Archive for Sierpień, 2013

Preparing for the increase in traffic due to imminent 802.11ac WiFi standard

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

The latest emerging wireless standard from the IEEE, the 802.11ac, promises unprecedented Gigabit connectivity with a host of new possibilities for application-based services. However, this will impact Tier 1 carriers as the new capabilities and high speeds will see a surge in traffic. It is therefore important for the latest WLAN technology to be considered before the challenge becomes an issue.

This is according to Martin Ferreira, Executive Head: Technology and Operations, Jasco Carrier, who says that the new Wi-Fi standard promises to deliver much greater multiple spatial data streams that can be directed to client services resulting in better data throughputs, as well as improved reliability and quality of service.

The technology is particularly suited for densely populated areas, such as airports, universities, business offices and shopping malls, where there are a lot of devices in close proximity.

“Consumers have seemingly insatiable requirements for bandwidth. People often have two or three wireless devices that are connected to a network at any given time accessing content-rich applications, resulting in much higher traffic levels but a reduced quality of service.

“As a consequence, we find that the mobile providers Jasco Carrier Solutions has been engaging with are particularly interested in looking to offload some smartphone and tablet wireless network traffic to available Wi-Fi access points to prevent congested networks,” says Ferreira.

According to Ferreira, South Africa follows the ITU recommendations for Europe, and the standard is expected to be legal locally at the same time as and when the standard is ratified.

Final approval of the standard is expected in late 2013, while the Wi-Fi Alliance is targeting to have the certification process in place at the end of Q1 of this year.

“However, it will be important for Tier 1 operators to prepare in advance and adopt the access point (AP) model going forward, certainly within the next six months if not sooner in order for them to position themselves with competitive quality and services,” he adds.

Ferreira says the persistent challenge large operators face has always been the slow pace of adoption of new technologies, this is due to, in part, budget constraints, long sales cycles and extensive stress testing periods even though the technologies have already been certified as part of the ITU standard.

“The larger Tier 1 carriers can significantly bolster their competitive edge with the deployment of 802.11ac, allowing them to compete with innovative products and services, positioning them in a positive light against some of the smaller, nimble Tier 2 operators.

“It is also important for these Tier 1 operators to partner with companies that can assist them to upgrade to these latest technology developments and importantly, integrate with their existing equipment. A trusted advisor can go far in making this upgrade process a lot more smoother and seamless, especially when it comes to deployment and stress testing,,” he adds.

Ferreira says Tier 1 providers should fully understand the value proposition of 802.11ac, and look at services that can be deployed in a relatively short period of time.

“For example, retailers in shopping malls can offer services to customers to compare prices of products, as well as push in-store advertising to them over the networks,” says Ferreira.

Another application he cites is in healthcare, where real-time data and remote consultations can be done within a hospital environment.

“There is a whole new market opening up that has not existed before. The 802.11ac standard is really an exciting new development in wireless connectivity. For Tier 1 carriers, it is really a matter of bedding the value propositions down, do preliminary testing and roll out the services in partnership with custodians of wireless technology,” he concludes.


DCC announces the availability of WD’s 2.5-inch WD Blue 7mm hard drive

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Ideal for thin and light systems and slimmer notebooks, distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) has announced the availability of WD’s 500 Gigabyte (GB) 2.5-inch Blue 7mm hard drive. This drive is compatible with most standard 9.5mm bays for mainstream notebooks and the availability of WD Acronis True Image, enabling you to copy all your data to the new drive easily.

The WD Blue 7mm hard drives are built to the highest standards of quality and reliability and offer the ideal features and capacity for everyday computing needs.

“WD’s Blue 7mm is also the perfect hard drive for Ultrabook, All-in-One and other thin and light PC and notebook users, providing more reliability and flexibility with the SATA 6 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) interface for use with the latest Operating Systems (OS),” says Farhad Alli, WD Product Specialist and DCC.

“Notebook form factors are ever decreasing in size and this drive offers resellers a slimmer and thinner alternative for thin notebooks. Also, standard OEM drives user feature far lower capacities therefore end users are now able to replace their original drive with the WD Blue 7mm hard drive in order to improve their storage capacity and performance of their hard drive” adds Alli.

The 500GB storage capacity equates to 100 000 photo’s, 38-hours of video or 125 000 songs – all this in a thin form factor. Now users don’t need to choose between having a thin form factor notebook or Ultrabook or high capacity hard drive. They can have both with the WD Blue 7mm hard drive.

