Archive for Styczeń, 2013

Delivering effective performance management in the financial services sector

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

By: David McWilliam, Director at Cortell Corporate Performance Management

Streamlining operations, enhancing efficiencies and monitoring performance across various business units, divisions and branches is critical in the financial services sector. This is the only way for banks to remain profitable, as their prices for ‘selling’ goods and services are determined by the market. Competitive advantage is intrinsically inked into efficiency, innovation and the ability to service customers effectively, and measuring and understanding Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) against predetermined metrics is key in achieving this. For these reasons, Performance Management (PM) is seen as a vital tool in financial services.

However, where many organisations go wrong is in assuming that technology is a ‘silver bullet’ which will automatically deliver the required data in a format which is easy to understand and consume. The reality though is that before technology can deliver, the underlying data needs to be clean and available, and business objectives and goals clearly understood. Ensuring effective PM requires the traditional gap between business and IT to be bridged, so that technology investments are then able to deliver returns and perform as required by the business.

While dashboards and scorecards, which are the end result of performance technology solutions, can help financial institutions to analyse data and produce it in an easily understandable format at a very granular level, in order to leverage this technology it is crucial to have the right information to begin with. This requires drivers and KPIs to be determined, which will help to set goals for operational performance.

However, the biggest stumbling block many organisations face is the actual capturing of the relevant information that will enable these performance goals to be measured. Any goal that is set for measurement without adequate data will be unable to be reported upon, with the result that the dashboards and scorecards will be incomplete. This failing is often blamed on the technology itself, when in reality this is not the case. In order to accurately set goals and measure performance, it is critical for a financial institution to understand the business and its goals and drivers, as well as what can physically be measured, and then to ensure that the data is available to do so.

When embarking on any PM project, it is therefore crucial that business and IT work together. The IT department is often tasked with finding the right technology, in isolation from the business users, creating a well known disconnect. Partnering with a vendor that has strong consulting skills along with technical expertise can go a long way towards bridging this gap.

Software and technology are enablers, but in the case of PM the real value for financial institutions lies in the skill of the consultants. A skilled consultant with expertise in both financial and operational performance will be able to understand the issues faced by banks, and work with customers to resolve these challenges. Working closely with a partner who can provide the right technology as well as the business knowledge and understanding to make the technology work will ensure that PM initiatives deliver true value.

At the end of the day, the onus is on the financial institution themselves to understand precisely what they need to be measuring and what information they need to do this. Technology is a useful tool for replicating processes and analysing large volumes of data, but if the processes themselves do not function on a local level the technology will be of very little use. However if it is not linked into business goals and objectives, technology will not achieve the desired result.

Understanding the business and the business processes, and knowing what information is needed and available are critical steps in performance management initiatives. PM is not a technology decision, but a business decision. This means that bridging the gap between business and IT is vital, and choosing a partner that can deliver both the business and technology aspects will go a long way towards ensuring performance management success.

Businesses urged to backup data in light of increased public unrest

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

The recent spate of public unrest across South Africa – such as the public protests in Sasolburg and farmworkers strikes in the Western Cape – has resulted in significant damage to a number of business premises. While appropriate insurance should cover any damage, businesses that failed to backup their irreplaceable information could face possible closure if no effective backup solutions were implemented.

This is according to Ray Stride, Managing Director of Global Continuity South Africa – a group company of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings Limited, who says that public unrest is one of the newer and rapidly growing threats to business continuity. “Ensuring that mission critical company data is backed up is a key component of an effective Business Continuity Management program and should be a top priority for local business leaders in the current environment.”

Stride says the main function of a sound BCM plan is to enable a business to avoid disasters or survive and continue functioning at a sustainable level following a major disruption to critical daily operations. “This is done through the identification of certain business processes that must be recovered within a certain time frame in order to continue supplying critical products and services during adverse operating conditions or alternatively to ensure that business processes are not interrupted by disastrous events.”

“The repercussions for businesses with no effective BCM solution can range from loss of revenue, assets, clients and staff to litigation, penalties and perhaps even worst of all, reputational damage. There are also personal consequences for the business leaders as they could face Director or Officer liability cases on the basis of negligence or criminal liability, which could even affect their reputation to act as a Director in future.”

