Archive for Grudzień, 2012

Shift to quality audiences and environments will be good news for high-class publishers

By admin, 12 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

By Richard Mullins, director at Acceleration

For the past decade, publishers have been under siege. The Web has fragmented their traditional markets, broken their traditional business models and made their landscape even more competitive than it was before.

They’re competing in a world of high editorial production costs, low advertising rates and users who expect to access their content for free. Their advertising clients have learnt how to minimise the costs of delivering their content to their audiences by bypassing the traditional publishing value chain.

We are however starting to see the tide turn for publishers because they have one critical competitive advantage: their ability to build and sustain a high quality audience that can be tracked and measured in an accountable manner. This is an advantage that both publishers and marketers are beginning to appreciate more and more.

From the marketer and agency’s side, many brands have directed their spending to channels such as ad networks and owned media in a bid to deliver their message to the audience at the lowest possible cost. Many of them are starting to wonder about whether they are getting value for the money they spend.

They are questioning the quality of the audiences and the engagement they are getting from some of these environments. As a result, they are slowly beginning to move back to publishers who they know have proven histories in building quality audiences, and who have the data and processes to help their advertisers maximise their return on investment. This is driving the current development around Online GRP’s in the industry.

On the publisher’s side, meanwhile, we are seeing publishers begin to regard their audiences and the data associated with their users as their most important competitive advantage. There is a steady shift in the publishing world from allowing data and revenue to leak to data aggregators and ad networks, towards taking control of it again.

To take advantage of this shift in the market, publishers need to invest in the technology they need to manage their audience data and control it. After all, it’s not good enough to build up a quality audience through providing quality content unless one is able to leverage the audience data to sell advertising inventory.

In addition, publishers need to invest in revamping less than optimal technology and processes to ensure that they have the right foundation for growth. They need to put the right technology stack in place to drive audience engagement and to provide their clients with differentiated audiences.

These investments clear the way for publishers to use their data to personalise content for their audiences, increase engagement, and ultimately, turn this engagement and understanding of the audience into more ad sales at higher value.

The shift in the market favours stable and qualified publishers who are able to offer long-term value. Those that seize control of their data and learn how to maximise its value have a bright future of better ads sales and higher circulation. But those who do not take the opportunity face relentless commoditisation of their ad inventory.

Journals – made for mobile?

By admin, 12 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

Reader demographic demands platform innovations

By Wesley Lynch

The global move to digital publishing is great news for academic and industry journals.

Mobile apps on tablets and smartphones remove much of the cost of producing and distributing print copies, open up new revenue opportunities, increase the addressable markets of publishers, and enrich content opportunities.

Huge prospect
Trade and academic journals have been around for hundreds of years. The amount of content from the medical, legal and other professions, as well as academia, is staggering.

The mobile app model presents a golden opportunity to make these treasure troves of information broadly available to their captive markets, both at lower cost than print, and with significant new revenue opportunities. Best of all, apps give journal publishers global reach.

Well-suited
The journal reading market is ready for digital content consumption. Typically it comprises affluent early adopters of technology who expect their content providers to innovate.

The multimedia capabilities of tablets, for instance, make it easier for journals to fulfil their learning role. Reading up on a knee operating procedure cannot compare to watching a video on it, and mobile makes this possible. While video formats have been available online for a long time, mobile content has the advantage of not requiring live connectivity once downloaded.

Journal content further merits collection in app libraries by virtue of its quality. Whether generated by institutions or within the professions, the standard of content is often of reference or near-reference quality. This makes back issues more relevant than those of many mainstream periodicals, a fact that has seen many practitioners maintaining personal libraries over the years.

Today’s mobile hardware shrinks vast digital catalogues onto a slim portable format, many times more cost-effectively than the price of acquiring rare print issues.

Everything is in place
A new generation of mobile content specialists have the tools to do instant, low-cost conversion of current publications and back catalogues, in whatever format.

