Archive for Czerwiec, 2013

Schneider Electric appoints new head of sustainable development for southern Africa

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

Global specialist in energy management, Schneider Electric, has appointed Zanelle Dalglish as head of sustainable development for southern Africa.

Dalglish holds M.Com and B.Com Human Resource Management (Honours) degrees from the University of Pretoria, is fluent in English, Afrikaans and Zulu, and will report directly to Schneider Electric country president for southern Africa, Eric Léger. An industrial psychologist registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA), she was previously employed by Schneider Electric South Africa as a human resources business partner.

Dalglish’s new position will include building the Schneider Electric Academy, a knowledge organisation in charge of all training initiatives to accelerate the development of internal and external competencies, and increasing public impact and influence through the commitment of Schneider Electric employees giving back to the community. She will be the transformation leader for the internal “connect to people” company programme, focussed on increasing the engagement of leaders and employees whilst promoting an attractive, inspiring and energising work environment.

Also falling within Dalglish’s portfolio is the Business Innovation People for the Base of Pyramid (BIPBOP) programme, established to tackle the challenge of giving 1.3 billion people worldwide access to electricity. This includes using offerings such as the In-Diya renewable LED lamp to contribute actively to the electrification or urban and rural communities in the southern Africa region.

“After three successful years in human resources at Schneider Electric South Africa, Zanelle’s new role is critical for our organisation, particularly from the perspective of our impact on the greater planet and society,” says Léger. “We expect that she will provide invaluable input in positioning our green products, improving access to energy, ensuring people wellbeing – from staff to the greater community – upholding the highest of ethics and responsibilities, as well as training our youth.”

New Managing Director for Stanchion

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

Stanchion Payment Solutions has appointed Deon van Biljon as its new managing director with effect from 17 June as the organisation positions itself for renewed growth in the payment services market.

Current MD Graham Williams will turn his focus to building the business internationally while van Biljon will be responsible for developing existing and new products as the company seeks to raise its profile and take advantage of additional opportunities in the segment.

Having previously been the VP for Africa at ACI Worldwide, van Biljon brings with him a proven track record at running a payments services and software organisation.

“Deon is a disciplined, structured, and analytical thinker that compliments the spontaneous, creative, and entrepreneurial culture already entrenched within Stanchion,” says Williams.

Williams will hand over to van Biljon over a period of several months.

“The existing management team has laid a great foundation for the company and there will be no shortage of opportunities for Stanchion in both local and international markets. The payments industry is evolving at a rapid pace with innovation at the heart of many changes. Stanchion is ideally placed to be part of this journey,” says van Biljon.

Data deluge will demand investment in real-time marketing platforms

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

In a world where companies are managing customer relationships across multiple channels, screens and touch points, data is the marketer’s most important commodity. That is the key message to emerge from Acceleration’s Digital Ignition Symposium 2013, held at Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa near Cape Town from 4 to 5 June.

Speakers at the event stressed that it is becoming increasingly important in a fragmented and complex consumer landscape to leverage data from multiple touch points to understand the value chain and customer journey. By analysing and acting on this data, organisations can exponentially improve their customer experience and sustain a competitive advantage.

Sketching the scene, Acceleration MEA director Richard Mullins said that we are seeing a massive shift in media consumption patterns and devices in the consumer market, along with disruption of distribution and revenue value chains by new competitors. In this environment, the organisations that master data management and analysis are the ones who will maintain a competitive advantage.

Axel Schaefer, responsible for EMEA product marketing at Adobe, told delegates that in a world where customers access multiple channels (voice, TV, digital, stores) across multiple screens (TV, mobile, PC), no two customer journeys are alike.

Organisations should, therefore, use multichannel analytics to combine data from diverse channels into a single customer-centric view that empowers analysts and marketers to quickly find answers to critical enterprise business questions, he added. This will enable organisations to optimise marketing programmes against budget, goals, and business metrics.

Empowered with the right data, organisations can tie objectives for digital channels to business outcomes, Schaefer said. For example, social media can be measured against the business objective of reducing costs through lower call centre volumes by using percentage of queries resolved via social media as a KPI.

