Archive for Luty, 2013

10 things you can do this year to guarantee you lose your valuable data

By admin, 28 lutego, 2013, No Comment

By: Fred Mitchell, Symantec Division Manager, Drive Control Corporation

The need to protect valuable business and personal data from hackers, viruses and theft is something that all users are aware of, as cybercrime has become a multi-million dollar industry. However, there are many other ways to lose your data, which people often do not even think about. These simple, everyday mistakes could end up compromising machines, exposing users to identity theft, and allowing sensitive information to fall into the wrong hands. To protect yourself, your business and your information, avoid doing these ten things that will practically guarantee that you lose your data in 2013.

1. Claim your winnings or log onto Internet banking via email
Cybercriminals and attackers often hide malware in links in either emails or text messages. Clicking on these links can install malicious software which compromises your computer and gives hackers access to all of your data. These emails are often very convincing, so it pays to be aware.

The answer? Don’t click on links in emails from people you don’t know or trust. If it seems suspicious, rather ignore it. This may seem obvious, yet cybercriminals continue to use this method because of its high success rate. Remember, your bank will never email you and ask you to click on a link to log into online banking via email. And if you didn’t enter the competition, or you don’t remember entering it, you haven’t won – things that seem too good to be true generally are.

2. Advertise your absence
Standard business practice dictates that when you are away from your desk for any length of time, you should put up an auto responder. However, we often provide far too much information in these emails, such as where we are, how long we will be gone for, who to contact and so on. This gives cybercriminals enough information to launch attacks that can see very convincing and genuine.

The best way to avoid this is to limit the information contained in auto-responders, to give cybercriminals less ammunition to work with.

3. Procrastinate your backup
Backups are time consuming, but putting off your backup until tomorrow or the next day could have devastating consequences, especially for small to medium businesses (SMBs). Symantec estimates that during a typical data outage, SMBs can lose 52% productivity and 29% revenue. This can cripple a business, particularly if this data cannot be timeously recovered.

Ensure that backup is completed at least once a day, if not more, using an automated backup solution. Identify critical resources, ensure that they are included in backup policies, and importantly, test your backup and restore capabilities frequently to ensure that they are working correctly before a disaster strikes.

4. Accept friend requests from people you don’t know
Social media has changed the way we interact with each other, and many people feel that there’s no such thing as too many friends on Facebook. However, making friends with people you don’t know can be a dangerous practice. Cybercriminals use social media to spread viruses, perpetrate fraud, distribute spam and phishing messages, and even gather information that can be used for identity theft.

Many SMBs do not have policies in place to regulate social media usage, so it is even more important for individuals to be aware. As a rule of thumb, do not make friends or ‘connect’ with people you don’t know. Social media provides high levels of anonymity, and the person you just made friends with may not be who they say they are.

5. Plug in the memory stick you just found lying around
Memory sticks and flash drives are a convenient way of carrying data around, and are highly portable, so are often left lying around. But picking up that USB storage device and plugging it into your computer could be the worst decision you ever made.

The drives are convenient for data, so they are also highly convenient for spreading viruses and other malware, and they are often used for just this purpose. Rather spend a few hundred Rand and buy your own brand new flash drive, instead of taking a chance on the one you found lying around.

6. Take confidential data home with you
In this age of the mobile workforce, many employees copy confidential data onto unencrypted USB drives, send this information to their personal email addresses or upload them to file sharing sites, in order to allow them to work from home. Many people also remove information in these manners without permission, which leaves the organisation open to vulnerabilities and data loss or theft.

If confidential data is needed for mobile working, make sure it is encrypted before it leaves the office, to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. This way, even if laptops and flash drives get stolen or misplaced, data remains protected.

7. Send confidential data over free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi hotspots are a free, convenient and ever more accessible way of accessing the Internet in public places. However, it needs to be remembered that these hotspots are free to access, which means that they are not encrypted and are typically not secured. Sending confidential information over these channels leaves it open to theft and access by unwanted eyes.

