Archive for Wrzesień, 2012

Erasure Indian Rubber Mega Mix USA 1990 On-Sound Maxi

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

CD"SCHALKE MEGAMIX VOL.1-DIE LÄNGSTE SCHALKE-PARTY DER WELT"Alle zusammen FC..04

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

Play your way into Africa’s largest gaming tournament

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

The Killarney Mall FIFA12 MainGaming Interactive Challenge

Kit up, warm up and get your head in the game – Killarney Mall is hosting South Africa’s largest Playstation3 competitive showdown.

Do you have what it takes to beat South Africa’s best Playstation3 FIFA12 players?

To win the final, you first have to earn your place and get through the early rounds.

Play your way to the finals by entering the regional Killarney Mall FIFA12 MainGaming Interactive Challenge tournament at Killarney Mall this Saturday, 15 September 2012.

It’s the challenge’s most exciting qualifier and not to be missed by anyone who craves winning glory. Battle it out on The Playstation3 Console playing FIFA12 one-on-one, round after round, until there is only one winner.

The Killarney Mall regional qualifier is one of 40 tournaments held around South Africa. All the regional tournament winners will face off at Killarney Mall on September 29 and 30, when they will go head-to-head for supreme honour – becoming the Killarney Mall MainGaming Interactive Challenge Champion.

Stand-out competitors will share in a heroes’ reward, with prizes over R200,000 up for grabs including eye-popping gadgets, TVs and gaming goodies – and the crowning R25,000 cash prize.

For more information on the Killarney Mall MainGaming Interactive Challenge regional tournament and finals, visit www.maingaming.co.za

Maximise the value of your information with a data excellence approach

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

By Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management 

Information overload is a real challenge for every business, with both volume and complexity of information increasing exponentially This increases the complexity of data management and presents organisations with the growing challenge of building data quality initiatives that deliver sustainable process improvement and true business benefit. The difficulty with realising these benefits is that traditional IT driven data management approaches are typically focused on technical implementation issues, rather than on optimising data to create business value. This leaves a gap between expectation and delivery when it comes to the majority of data governance and data quality initiatives. Organisations need to shift from a cost-driven mindset to a value-driven mindset, in order to maximise the value of information. Creating this shift in mindset requires a data management strategy that is linked into business strategy – a data excellence framework.

A value-driven approach to data management is all about using quality data to unlock opportunities to increase business profitability. Ultimately this comes down to the ability to identify and measure the business impact of poor quality information and data, which enables organisations to be able to plan better and thus improve the business. It is critical to understand information and what your organisation needs to get out of this information in order to maximise business value.

Data excellence is an approach to managing data, based on the principles of business alignment, accountability and measurable business impact, in order to achieve business excellence. The data excellence approach manages the information overload by enabling a focus on critical data based on its business impact, and allows less valuable data to be treated with a lower priority.

For example, a global consumer goods company used the principles of data excellence to prioritise and address key data risks during their global ERP implementation. By focussing just on just one key ingredient, vanilla, they were able to reduce the number of specifications and suppliers – cuttings costs for this ingredient in the United States by $30million per year. On a global scale, similar operational improvements are saving billions annually.

Driving the greatest value out of data requires an understanding of which data will have the biggest impact on the business, which requires data management initiatives to be linked into business strategy, which is facilitated through the data excellence framework. The data excellence framework consists of three steps, or pillars, which together help organisations to maximise the business value of enterprise data. They provide the structure for companies to ensure that data is manageable and more importantly that value is obtained.

The first step is to secure a strong alignment between business and data. This helps organisations to gain a deeper understanding of what the business goals are, what needs to be achieved, and what data would best support this. The first step is all about creating focus, and ensuring that data objectives are aligned with business objectives. This approach puts the business transaction at the centre of data quality and data governance, helping organisations to leverage value from data management initiatives.

Next, it is critical to get a deep understanding of the value and business impact of data, in other words, what does this data mean to the business. In order to achieve this, data must be measures and then the value and impact visualised for each business context, in line with the goals and strategy of the business. Organisations can thus prioritise data cleansing and fixing data quality on key value indicators. This in turn cuts down the volume of data management and data quality transactions by focusing on areas that have the greatest positive impact first, driving business value by ensuring that initiatives are achievable and focused.