They offer platforms for uploading content to ready-made distribution networks in the form of app stores such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

Once in the app catalogue, journal material can easily be monetised (or offered as value-add). The existing payment mechanism of app stores can be adopted by new publishers and offered to their readers, making it easy to monetise their product.

The prevailing payment model for mobile apps is subscriptions. The subscription model has long been used in the journal publishing field, and is set to continue in a digital context. They are cost-effective, which will suit journals perfectly as back issues or entire back catalogues can now be disseminated cost effectively – an enormous cost advantage over print.

Act now
All considered, many new avenues of opportunity are opening up for journal publishers, and they can be seized with the minimum effort or investment.

Lightweight photography now packs a punch

By admin, 12 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

By Heinrich Pretorius, Canon Product Specialist at Drive Control Corporation (DCC)

In the world of photography where there are myriad options available, picking a model that differentiates itself from the competition can be a daunting task. However, technology is advancing at a rapid pace and high-end features usually found in professional cameras are now included in Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras. Enter the first, light-weight Digital SLRs that include “heavyweight” features such as full-frame sensors and amazing advancements such as integrated Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS.

In essence, these smaller cameras such as the Canon EOS 6D which weighs only 770g, packs a heavy punch without the physical weight constraints making it ideal for ‘users ‘on-the-go’, portrait and landscape photographers. It combines powerful full-frame imaging systems and low-light performance with a compact, robust and lightweight design.

Why the grown up features?
The inclusion of full-frame sensor enables photographers to gain greater control over depth of field in portraits allowing them to easily isolate their subjects with attractive background blur. Additionally, these lightweight and compact digital SLRs explore the full potential of wide-angle autofocus lenses to capture every detail of a sweeping landscape, beautiful building or people of interest.

These compact cameras keep up with their heavier counterparts and include powerful imaging processing capability and a host of automatic modes and creative shooting features, complementing full manual controls to offer total flexibility to a wide range of users.

Small + wireless + GPS = amazing usage and accessibility
Taking yet another step towards photography nirvana, these smaller digital SLRs are jam-packed with additional features such as Wi-Fi connectivity. With Wi-Fi, photographers can share their work immediately, making it ideal for photographers on tight deadlines. Images can be wirelessly transferred to external storage devices, uploaded to Facebook and YouTube or printed wirelessly using Wi-Fi enabled printers.

Another plus is that -movies and images can be viewed via DLNA-enabled HDTVs. DLNA stands for Digital Living Network Alliance, an organisation that defines a standard for moving movies and other media between devices. Furthermore, by wirelessly connecting to a smart phone or tablet, photographers can also remotely control the camera, adjust shoot settings and focus before remotely triggering the shutter and viewing the captured image.

Featuring integrated GPS, these lightweight camera images can be tagged with location data as they are shot. Travellers can also build a more complete record of their trip by using the GPS logger function to track their route which can be displayed using the supplied Map Utility software.

So to recap, what can you expect from your smaller (770g) digital SLR such as the EOS 6D?

  • Full-frame 20.2 Megapixel sensor
  • Tough, lightweight construction
  • Max ISO 25,600 (expandable to ISO 102,400)
  • GPS to record your location
  • Wi-Fi for file transfer and remote control
  • Full-HD video

The above is undoubtedly great value coupled with all the benefits that come with transporting more lightweight devices and is undoubtedly the way of the future.

We wish you a Merry Mobile

By admin, 12 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

Gone are the days when children begged for the latest bike or book, today’s younger generation are all about being tech-savvy with the latest mobile devices topping their Christmas wish list. Santa had better have his elves stock up, as these devices are sure to be in high demand, with kids from as young as six already being ‘mobilised’.