The ultimate goal for organisations should be to work towards creating a unified consumer profile, said Steven Plimsoll, chief technology officer at the WPP Data Alliance and Mindshare Worldwide. Companies have the opportunity to feed this profile with data collected at every point of interaction with the customer, be it online or offline. This understanding of the consumer forms the foundation of an engaged value exchange-based relationship, Plimsoll says.

The trend of leveraging customer data will demand significant investment in marketing technology. Plimsoll cites statistics from Gartner predicting that by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. He warned, however, that companies should start their strategies with the business and users in mind rather than seeing data as an end in itself.

Mullins said that CMOs and CIOs will need to work closely together to ensure the organisation is positioned to drive the maximum value from its customer data. One of the most important aspects will be to put a data management platform in place that brings real-time data to one location for a single view of the customer, he added. The data doesn’t come only from online sources, but also from point of sale, contact centres, and so on.
This data should be analysed, segmented and modelled in real-time to enable real-time targeting across channels such ad-servers and email. It must also be leveraged to make forecasts of the future and report on historical success, said Mullins.

Looking to the future, Mullins believes that growing awareness of data will increase value and that data usage will drive strategy and new skills requirements. But consolidation of data platforms and an increase in data skills will help companies to manage the challenges of data-driven marketing in the years to come.

Cloud-based offsite backup makes disaster recovery a breeze

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

Offsite backups of virtualised IT environment are now available in South Africa, with Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition being offered by several local service providers including CipherWave, Afrihost, Vox Telecom, Cybersmart, Triple 4 Consulting and Server Alliance.

“Veeam Backup and Replication is a great tool for creating safe, tested backups of a virtualised server environment,” explains Ian Faller of networking and hosted services provider CipherWave. “But there is always a need to keep offsite backups, and our clients who host their own servers love the idea that they no longer have to store a local backup to tape, then pay someone to take it away and store it. It can all be done in the cloud.”

For these clients, CipherWave creates a “seed load” full backup using an external hard driver, after which incremental backups are made to a schedule that suits the client’s needs.

“Organisations that aren’t changing huge amounts of data every day can happily use their quiet time overnight to update their offsite backups,” says Faller. “More transaction-heavy environments like banks or retailers prefer to use a high-speed fibre link to create backups throughout the day.”

“This is fulfilling a real need,” adds Faller. “Everyone needs offsite backups, and not just for compliance reasons. If a client’s building burns down overnight, we can restore their backups into our hosted virtual environment and have them up and running from our business continuity centre in hours. And it’s as easy as ticking a couple of boxes.”

Veeam Backup & Replication Cloud Edition is also available globally through Microsoft Azure, Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Rackspace, HP Cloud and more. Locally, Veeam is also in the process of finalising deals with more providers, says Veeam South Africa’s Jessica van Wyk. “The Cloud Edition of Veeam Backup & Replication has an open API and we are actively inviting local companies to plug in and become part of the ecosystem.”

Textbooks on demand

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

With so many forces impacting academic institutions, the way in which academic textbooks are produced may not seem to be of top concern. However, according to Océ South Africa MD, Dave Clark, the educational material printing process can offer a number of strategic benefits for educational institutions.

“There has never been a greater need for higher educational institution to diversify than now,” he explains. “In order to thrive, institutions of higher education must be able to show that they can provide a unique service. While the provision of a quality, affordable education is key, these institutions can also attract more students by improving the levels of “customer facing interaction” services provided.

“Marketing is one example of this type of additional service offered, with printing specifically being an area that can assist in reaching this goal. The on demand printing of books and course packs can be an important factor in the learning process.”

Clark explains that, unfortunately, it is not economical to print a limited number of traditional study textbooks. Thus, to cover the preparatory cost of the offset process, an output of a few hundred books is required, which results in either a very high cost per book or a loss. This problem is compounded by the fact that the production costs are paid in advance and won’t be fully recouped until the last copy has been sold. In addition, the warehouse storage of these books is a further cost.

The answer to this problem is the development of digital printing and specialised offset litho equipment designed for short runs, which allows for very short print runs – or even the printing of a single copy – at a realistic price.