Finally, establishing very clear accountability and responsibility for data is imperative. Within any organisation it is necessary to have someone who owns the data and oversees that this data is addressed according to the data strategy. At a senior level, this accountable person needs to ensure that the data supports business objectives, and that the individuals who are responsible for data collection, data capture and data quality are working according to the data strategy. This helps to deliver a sustainable data quality culture by focusing on business value generation.

Incorporating the data excellence framework into data strategy ensures that businesses can achieve agile and effective data management that is intrinsically linked into business objectives and goals. This in turn helps organisations to develop a value-driven culture that drives sustainable business success.

In the Global Village, does geography still matter?

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

By Bruce von Maltitz, director of 1Stream

Saying that we’re living in a global village or a virtual world is stating the obvious. Video calling, high-speed Internet, social media and teleconferencing have given us the ability to instantly connect, regardless of our location. Nowhere is this more obviously demonstrated than in the realm of call centres where customers in countries such as the UK and US regularly interact with support services in the Philippines, India and of course, South Africa.

For the most part, this system has worked well. Research has shown that most people don’t care where their call centres are based – as long as they can deliver adequate support – and companies have cut their labour and real estate costs dramatically. As Martin Conboy, editor of the Sauce (an outsourcing news service in Australia) puts it: “If companies can access talented and less expensive labor in somewhere like the Philippines, why would a business pay more for the same thing in their own country?”

But lately there seems to be a backlash. In his state of the Union address earlier this year, US President Barack Obama urged American businesses to bring jobs to back to the US and eliminated tax breaks for companies that outsource. Last year, Spanish-owned bank Santander withdrew their centres from India and returned them to the UK citing “customer frustration with geographically and culturally distant call centre operatives”. They weren’t the only ones. BT, Powergen and New Call Telecom followed suit, as did several American credit card companies.

Ostentatiously, the groups have cited the inability to relate to customers as the reason for the withdrawal. In fact, a rather bold article by the Washington Post has claimed that India is rapidly losing their claim as the call centre capital of the world to the Philippines, because Philippine culture more closely represents that of the United States. But does the ability to discuss soap operas or the weather really impact your customer service experience? Geography, in my opinion, was not the problem (albeit a convenient excuse) in the examples above. Dig a little deeper and I expect you’ll find that less time and money was spent on training and managing staff than prudent.

Virtualisation and Call centres

Cloud based technology has many benefits, such as the economies of scale, mitigation of hardware failure and access to accurate information on demand. It also allows companies the ability to set up a call centre anywhere in the world, across different time zones, which may result in improved continuity of business.

Well-trained call centre agents are continuously educated and trained on new and existing products and services, and are able to provide detailed information that enables them to troubleshoot a wide range of inquiries. They are also equipped to handle queries particular to the region they are serving, such as pricing queries or rate plans, despite being limited to that geographic area.

If queries are resolved promptly and efficiently, does the customer really care where the call centre is based? I doubt it.

At the end of the day, customers want the same thing from their call centres: clear lines of communication, good customer service and after-sales care if needed. Whether the individual speaks in an accent or not is irrelevant – as long as they can be easily and clearly understood.

The reality is that offshore hubs such as India, the Philippines – and South Africa – are not going out of business any time soon, as long as they can offer cheaper and more efficient call centres and refuse to compromise on quality. The BPO boom in India can be attributed to cheap labor costs and the country’s pool of skilled, English-speaking professionals – both factors that can be found in abundance in South Africa. And considering, from an economic viewpoint, that the call centres outsourced to India alone has created 800 000 jobs, we should make a point of competing for a spot in that market.
We’re not limited by our location anymore and customers realise that. They care about your level of service and the efficiency of your staff. If you can manage that, you will succeed – no matter where your call centre is located.

 

How to buy and sell pets safely online

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

It is easy to buy and sell pets safely online, says Felix Erken of local free classifieds company Junk Mail, provided everyone involved acts responsibly.

“At Junk Mail we are careful to educate our customers on how to buy and sell responsibly, because the stakes are particularly high when pets are involved,” says Erken. “As a 100% locally based classified ads company, we are also able to work very closely with the police and animal welfare organisations. The SAPS informed us recently they had arrested two pet scam operators based on information we provided.”

