Archive for Sierpień, 2013

The Enterprise Mobility Africa Summit 2013

By admin, 29 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

The Enterprise Mobility Africa Summit will bring Southern Africa’s foremost IT and business minds together on the 25th – 26th of November 2013 to discuss how Smartphone’s, tablets, social media and other consumer /public cloud services effect the business and how IT leaders can stabilize and support this environment.

The comprehensive, innovative and interactive conference agenda has four tracks, which focus on Integrating M2M systems and devices into operations, activating the mobile workforce, security standards and the future of enterprise mobility in Africa.

These tracks have assisted the likes of influential thought leaders, Leoni Groenewald, CIO of Lombard Insurance and Neels van Tonder, CTO of Capital eye investments to present informative and compelling presentations at the summit. New sponsor Airwatch joins current sponsors to host an industry focused 90 minute workshop and provide an integrated, real-time view of the entire fleet of corporate and employee-owned Apple iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry and Symbian devices.

The summit has been strategically designed for knowledge sharing, exclusive networking opportunities and connecting with industry peers. The summit will feature focused business meetings, informative workshops and a cutting edge interactive conference agenda.

For more information, contact Marcia van Jaarsveld on +27 21 555 0866 or marcia@kineticevents.net. Follow @ITLeadersAfrica and @KineticEventsSA on Twitter for daily updates and news feeds. Visit www.emasummit.com

Magix Security appoints Andrei Migatchev as Chief Technology Officer

By admin, 29 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Magix Security has announced the appointment of Andrei Migatchev as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Migatchev will assist Magix Security in optimising its capacity to assist clients in mitigating the risks businesses face today, specifically in the three key areas of fraud, money laundering, and cybercrime.

Cybercrime has had a significant impact on South African businesses, with The South African Cyber Threat Barometer estimating that R2.65 billion was lost to cybercrime between January 2011 and August 2012.

“My primary role is to ensure Magix Security keeps abreast of the latest local and international developments in cybercrime, fraud and money laundering, as well as the latest reliable, efficient and cost effective ways to mitigate these risks,” says Migatchev. “I will also be tasked with ensuring our staff are skilled in the latest strategies and technologies to deal with these and other security risks, allowing us to meet and exceed the already high expectations clients have of Magix Security.”

After obtaining his BSc in Computer Science, Migatchev focused on scientific programming, including cutting edge areas such as artificial intelligence and neural networks. He then moved into application development in the commercial world, where he was surprised to learn that even experienced analysts and developers focused on features and functionality at the expense of security.

“Security needs to be part of the original design and architecture of any system,” he explains. “If it is simply an afterthought, we are left with systems that may perform well, but offer an unknown number of ways for criminals to exploit the insecure design.”

Migatchev says the role of CTO suits him as he is an “eternal scholar” and is constantly updating his knowledge and experience. He has several degrees related to information systems and development under his belt and is planning on completing his PhD. That goal has however been placed on hold for now to allow him to devote more of his time to his firstborn, who will be arriving soon.

“Magix Security is at the forefront of risk mitigation in the areas of cybercrime, fraud and money laundering in South Africa,” he notes. “The company has crafted a hard-won reputation of service and delivering to expectations, along with a respected team of experts that I am both excited and privileged to be working with.”

From 2010 until his new appointment at Magix Security, Migatchev was CTO of Magix Integration t/a Magic Software SA. For six years prior to this he was an independent consultant, mostly in the areas of solution and enterprise architecture, working with enterprise-size companies like Clover, FNB and the South African Post Office.

Samsung expands ATIV range

By admin, 29 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Unifying all Windows devices under one brand

Samsung Electronics South Africa has announced that it will incorporate its Windows-based computers into its ATIV range that previously consisted of its Smart PC Windows-based hybrid devices.

“By unifying all our Windows devices under one brand name, we are able to demonstrate how PC and mobile technologies have converged to provide customers with a completely integrated experience,” says Mike van Lier, Business Leader for IT Solutions at Samsung Electronics South Africa.