If you are going to use an unknown network, it is advisable to use a secured https connection or a Wi-Fi privacy application, which will ensure that your connection over public Wi-Fi is secured, helping to protect data.

8. Don’t use the screen lock on your tablet, it’s inconvenient
Mobile devices enable productivity anywhere, and tablet PCs and smartphones have revolutionised the concept of always-on, always connected and always productive. However, the very portable nature of these devices means that they are easy to lose and are often stolen or misplaced. If a device is lost or stolen, it is highly likely that an attempt will be made to breach corporate networks or data.

The easiest way to stop casual, opportunistic attacks is to use a simple, built-in feature that is included on every single smartphone and tablet – the screen lock function. Make sure you use this with a strong password or a ‘draw to unlock’ pattern.

9. Download mobile apps indiscriminately
Mobile apps can help to increase productivity, and can be used for simple entertainment too. However the simple fact is that cybercriminals follow their audience, and mobile malware has increased dramatically in recent years. The easiest way for attackers to spread this malware is to embed it in an innocent-seeming mobile app, which you as the user then download and install.

The solution is to only download apps from legitimate vendors on authorised app marketplaces. Always read the fine print to avoid installing apps that require excessive permissions, such as uploading all of your contacts. These are likely to be malware, which will send out spam and phishing messages and can compromise your device,

10. Using weak passwords and the same password for multiple sites
Passwords are surprisingly easy to crack, as most users will choose an easy to remember password about something that is close to them, like a pet’s name. Many people also re-use the same password on multiple sites and write their passwords down.

Make sure your password is strong by using at least eight characters and a combination of letters, numbers and symbols. Most importantly, don’t leave your passwords on a sticky note next to your desk.

Avoiding these ten simple mistakes can go a long way towards protecting data. However, it is also important to incorporate security best practices into SMB organisations to protect business information. A written security policy is always an advisable first step, and should include aspects such as identification of critical data, strong password policies and a disaster recovery plan. Other areas to look at include encryption of confidential information, development and enforcement of Internet security guidelines, training on security threats, and using a reliable security solution that is kept up to date.

Cybercrime continues to thrive, but SMBs are not helpless to protect themselves from harm. Following best practice guidelines and enforcing simple policies to avoid the most common pitfalls will protect you from all but the most persistent attacks, and can help to save your business from security threats and their resultant consequences.

Trillium Software unveils latest version of Trillium Software System

By admin, 28 lutego, 2013, No Comment

Master Data Management are the South African partners for Trillium Software, a leading provider of Total Data Quality solutions, which has delivered the latest version of the Trillium Software System. This newly-released and immediately available data quality solution provides business leaders with improved access to the critical information and data required for a multitude of risk, compliance and business applications. Designed to identify and understand information for a variety of industry-centric business processes, Trillium Software’s new release has shown market acceptance and unique value for a range of risk management and compliance initiatives that are critical to how companies do business.

Trillium Software solutions sit at the intersection of business processes, subject matter expertise and data quality management. The company’s data quality platform enables business managers to assume the lead role in defining the types of data that are important and how it needs to be represented in order for them to be successful. The combination of Trillium Software’s industry-leading data quality solution, coupled with Master Data Management’s solid financial services and telecommunications subject matter expertise, as well as years of data quality process knowledge, provides clients with a platform for long-term business process improvements in key vertical markets.

Data quality problems represent real business concerns and line-of-business managers, along with their IT counterparts, are stepping up to better understand how poor data quality manifests itself within industry-specific business processes. In time-sensitive business processes such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) (in which identifying indicia is key to accurate reporting) and customer on boarding (where correct, consistent customer data must be captured first time), high quality information is essential.

“South African companies are following the global drive to involve business users in data management processes and desperately need tools that support this,” says Master Data Management’s, Gary Allemann, “This new Trillium Software release continues to expand usability for governance and business users, without impacting on our ability to solve the complex data problems common in a country with multiple languages and very little reference sources.”