“Print on Demand (or PoD) is a logical evolution of the widespread use of computers and the development of digital printers. Instead of storing books as physical items in warehouses, they can be printed the moment there is a need for them. PoD uses digital technology including printers, and can produce one book, printed and bound in a matter of minutes, eliminating the two biggest expenses involved in book publishing: warehousing and the financial risks of printing a large number of books,” he explains.

Cloud makes technology accessible to small and medium business

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

By: Phil Lötter, CEO of Piilo Software

Software as a services (Saas) is gaining momentum in South Africa, especially in the small and medium business sector where companies can now afford the same business systems previously only available to large organisations with big IT budgets. The cloud is here to stay and making a significant impact on the ability of smaller businesses to run their operations more effectively while achieving business objectives with affordable IT solutions.

The cloud is providing smaller businesses with the opportunity to automate many of their manual processes that often introduce risk in their operations. A recent EMC study indicates that 52% of South African companies experienced data lost. Saas provides smaller companies with the knowledge that their data is backed up automatically with most Saas providers providing redundancy, which increases data availability.

The cloud also supports the flexible operating models of smaller businesses, which often fluctuate in size and location. Companies have the opportunity to purchase only the user subscriptions their require versus the previous models of forced software and license bundling. With Saas solutions, businesses can support their employees, whether they work at home, public spaces or fixed office locations. The cloud has made technology truly supportive of a mobile workforce, even if they work across time zones and geographical areas. The beauty of the cloud is that it cost the same for all the users irrespective of the working environment. This means improved cash flows for smaller businesses.

According to Microsoft, in association with IDC, the adoption of public cloud in South Africa is still fairly limited, at about 29%. “However, about the same proportion is planning – or is likely to do so – to start using it in the next 12 months or so. Interest in public cloud is especially high among SMEs. The key drivers for public cloud can be summarized as a desire to drive efficiency. Specifically, the ability to scale up or down, access to better technology and cost reduction through shared resources are the top three drivers for organizations looking to use public cloud.”

The cloud has made a significant impact on various business areas, including Human Resources. Today smaller business can use Saas to manage their employees or drive talent management strategies in support of their business operations. Saas has made Human Resources accessible for business that would previously not engage their employees in their development and performance. The cloud and mobility is seen as major powers shifting Human Resources towards higher levels of employee engagement. Employers can now engage employees through various devices and platforms whether it is PC, laptop, tablets or smartphones.

Gartner’s “Bring Your Own Device: The Facts and the Future” (BYOD) report predicts that half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes by 2017. Smaller businesses will be at the forefront of this trend in allowing employees to use their own devices as this will drive down IT costs. BYOD supported by the use of cloud solutions will enable employees to access business solutions via the internet without the traditional constraints of local IT infrastructure. Employee can start working on multiple devices, anywhere, only requiring an Internet connection.

Cloud computing has significant impacts and benefits for smaller businesses in South Africa and worldwide. It is making IT affordable for all size organisations while allowing organisations to cater for a more mobile workforce with faster and continued IT innovation to support business operations.

 

 

37.3 million users experienced phishing attacks in the last year

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

Bogus search and email services, social networks, banks, financial organisations and e-shops are often used to cheat the unwary

According to the results of Kaspersky Lab’s “The evolution of phishing attacks 2011-2013″ survey, the number of Internet users who faced phishing attacks over the last 12 months has grown from 19.9 million to 37.3 million, an increase of 87%. Facebook, Yahoo, Google and Amazon are among main targets of cybercriminals. The study, which was carried out in June 2013 based on data from the Kaspersky Security Network cloud service, shows that what was once a subset of spam has evolved into a rapidly growing cyberthreat in its own right.

Phishing is a form of Internet fraud in which criminals create a fake copy of a popular site (an email service, an Internet banking website, a social networking site, etc.) and try to lure the users to these rogue web pages. The unsuspecting user enters their login information and passwords into these carefully forged websites as they normally would, but these access credentials are instead sent to the cybercriminals. The scammers can then use this stolen personal information, bank credentials, or passwords to steal the users’ money, to distribute spam and malware via the compromised email or social networking accounts, or they can simply sell their databases of stolen passwords to other criminals.