In tune with the needs and wants of today’s evolving consumers, the Samsung ATIV line now offers a variety of market leading Windows based devices designed to extend the mobile experience from your handset to laptop and vice versa, making work more seamless and life more convenient.

Current products that will be renamed include; Samsung Notebooks (Series 9, Series 7 Chronos, Series 7 Ultra, Series 5 Ultra, Series 4 and Series 3); Samsung ATIV Smart PC and Smart PC Pro; and Samsung All in One PC (Series 5 and Series 7).

“Through innovation, Samsung is constantly looking for ways to improve the consumers experience whenever they are interacting with Samsung products, the new ATIV range will give the consumers just that,” continues van Lier.

All ATIV devices will benefit from the Samsung partnership with AlwaysOn which allows ATIV users to receive 1GB of free Wifi data each month for a period of one year. This means that ATIV users can access over a 1 000 local AlwaysOn hotspots throughout the country to enjoy a connected experience irrespective of whether they have internet at home.

“What makes the ATIV offering an exciting one is that the products have been designed to meet any customer requirement. The range now consists of tablets and notebooks for a mobile experience and powerful All-in-One desktop computers when serious processing power is required,” mentions van Lier.

Samsung is also providing all ATIV customers with free access to the Samsung Virtual Training Academy that has more than 1 000 online training courses on popular Windows applications.

The Academy features more than 100,000 online training videos on applications such as Windows 8, Microsoft Office, QuickBooks, and Adobe Photoshop and many more. All courses are modular so users can either do the full training course on a specific software application or simply select the specific features they require training on.

Also pre-installed on all ATIV devices is the easy-to-use Samsung SideSync solution. Side Sync takes your mobile experience to a whole new level. There is a keyboard and mouse sharing mode so people can use their keyboard and mouse to work on both devices simultaneously. Sharing files between devices is as easy as dragging and dropping from one screen to the next. Also in phone screen sharing mode, you can use your mobile in your PC screen, saving you time as you never have to take your eyes off your PC.

“SideSync is the perfect way for ATIV users to make their smartphone an extension of their computer.”

There is also a selection of apps available in the Samsung Picks section of the Microsoft store.

“Our experts have taken the guesswork out of which apps will work best for the ATIV devices. While people are free to browse and download anything they want from the store, the Samsung Picks sections makes the process of selecting key apps much less intimidating than going through thousands of options,” continues van Lier.

The pre-selected apps are:
• CNN app for Windows
• CookBook
• DStv Guide
• Encyclopedia Britannica
• FNB Banking App
• Fotor
• Free Books – 23,469 classics to go.
• Gym Guide
• National Geographic Pictures
• News24
• PhotoFunia
• Shazam
• Sky News
• Standard Bank Mobile Banking
• TuneIn Radio
• Wikipedia
• XE Currency
• Your Tube 8

“The ATIV range is really all about the best possible customer experience. By providing our users with a range of options, form factors, and additional value-added features, – not to mention enabling them we are equipping them for the connected age,” concludes van Lier.

 

POS struggling to keep up with changing customer demands? Take the platform approach

By admin, 29 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By Ian Steyn, Innervation

Many retailers are still grappling with what has been dubbed “the era of the customer experience”. Companies have to find ways to serve their customers more efficiently, whilst offering an increasing number of diverse Value-Added Services (prepaid airtime, lottery, loyalty and coupons to name but a few). Customers want – and more importantly, expect – to buy prepaid airtime and lottery tickets and swipe and redeem loyalty cards and coupons, at the same point of sale (POS) as their goods and groceries.

As a retailer, you want to ultimately gain, and importantly maintain, a competitive advantage by acquiring new services that can be deployed in a way that requires the least amount of effort.

Needless to say, enhancing a point of sale (POS) system to support a host of integrated value added services can prove to be a challenge. Integration requires POS processes, user interfaces, receipt layouts, user training, reconciliation, clearing and management information, amongst others, to be considered. The larger the retailer and the more channels supported, the larger the challenge.