Stride says some examples of essential services and activities, which are critical to the sustainability of a business, include, but are not limited to: revenue collection; communication with staff, suppliers and clients; service delivery; logistics and procurement.

“Unfortunately, no insurance policy is able to keep a business running – it can pay for damages caused, but it cannot answer the phones, communicate with clients or satisfy stakeholders when a major unforeseen interruption renders the business incapable of continuing mission critical activities.”

However, the importance of testing the BCP cannot be stressed enough as a recovery plan is only effective if it is certain to work, says Stride. “Testing is the key activity which determines, firstly whether the implementation of the BCP has been worth the effort and expenditure, and, secondly how to address those issues which inhibit effective recovery.”

“In a time when disruptions to business operations can occur at any moment, all businesses have a responsibility to clients, employees and stakeholders to ensure a tested plan is in place which allows the organisation to continue functioning at an operational level even in the event of a disaster. Certainly, without the ability to recover data and services reliably and efficiently, impacts will be much greater.” concludes Stride.

Jasco delivers core to edge national transmission network for Neotel

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

Neotel has appointed Jasco Carrier to install a complete core to edge national fibre network for converged communications operator Neotel. The solution, which consists of ADVA’s FSP 3000 scalable Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) core network system, FSP 150 Metro Ethernet Connectivity solutions, and a Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer (ROADM), will light up the R2 billion, 5000km national long distance fibre optic network Neotel is building in partnership with MTN and Vodacom. The ADVA implementation will keep pace with the laying of the fibre, which is estimated to be worth €7 million over a two to three year period.

Jasco will perform a full end-to-end implementation of the ADVA FSP 3000 and ADVA FSP 150 system. It will plan, design, implement and maintain the solution, and provide high level support. Together, these solutions facilitate a complete next generation national long distance network to enable Neotel to deliver high speed telecommunications and Internet services to the South African market. Using the FSP 3000 to deliver the core network, the FSP 150 modules enable this to be branched off with Metro Ethernet to deliver localised services, with the ROADM enabling routing from a single point to multiple Metro Ethernet points.

Explains Dr Angus Hay, GM: Strategic Business Development at Neotel: “Selecting the system that will allow us to light up the network and beginning implementation are important milestones. A motivator for selection of Jasco for this project was the strong relationship between Neotel and what was formerly known as Spescom Telecommunications, along with Jasco Telecom’s solid reputation for service excellence and telecoms expertise.” Spescom Telecommunications won a contract in 2006 for the rollout of Neotel’s Next Generation SDH equipment and was recently incorporated into Jasco ICT’s Carrier division as Jasco Telecom Solutions.

The ADVA-enabled national and metro networks support Neotel’s ongoing deployment of fibre to the curb. “This means we don’t have to wait for local loop unbundling to bring the immense throughput of fibre optic networks to both large and small enterprises in South Africa. We believe that our Neo One and NeoBroadband offerings are helping to satisfy the massive demand for more bandwidth countrywide, and are providing these customers with their first real experience of next generation telecommunications and cloud services,” adds Hay.

Notes Paul McKibbin, Divisional MD of Jasco Carrier: “This is a highly strategic contract for Jasco Carrier, positioning the company, with its new brand well. It will certainly drive recognition of our competence, expertise and technology access in this market. We see our relationship with Neotel as a partnership, with significant scope for future growth as a supplier and provider of specialised services and support offerings to the network provider.”

“As a value added reseller of ADVA equipment, Jasco Carrier has made extensive use of ADVA’s solutions for customer implementations. The ADVA FSP 3000 platform is a proven world class WDM transport solution specifically designed for service providers and large enterprises, and we are confident of its performance. The FSP 150 solution works seamlessly with the ROADM module within this core solution to provide multi-directional routing which is critical for Metro Ethernet services. We also have a highly skilled and qualified resource base that is fully capable of implementing and supporting the product,” says McKibbin.

Using seamlessly integrating ADVA solutions with the ROADM module reduces technological footprint and vastly improves efficiency. Whereas in the past, switching network traffic from one direction to another required de-multiplexing to electrical signal, sending and then re-multiplexing, the ROADM module in ADVA sends signals directly in multiplex, improving efficiency and reducing power and technology footprints. This in turn allows for reduced capital expense on outlay and reduced operational expense with regard to ongoing running costs.