For a long time, phishing was regarded as a variation of typical spam emails. However, the data from this survey confirms that the scale of phishing attacks has reached such a significant level that they should be regarded as a dangerous threat category of their own, not merely an off-shoot of general spam. In fact, email is no longer the most common delivery mechanism for phishing emails. For example, only 12% of all registered phishing attacks were launched via spam mailings. The other 88% of cases came from links to phishing pages which people followed while using a web browser, a messaging system (Skype, etc.) or otherwise interacting with the computer.

During the survey, Kaspersky Lab specialists compared data on phishing attacks from over 50 million Kaspersky Security Network users between 1 May 2012 and 30 April 2013 with figures for the equivalent period of 2011-2012.

Main Research Findings:
Users:

  • In 2012-2013, phishers launched attacks affecting an average of 102,100 people worldwide each day – twice as many as in 2011-2012;
  • Phishing attacks most often target users in Russia, the USA, India, Vietnam and the UK;
  • Vietnam, the USA, India and Germany have the greatest number of attacked users – the total number of attacks in these regions has doubled since last year

Attackers:

  • The majority of the servers hosting phishing pages were registered in the USA, the UK, Germany, Russia and India;
  • The number of unique attack sources – such as fraudulent websites and servers – has more than tripled from 2012-2013;
  • Over half (56%) of all identified unique attack sources were found in just 10 countries, which means the attackers have a small set of preferred “home bases” to launch their attacks

Targets:

  • The services of Yahoo!, Google, Facebook and Amazon were most often attacked by phishers – 30% of all registered incidents involved fake versions of their sites
  • Over 20% of all phishing attacks mimicked banks and other financial organisations;
  • American Express, PayPal, Xbox live, Twitter and etc. are in Top 30 most targeted sites.

“The volume and variety of phishing attacks detected during the survey indicates that phishing is not merely one tool among many for the illegal enrichment of fraudsters, but represents a significant and visible threat. These attacks are relatively simple to organise and are demonstrably effective, attracting an increasing number of cybercriminals to this type of illegal activity. The volume of phishing attacks, which according to Kaspersky Security Network nearly doubled in a single year, confirms this trend”, said Nikita Shvetsov, Deputy CTO (Research) at Kaspersky Lab.

The full report ‘The evolution of phishing attacks 2011-2013’ is available at Securelist.com

 

 

Key industries benefit from Connection Telecom hosted video

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

Full HD multi-party video conferencing on any-device, anywhere

Connection Telecom’s recent launch of its VideoConnect hosted video conferencing platform in the SA market could prove a tipping point for mass adoption of the medium.

Industries across the board are finding a seemingly endless list of applications for the solution powered by Vidyo, which licensed technology enables Google Hangouts. They cite its power, flexibility and device- and network-independence, as well as its ability to run with low hardware, network and bandwidth overhead.

The video age
Rob Lith, Connection Telecom’s business development director, says ubiquitous video is possible today because of powerful general-purpose computing devices on the market, from desktops to laptops, tablets and smartphones.

“Smartphones already have quad-core processing power, making encoding and decoding of full high-definition [HD] video a cinch,” he says. “You don’t need a lot of bandwidth for a high-quality experience, because Vidyo optimises the experience by allowing processing to be done natively on these powerful devices.”

In the past companies were bound by expensive, purpose-built video hardware, he says. “Only a select few had it, with installations happening in pairs or multiples of conferencing venues equipped with big-screen and surround-sound for an immersive experience. Considerable technical know-how was needed. Today you can reach a health worker or field agent or co-worker anywhere – whether in an Internet café or the remotest of areas, with standard, generic hardware and networks.”

Vertical industry benefits of VideoConnect
Companies in the educational, legal and retail spheres are finding exciting new collaborative and communication options that raise their effectiveness and introduce cost-efficiencies previously inaccessible to them.

1. VideoConnect in retail – superior collaboration
Farmacia del Ahorro, a Mexican pharmacy chain with 1096 outlets in 33 cities, was experiencing fast growth and looking for a better videoconferencing solution.