“There are some very basic precautions that we urge all our users to take when buying or selling a pet,” says Erken. The top tips for sellers, which are also available on the Junk Mail blog, are:

  •  Consider charging a market-related price rather than giving a pet away. If a person can’t afford to buy an animal, they probably can’t afford to keep it either.
  •  If you don’t want to profit from the sale of your pet, you can donate the money to an animal welfare organisation like the Wetnose Foundation, with whom Junk Mail has a long- standing relationship.
  •  Ask the new owner for the name and contact details of their preferred vet and try to confirm that they have a good track record with their pets.
  •  Ask to inspect the new owner’s home so you can gauge the environment for yourself – and understand if they ask to inspect your home.
  •  Keep a record of the new owner’s name, phone number, ID number and address.
  •  Make sure your pets are sterilised, if old enough, so they are of no value to “puppy mills” or unregistered breeders.

Buyers should observe similar precautions:

  •  Never meet sellers at shopping centres or on street corners. Insist on visiting the seller’s home or breeding facility so you can see the animal’s living conditions and, in the case of a puppy or kitten, see its parents.
  •  Be prepared to have your own home checked out in turn.
  •  Before buying any pet, ask to have it inspected by a vet of your choice.
  •  Do not buy a pet that has not been vaccinated, and insist that the seller gives you the vaccination card supplied and signed by a vet.
  •  Be wary of sellers who advertise many different breeds.
  •  Remember that a pet should never be an impulse buy: You are making a financial and emotional commitment for the lifetime of the animal, so decide responsibly.

In all cases, says Erken, “Watch out for people who use very emotive language or seem to make an unnecessarily big show of how much they love animals. They may be trying to manipulate you. Trust your instincts. If something feels even a tiny bit off, rather back away from the transaction and wait for the next person. Customers should also report suspicious activity to Junk Mail so we can take further action.”

Erken says every pet ad placed on Junk Mail is screened before going live, and that the company’s proofreaders are skilled at spotting scams and suspicious transactions. “We know most of the signs, and endeavour to remove all dodgy ads,” he says. “The pet section of our site probably takes more of our time than any other, because there are important welfare issues at stake. It is one of our biggest categories – being the third largest after the cars and jobs categories. We always report suspicious activity to the SPCA or the police.”

Minister Dina Pule’s statement on the Public Protector’s decision to investigate the potential conflict of interest regarding the hosting of the ICT Indaba.

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

The Minister of Communications Ms Dina Pule has not yet received notification from the Public Protector that her office is investigating a potential conflict of interest involving the Minister in relation to the hosting of the successful hosting of the ICT Indaba in Cape Town in June.

The Minister welcomes the Public Protector’s decision.

The Minister has instructed her staff to cooperate fully with the Public Protector, as they have done when they were dealing with the Office of the Auditor General.
The Minister is committed to clean governance. She requested the Office of the Auditor General to help the Department and its companies improve their adherence to corporate governance. On 07 September 2012, the Auditor General held a clean audit workshop with the staff of the Department and State-Owned Companies that report to the Department.

The Minister is convinced that there is no wrongdoing on her part as the report of the Auditor General has found.

Mobile Messaging Traffic to Nearly Double over Next Five Years, Driven by IM says Juniper Research

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

A new report from analyst firm Juniper Research forecasts that global mobile messaging traffic will reach 28.2 trillion annually by 2017, nearly double the 14.7 trillion messages which will be sent this year, 2012. Mobile messages comprise SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e and Social Media messages.

Growth in total traffic will be primarily driven by the use of instant messaging services, which will comprise over a quarter of all traffic annually in five years’ time according to Juniper’s analysts.

Instant Messaging Makes An Impact
So-called OTT (Over-the-Top) services such as eBuddy, iMessage, Nimbuzz and Whatsapp are already having an impact on mobile network operators’ messaging businesses, as smartphone owners find instant messaging a cheaper alternative. Until recently, most smartphone owners would have had contract subscriptions with ample messaging allowances, but with the cost of these devices falling, more and more price-conscious prepaid subscribers will be able to access these services.

SMS & MMS Still Big Business
Nevertheless, Juniper’s forecasts show that revenues from traditional operator services – SMS and MMS – will continue to dwarf those of instant messaging. Many IM services are operated by hardware vendors and Internet brands driving consumers to their primary products, while those that are monetised directly are reliant on in-app advertising.

Aside from finding more sustainable business models, some IM service providers also need be concerned with overcoming fragmentation between communities. According to report co-author Daniel Ashdown: “SMS is 30 years old; but it is still going strong because a text message will reach almost anyone.”