Says Gareth Spence, Corporate Communications & Online Strategies Senior Manager at ADVA Optical Networking: “The ADVA FSP 3000 solution offers flexibility and cost-efficiency in multiplexing, transporting and protecting high-speed data, storage and video applications; and bandwidth scale and service flexibility in access, backhaul, metro and long-haul networks. Additional benefits include its ability to optimise spectral efficiency, and its remote system operation and management capabilities that will automate on-demand delivery and management of any mix of services, simplify network operations and reduce operational costs.”

The ADVA solution rollout began in October 2011 and is an ongoing project which will keep pace with implementation of the fibre network. Construction on the national long distance network began in late 2009 and the first routes from Johannesburg to Durban have been completed. The second set of routes linking Johannesburg to Cape Town are well underway.

For more information visit us at Jasco at www.jasco.co.za

Big data, the Cloud and mobility – key trends for the year ahead

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

By Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management

When it comes to predicting key areas of focus for IT in 2013, most analysts agree on three areas: big data, the Cloud and mobility. These trends are driven primarily by business’ desire to improve the customer experience, while continuing to improve operating effectiveness in the face of ever-tight IT budgets. Each of these three areas has its own impact on IT, but they are all part of a bigger picture – the data management landscape – which is changing the technology environment and revolutionising business, something which we can expect to increase as the year progresses.

The cloud is a disruptive technology that is enabling business users to bypass archaic IT provided solutions and bring new, unsanctioned technologies into the organisation. Mobility has shifted the goal posts for infrastructure management – client server architectures based on the Wintel platform are giving way to mobile architectures dominated by Apple, Google and Samsung. These trends have changed the IT landscape, but the major impact is that traditional large IT vendors cannot adapt quickly enough to solve the integration and data management challenges that these disruptions are bringing to the market. Start-up and specialist vendors are proliferating in the enterprise at a startling rate, solving problems the incumbents cannot.

According to Box CEO Aaron Levie, the emerging paradigm is the rise of the cloud stack. In the previous paradigm big vendors built their strategy around providing entire application suites. A single provider strategy allowed enterprises the theoretical benefit of reduced integration complexity. The cost – a stack solution may do everything, but does nothing really well. Given the trends toward the Cloud and mobility, as well as the emergence and expansion of big data, this approach is no longer good enough.

Focussed vendors on the other hand, offer the ideal solution to the needs of today’s business, each delivering their own specialist tool that works exceptionally well, and, importantly, integrates with other vendor solutions. With cloud stack-based solutions, as an example, employee records from Workday can be seamlessly loaded in to Salesforce.com, cleansed and standardised in Trillium Software on Demand, or analysed using GoodData. Cloud based solutions are driving a new level of openness, allowing better results to be driven from all applications. Unlike hard to implement, slow moving incumbent stacks, these solutions can be deployed quickly and cheaply, to support organisations of different sizes and to bolster weaknesses in existing enterprise architectures.

From a data quality perspective, there is a continuing drive to more effectively leverage existing systems to improve the customer experience. The tight economy means that hundred million rand projects to rip and replace existing systems are simply not viable. Instead, organisations need to look at adding core components, such as a data quality stack, which will quickly and easily integrate into multiple existing systems. It is also important to leverage vendor expertise and apply prebuilt data quality rules in order to maximise Return on Investment (ROI).

Adding to the data challenge is the globalisation factor. For many companies, challenging market conditions are driving expansion into multiple geographies. Africa is a key growth market for many South African enterprises, while other emerging markets such as Russia, India, Poland and South America are also seeing significant investment. This global expansion brings unique data quality challenges as each country and geography brings new languages, new business practises and new legislative barriers to data management.

In order to combat this and minimise the risk of falling foul of compliance regulations, it is often helpful to partner with a specialist, global, data quality company. Such an organisation can share insight and knowledge of these conditions, using local resources where necessary, to ensure that data meets organisational needs as well as complies with multiple national legislations and regulations across global boundaries.

Data quality makes or breaks every data intensive initiative – whether a new ERP or CRM application, improving business process efficiency, or ensuring regulatory compliance. The consolidation of the data management market has seen the mega vendors swallow up numerous specialist MDM, data integration and data quality vendors – in most cases losing the key passionate, data management specialists that made the technology work. A technology solution, deployed by an inexperienced team, is unlikely to bring value.