“Today, more and more of our clients are from the business side of an organisation, not just the internal IT department, and they tell us they can’t get access to nearly half of the information that is critical to their decision-making processes,” says Len Dubois, chief marketing officer at Trillium Software. “We have designed the latest version of the Trillium Software System to give business leaders access to that data, both structured and unstructured. Today’s version of our solution is the perfect balance of IT functionality and business benefit. In data governance and high volume, data intensive-business applications, data due diligence is imperative to success.”

New data visualisation capabilities in the Trillium Software System enable business executives and managers to visually understand the impact of data quality on their business processes through reporting and business intelligence. Complete business rule integration between profiling and cleansing, and more detailed rule prioritisation and search, enable business leaders to clearly define and customise rules for compliance with specific regulations or processes. Expanded global data support, security, and usability enhancements provide the business with the flexibility to access a variety of data types – from globally-distributed sources – and process both unstructured and structured data points from documents such as insurance claims adjuster notes.

Dubois goes on to say, “Our newest release uniquely positions Trillium Software to solve today’s most difficult information challenges while also promoting a more collaborative environment between IT and business executives. As a result, IT can concentrate on moving data through many channels including mobile devices, the cloud, data centres and third party data sources, while giving business leaders the ability to make decisions based on a full universe of data. This is a Trillium Software core competency and we are confident that we deliver on it better than anyone else.”

 

From SOHO to big name – Elingo sees focus as key to success

By admin, 28 lutego, 2013, No Comment

A few short years ago, Elingo was little more than four experts working from a house. Now it’s ushering SA’s top contact centres into a new era. CEO Ian Goss-Ross attributes his company’s success to passion, instinct and grim determination in pursuing a goal.

Elingo, the only accredited reseller partner for Interactive Intelligence in SA, was born of the passion of four contact centre experts who wanted to take to market the most advanced contact solutions possible, with the interests of the customer in mind. Goss-Ross says: “We didn’t just want to sell products based on the biggest profit margins. We wanted to partner with contact centres to deliver the best possible solutions for them, backed by the best possible support.”
In 2001 the four embarked on the venture and based themselves at Goss-Ross’s home.

“It wasn’t easy,” he concedes. “Finding start-up finance is difficult for a new business and proved to be a challenge. But I knew we had a great product, so I downscaled my house and sold my nice Land Cruiser. My partner and I did everything we could to sponsor the business as we had to ensure that everyone had enough to survive on.” This meant the occasional departure from the new company’s core focus in order to carry out contract work as and when necessary.

Goss-Ross says: “We often relied on gut feel as we pioneered new territory, but it is easier to take risks if you know there is a greater plan. Sometimes we would feel despondent and say: let’s just keep going for another six months and see how things develop. But we had confidence in the talents we’d received and since we firmly believed that we were bringing to market something nobody else had, we honed our skills, sharpened our instincts and persevered.”
“One of the things you must do when starting a business is be prepared to take calculated risks, manage the consequences and just keep going a little longer,” he says.

It took two years to reach a point where the company had established a credible track record, and business started rolling in on the strength of referrals and a strong partnership with Dimension Data.

“We got more and more work from different companies, especially from Dimension Data, who eventually asked us to do managed implementations and support for their Interactive Intelligence product sites,” says Goss-Ross.

Despite the team’s extensive technical expertise and good industry contacts, it still took around two years for the business to become profitable. Elingo then moved to premises in Midrand and started hiring the best talent and building up support contracts that delivered annuity revenue.

Around 2010, Elingo moved on to handle all Interactive Intelligence business as a separate entity. Since then, the company has almost doubled both its revenue and profit, year on year. It now has a sizeable staff compliment and a growing list of clients. “We are on a huge growth curve at the moment,” says Goss-Ross.