If approached in the right way, however, it can ensure strategic agility, supporting the rapid and cost effective deployment of enhancements and new services. Integrating with a single platform that allows a retailer to add new services as and when they become available, without needing to make any new changes to the POS, is perhaps the only way to do so efficiently – reducing both cost and timescales by more than 80% when compared to more traditional approaches.

The best option for most retailers today is to integrate with a platform that will ensure the required agility by supporting new generation interfaces (such as SOAP). This will:

  • decouple the channel from VAS providers;
  • support the aggregation of multiple VAS providers in a category;
  • support interfaces to enterprise applications such as finance and CRM;
  • support effective business process management; and
  • limit or even remove the need to enhance channel applications to deploy new services.

The lack of such a platform approach is often the reason for an incomplete value added services deployment in terms of the basket of services – both the completeness thereof and the cost efficiency. The latter must always be measured over the full life cycle of a service or strategy execution.

The value of a platform approach is that it adds what could be described as a “translation layer” between the POS and any number of value-added services. On one side of this layer, a retailer running any of the popular POS systems can plug in without much difficulty. On the other side, VAS providers can do the same. Every channel can connect with any VAS on the platform, and vice versa. It gives retailers the power to switch between channel applications and VAS providers easily if they have to.

This can greatly reduce the life cycle costs associated with value added services. Removing the need to retrain cashiers every time is just one of the savings.

Adopting a platform approach enables retailers to implement many different customer contact channels, while maintaining a consistent customer experience across all of them. For example, if a company has a kiosk system, a website and a mobile app in addition to the physical tills, their customers need to feel that they’re connecting with the same organisation in a consistent way every time. The ability to do that seamlessly and consistently through a platform that has already been implemented is very valuable.

In short, being able to add new services easily also means being able to change easily – and that’s a very important capability in an environment that is very dynamic from a functional, regulatory and compliance perspective.

With the basics in place, retailers can start getting creative with services that will increase their competitive edge. We’re already seeing retailers combining value added services, with loyalty rewards being issued as prepaid airtime and a single customer view being maintained across all channels and services provided. Once the costs of innovation are lowered, the retailer has gained a competitive advantage and met customer requirements.

 

Biolock delivers next-generation security and access management for SAP

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

While security has always been a key concern for organisations, the growth in governance, risk and compliance (GRC) legislation means that it is more important today than ever before. For this reason, companies are seeking more secure ways in which to allow employees access to critical corporate applications.

“This has led to a growing demand for multifactor authentication,” says Nick Perkins, divisional director for identity management at Bytes Systems Integration.

“In other words, companies want to move beyond the standard username and password manner of authentication, and are increasingly looking to biometrics to solve this issue. We have taken cognisance of these needs, which is why Bytes, in partnership with Realtime, can offer enterprises Biolock, which is the only biometric identity and access management software certified by SAP,” says Perkins.

“SAP is one of the most business-critical systems in an organisation, and interactions performed within it can have far-reaching consequences for an enterprise. By implementing Biolock, management is able to know, indisputably, who is logging in. And since they can set unlimited re-authentication checkpoints, management is able to control what areas can be accessed and exactly what can be done by whom inside the SAP system.”

For example, adds Perkins, on the finance side, management may choose to set limits on purchase orders and transactions, while individual executives can have their visibility of data within the system limited according to their individual roles.

“Moreover, with Biolock, nobody can copy another’s identity, since it is based in fingerprints, while former employees, consultants or hackers are easily blocked. The software has also been developed with ease of use in mind, which is why it can integrate with over 80 models of fingerprint scanning devices.”

Perkins points out that Biolock has been specifically developed to deliver a complete access and authentication solution to organisations that utilise SAP, which is why it is easy to implement and integrates seamlessly into the SAP system.

“Effective security is about knowing who is doing what within your organisation. It is equally about setting limitations and ensuring that there is an effective audit trail that can verify, in a tamper-proof manner, who has authorised or performed specific tasks. In this way, compliance requirements are easily met. At the end of the day, Biolock serves as the gateway into the SAP system, ensuring access to information and transactions is securely governed,” he says.