At the end of the day, bigger is not better. Better is better. To meet the challenges of the year ahead, organisations need to start looking at smarter solutions that offer real value, using suppliers and vendors that specialise in their own areas and work hand in hand with others. In this way, technology investments can be optimised by ensuring that only the solutions necessary are implemented, and that each solution is best fit to the business need. The IT landscape continues to shift and change, but by being smart organisations can tackle these challenges head on and come out of the other side leaner, more efficient and more effective than before.

Zetes Showcases Identification and Traceability on the Packaging Line and Beyond

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

Manufacturers are setting themselves ambitious targets for reducing their carbon footprints and need tools to help them achieve their environmental goals. At Propak 2013, Zetes South Africa will showcase its extensive range of solutions for the entire supply chain, with a strong focus on products and solutions that assist organisations to identify and trace their products keeping the environmental protection targets in mind.

The new MD3000e, that expands Zetes’ product range of environmentally efficient labelling solutions, is 38% smaller than a typical Print & Apply system. It uses recyclable materials in its construction, is highly energy efficient and will cut operating costs substantially. This printer has been designed to reduce the use of compressed air with the option of completely eliminating the usage, while offering 28% more production uptime. The MD3000e is complimented by Zetes’ fully recyclable labels for further cost savings and efficiencies.

Zetes’ robust Apollo Box Applicator that efficiently labels the front, back and/or sides of secondary product packaging provides a reliable solution for the identification and traceability of products in mission-critical environments. Standard or RFID labels can be securely applied in multiple positions inline. Easy integration into any production line and ERP system forms part of the Zetes Supply Chain solution. Zetes can now incorporate the energy efficient technology from the MD3000e into the Apollo Box Applicator to extend the environmental and cost benefits throughout their range or product offering

In addition to its green focus, Zetes will use Propak 2013 to highlight their Total Care approach to supply chain solutions, offering their clients total visibility and reliability to manage their assets.

Zetes will demonstrate how its innovative Vision technology, Visidot, enhances the traceability within the supply chain with accurate and efficient logistics, automatic data capture and elimination of shipping errors. This solution answers the ultimate requirement in complete product traceability.

 

Complexity underpins the top business continuity issues for 2013

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

The mere fact that you are reading this article implies that the last days predicted by modern-day Mayans and other apocalyptic have not arrived on schedule. “In fact, the risks we all face as we go into 2013 are much more complex, and thus much more difficult to counter,” says Michael Davies, CEO of ContinuitySA, Africa’s leading provider of business continuity services.

In what has become an annual exercise, Davies and members of his executive team met late in 2012 to review their predictions for the year and ponder what the coming year might hold for risk managers.

“What became very clear is it has become almost impossible to consider individual risks without taking the overall risk into consideration,” Davies observes. “Globalisation and the profound connectedness between individuals, companies and countries promoted by technology means that risk, too, must be seen broadly.”

Bearing this observation in mind, Davies and the ContinuitySA team have identified the following set of six interrelated risks for 2014.

1. Social malfunction grows. Across the world, it is increasingly clear that established certainties and beliefs about how the world is structured are becoming fluid. From the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street and protests against austerity in Greece and elsewhere, there is an overall loss of faith in society’s institutions and their ability to deliver a just world order.

In South Africa, persistent dissatisfaction with service delivery has exploded into widespread and violent protests against the very nature of the system. In that respect, the miners’ revolt in Marikana has been a watershed event, as it bypassed both the settlements negotiated by the miners’ own representatives and the normal processes of democracy. Democratic process, it seems, is either profoundly misunderstood or mistrusted.
This impatience with society’s existing institutions and processes appears to be spreading and there are worrying signs that even the middle class, on whose shoulders society’s prosperity and stability ultimately depend, are also losing faith in basic concepts. The extreme passions roused by the ongoing e-toll saga in Gauteng is an obvious example of this trend. For the middle classes, this type of feeling generally translates into a reluctance to pay tax, an action that can fatally undermine the state itself.