This year’s Sunday Times Generation Next survey reviewed more than 5000 young South Africans between the ages of 8 and 22 on what their favourite products were for 2012. Results from this proved just how popular mobile devices have become with Blackberry voted as the top overall brand for 2012 as well as the top hi-tech gadget. Recent studies have also shown the younger consumer is influencing spend on hi-tech items for around R6 billion a year. These South African statistics are close catching up to the worldwide trend. A recent Nielsen survey conducted amongst children in the United States saw 48%, of the 3000 surveyed, stating they will ask Santa for an ipad this year. The top uses for these gadgets? Gaming, surfing the internet and social networking.

There was a time when Christmas morning was spent assembling the kids’ Christmas gifts, with instruction pamphlets, diagrams, nuts and bolts strewn across the carpet, and mom realising she had forgotten to buy the 6 x AAA batteries that would instantly animate Junior’s new acquisition. (She’d blame it on Santa’s elves, of course). Nowadays, the confusion comes before Christmas morning as parents try to fathom their way through the marketing clutter and profusion of technical specs and special deals.

To see this brought to life, just visit any of the shopping malls where mobile network operators have their customer service locations and you will be dazzled by the festive marketing. A tip for parents, don’t leave it to the last minute. Shop online or, even better, onmobile and make use of the innovative tools (easy to link to via QR codes) which many brands are now including in their display material, enabling you to use your mobile in store to help with your purchase decision at point-of-purchase. Alternatively, visit sites such as www.kalahari.net or hunt for bargains on the mobile version of bid-or-buy (m.bidorbuy.co.za) to help fulfill your ‘mobi Christmas’ wish list.

“In selecting your Christmas technology fix, be aware that it’s not all about features, functionality and specs, or how ‘smart’ the item is. No matter how technically advanced we’ve become, it’s important to remember that a product must have human appeal. After all, within the breast of the digital native still beats an analogue heart. Follow the beat…,” comments Deseré Orrill, MD of MobiMedia, a boutique mobile marketing agency based in Cape Town.

So what are the top gadget’s your children are likely to ask for this year? Iphones, Nintendo Wii’s, Blackberry’s and tablets are sure to top the wish lists. As a parent all these gadgets can seem overwhelming, especially when it comes to the costs. To trim the budget this year, why not buy one gadget the family can enjoy together, like the new Nintendo Wii? It’s also important to remember that like a puppy, mobile devices are not just for Christmas and often you can find yourself locked into a contract for more than a year.

Christmas morning is sure to bring smiles to many the tech-savvy child, but don’t leave yourself out of the game. Buy yourself, or your partner, that ipad or mobile device you have been secretly eyeing. And don’t worry; come Christmas morning your child will be more than happy to help you set it up.

 

Canadian Solar Partners with Romano Group in South Africa

By admin, 12 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

Large commercial, industrial and retail sites targeted by photovoltaic vendor

Canadian Solar Inc., one of the world’s largest solar companies, today announced that Romano Group will become an authorised Canadian Solar reseller in South Africa. The announcement comes as Canadian Solar looks to increase its local photovoltaic (PV) module market share via a deliberate partner-led approach.

The Romano Group has a Solar PV division that operates as an EPC contractor for large-scale ground-mounted and roof-top systems, and is also a reseller of PV modules and inverters.

“We are delighted to welcome Romano Group as a Canadian Solar Authorised Reseller in South Africa,” said Jos van der Hyden, Canadian Solar Vice President and General Manager for Africa and Middle East. “In Romano Group, we have an experienced partner with an excellent track record of delivering sustainable energy solutions to large commercial, industrial and retail property customers in Africa.”

Founded in 1952, Romano Group specialises in Solar PV, ECO-lighting, Modular Construction and Signage and Print.

“We are pleased to be partnering with Canadian Solar,” said Romano’s CEO Alexi Romano. “Our focus has always been on delivering value-added and sustainable energy solutions to our clients, who will now benefit from Canadian Solar’s high quality and high performing photovoltaic modules.”

Romano is authorised to distribute Canadian Solar’s full range of products, with particular focus on the flagship model – the CS6P-P (235-255 W), a high-performance module with 60 solar cells, and the MaxPower CS6X-P (285-305 W) module with 72 solar cells.