This success is due to a number of factors, he says. The team was committed, passionate about the industry and believed in the product. They also had hard-to-come-by technical skills. In addition, Goss-Ross has proven business management and marketing experience which has stood him in good stead while he remains focused on the end goal. But crucially, the company saw a market need, selected a world-class product and ensured that all its customer interactions were good ones.

“Now, when I take prospective customers on a site visit, the existing customer sells the solution for me,” he says. “Customer satisfaction can’t be underestimated.”

Goss-Ross expects strong growth for the company as increasing numbers of local businesses see the need for future-proof, multi channel contact centres.

12”:Laserdance,Megamix Vol. 3 (ZYX Records)

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

12" Vinyl Vernon B.-Influence Megamix (IR025-12)

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

Mediatech Africa gears up for 2013

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

Industry heavy weights and enthusiasts in the live entertainment, audio visual and broadcasting arenas already find themselves in eager anticipation of Africa’s most successful technology trade show. With a diverse selection of products and the latest technologies in media and entertainment, Mediatech Africa promises an engaging showcase.

Local and international visitors have the opportunity to network and interact with some of the biggest names in advanced technology, including management and manufacturing executives. Following the success of 2011 when the expo hosted 6 395 visitors and represented over 800 brands, this year’s show hopes to attract even more visitors, with a bigger African contingent. Among the list of confirmed exhibitors are: Viva Afrika Sound and Light, Extron Electronics, Technology Innovated Distribution, DWR Distribution, AV Systems, Concilium Technologies, Inala, Audiosure, Sound Harmonics, Matrix Sound, Macro Video and Telemedia.

Here is what previous exhibitors had to say about the event:

Trevor Peters, Matrix Sound
“Our participation in Mediatech has in the past led to us closing deals with clients who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to see and hear our product. We choose very carefully where to spend our money when it comes to exposure and let’s face it, with Mediatech most of the work is done for you with regards to reach in the market. The sheer number of people attending the show makes exhibiting worthwhile; companies who do not necessarily wish to spend money on large spectacular stands are afforded the opportunity to stand shoulder to shoulder with the heavyweights in the industry and show what they have on offer. In my opinion, this is what makes Mediatech successful.

Bruce Genricks, Managing Member of Electrosonic South Africa
“Initially Mediatech felt a lot more broadcast orientated, but as it’s developed over the past few years it’s fantastic to see that it’s become a lot more AV representative than it was before. There are now much bigger platforms in the AV and entertainment lighting sectors, allowing for good networking opportunities and a renewal of acquaintances and associates. With Johannesburg being the economic hub of our industry, it offers a chance for local and out of town integrators to keep up with industry trends and products. We are looking forward to seeing more visitors from Africa and creating new business leads this year”.

Steve Alves, Concilium Technologies
“We found the Mediatech 2011 show to be one of the best yet, and we were able to engage productively with all of the broadcasters and production facilities during the three days, while cementing new relationships as well.
The resources committed by our overseas partners was testament to the fact that they view Mediatech as a significant event on their calendars, that was evidenced in the large contingent of overseas experts who assisted with demonstration of the award winning products from Harris, Ross, Hightech and DK technologies, among many others”.

Duncan Riley, DWR Distribution
“Mediatech is a wonderful networking experience as well as a platform to showcase your products. For visitors, it’s the opportunity to meet the faces behind the brands, to meet up with international representatives and to see the latest equipment available, which is on par with the world. The groundwork that goes into Mediatech behind the scenes is phenomenal. This includes extensive advertising and an awareness campaign, making sure stands are full and ensuring feet walk through the door. The exhibition has grown in leaps and bounds, and there is a buzz with a new-found interest from international guests. It is a privilege to be part of Mediatech. The marketing is good, there is a fantastic atmosphere and it’s an opportunity to show off products.”