2. Global economic and financial volatility. It appears that the 2008 financial crisis is both more far-reaching and profound than first expected. Markets and economies seem unable to regain an even keel, and many commentators are seeing this volatility as “the new normal”. The flipside is an increasing regulatory burden as governments and other institutions attempt to rein in uncontrolled capitalism and protect investors.

For South African businesses, important associated risks are the volatility of commodity prices, greater competition internally and in export markets, and an unstable currency.

3. Environmental risk. If volatility is the new economic normal, then there is every indication that climatic volatility is also becoming a feature of life. For South Africa, climate fluctuations may be expected to increase the risk of water and even food shortages. Thus far, global and national environmental initiatives are gaining traction too slowly, and seem likely to add to the cost of doing business in the short term—giving rise to a classic case of how to balance short- and long-term risk.

4. Infrastructural risk. A common African business risk is inadequate and poorly maintained infrastructure. Water and power are the two obvious risks that threaten business, but the road and rail networks also present challenges. Government efforts to address these problems are affected by the principle of interconnectedness: opposition to e-tolling, one feels, is more influenced by wider dissatisfactions rather than the principle of “user pays”.

Many South African businesses are taking extraordinary measures to mitigate infrastructural risks by assuming responsibility for all or some of the infrastructure needed for their projects. Property developers, for example, are often providing roads and sewerage, and factories some of their own energy—and think of corporate involvement in points people to ameliorate the effects of faulty traffic lights and schemes to fill in potholes.

5. Data risk. Data is becoming more important as a way for companies to assess risk and compete more effectively—this is the phenomenon of Big Data. It’s probably true to say that most companies are still coming to terms with the concept and, more importantly, how to use data effectively. Nonetheless, data privacy regulations have already sprung up to protect personal data, creating a set of risks relating to data security. One is the growing menace of cybercrime. Another is the whole question of data sovereignty—as companies try to safeguard their data while reducing costs, they may opt for the security of cloud solutions. However, when those data centres are located and/or owned offshore, it becomes difficult to be sure of data security and accountability for lapses.

“Our approach is to use a hybrid public and private cloud model for our clients for just these reasons,” comments Davies. “This approach allows clients to retain tight control over sensitive data, as is increasingly mandated by law, and to take full advantage of the cost and flexibility of public services where appropriate.”
An associated risk is the peaking trend of IT consumerisation, so-called BYOD (bring your own device—the use of private mobile devices to access corporate data). BYOD offers both advantages and disadvantages: boards and their CIOs need to think carefully about how to protect their data against potential threats—and how to use the available technology wisely to obtain a competitive advantage.

6. Business continuity remains misunderstood. Risk management has definitely become integrated into the corporate agenda, and is maturing. This may be seen by the replacement of the existing BS25999 standard by ISO22301. The BS25999 standard set the standard for business continuity management, but the new ISO223301 standard is much more detailed in its requirements, and requires much more documentation of the processes followed. It also requires committed board-level leadership, thus effectively putting risk management into the spotlight.

However, in practical terms, the broader concept of business continuity management is becoming absorbed into the IT budget, with a concurrent diminishing of focus on operational matters. At the same time, budgets in general are under pressure.

“Ironically, then, the biggest overall risk has become corporate myopia about the true nature of risk—and this at a time when risk has become much more integrated into corporate strategy. Boards must resist seeing risk in terms of technology alone. Business continuity is a much more useful concept, one that takes into account the interconnectedness of risk today. When considering risk, business leaders need to take a broad view of organisational resilience before honing in on their particular company’s situation,” Davies concludes. “Risk is now systemic, and so the approach to risk must also be systemic and have operational relevance to the organisation.”

The new HP ENVY x2 notebook/tablet hybrid from DCC

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

Mobility is the key to success in today’s world, but deciding whether to carry a notebook or a tablet these days can create a dilemma. Do you choose the power to create rich content on the go, or the convenience of multimedia and entertainment features? Luckily this challenge is easily solved thanks to the new HP ENVY x2 from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC). With this innovative hybrid device you get the best of both worlds – the power of a notebook and the freedom of a tablet in one stylish, lightweight device.

“We have seen convergence in many areas within the realm of IT and HP is taking this one step forward with the introduction of the HP ENVY x2. This powerful feature-packed notebook converts seamlessly into a full tablet, separating from the keyboard using a seamless magnetic latch,” says Francois van Wijk, HP PSG Business Unit Manager at DCC.