The CS6P-P is targeted at on-grid solar applications like commercial or industrial rooftops, or solar power stations. The CS6X-P is designed for utility, commercial and rural applications, and its larger size, increased power and performance cut the balance of system costs per watt by maximising tracker and racking space.

Alcatel-Lucent builds Airtel’s network backbone across Africa

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

High performance IP-based network will enable new services for consumers and businesses

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is to help Bharti Airtel meet rapidly growing demand for mobile broadband services in its African operations by supplying advanced new IP (Internet Protocol)-based networking technology to support the delivery of new mobile broadband data and video services.

Rising smartphone ownership in Africa is driving demand for high-bandwidth mobile data services such as video calling and online gaming. To satisfy this demand and meet continued expansion, Alcatel-Lucent will evolve Airtel Africa’s data transport and mobile backhaul1 networks using its IP/MPLS (IP/Multiprotocol Label Switching) technology.

This new backbone network will support all mobile broadband services to Airtel’s 17 affiliates across Africa – serving 60 million customers – as well as a much more robust interconnection to global networks including the UK. The single international network will offer a more simple structure to improve performance, reliability, capacity convergence and interoperable mechanisms for faster service recovery. The Airtel investment includes a common platform for Layer 2 and Layer 3 service provisioning to reduce the time of delivering the variety of service types. The result being faster internet speeds for mobile and Airtel business solutions, toll quality voice and extension of services from Airtel, ultimately leading to better customer experience and reduction in the cost of operations.

Eben Albertyn CTO of Airtel Africa said: “Alcatel-Lucent is helping us to fully utilize the advantages of IP/MPLS technology to economically and effectively handle high volumes of a variety of mobile broadband data and video services. The new network implementation not only provides a substantially improved quality of service for our current customers, it also does an excellent job of preparing Airtel Africa for future international expansion opportunities.”

Daniel Jaeger, Vice-President of Alcatel-Lucent Africa said: “Airtel Africa IP/MPLS network will carry all the international traffic (voice, internet, IT ) of Airtel in Africa connecting it to the peering point in UK.
Thanks to our best-in-class IP/MPLS mobile backhaul solution, we can help the seventeen operating companies that comprise Airtel Africa to innovate with their service offers to meet customers’ needs with an even higher degree of reliability.”

About Alcatel-Lucent’s solution for Airtel
Alcatel-Lucent’ will supply Airtel with its 7750 Service Router, 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR) and 5620 Service Aware Manager. These are the cornerstones of Alcatel-Lucent’s leading Mobile Backhaul solution, offering a highly scalable, converged (support for 2G, 3G, and 4G/LTE technologies) and reliable end-to-end solution deployed by more than 120 operators globally.

Which tech trends will be making waves in 2012? Experts weigh in

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

2012 has seen interesting technological advances. Vodacom and MTN have both announced the rollout of 4G as South Africa heads towards full LTE mobile networks, fibre optics are becoming more accessible and consumers have rushed to buy the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. We’ve asked 5 experts to weigh in on which developments will be making waves in 2013:

1. Mobile internet will be on the uptake

“I expect that the advent of 4G networks will have a positive impact on the market. The cost of bandwidth and smart devices will decrease, which means that rich technology will become more prolific. On the negative side, the IT skill issue remains a problem, particularly best of breed. We need to start developing skills from the ground up to ensure that the technology sector remains lucrative in the future.” – Nick Cadenhead, IT solutions consultant AIGS

2. Businesses will become greener

“The implementation of carbon taxation in 2013/2014 means that IT departments will be subject to scrutiny in terms of energy efficiency and carbon footprinting. Not only will this drive innovation for low-energy hardware development, but also in terms of usage. Inefficient PC power management can be a significant source of electricity waste. In 2013, we should be seeing greater demands on the reduction of “drowsy servers” and wasted power through wake-on-lan technology. The good news is that this will greatly reduce costs (along with carbon emissions), particularly for industries with an extensive IT infrastructure.” Tim James, MD of sustainableIT and The Carbon Report