In fact, the benefits of Biolock are many and varied. Not only can it be used to create true accountability for individual users’ actions, it can be utilised to enforce any segregation of duties, or checks and balances deemed necessary by the organisation’s business management or regulatory requirements. It also generates a robust audit trail of user activities, including failed access attempts, and provides employers with legal ammunition to pursue rogue employees.

“Biolock software complements, reinforces and sits on top of existing SAP security and GRC, ensuring that security is no longer a recommended set of protocols, but a strictly enforced procedure, says Perkins. “Moreover, employees can be enrolled into the system within a few minutes and it is flexible enough to be used across industry verticals for the mitigation of financial fraud and inventory loss, for time and attendance control, point of sale security, access to information, pure logging and physical access.”

There is an additional benefit to a security offering like Biolock, he adds: since it is fingerprint-based, employees cannot accidentally forget their password. In an organisation with thousands of staff, suggests Perkins, employees regularly forgetting – and thus requiring IT to reset – their passwords can be a very costly exercise.

“Biolock therefore offers the two things every enterprise is constantly striving to achieve, namely, it improves productivity while at the same time reducing costs. Moreover, it ultimately tightens up the SAP ship, by delivering a security and authentication solution that is just as modern and effective as SAP itself,” concludes Perkins.

Southern Africa’s Premier Cloud Event for IT Leaders

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

The Cloud and Virtualisation Summit Africa offers delegates the invaluable opportunity to converse with IT industry peers in an effort to understand, evaluate and underpin the challenges associated with compliance: standards, governance & security; transition & integration; cloud Strategy and IT infrastructure & operations. The strategic summit will address how these challenges can be overcome through enterprise IT organisation, innovation and the alignment of business with cloud technology.

The summit will ensure your enterprise remains up to date on the latest technological advancements within the industry and explore these technologies in action through strategic workshops and focused presentations. KeyedIn Solutions has confirmed that their 90 minute technology workshop will be dedicated to the disturbing reality of today’s PMO and how to avoid the consequences of an ineffective PPM/PMO strategy. Delegates are able to gather the information needed to develop successful and efficient company IT strategies of international standards by leveraging the available technologies to create innovative business value.

The must-attend cloud event of the year provides delegates with invaluable resources, ideas and examples that they can apply immediately to leverage the cloud, helping them to maximise performance, minimise costs and improve project scale.

This year’s Cloud & Virtualisation Summit will take place in Johannesburg at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, on the 30th of September and 1st of October 2013.

For more information, contact Marcia van Jaarsveld on +27 21 555 0866 or marcia@kineticevents.net. Follow @ITLeadersAfrica and @KineticEventsSA on Twitter for daily updates and news feeds.

Retaining original business documents critical in the event of legal action

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Companies that fail to retain original documentation are placing themselves at huge risk in the event of legal action.

This is according to Mike Grey, Solutions General Manager of Metrofile Records Management – a group company of JSE-listed Metrofile Holdings Limited, who says that while the Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act, 2002 (which is currently in the process of proposed amendments being reviewed by cabinet) does stipulate requirements for electronic reproductions of original documents to be considered suitable evidence for legal purposes – it is still imperative that companies retain the original documentation.

Grey says that business owners often only realise the importance of effective storage and management of the business’ original paper documents too late, particularly when they are required to present the original paper documents as evidence as part of a legal case. “In an increasingly digital age, this is becoming more common, especially as businesses try to save valuable physical office space by scanning business documents and storing them electronically.”

However, if the correct processes for scanning the document were not in place, the electronic copy may not stand up in the court of law and the original will have to be produced, says Grey. “This becomes a real problem for businesses when it comes to sourcing that original document if they have not properly indexed or archived their documents or – worst case scenario – they have destroyed the original document under the misperception that the electronic version was sufficient.”

He says companies that have a proper records management system in place are better positioned in the event of legal action. “Furthermore, an effective records management system assists to mitigate the risk of consequential reputational damage and financial losses.”

“It is crucial for businesses to implement a robust records management process for collating documents, securely storing records and archiving records in a managed structure so they can retrieve the records timeously when involved in a court case.”