Hector Puga Nacif, operations director, says the objective was to easily integrate communications from different platforms and areas of the country. “Through the Vidyo Portal and Vidyo Gateway, we could integrate videoconferencing rooms, Android devices and iOS devices. A feature like that we absolutely had to take seriously.”

What also caught the group’s eye was the ability to log in from anywhere, including hotel or Internet cafés, and over any corporate, mobile or wireless network. With the Vidyo platform offering superior videoconferencing compared to its proprietary predecessor, at much reduced cost (in travelling, equipment and training), the company has increased its number of licences from 70 to 400 within a year.

2. VideoConnect in legal – faster dispute resolution
NextGen Reporting, a court reporting business that uses technology to reduce the costs of litigation procedures, wanted a video application that would bring the experience “closer” to users.

David Noteware, CEO of the company, says the latency of the previous solution did little to achieve that. “We also wanted something more easy-to-use that could span a range of access environments.”

After looking at all available options the company selected Vidyo for its ease of use and access, security and quality. “It navigates through firewalls easily, is very streamlined and doesn’t require special client hardware or networks.”

He says with Vidyo, the average time taken by claims assessors to make a payment decision shrank to 18 seconds, thanks to the excellent quality of Vidyo, which allows more careful scrutiny of the demeanour of deponents.

3. VideoConnect in education – virtual knowledge communities
The 7-magnitude earthquake in Haiti of 2010 left all but one medical school in ruins. With death, injury, homelessness and large-scale devastation, the future of healthcare in the country was in jeopardy.

Against this backdrop, the Haiti Medical Education Project (HMEP) works to help Haiti’s medical education establishment become more self-sustaining. It set out to find a solution that could help create a tighter knowledge sharing community in the medical fraternity.

“The quake was not the only problem – 82% of graduates have left the country over the last decade or two,” says Galit Sacajiu, president of HMEP. “Medicine is moreover practised in a rural context, making it difficult to have the support and knowledge of a community.”

HMEP settled on a Vidyo videoconferencing system, instituting a Wednesday morning live lecture series (recorded for later use also) to which Haitian medical students and physicians enjoy open access.

“Vidyo was crucial to making this happen,” says Sacajiu. “Bandwidth in Haiti is extremely low, but most times we manage to have multiple participants with incredible quality. Anyone dialling in on their phone in the car or their iPad or laptop is, for all practical purposes, in the lecture hall with the lecturer.”

Core shift
Lith says VideoConnect represents a core shift in video conferencing. “It allows companies with all budgets across all industries to attain levels of efficiency and effectiveness previously unheard of,” he says.

“Its low infrastructure, data and training requirement makes it the right product for the right markets at the right time.”

 

 

Fast, affordable, future-proof data backup and recovery– the Del DR410

By admin, 25 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

In an age where information is currency and operations continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week, data volumes are constantly increasing and organisations need to ensure constant data availability and integrity while dealing with growing demand for storage. Coupled with the mission-critical nature of business information, this means data backup and recovery have become vital to organisations of all sizes. The Dell DR4100 from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) addresses all of these challenges, delivering reliable, secure disk backup and data recovery with integrated de-duplication and compression technology, offering fast and affordable backup, storage and recovery for the small, medium and large enterprise markets alike.

“Ensuring data availability and integrity while meeting capacity constraints and ensuring backup is completed timeously is a challenge faced by companies of all sizes. By removing redundant data from backup through integrated de-duplication, and through intelligent compression, the Dell DR4100 can drastically reduce storage footprints, while at the same time allowing backup to remain online for longer. This provides faster and more reliable access to data while meeting backup and recovery imperatives and ensuring data integrity and security,” says Jaco Erasmus, Dell Enterprise Sales at DCC.

The DR4100 is a high-performance disk-based backup solution that is easy to deploy and manage, with remote setup and management capabilities. Features include innovative firmware and all-inclusive licensing for improved total cost of ownership, delivering optimal functionality while eliminating the hidden cost of future upgrades. Advanced de-duplication can help organisations to achieve data reduction levels of up to 15:1, reducing media usage, power and cooling requirements as well as physical storage footprint.