3. Cloud computing will become more prevalent

“Cloud computing will continue to prove disruptive to businesses, but the providers that will weather the storm of rapid cloud tech adoption are the ones who are willing to provide support throughout the project life cycle. Rather than selling a solution-in-a-box, but they will guarantee service at a fixed monthly hosting cost to minimise upfront investment. We expect to see several companies move to a cloud-based model in order to take advantage of the cost benefits and scalability.” – Bruce von Maltitz, MD of 1Stream

4. VoIP will become more important

“While fixed line penetration is waning, ADSL is growing in absolute numbers and as a percentage of fixed line installations. By and large, the gap will be filled by mobile and wireless solutions, but also by networked voice (VoIP) offerings from a plethora of alternative telcos. VoIP is making increasing inroads, worldwide as well as in South Africa. The technology is strong in greenfields implementations (new companies or branches) and as replacements of end-of-life analogue systems.” – Rob Lith, Director of Connection Telecom

5. M-commerce and location-aware will increase

“For over a decade, mobile retail has been viewed as a niche market, with profitable but somewhat insignificant products such as ringtones/wallpapers. This is slowly changing, as more shoppers prefer to use mobile smart devices to conduct business with. If the cost of mobile data goes down, the popularity of m-commerce will increase. Companies should start integrating their existing websites and tools with the new technology and devise a holistic digital strategy. Ultimately, of course, the real benefits lie in the opportunities presented by the bevy of apps that are being created. Shoppers browsing a retail store are free to either buy online on the same store’s website, or do comparative browsing online and shop elsewhere. In this scenario, mobile loyalty schemes are becoming a must. Coalition loyalty schemes like Shopkick offer rewards (‘kicks’) for merely walking into stores, with ‘kicks’ redeemable on any partner merchandise. Soon we’ll see location-aware services, near-field communications and other innovations dominating the market.” – Wesley Lynch, MD of Realmdigital

Conclusion
It’s seems as though the consumerisation of IT continues to drive innovation as developers scramble to create applications and services that can be accessed on any platform, on any device. But one thing is certain: technology continues to empower businesses to lower their operating costs and improve their service offering.

Video wall bigger than a tennis court gives Bharti Airtel complete network view

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

Nokia Siemens Networks provides unified network and service management dashboard solution to ensure the best possible service quality and user experience

Bharti Airtel has recently unveiled a new Network Experience Centre in Manesar near Gurgaon, India. This center includes a 3600-square-foot video wall powered by Nokia Siemens Networks’ dashboard solution. The solution monitors and analyzes the various aspects of the operator’s entire network operations, and presents them in a unified video view to make monitoring and analysis of Bharti Airtel’s operations simpler and more efficient.

This dashboard solution is different from conventional dashboard, as it provides performance and usage view of Airtel network and services across geographies, mobile services and devices. With this solution, the operator can ensure the best service quality management and customer experience for its customers.

“As data use continues to surge in India, we have consistently evolved our network to provide the best service quality and customer experience to enrich the lives of millions of people,” said Jagbir Singh, CTO & Director, Network Services Group, Bharti Airtel. “With Nokia Siemens Networks’ dashboard solution for unified network and service operations, our Network Experience Centre has set a new standard in the infrastructure of the South Asian telecom industry to monitor and measure the customer experience across entire GSM, 3G and 4G networks. This new centre, with the world’s biggest video wall, is an important addition to our competitive edge in this data-centric world.”

“For any operator that wants to monitor and address issues related to service quality and customer experience, it is vital to have a single, unified, holistic view of all network operations,” said Sandeep Girotra, head of India region at Nokia Siemens Networks. “With our advanced dashboard wall, we integrate insights from key services and customer experience parameters across the length and breadth of Bharti Airtel’s network. It provides a single point assessment of network operations and ensures the optimal management of service quality as well as customer experience.”