Featuring a sleek aluminium finish and an innovative hinge with magnets that smoothly guide the tablet into place, the HP ENVY x2 weighs just 1.4kg. When separated from the keyboard, the tablet weighs in at under 700g, delivering ultimate portability. A bright, vivid 11.6” HD touch display and the power of Windows 8 deliver the ultimate user experience in both modes, with individual batteries in the tablet and the keyboard ensuring you are always up and running on the go.

Ultra wide viewing angles and a bright, 400-nit In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel provide a superb visual experience indoors and outdoors, while an HD webcam on the front and an 8-megapixel camera on the back capture high-quality photos and video. The HP ENVY x2 also features Beats Audio for the best-sounding, richest audio experience available on a notebook. An optional stylus offers added creativity, giving you the freedom to write, draw and navigate with added accuracy.

“Sharing and staying connected is a breeze thanks to the new HP Connected Photo application. This tool seamlessly syncs photos across multiple devices and offers basic editing options and instant-sharing capabilities for social networks. Innovative Near Field Communication (NFC) technology lets users share content, including photos, contacts and URLs, with a simple tap on the touch screen. Added to this, HP Connected Music allows consumers to experience music downloads, streaming services and internet radio all in one convenient place,” van Wijk adds.

The HP ENVY x2 incorporates a 64GB solid-state drive (SSD) delivering robustness, improving reliability and ensuring lightning fast start up times. It features a 1.8GHz dual core Intel Atom processor with Intel Graphics Accelerator and 2GB RAM for superior performance in either tablet or notebook mode. The base of the device incorporates a full-size keyboard and multi-touch track pad for a familiar notebook experience, with touch screen capability enabled in both notebook and tablet mode. Integrated ports include HDMI, Audio/microphone, two USB 2.0 ports and an SD card slot. The device integrates Wireless in multiband Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth and Near Field Communication (NFC) connectivity.

“The HP ENVY x2 is the ultimate companion for the mobile warrior. You can switch seamlessly between modes, with all of the features and functionality of both devices, ensuring you are ready and prepared for any experience life brings. Whether you need to use serious office applications or simply check your email, browse the web, look at photos, update your calendar or anything in between, this device does it all and more. Everything you need is just a touch away. The HP ENVY x2 helps you make the most of your files and simplifies your life,” concludes van Wijk.

The HP ENVY x2 is available immediately from leading retailers at a recommended retail price of R10 999.00 including V.A.T.

 

Barracuda Networks named leader in IDC MarketScape

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

LOOPHOLD Security Distribution, a distributor of Barracuda Networks in Southern Africa, has announced that Barracuda Networks, a provider of security and data protection solutions, has been recognised as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Web Security Products 2011-2012 Vendor Analysis. This report analyses the quantitative and qualitative characteristics that explain a vendor’s success in the marketplace.

The Barracuda Web security solutions, including the Barracuda Web Filter, Barracuda Web Security Service, Barracuda Web Security Agent and Barracuda Safe Browser, were recognised for their flexible yet comprehensive ability to protect users online, regardless of location or device.

“The recognition Barracuda has received for their security offering confirms their commitment to the market by providing quality products with enhanced functionality. This is crucial in an environment where new security threats are unleashed every day. This accolade also provides our resellers and their clients with the assurance of an internationally recognised brand and technology that adapts to an evolving security environment, without the additional options and fees that are usually associated with such product evolution” says Martin Tassev, MD at LOOPHOLD.

According to IDC, market demands for Web security solutions have changed and must address a much broader set of functions. The report goes on to explain, “Explosive growth of Web-based technologies in the enterprise i.e., social media, mobile apps, software-as-a-service/cloud infrastructure and the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon are forcing rapid change on the Web security market.”

Barracuda Networks was praised for supporting all major features of secure Web gateways: URL filtering, antimalware, social media/Web 2.0 controls and content inspection. Additionally, Barracuda Networks was cited as a leader based on key strengths including:

  • Cost effective: Barracuda Networks’ core strength is efficiently producing cost and functionally effective security solutions for organisations.
  • Flexible deployment: Barracuda Networks offers cloud, on-premise appliances and virtual appliances. This provides flexible deployment options – a key requirement cited by a majority of the 24 end users interviewed for the IDC MarketScape.
  • Strong channel: Barracuda Networks has an expansive channel partner program including excellent sales and marketing strategies, which effectively reach target customers.