Colin Wainer, General Manager of Broadcast Division, Inala Technologies
Since the inception of Mediatech Africa, Inala Broadcast has participated at all of the exhibitions. The attraction of customers to Mediatech is largely dependent on South African customers, of which the market that we address, is covered by the three main broadcasters, namely the SABC, M-Net and E-TV. Inala Broadcast’s participation is based on presence and networking. We also use Mediatech to showcase our professional broadcast range of products such as JVC Professional. In 2011 we had a new company Aviwest on our stand demonstrating Digital Mobile News Gathering (DMNG) technology which is able to stream H.264 video down to a head end over 3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks, which proved to be very popular with the broadcasters. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount and quality of the attendees over the three days and their interest shown”.

Overall the trade show is set to be a pivotal meeting place for anyone in the world of media and entertainment technology, inspiring forward thinking and interaction through a dynamic, engaging environment. Be a part of the action from 17 – 19 July at the Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, South Africa and register free online at www.mediatech.co.za before the 7th July to avoid paying R50 at the door.

For booking enquiries contact Simone de Beer on +27(0)11 025 3180 or email sales@mediatech.co.za.

For more information visit www.mediatech.co.za.

 

Large opportunities in the African telecommunications market

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

“The African telecommunication market is full of opportunity, especially the IP networking and subscriber management sectors” says three6five CEO Tyrone Carroll. “The African telecommunications market is still in the early stages of development, but the sudden profusion of undersea fibre connectivity and new terrestrial infrastructure is resulting in a surge in the growth of internet service providers (ISP’s) wishing to offer quality data services to their existing customers and to reach out to new potential customers. This growth is fuelling the entire telecommunications market and presenting the numerous opportunities we are seeing at present,” explains Carroll.

“Increasing access to data communications and lowering the costs in Africa will have a positive impact on social and developmental growth on the continent. This will also bring about real change in growth, upliftment opportunities and social equality in many African countries,” says Carroll.

Despite the many opportunities available in the African telecommunications sector, building a successful business on the continent is not without its challenges. “Local South African service providers seeking to build a sustainable business delivering services into the rest of Africa need to focus on paying attention to detail, delivering quality products and services, having a long term vision and building strong business relationships. They will also need to be patient and have strong fiscal discipline concerning payment terms in order to manage their cash flows. In addition, and very importantly on the African continent, they should resist the temptation to get involved in underhanded or illegitimate business deals.  We have always dealt ethically and legally in all our business dealings, and we have witnessed the fall of other companies’ reputations when they have traded their values for money. ” says Carroll.

The impact of legislation on the growth of the telecommunications sector in Africa varies from country to country due to different legislative requirements for each market. “One of the major challenges faced by a service provider wanting to enter a new African market is when the customer insists on dealing through a locally owned company. These local entities often do not have the skills or expertise to manage the project and could jeopardise the business deal. This is why it is so important to build sustainable in-country partnerships with local technology companies that can represent your brand in that country effectively,” explains Carroll.

There are also large growth prospects in the IT landscape in Africa at present, with the market showing many positive, buoyant signs.

three6five plans to continue building in-country partnerships with local ICT firms in Africa and to open up an office in East Africa in 2013. The company plans to add to its ISP, telecommunications and mobile service provider customer base and to increase its brand awareness.

 

Lenovo Announces New Android Tablets

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

Differentiated product lines offer performance enhancements tailored for distinct customer segments

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced a lineup of new Android tablets, offering configurations and form factors to match consumer needs for both ultra-portable tablets and multimedia performers. The portfolio, which also boasts unique connectivity features, will be available in markets globally from Q2 2013. Each product from the range offers a specific configuration tailored for a distinct user group, with leading specifications in their class and pricing that is competitive.

The range starts with two new A-series tablets, 7” devices, designed for optimal mobility while still packing a performance punch. The A1000 is ideal for first-time tablet buyers and features enhanced audio, while the A3000 offers quad-core processing for speedy performance whether for gaming or web-browsing. Alongside these models, Lenovo also announced the new 10” S6000, which offers extended I/O options, a large, vibrant screen and a super-slim profile that ensures you will be the envy of the coffee shop while you enjoy movies and games.