“The benefits of de-duplication can extend across the enterprise as well through the DR4100 de-duplicated replication function, to provide a complete backup solution for multi-site environments. By replicating only de-duplicated data, network bandwidth is reduced and disaster recovery time is improved as well. The DR4100 enables fast, daily replication of backups for an easy to implement and cost effective disaster recovery solution compared to traditional tape methods,” says Erasmus.

Other features include a Graphic User Interface (GUI) that provides an overview of the system, including system status, hardware and software alerts, storage capacity and important system information. The DR4100 also automatically monitors the health of the hardware and verifies the integrity of system software, sending critical issues via email and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps for immediate notification.

“The DR4100 is a purpose-built backup target appliance ideally suited for customers wishing to lower the physical footprint of their backups through de-duplication and compression. It also offers flexible and seamless capacity expansion, enabling easy scalability up to a petabyte of logical capacity, perfect for growing organisations. This pay-as-you-grow model enables enterprises to expand capacity based on business demand for a future-proof, affordable data storage, backup and disaster recovery solution,” Erasmus concludes.

The Dell DR4100 is available immediately in five usable capacity points: 2.7TB, 5.4TB, 9TB, 18TB and 27TB from selected Drive Control Corporation resellers and solution providers. Pricing starts from R235 000.00 inclusive of VAT.

Samsung mobile printing solutions make printing simpler

By admin, 21 czerwca, 2013, No Comment

New solutions demonstrate Samsung’s leadership in mobile printing

Samsung Electronics South Africa has introduced three separate mobile printing solutions that will make it possible to print from mobile devices with only a few simple taps. Available on the GALAXY S4, these mobile printing solutions consist of a mobile printing app for both smartphones and tablets, a built-in “Print” command in the mobile operating system, as well as the integration of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in several new Samsung printers.

“Starting with the GALAXY Tab in 2010, we have been simplifying the mobile printing process,” says Manoj Bhoola, Business Leader for B2B at Samsung South Africa. “Since then, we have been developing a growing variety of solutions that have allowed our customers to wirelessly connect their smartphones and tablets to our printers. Our new solutions have further advanced our mobile printing solutions, and they illustrate our continuing leadership in the mobile printing sector.”

In addition to the GALAXY S4, Samsung’s mobile printing solutions can also be enjoyed by customers of other Samsung smartphone models, such as the GALAXY S II, the GALAXY S III, the GALAXY Note, and the GALAXY Note II, along with a range of GALAXY Tab devices.

Samsung Mobile Print App
The Samsung MobilePrint App has elevated mobile printing to a new level. Users who do not own a Samsung smartphone or tablet can download the application, and use their mobile devices to print pictures, e-mails, and web pages, as well as documents from Google Docs, PDF files, and Microsoft Office documents. The app also features a fax transmission function, which is the only such function available in the industry, while the app also allows users to scan images on a Samsung multifunction printer and send it directly to a mobile device.

One-touch mobile printing
Printing from PCs often requires multiple time-consuming procedures, such as the installation of drivers and software applications. However, printing from Samsung’s mobile devices is very simple and quick. In order to print, users need to press the “Print” button on the menu screen of a Samsung mobile device. Thanks to the device’s built-in printing function, Samsung mobile devices can automatically detect a nearby Samsung printer to print pictures, e-mails, and web pages, as well as pages from Samsung’s own SMemo and SNote apps. Meanwhile, through a few taps on the mobile device, users can pick and choose an array of options, including the number of copies to print, double-sided printing, colour settings, the size of document, orientation, and document type.

World’s first colour laser printer to support near field communication (NFC)
With the recent introduction of Samsung’s NFC-enabled colour laser printers, users will soon be able to print by simply placing a mobile device and a Samsung printer within close proximity of each other. When a NFC-enabled smartphone is placed near a NFC-enabled printer, the two devices will connect automatically. Printing can be done without any additional setup. This secure, convenient solution allows users to print pictures, documents, e-mails, and web content through a few simple, quick steps.

 

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