There are two options available to businesses when seeking to implement records management systems; onsite or offsite records management. “Companies that need immediate access to documents and records have no choice but to store them onsite. For these companies, the key lies in implementing an effective back-up solution and storing the documents in a secure environment that can protect the records from damp, fire and water damage as well as insect infestation.”

Grey says that offsite records management is becoming increasingly popular due to space constraints of storing records onsite as well as the costs involved with implementing the effective security measures needed to securely store records, including fire detection and prevention.

“Offsite records management entails the storage of company data and information in purpose-built facilities incorporating data protection which involves the securing of a backup data tape in an off-site vault. The location of storage facilities are specifically situated in low-risk areas where exposure to flooding, fires, earthquakes, flight paths or other natural disasters are least probable.”

Grey says that when selecting a records management supplier, it is important to bear the following in mind:

  • Low-risk location of storage facilities – the storage facilities of records management suppliers need to be located in low-risk areas with little exposure to natural disasters and a proper fire and disaster risk management system.
  • Offsite access to records – having remote access to records when needed at any given time is essential to the businesses and should be offered by the selected records management partner..
  • Document indexing and tracking capabilities – finding particular document is made easier through proper indexing and tracking. It is important to make sure that the selected records management service provider offers discovery, search, query, role-based security access and inventory-management capabilities.
  • Regulation compliance – it is vital that businesses adhere to the relevant records management regulations to avoid any repercussions. By selecting a records management supplier which complies with best practices and is up to date on industry regulations, businesses are able to be sure of its compliance in this regard.
  • Data protection from breaches and espionage – it is always advisable to ensure that records management partners confirm the vetting of its staff to mitigate the risk of data breaches, especially when confidential documents are stored. In addition, ensuring that a provider offers role-based security access to documents can further reduce the risk of a breach.

“By employing the expertise of a reputable records management company, businesses handling paper documents can better ensure the preservation and security of these documents as well as ensure they can provide original documents as evidence when faced with legal action should the need arise,” concludes Grey.

National airline cuts budgeting time in half, implements what-if analysis with TM1 solution from Cortell

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

One of the largest commercial carriers of passengers and cargo in Africa experience the challenge of an immensely complex budgeting process with many variables and cost centres. Flight operations form the main driver for the financial budget, with the operating schedule, expected passenger volumes and cargo revenue forming the framework for both direct operating costs and revenues as well as the various cost centre operating budgets. Using a manual, spreadsheet-based approach for formulation and consolidation of the budget resulted in a budgeting process that was error-prone, subject to a number of other weaknesses, and took between five and six months to complete. In an effort to improve on this time frame as well as address other budgeting process issues, in late 2009 Cortell Corporate Performance Management using TM1 software from IBM Cognos provided a solution to assist the airline.

Manual processes made the airline’s budget time consuming and prone to error, and conducting simulations was a laborious task. Poor communication was also experienced on budget changes, a lack of automated budget approval, and poor version control. There was no proper audit trail, information security was lacking, and the airline was unable to integrate the budgeting process with their business systems. On top of this, conducting what-if scenario planning according to changes in flight schedules was difficult, as the entire process took too long for this to be a viable option. After much research, TM1 was selected as it accurately met the needs of the airline.

TM1 from IBM Cognos was selected based on its functionality to perform budgeting, planning and reporting, as well as the fact that this solution is used effectively by other major airlines in Africa. TM1 had already been partially implemented within the organisation as a business intelligence tool, and training on the solution had already been completed, so it was a logical selection. After integrating the solution with financial systems with the help of Cortell, TM1 now delivers fast, automated budgeting, forecasting and reporting capabilities which enable the necessary scenario planning to be conducted, helping the airline to be more agile in their budget cycle.

“Cortell performed the full development of the solution and has provided continuing support since implementation in 2009. The implementation took a phased approach, dealing firstly with budgeting and forecasting and then with reporting. The full implementation was completed on schedule, and our Service Level Agreement (SLA) ensured that over peak periods, someone from Cortell was available at all times to assist where necessary,” explains Greg Bogiages, Director at Cortell.