“Our latest Android tablet family is perfectly matched to meet our customers’ demands. We’ve noted that 7” tablets are well accepted, particularly by young, active users who are always on the go, so we’ve created devices that address these customers’ needs, as well as devices for more demanding gamers and multimedia users,” commented Chen Wenhui, Vice President Lenovo and GM Mobile BU, “We are confident that our Android family will appeal to customers across the world as we’ve made them highly accessible and flexible to serve multiple needs and budgets.”

S6000, Mobile “Home Entertainment” Center
As tablets have continued their march into the mainstream, increasing demands with regards to larger screen devices has raised the bar for tablet makers. Lenovo has responded with the S6000, a sleek and powerful option for customers looking for a device that switches seamlessly from entertainment to social media and beyond. Powered by the MTK 8389/8125 1.2 GHz quad-core processor, the S6000 shines as a multimedia and gaming tablet fronted by a 10” IPS 1280X800 display with a wide, 178-degree viewing angle, micro HDMI port and digital microphone. The S6000 also offers a number of additions to optimize its performance as a connectivity tool for social networkers including optional HSPA+ and a substantial battery that allows for 8+ hours of continuous WiFi web browsing. Even with these specifications though, the S6000 does not lose track of style and convenience; it is all tied together in a super slim (8.6mm) and light (560g) frame that feels good and helps you look good.

A3000, Full Performance in a Compact Package
In today’s connected world, devices must be mobile, without skimping on performance. The A3000 bristles with specifications you would expect from a much larger device, all packed into a 7” form factor that won’t weigh you down. Powered by a 1.2GHz quad-core, MTK processor, the A3000 optimizes the user experience for games, video, photo-sharing and web-browsing, offering seamlessly fluid navigation and highly responsive performance. The benefits of the 7” form factor are not ignored on the A3000 either. The tablet, which sports an IPS 1024×600 screen, weighs in at less than 340g and is only 11mm thick, ensuring that you are not weighed down, even when carrying a trove of apps and content on the device’s extensive memory, which can be extended to 64GB with the external micro-SD card. Optional 3G HSPA+ support ensures you stay connected when you’re on the go with this ultra-portable tablet.

A1000, Pocket Studio with Dolby®
The A1000 delivers an audio experience normally reserved for more expensive tablets in a 7” device. With Dolby Digital Plus integrated into the device and large, front-facing speakers that ensure the sound is directed at your ears rather than the floor, the A1000 is perfect for music lovers and those seeking a “pocket studio” for either music or movies. The A1000 runs Android Jelly Bean 4.1 on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has on-board storage of up to 16GB, extendable to 32GB with a micro-SD slot, so you can load your content up and take it with you to the gym, the office or anywhere you want to experience high-quality sights and sounds. It also comes in either black or white, allowing you to customize your pocket studio to your lifestyle.

Lenovo Mobile Access
All the new Android tablets come with Lenovo Mobile Access, a unique service that allows users to connect instantly “out of the box”. When customers first power up the S6000, A3000 or A1000, they will see an icon indicating Lenovo as their access provider. Without having to set up a special data plan, you can immediately start browsing web pages, accessing your email and sharing content with friends using HSPA+ 3G access or through WiFi according to your specific configuration. When the initial Lenovo Mobile Access service expires you will be prompted with the option to easily renew your plan or select an alternative service. Currently Lenovo Mobile Access is available in most major countries in Western Europe including Austria, Belgium Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Pricing and Availability
The newest Android tablets will be available worldwide from Q2, 2013. Although pricing varies according to market, configuration and model, each tablet in the range is competitively priced to ensure maximum accessibility to a premium user experience for all customers.

Safe online shopping

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

Statistics show that online shopping is growing at a rapid rate in South Africa, with ecommerce sites like Loot.co.za reporting over 80% growth in certain product categories over the recent festive season.