Additional features include WhisperDrive, WDs exclusive technology, enables quiet performance while WDs ShockGuard technology provides shock tolerance by protecting the drive mechanics and platter surfaces from everyday shocks. Consistently higher performance is ensured with StableTrac. StableTrac compensates for system-induced vibration and stabilises the platters by securing the motor shaft at both ends, allowing for accurate read and write operations.

Reliability is ensured with WD SecurePark which ensures that the recording head never touches the disk surface. The recording heads are parked off the disk surface during spin up, spin down and when the drive is off further ensuring that the head never touches the disk surface. This results in less head wear and improved non-operational shock tolerance, improving long-term reliability.

“All WD drives are compatibility tested with tests performed on hundreds of systems and a multitude of platforms, providing users with the confidence that the drives will work in any environment,” concludes Alli.

The 2.5-inch WD Blue 7mm hard drive is available from DCC immediately in a capacity of 500GB. The drive retails for approximately R749.00 inclusive of VAT.

Offsite backups up to 50 times faster with Veeam WAN acceleration

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Bandwidth constraints and costs are the single biggest reason many Africa-based organisations have avoided remote backups, choosing rather to store hard copies off site. But new technology from Veeam offers the ability to create offsite backups over a network, even when bandwidth is slow or unreliable.

“Keeping offsite backups is an essential element of any disaster recovery and business continuity plan,” says Veeam’s South Africa territory manager Warren Olivier. “When there’s a fire or a flood – and those do happen – you need to be able to restart your entire operation at a new site, on new and potentially dissimilar hardware, as quickly as possible.”

“We recommend a 3-2-1 policy,” adds Olivier: “Keep at least 3 copies of your data, one in production and two backups. Keep your backups on 2 separate media, and store 1 of them offsite. That’s the minimum you need for peace of mind.”

Virtualisation is one important step towards making this best practice a reality, notes Olivier: “It means you can back up not just your data, but entire servers including operating systems and applications. Then you can restore them anywhere, without needing to configure new hardware. But if you’re relying on agent-based software to do your backups, you’re losing out on many of the advantages of speed and efficiency.

South Africa’s relatively slow, expensive and sometimes unreliable bandwidth has stopped many organisations from turning to online backups – but, says Olivier, “that’s a problem all over Africa. So Veeam has built technology into the latest version of its Backup & Replication software that can make offsite backups over a network up to 50 times faster.”

There are many WAN acceleration products on the market, notes Olivier, “but none of them are designed specifically for copying backups of virtual machines to new sites – so we wrote our own, based on Veeam’s proprietary backup file formats. It’s been designed specifically for slow and unreliable links, to allow faster backups. It also has the ability to resume a backup that’s been interrupted by network problems, with no loss of data.”

Veeam’s backup copy functionality means businesses can easily create and store offsite backups of entire virtual environments anywhere they choose, says Olivier. “You can put your backups in a second location that you own and control, in a hosted data recovery centre or in the cloud. You have the flexibility to choose any public or private cloud storage provider – and store more than one offsite backup if you want.”

There is also good news for those who can’t avoid tape for compliance reasons, or want to make the most of existing equipment: Veeam Backup & Replication now supports tape as an additional backup medium as well.

HP helps software-defined storage customers maximise server investments

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Industry-first innovations on proven software-defined storage platform improve agility and efficiency of virtualised environments

HP recently announced new HP Converged Storage innovations that enable customers to maximise the return on investment (ROI) of their virtual infrastructure by lowering costs while increasing agility and capacity utilisation.

Extending its six-year leadership in software-defined storage HP announced new HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) software functionality. These new features include automated sub-LUN (logical unit number) storage tiering and increased VMware and Microsoft integration to improve efficiency and performance. New licensing options provide deployment flexibility to support current workload requirements and future growth needs.

HP also introduced two software plug-ins for HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, one for use with VMware, and the other for use with SAP®. These plug-ins help customers simplify management of complex application deployments.

Autonomic, scalable and highly available software-defined storage

Organisations with virtualised environments that range from small sites, to enterprise branch offices, and even public cloud providers, are turning to hardware- and hypervisor-agnostic software-defined storage to cost-effectively provide high availability and other data services running on industry standard server infrastructure.