The TM1 solution has enabled the national carrier to reduce the budgeting process cycle time to three months, compared to six previously, and has delivered automated budget consolidation and approvals. On-demand budget simulations and what-if analysis are now available for a more flexible decision-making ability, and comparative reporting between actual, forecasted and budgeted figures has been enhanced. TM1 also enables accurate version control, an improved audit trail and better information security, along with improved visibility in terms of business performance in relation to budgets.

The implementation schedule was tight as it needed to meet the next budgeting cycle, and the TM1 solution needed to seamlessly integrate with other business systems to enable data transfer to take place. With support from the airlines top management, Cortell’s airline specific experience, effective user training and proper change management and communication, the challenges were overcome and the solution was implemented successfully.

The airline has not only cut their budgeting cycle in half and improved the entire process, they have seen an increase in productivity in budget preparation, as well as in long term planning and forecasting. The airline is now also able to be more proactive when it comes to the volatility of the airline industry, resulting in improved budgeting and ultimately enhanced profitability.

In 2013, thanks to skills transfer and training from Cortell consultants, the airline was able to complete their budget cycle unassisted, showing the strength of the solution in simplifying the process and delivering the benefits required.

 

Incorporating security into the design of a facility – optimising integration and ease of maintenance

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By Kobus Le Roux, National Sales & Marketing Executive, Jasco Security Solutions

Security within facilities – CCTV, access controls, alarms, fire detection and suppression, etc. – is today increasingly integrated and digital, yet it is often an afterthought when a new building is designed. The result is usually less than optimal, with repercussions in terms of the effectiveness and functionality of the final security solution, as well high long term maintenance costs. With two large client security retrofit projects underway and one new build, Jasco Security Solutions has a first-hand perspective of the challenges organisations face, and the benefits they can gain by incorporating security into the design of a facility.

Ideally, the design of the security system in a purpose-built facility will be done together with the owner or prospective occupants, a building consultant who co-ordinates design and construction, and an electrical engineer. The security systems required and the desired functionality needs to be defined, and regulatory issues, such as placement of fire alarms and sensors, need to be taken into consideration. Once routing is decided, the infrastructure needs to be installed, preferably by cabling and security system experts.

As most security systems are now IP-based, the facility owner needs to decide whether the security system will become part of the converged data, video and voice network, or if it will run on a separate network. When security shares the working data or video network, priority conflicts can occur. In addition, as access to this network is greater, security systems are made vulnerable to human error and mischief. The other great challenge, as some Jasco clients have discovered is that when security runs on mission critical networks, those networks can be compromised when security solutions need to be maintained, upgraded or refitted.

For a Jasco client in the healthcare sector with a five-building campus in Johannesburg, a complete overhaul of an existing access control and CCTV network became necessary. Using disparate contractors over a number of years to upgrade and expand its CCTV and access control systems, and with no set standards or integrated security strategy to guide implementations, the company ended up with an incomprehensible scramble of network connections.

A large part of the challenge was that new head-end equipment was added to the network without regard for capacity. There was also no documentation of the work done. With a CCTV system that only worked at 50 percent capacity and a need to extend its access control solution, the organisation decided to implement a new all-IP access control solution. It asked Jasco to assist.

Once the Jasco team had done the diagnostics and reconfigured the network, it rolled out a fibre network for the organisation, and placed the CCTV solution on a separate network. For the access control solution, Jasco had to make use of and extend the existing installation. In many instances new conduit had to be placed inside or along walls, an expensive and inconvenient workaround.

For another client in the retail sector, Jasco took on two very different projects. On a new build for company, an architect rather than a consultant took up the main role and Jasco provided specifications and advice on security technology requirements. The customer also brought in specialist cabling contactors. In particular, there are a number of regulations around fire alarms – their positioning and how they are provisioned.

The benefits of getting it right for this customer are significant. Because it is a bespoke building, security solutions – CCTV cameras, access control, etc. – can be fitted to suit the function and layout of each department. This can be quite important. If, for example, cash will be handled in an area, the camera setup will be very different than the setup for a stock room or reception area.