Juniper’s report finds that some OTT players are overcoming this problem, with NUVOs (Network Unaffiliated Virtual Operators), who provide their users with a real phone number, such as Pinger and textPlus having been successful in the North American markets.

Other key findings from the report include:

  •  RCS/RCS-e deployments, whether under the Joyn brand or operator’s own brand face a number of challenges despite positive early movement.
  •  SMS traffic will remain the largest type of messaging traffic as mobile subscribers continue to embrace its ubiquity, reach and reliability.
  •  Social messaging and email will also add to the momentum towards IP messaging.

The whitepaper, ‘Messaging in an IP-World’, is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the study ‘Mobile Messaging Markets: SMS, MMS, IM, Email, RCS/RCS-e & Social 2012-2017’.

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

 

TomTom updates its Navigation app for iPhone and iPad

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

Introducing new ways to find new places

TomTom launches a new version (v1.11) of its Navigation app for iPhone and iPad. Customers with an older version of the app can download it for free. They’ll then be able to navigate to addresses found on the internet, search with foursquare™*, and get the very latest TomTom maps.

Drivers can now quickly and easily navigate to places they’ve found on websites and other apps by copying an address and pasting it into their TomTom Navigation app. There’s no need to type as the app will automatically work out the destination and direct them straight there.

While v1.10 integrated Facebook Places with the app, v1.11 adds foursquare. After linking foursquare to the TomTom app, users can search and navigate to their favourite foursquare places, checking in to collect points on arrival.

“Drivers now have new ways to find places with their TomTom app,” says Daan Henderickx, TomTom South Africa Country Manager. “This should be particularly helpful when people are off on holidays and day trips. They can find great places to visit and get there fast with foursquare or a quick copy-paste. And that leaves more time to relax and have fun.”

Beyond the new search facilities, v1.11 brings many more improvements to TomTom Navigation for iPhone. Customers will get the very latest TomTom maps, along with a new certified Danger Zones service that helps drivers deal with speed cameras in France while staying within new laws against camera alerts. Numerous changes have also been made to the user interface to make the app even more intuitive to use.

Coinciding with the release of v1.11, TomTom will be launching a new Hands-Free Car Kit for iPhone within the next few weeks. This car kit complements the app perfectly, with a built-in two watt speaker bringing high-quality audio to both navigational directions and hands-free calls. A new switch on the latest version of the app for iPhone means that drivers can quickly choose to stream their iPhone audio through to their car kit.

Pricing and Availability

The latest version of the TomTom Navigation app for iPhone and iPad is available as a free download to customers with an earlier version of the app.

For new customers, the Western Europe app can be purchased for R525.00 at the Apple App Store.

*Foursquare, is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.

 

Kutana Invests in Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions South Africa

By admin, 12 września, 2012, No Comment

Kutana Investment Group (Kutana), a black women-owned venture company, has made an undisclosed investment in Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions (GWS) South Africa, a leading provider of facilities, commercial real estate and energy management to many of the world’s multi-national companies.

Phil Gregory, Senior Regional Executive Johnson Controls Global WorkPlace Solutions: Middle East & Africa said: “The relationship with Kutana underlines Johnson Controls GWS’ commitment to South Africa and its transformation, as well as the advancement of the facilities management industry in the country. A key part of that commitment is the continued focus on all aspects of black empowerment and our pride in a high Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) status.”

The investment in Johnson Controls GWS provides Kutana with access to the facilities management sector, while allowing both companies to leverage their combined markets, skills and expertise.

Kutana was established in 2009 by CEO Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe, along with Jacqueline Huntley and Janine de Bruyn as law and BEE investment experts respectively. The group specifically invests in seven sectors, namely financial services, industrial and consumer services, agriculture, media, telecom ICT, resources and energy, as well as property and facilities.

“Facilities management is definitely a growth sector, which made Johnson Controls GWS a company of great interest to us. Our approach is to get involved where we have the knowledge to add value in terms of relationships, business experience and development activities. Johnson Controls GWS has values that are definitely aligned with ours, which is critical to us, as it is one of our three investment criteria. We would like to add value and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship,” said Mokgosi-Mwantembe.

Kutana will play an active role as a stakeholder in Johnson Controls GWS South Africa. The involvement of Kutana will be targeted towards four areas, strategy, business development, providing any skills they have at their disposal and assistance with all aspects of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE).

The name “Kutana” means summit, or meeting place, and their combined skills in business, economics and law equips them to have a meaningful stake in Johnson Controls GWS.

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