HP StoreVirtual VSA—powered by the proven HP LeftHand operating system and introducing new Adaptive Optimisation capabilities—is the industry’s first scale-out software-defined storage solution to offer data tiering. This feature moves data blocks to high-performance or cost-optimised storage automatically, based on application needs, for improved efficiency and performance.

With HP Adaptive Optimisation, continuous workload monitoring migrates actively used data to faster storage such as solid-state disk (SSD), and inactive data to lower-cost storage such as hard disk drive (HDD) storage. This granular approach eliminates the need to move entire application volumes to more expensive SSD. For inactive data, HP StoreVirtual VSA enables customers to further reduce costs by repurposing and virtualising their legacy third-party storage, treating that capacity as a secondary tier within HP Adaptive Optimisation.

HP now offers multiple licensing options for HP StoreVirtual VSA, providing flexibility to support current workloads as well as future growth requirements. In addition to the 10-terabyte (TB) standard license, the company now offers a 4TB license for small sites and a 50TB high-capacity license. As a result, customers can start small and nondisruptively upgrade to a larger VSA or the HP StoreVirtual 4000 appliance as needed.

Easily managed by IT generalists in VMware and Microsoft environments, HP StoreVirtual VSA installs three times faster and scales capacity 11 times faster than competitive software-defined storage options from VMware. New support for VMware ParaVirtualised SCSI Controller delivers efficient CPU utilisation, minimising ongoing infrastructure investments. Increased Microsoft Windows® Server with Hyper-V integration enables clients to provision storage from Microsoft System Centre Virtual Machine Manager for faster deployment.

“To reduce data centre investment and operational costs, budget-conscious organisations are transitioning from dedicated physical hardware to software-defined storage embedded on existing industry standard servers,” said Craig Paul, Storage Country Manager, HP South Africa. “Having pioneered software-defined storage with an installed base of over 170,000 StoreVirtual VSA licenses, HP is now extending its leadership in this area with auto-tiering capability to further optimise cost and performance for small or medium-sized businesses as well as remote enterprise branches.”

Simplified storage management and orchestration

Transitioning to software-defined data centres requires Open API and application-integrated control of storage systems to ensure administrative productivity.

HP 3PAR StoreServ seamlessly integrates with solutions from leading independent software vendors (ISVs), and coupled with the new HP StoreFront Analytics Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Manager™, enables VMware administrators to efficiently and cost-effectively monitor and troubleshoot complex virtualised environments.

HP StoreFront Analytics Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Manager software delivers real-time data on the health, performance and capacity utilisation of the HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage system. Proactive monitoring of virtualised application performance from a single management console simplifies storage management. To facilitate the decision process, the software provides accurate capacity and forecasting data regarding HP 3PAR StoreServ storage services, including hardware-accelerated thin provisioning, which greatly increases storage capacity efficiency without impacting application performance.

For managing large and complex SAP deployments in physical and virtualised environments, HP now offers a plug-in that integrates HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage and HP XP P9500 Storage with SAP NetWeaver® Landscape Virtualization Management 1.0. This new HP Storage plug-in is supported in Microsoft Windows, Linux and HP-UX environments, and includes automation capabilities that reduce time to clone SAP applications. These automation capabilities in turn help reduce the overall system copy and refresh time, which improves business agility while reducing risks associated with manual provisioning.

Pricing and availability:

  • HP StoreVirtual VSA will be available September 30 2013 at multiple capacity points. A three pack of 4TB licenses will be priced at or below ZAR30, 000.
  • HP StoreFront Analytics Pack for VMware vCentre Operations Manager will be available later this year for ZAR75,000 for up to 10 HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage systems.
  • The HP Storage plug-in for SAP NetWeaver Landscape Virtualisation Management will be available for download starting August19 2013 at no charge for HP customers with an active support contract for HP storage systems.
  • All three new solutions will be available globally from HP and authorised channel partners.

HP’s premier EMEA client event, HP Discover, takes place Dec. 10-12 in Barcelona, Spain.


SA corporates lag behind on big data analytics

By admin, 27 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

While local corporates are ready for big data analytics, there is a general lack of strategic vision and drive to support its implementation.

Large South African corporates are lagging far behind when it comes to the utilisation of big data analytics due to a lack of understanding at an executive level of the competitive advantage big data analytics brings in enabling companies to respond to data it has collected in real time.