To receive instructions on how to access the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Web Security Products 2011-2012 Vendor Analysis report, please send a request to barracuda@loophold.com or contact your account manager at LOOPHOLD!

 

Accenture launches Innovation Index

By admin, 30 stycznia, 2013, No Comment

Accenture has launched South Africa’s first Innovation Index to promote business growth and development of new, sustainable enterprises that would in turn spur much desired job creation. The global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company aims to use the index to measure, promote and reward innovative ideas and commercial concepts across the public and private sectors in the South African marketplace.

The index will offer both policy-makers and businesses a national benchmark for innovation by showcasing how innovation creates value in new ways, drives profitable revenue growth and enables organisations to maintain a competitive advantage over the longer term. Participating organisations stand to raise their corporate profiles, build networks, promote their concepts in support of their business growth and potentially access funding.

The index is supported by a robust adjudication process and an expert panel of judges, comprised of key industry figures and prominent business leaders, who will evaluate South Africa’s innovation leaders and their innovations. TransUnion has been enlisted to help with verifying the details and assessing the risk profile of participating organisations.

Expressing his excitement about the initiative, Accenture South Africa Chief Executive William Mzimba said: “An increasingly volatile and competitive market landscape demands new ways of thinking about, and acting on, business challenges and opportunities. Continuous innovation underpins sustained growth for both business and public organisations. By developing an authoritative and objective snapshot of the current state of innovation in South Africa as well as recognising local ‘role models’, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to a better South Africa.”

Accenture has partnered on its Innovation Index with The Da Vinci Institute, a school of management leadership, which established the Technology Top 100 awards (TT100) in 1982. Professor Roy Marcus, chairman of The Da Vinci Institute, commented, “In South Africa, the very notion of innovation, and creation of a national psyche on innovation, was inscribed in the 1996 White Paper on Science and Technology. Unfortunately, whilst there are very distinctive pockets of innovation, the concept has not been widely accepted. The programme has an ambitious agenda at its core: to re-energise South Africa through cultivating an innovation mindset and demystifying the very notion of innovation.”

“Entrepreneurship and innovation are key to job and wealth creation – essential issues for South Africa. We welcome this initiative and applaud Accenture and The Da Vinci Institute for investing in the future of our country in this way. We look forward to hearing of many successes that result from this initiative,” said Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom.

The index has also been endorsed by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

Entries for the Accenture South Africa Innovation Index open on 29 January and close on 30 April, culminating in an Innovation Showcase where innovative concepts will be exhibited. A gala dinner will be held in August, which will reveal a national Innovation Index, as well as recognise an Innovation Master and innovative concepts across a diversity of industries. Organisations can enter at www.innovationindexawards.co.za.

Defining innovation and the methodology:

Accenture defines innovation as a new way of doing things that creates or adds value. Innovation entails ideas that can be translated in action. It is a good idea that is brought to fruition. The idea must generate a successful outcome to be qualified as innovation. This underpins the methodology we have developed in support of the creation of an Innovation Index and related measures thereof.

The Accenture South Africa Innovation Index has two aspects:

  • A National Index, which looks at areas of excellence and those of development across five key categories: Technological Process Innovation, Social and People Innovation, Service Delivery Innovation, Product Development Innovation and Market/ Brand Development Innovation. Together, these form a South African innovation index. This will be benchmarked year-on-year to understand and track changing trends.
  • Awards, which recognise innovation in its truest form – concepts – which are changing the way the world lives and works. To be considered, concepts must already have been commercialised and in the market from at least one day and up to three years. They should also be proudly South African. Each year, following a robust judging process by doyens of industry and innovation experts, winning concepts will be recognised by industry sector at a gala awards ceremony, along with an Innovation Master of the Year who will be lauded for their systematic approach to inculcating innovation as part of their organisational culture.

Olaf Henning – Das Party-Album – Der Megamix 3 – CD — NEU

By admin, 29 stycznia, 2013, No Comment
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