effective and measurable way to communicate with its target market countrywide. We provide a medium that offers more immediacy and a higher level of engagement than traditional advertising, in a format that delivers a response from consumers. This is a medium that guarantees eyeball penetration as users see the advertising message when they look at the recharge pin.”

This form of advertising is perfect for a range of advertising needs, says Miller. It can be an important way of positioning a brand at the forefront of a customer’s mind, introducing and promoting a product or service, or transmitting an educational message.

Prepaid voucher advertising communicates a message to the customer as he or she recharges airtime or electricity, driving an immediate response. Blue Label Media can offer national, provincial or regional campaigns, so that brands can reach one of the biggest mass market audiences in the country, or to a specific geographic market.

Blue Label’s vouchers are sold through cash and carry outlets, wholesalers, retail outlets, hair salons, train stations, spaza shops, shebeens, and filling stations. The vouchers even reach markets that are difficult to reach with other advertising messages, such as rural areas and informal settlements.

RIM appoints Alexandra Zagury as Managing Director for South Africa and Southern Africa

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the BlackBerry® solution, today announced the appointment of Alexandra Zagury as Managing Director for South Africa and Southern Africa.

Based in Johannesburg, Zagury will oversee all of RIM’s operations, sales and marketing efforts for the region.

Commenting on her appointment, Alexandra Zagury said: “I am excited to be taking on the role of Managing Director for the Southern African region, one of RIM’s most important growth markets. We are proud of the company’s success in this region, particularly in South Africa where BlackBerry is the leading smartphone brand, and I believe there is still tremendous opportunity for growth. Our goal is to maintain customer loyalty and expand RIM’s leading position in South Africa by being even more customer-focused and by working closely with our carrier and developer partners across the region.”

Robert Bose, Regional Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East at RIM said: “Alexandra brings a wealth of commercial, strategic and leadership experience to this role, and she will be instrumental in driving the next stage of our business growth in Southern Africa.”

RIM is growing from strength to strength in South Africa. According to GfK Retail and Technology, BlackBerry® smartphones accounted for 7 out of the 10 best-selling smartphones in South Africa in May 2012. GfK data in May also shows that BlackBerry has been the leading smartphone vendor in South Africa for over 20 months.

Alexandra Zagury has been with RIM for more than four years and was RIM’s first Managing Director appointed in Turkey. Prior to moving to Istanbul, Zagury was based in the UK, where she was responsible for regional strategic planning and business operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Before joining RIM in April 2008, Zagury was at Yahoo! Europe, where she headed the UK and Pan-Euro Business Operations and Intelligence teams. Her earlier experience spans over the property, leisure, financial services and media industries in the US, Tunisia, Argentina, Korea and Poland.

MACRA report rates Airtel as Number One network in Malawi

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

A quarterly Network performance assessment report released by Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) a few days ago shows that Airtel (http://www.airtel.com) is, by far, the number one quality network in Malawi.

Logo: http://www.photos.apo-opa.com/plog-content/images/apo/logos/airtel.jpg 

The MACRA report looks at the performance of the two mobile phone service providers in the months of October, November and December in 2011 and analyses the Key Performance Indicators which have been achieved by the Global System for Mobile Communications (GMS) service in the areas of Radio Network, Call Set up Success Rate, SDCCH congestion, Traffic Channel congestion, Call Drop Rate, Trunk Congestion, and Mobile Switch Centre Availability and Intelligence Network Platform availability.

The report which was published in the daily press shows that Airtel Malawi is leading in service performance as compared to other networks.  According to the report, Airtel managed to beat MACRA’s call set up  target of 98%  by posting 98.9% in October, 99% in November and 99.2% in December, 2011, whilst all other telecom players were below the target set by Macra. Airtel Malawi also consistently out-performed its competitors as well as MACRA’s targets in the following areas:-call drops, sms success rate, congestion, internet success rate, call handover success rate and network availability.

Commenting on the report, Airtel Malawi Managing Director Saulos Chilima described the report as a vote of confidence and a result of the company’s investments aimed at continuously improving its quality of service.

“We always strive to maintain high standards so that we continuously provide an unmatched customer experience.”  Chilima emphasized. “The report covers the period before we launched our 3.75G network and our customers should expect improved data services as we now have the fastest internet speeds in Malawi of up to 21 Mbps. Its super fast! ,” explains  Chilima.

With this in mind, Airtel has remained committed to deepening its network coverage, bringing communication opportunities to the rural populations that, until now, have been left out of the telecommunications revolution in the country.

Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of Bharti Airtel Limited.

Eugene Kaspersky to Deliver Exclusive Keynote at 3rd Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of secure content and threat management solutions, announces that Eugene Kaspersky, Founder and CEO of the company, will deliver an exclusive keynote address at the 3rd Annual Billington Cybersecurity Summit scheduled for the 27th of September at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Eugene’s keynote address, Securing Critical Infrastructure Post Flame and Stuxnet, will be his first keynote speaking engagement in the United States since the Flame discovery. Flame is a highly sophisticated attack toolkit said to be 20 times the size of Stuxnet. In his address, Eugene will speak to the significance of Flame and the latest, emerging threats in cyberspace. His insights will focus in on the latest advanced persistent threats that seek to undermine critical energy, finance, telecommunication, and government cyber network infrastructures worldwide, and what company IT professionals can proactively do to prepare for the potential onslaught.

According to Eugene Kaspersky, “Unlike with conventional weapons, the more developed countries are actually the most vulnerable to cyber-warfare and cyber-terrorism, and the only way to mitigate this threat lies through international collaboration. Cyber warfare has been one of the most serious concerns for IT security professionals for several years now, especially after the discovery of Stuxnet and Duqu. Flame raises these concerns even higher, proving that cyber weapons can be used against any country, further demonstrating the need for increased global cooperation.”

Eugene will join a growing and highly distinguished lineup of confirmed speakers including John C. (Chris) Inglis, Deputy Director, National Security Agency; General Michael Hayden (Ret.), Former Director of the CIA and NSA and Principal of the Chertoff Group, and more than 20 other top-level cybersecurity insiders.

Thomas K. Billington, CEO of Billington CyberSecurity, said of Kaspersky’s appearance, “We are honored that Eugene Kaspersky has chosen our 3rd Annual Cybersecurity Summit to deliver this exclusive address to a U.S. audience. The discovery of the Flame virus, following the identification of Stuxnet and Duqu, underscores the theme we selected for this year’s summit – enhancing the security of critical infrastructure. He serves as the perfect complement to the distinguished cyber experts we’ve already recruited for this forum.”

Strong Sales of Galaxy S3 Helps Extend Samsung’s Lead over Apple in Smartphone Market

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

- Samsung ships 52 million in Q2 2012, double Apple’s

- Market poised for Apple to strike back with next iPhone
- Sony continues to under-achieve given potential

Data from leading mobile analyst firm Juniper Research shows Samsung has taken a sizeable lead in the smartphone market in terms of unit shipments. In the second quarter of 2012, the company estimates Samsung shipped 52.1 million smartphones, just over double the number shipped by its leading rival, Apple – 26.0 million. The Korea-based company has also doubled its lead over Apple quarter-on-quarter, with its flagship Galaxy S3 playing a key role, having achieved sales of 10 million in June. However, with consumers waiting for the next iPhone expected later in the year, Apple will undoubtedly narrow the gap.

Samsung’s Recipe for Success

While the Galaxy S3 has been a phenomenal success, Samsung has leveraged its global brand strength and the popularity of the Android OS to drive sales of smartphones in all price tiers. RIM (with 7.4 million smartphones shipped in Q2) continues to struggle to cope with the transition to the touchscreen era and an OS which lacks the user base to attract developers, and Nokia (10.2 million) is yet to show any clear indication it is benefitting from the switch to Windows Phone 7, with its hopes riding on Windows 8.

Meanwhile Samsung’s Android competitors continue to fall short, with the resources needed to compete with Samsung’s marketing push halting HTC’s early promise (11.6 million) and Motorola, distracted by the Google acquisition, lacking a strong presence in Western Europe.

The company believes that Sony has the strongest potential with Daniel Ashdown, Research Analyst at Juniper Research noting: “Sony should be doing better: it, like Samsung, has a global name and the Xperia brand is well-established but its marketing and products have been disappointing so far.

The whitepaper ‘The Smartphone Opportunity‘, and further details of Juniper’s report, ‘Smartphone Evolution Strategies: Premium, Standard & Economy Markets 2011-2016‘ are available at www.juniperresearch.com.

Juniper Research provides research and analytical services to the global hi-tech communications sector, providing consultancy, analyst reports and industry commentary.

For further details please contact Mosh Rahman, Press Relations
T: +44(0)1256 830001
E: mosh.rahman@juniperresearch.com

DCC appoints new HP PSG Business Unit Manager, Francois van Wijk

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) has appointed Francois van Wijk as its new Hewlett Packard Personal Systems Group (PSG) Business Unit Manager. Van Wijk, who was previously based at DCC’s Cape Town office as Sales Manager, will be responsible for managing the HP notebook and desktop product offering.