A recent survey undertaken by the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) indicated that 52% of respondents had shopped online in the last year. The majority of people were satisfied with their ecommerce experiences. In comparison to the previous year, 19% of respondents spent less online in 2012, 27% spent the same amount, but 45% of respondents spent more online, indicating a significant overall increase in online spending.

That said, there are still a lot of people who are apprehensive when it comes to shopping online. Concerns that are raised most frequently centre on safe, secure payment mechanisms and delivery time.

So what should you look out for when shopping online?

Gary Hadfield, CEO of Loot.co.za, believes that there are certain elements that you should be aware of when determining whether a website is safe or not.

“You need to look out for certain telling security/trust elements,” Hadfield says. “Does the company have a good privacy policy listed on the website? Do they have a good returns policy? Are their contact details clearly communicated on the site? Do they visibly promote valid SSL certificates such as Verisign, Thawte or Norton.”

A further indicator of an organisation’s reputation is whether the company is promoted as a trusted shop or seller on price comparison sites like PriceCheck.co.za, Oneshop.co.za or Uprice.co.za. This accreditation is a good indication of the trustworthiness of the site and establishes the reputation of the company.

These elements go hand-in-hand with payment options. Reputable sites normally offer a broad suite of payment options, including credit card, EFT and bank deposits.

“It all boils down to a sense of trust,” says Hadfield, “Which these elements encourage.”

Once you have established the credibility of a site, the benefits of shopping online are numerous. The breadth and depth of range of products is considerable, prices are competitive, you can always find good value for money and there are rich quantities of product information available.

“The availability of information in the online shopping arena empowers the consumer to check prices and features, extensively research products and to compare them easily,” notes Hadfield. “It is all very transparent.”

The increasing use of social media and the growing influence of peer reviews allow consumers another platform from which to speak about brands and products. This encourages consistently good service from online shopping networks, as consumers are very vocal about disappointing products and poor service.

“Social media plays a key role in online shopping,” Hadfield adds. “If a company is engaged across social media platforms, and consistently interacts with consumers, this goes a long way towards establishing a further sense of trust in the brand.”

Once that trust is established, however, the benefits of shopping with a click of a mouse are impossible to ignore, and if current trends are any indication, ecommerce will continue to experience strong growth.

Junk Mail partnership supercharges Mxit’s classified ads platform

By admin, 26 lutego, 2013, No Comment

The number of ads placed on Junk Mail Xchange (JMX), the reinvigorated Mxit classified platform powered by Junk Mail, has doubled in just four months, says Junk Mail MD Felix Erken.

“We’re getting close to 30,000 new ads a week,” says Erken. “This gives the entire Junk Mail community, across all media, access to a much greater range of ads – and we now have a very strong national footprint. For the first time, buyers and sellers can find each other in Kimberley and Queenstown as easily as in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

JMX is fully integrated with Junk Mail’s web site and mobile site, with all of the sites sharing the same database. “No matter what medium our users prefer, they all now have equal access to South Africa’s largest classified ads database,” says Erken.

What distinguishes the Mxit classified users from those on other channels is their high level of interaction and engagement says Erken. “In November alone, three million Mxit users placed an ad or sent a message on JMX; we’re averaging 20,000 responses a day.”

“We also love the volume and detail of the feedback we are getting,” adds Erken. “When we first launched JMX the feedback was honest, direct and constructive – users quickly pointed out where they were having problems, so we were able fix things just as quickly. We responded to every comment. Now we’re getting 40-50 messages a day, and the number of positive comments has increased tremendously.”

This suggests Mxit’s move to become a platform provider is working well, says Erken. “We’re the experts in classified advertising. They allow us to get on with it and do what we do best for our users. As a result, our 20 years of local classifieds experience has helped us to make JMX a serious classified platform, where buying and selling works.

“Taking on specialist partners is a key element of our platform strategy, and we choose those partners carefully,” says Mxit’s head of communications Sarah Rice. “JMX is a real success story for us. Junk Mail is the biggest and most experienced classified ads operator in the country, and that experience has really shown in the way they’ve been able to engage our users.”

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