Nokia Siemens Networks delivered its dashboard solution for unified network and service operations for Bharti Airtel, using the capabilities of its customer experience management (CEM) portfolio adapted to the operator’s specific requirements. The solution integrates Bharti Airtel’s existing multi-vendor operations support system (OSS) and service monitoring tools deployed in its various network operations centers (NOC) across India.

The integrated view not only takes Bharti Airtel’s network operations to the next level of technology, but also provides important key customer experience insights needed to grow revenue and improve customer satisfaction. This project has applied Nokia Siemens Networks’ system integration experience gained from over 1,850 projects for operators around the world. It has also demonstrated the company’s capability to implement as well as integrate network and service insight from many sources into a single consolidation and visualization layer.

Samsung Learning Hub expands device footprint

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

Now available across a broad range of Samsung mobile devices

Following the successful local launch last month of its Learning Hub, Samsung Electronics has announced that this innovative multimedia learning environment is now available on all its high-end mobile devices to provide more users with free access to quality educational content.

“The Learning Hub provides students of all ages with easy access to a range of educational content that incorporates elements such as text books, tutorial videos, and infographics that creates a truly mobile learning environment,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung South Africa.

Initially only available on the Galaxy Note II, the Learning Hub is now pre-loaded on the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Camera, Galaxy Note 10.1, and Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 mobile devices.

“Samsung marries its technology innovation with a quality educational offering that not only lets students learn at their own pace on a variety of topics, but also harness the features of our mobile devices to take notes, bookmark video or text segments, and highlight special sections,” adds Fleischer.

Current users of these devices will be able to go to the Samsung App Store and download the Learning Hub free of charge.

Dell and ECOTECH Converge equip Petra Diamonds with a complete IT solution

By admin, 11 grudnia, 2012, No Comment

ECHOTECH Converge, a focused service delivery company with a market leading distribution entity, recently joined Dell South Africa’s partner programme. Already, the partnership is seeing success, ECOTECH Converge recently equipped Petra Diamonds with a complete Dell solution, ranging from storage, servers, networking and security system management. The solution includes SonicWALL, which is one of Dell’s more recent acquisitions.

With the acquisition of SonicWALL, Dell is able to expand its security software and services portfolio, enabling customers to benefit from solutions such as security services, cloud security solutions, data encryption solutions and vulnerability and patch management. Dell is excited to see South African customers leverage the benefit of these acquisitions.

Prior to switching to Dell, Petra Diamond ran a very successful pilot study and found major improvement in efficiencies. Dell and ECOTECH Converge provided Petra Diamond with the installation support and product training to ensure a flawless migration. In addition, the company enjoys Dell’s after sales, service.

“At Dell, we make it our priority to first understand our partners and their customer needs in order to be able to offer the right solutions and services. Dell is committed to the channel and equipping its partners to offer clients the best possible solutions by, offering them a combination of essential Dell products with strong market differentiation and growth opportunities. We strive to build channel confidence through our channel programme, our channel enablement, training, certification, Dell solutions and services,” says Ebrahim Hanslo, channel development manager, Dell South Africa.

Commenting on Dell Complete Solutions benefits for customers, Cecil Eybers, director of Ecotech Converge, says Dell’s after sales support is one of the key value adds for its customer Petra Diamond.

“Dell’s biggest differentiator in the market is the warranty they offer to their partners. We have been in the channel business for 26 years and we understand our customer’s needs, hence we understand the value that partnering with Dell enables us to provide to our customers. This will ensure that we provide our customers with the right solutions all the time,” adds Eybers.

Dell Solutions allow customers to pay as they grow and guarantees 24hour mission critical support. Through valued channel partnerships, Dell is able to deliver world class solutions, superior service delivery and customer satisfaction.

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