Says Van Wijk regarding the start of his IT career: “My passion for IT began when my father brought home our first computer in 1991. It was a state of the art ICL with a 40 MB hard drive and 528 KB memory. Since then, I knew I needed to be in the Information Technology (IT) industry and set off starting my own computer business in high school.”

This business, which was under his ownership for seven years, also made him ABSA’s Top Entrepreneur of South Africa in 2001.

Van Wijk joined DCC in 2005 as the HP Printer & Consumables Product Manager providing him with a solid knowledge of the brand and its product offering. Prior to that, he was employed by an IT distributor and manufacturer, in a sales and managerial position for three years.

The skills he gained in the development, maintenance and performance of all sales staff and activities, as well as strategising customer base expansion, have prepared him for his current position of looking after this Tier 1 brand.

“It is a tremendous and exciting challenge to be given the responsibility of managing HP’s PSG business.  I plan to further develop and grow the business, taking it to the next level.  Maintaining the vendor relationship is also key and together, we will ensure the reseller and retail markets’ needs are met with products that are backed by a solid brand,” says Van Wijk.

Having an understanding DCC from an operational perspective is allowing Van Wijk to transition into this role with relative ease.

Van Wijk is looking forward to the challenge finding more effective ways of solving issues and he plans to motivate and inspire the team to do the same.  Excelling beyond DCC and HP’s expectations and strengthening the company’s position with the HP brand is high on his agenda too.”

When Van Wijk is not working he enjoys spending time with his family, cycling and staying abreast of technological developments in the IT industry.

Platinum solution provider Inter-Active Technologies provides invaluable insight to CEM Africa Summit attendees

By admin, 26 lipca, 2012, No Comment

The anticipated Customer Experience Management Africa Summit will be held in Cape Town from 2 to 3 August 2012. The event will bring together Africa’s industry leaders, and provide a unique platform to build relationships, share ideas and most importantly, to do business. The summit is produced by international business-to-business conferencing company, Kinetic Events.

The CEM Africa Summit has confirmed platinum solution provider Inter-Active Technologies is set to provide invaluable insight into key differentiators enabling customer interaction.

“Inter-Active Technologies is proud to be a platinum sponsor at CEM Africa, as it is a perfect forum for us to showcase our excellence that has been derived through hard work and tenacity in a highly-competitive market. Our main objective for the summit is to clearly deliver our message, ‘listen, understand, deliver’, to delegates at the event,” Van Staaden concludes.

Founded in 1999 Inter-Active Technologies has evolved from specialising in professional call centre consulting services to the modern day delivery of outsourced customer contact centres, customer service technology platforms, customer service software and related professional services. Their ethos is simple; listen, understand, and deliver!

With a massive collective experience in customer service enablement and innovation, Inter-Active Technologies is the ideal partner to ensure that customer service strategies are spot on and executed with precision; whether through implementing customer contact centres, technology infrastructure or software and services. From, inbound call capacity over-flow, outbound customer service campaigns, functional disaster recovery frameworks to contact centre process and business process maximisation, knowledge and workforce management and bleeding edge contact centre technologies, Inter-Active Technologies clearly understands contact centre service delivery.

Platinum sponsor at CEM Africa 2012, Inter-Active Technologies will be presenting informative workshops providing attendees with insight into key differentiators enabling customer interaction to flow more efficiently.

Inter-Active Technologies founder Brendan van Staaden will be a keynote speaker at the CEM Africa Summit. He has played an instrumental role in ensuring the company has gained unprecedented success in enhancing customer interaction and improving customer experience for its client base.

“On a global scale, South Africa’s overall reputation for customer service remains poor, and many large companies are under the impression that they are providing a good level of customer service, when in fact they are not. It is time for customers to be treated as they wish to be treated, rather than being told ‘how’ they will be treated. Inter-Active Technologies is a key enabler in this space, and will lead the effort in teaching local organisations how to do this,” explains Van Staaden.

The CEM Africa Summit is bringing together the greatest players across the customer experience industry within Africa, featuring both local and international enterprise executives to network and discuss business with Africa’s thought leaders in the industry.

For more information, to register to attend, comment or photographs, visit www.cemafricasummit.com or contact Shaunei Meintjes on +27 21 555 0866 or shaunei@kineticevents.net. Follow @ITLeadersAfrica and @KineticEventsSA on Twitter for daily updates and news feeds.

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