The second project is a refit of the old building the organisation had vacated. At present the building is being stripped out. It will be difficult to refit with a lot of construction required to ensure an aesthetically appealing finish.

For leading insurance client Jasco took on a refit project. The facility had been struck by lightning and required a complete refit of the access control system, which was to include biometrics, and of the CCTV system. Jaco installed an all-IP backbone for the organisation, piping in the fibre from scratch and installing new CCTV head-end equipment. Additional infrastructure to facilitate capacity growth is being included. Another contractor handled the installation of a lightning protection mesh structure on the building.

The process essentials – building security in at design phase
To sum up, there are a few key practicalities to bear in mind to ensure successful incorporation of security into a building at design phase.

First, understand basic and then specific needs of the facility and the tenants. Ensure the tender proposals incorporate a step by step method statement and project plan. Gain input from a consultant and the relevant specialists. Ensure regulations are complied with in terms of fire and other equipment placement and related specifications.

When it comes to implementing the solutions, employing a project manager who is aware of the priority assigned to security, and ensuring weekly status meetings are held between all stakeholders will help keep the project on track. If different subcontractors are used, good communication and collaboration between the teams are essential.

And, in selecting a solution provider, look for an organisation with a good track record, one that has the experience you need, has a good understanding of the capabilities of the latest technology along with a holistic view of how the needs and requirements of your organisation will be met and, possibly most importantly, is conversant with best practices in delivery of the solution.

Growing Africa through FDI and local partnerships

By admin, 28 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

By George Ferreira, Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Samsung Electronics Africa

While foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa dipped somewhat over the past two years, it is forecast that it will increase by more than 10% in 2013. Investment into Angola, Mozambique and South Africa appears to be the most prominent, according to the African Economic Outlook 2013 report.

The report is produced annually by the African Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Centre, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Development Programme. It posits that the higher FDI will play a role in driving economic growth in Africa of 4.8% in 2013 and 5.3% in 2014.

In addition, Ernst & Young’s third Africa Attractiveness Survey, which combines an analysis of international investment into Africa over the past five years with a 2013 survey of over 500 global business leaders, said that business leaders with an established presence in Africa ranked the continent as “the second most attractive regional investment destination in the world.”

Africa has indeed made great strides in terms of instilling democracy and increased business professionalism in many countries, allowing it to align itself with other continents. This makes it increasingly attractive to countries looking at FDI into Africa, which in turn contributes greatly to substantial improvements in the quality of human life on the continent.

Companies like Samsung Electronics Africa, who have established business operations in Africa, remain extremely positive about the ongoing developments within Africa. In spite of challenges that include transport/logistics and an inadequate electricity infrastructure, Samsung Electronics Africa understands the real rather than perceived operational risks, allowing us to develop products that are truly ‘Built For Africa’.

According to the Ernst & Young Africa Attractiveness Survey, there has been noticeable growth in ICT (14%, up from 8% in 2012), financial services (13%, up from 6% in 2012), and education (which came from virtually nowhere to register 10% this year). Samsung Electronics Africa is actively involved in providing resources to the ICT sector and has also introduced a number of products that will result in an increasing adoption of higher levels of primary, secondary and tertiary education levels – including the likes of our Engineering Academies, Solar Powered Internet Schools and smart school solutions.

There is a huge demand in Africa for both improvements in infrastructure and embracing and reducing the dire skills shortage. By offering products that enhance communication for all citizens, by partnering with likeminded companies and by providing a foundation and transport mechanism for globally benchmarked education in even the most remote areas, Samsung Electronics Africa is showing its confidence in a prosperous Africa.

Africa is considered the best continent for solar/bio-fuel. However, in order to see the projects brought to fruition, energy investment is immediately needed in the form of FDI and this is exactly what we are doing with our R&D into Solar Powered solutions.

Samsung Electronics Africa will continue to identify and support projects that add to the economic and social growth of the continent by analysing the very specific needs promoted by the often remote and rugged environment. It’s time for Africa to shine.

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