Adrian Wood, Sales & Business Director – Sub Saharan Africa at Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), says that when HDS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd, conducted research in the United Kingdom (UK), it found that 75 percent of the organisations with more than 1,000 employees surveyed are currently investing in big data analytics. And of these, 80 percent are deploying solutions.

“Sixty-nine per cent of organisations investing in big data analytics agreed that they do not have the infrastructure in place to analyse up-to-the-minute information across all their data sets,” he says.

Big data analytics gives companies the ability to analyse structured and unstructured data in real time and make business relevant decisions based on that analysis. It would primarily be used by the likes of telecoms operators, retailers and banks.

However, local high level research conducted by Strategy Worx on behalf of Hitachi Data Systems, suggests that while many of South Africa’s large corporations do have the hardware infrastructure in place, the CIOs within those organisations are generally not currently using big data analytics or systems in any substantive way.

To understand the implications of why big data analytics is important, Wood says consider the implications of a telecoms company releasing a new product set into the market, which encounters stiff criticism in the social media sphere.

“Big data analytics would give the telecoms operator the ability to analyse social media responses in relation to the product as well as the real time internal data such as the uptake of the product, the effect on the call centre, and other financial data.

“Given the siloed nature of the operations of many corporates, these are conclusions that are often only drawn several months down the line,” he says.

Steven Ambrose, Strategy Worx CEO, says that the research showed that in many cases while South African CIOs were aware of big data analytics and the trends around it internationally, they did not understand the potential impact big data analytics could have on their businesses.

“Unfortunately CIOs and IT operations are often seen as cost centres within large corporates in South Africa, and as a result, local CIOs aren’t always thinking strategically when it comes to the use of technology like big data analytics.

“Furthermore, the historical lack of competitiveness in sectors like telecoms, banking and retail together with the lack of broadband penetration locally means that businesses have not been exposed to the full impact of their customers’ responses to their products and services to the same degree that UK corporates might be,” he says.

However, the customer movement within sectors like banking and telecoms are showing that consumers are switching service providers, which means that competition is increasing in these sectors and businesses need to be able to analyse trends and make decisions far faster than they have had to do in the past. Real time analysis of data is becoming a major differentiator and business resource.

Wood says it is somewhat surprising that the strategic importance of big data analytics has been missed.

Large corporates locally instead place importance on up-to-date data and basing decisions on this data for accurate measurable outcomes. This contrasts the UK research where just over half the sample viewed making critical decisions based on old data poor practice.

“Instead large corporates locally use business intelligence systems and data specialists to analyse current structured and unstructured data. BI systems are focused on line of business solutions with a small amount of understanding customer behaviour based on historical activity,” he says.

As a result, Ambrose says local corporates are reactive to consumer behaviour and unable to make strategic and timeous decisions to change tack when a course of action is proving detrimental to the business.

Leading BEE IT solutions provider, Aptronics, turns 20

By admin, 24 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

South Africa’s foremost black empowered IT solutions provider, Aptronics, has formally celebrated its 20th Anniversary milestone – marking two decades since the company first began operating from the garage of founder and CEO, Anil Appie Pema in 1993.

Aptronics is one of South Africa’s most heart-warming success stories. Pema founded the company 20 years ago against the backdrop of Apartheid with no capital or formal tertiary education. Today, Aptronics generates almost half a billion Rand in revenue annually and employs over 140 staff members as well as an additional 220 within the Aptronics Group of Companies.

After acquiring the required qualifications, Pema’s career started at M&PD – an innovative IT company that operated in the mid 80’s. Three years later Pema was employed by Link Technologies to run its technical support department.

Showing business leadership qualities early in his career, Pema turned Link Technologies’ technical department cost centre into a profit generator in a short space of time, for which he was awarded a 1 % share of the business. With Link Technologies facing liquidation, Pema stayed on for 6 months without a salary simply to ensure that his customers received the service they were expecting. After the formal closure of Link, he set up a sole proprietorship in 1992 called ‘AppieCare Technologies’ with a previous work colleague, Kalpesh Naran.

“I took over the responsibility of fulfilling warranties for all companies that had been left stranded by Link Technologies,” explained Pema.

“Recognising our commitment and service principals, customers started asking us to provide them with additional solutions and services.”

This paved the way for Pema to build an enviable reputation for problem-solving and value added solutions in the midrange computing environment. In just one year AppieCare had outgrown its humble beginnings and Aptronics was born.

When discussing what it took for Aptronics to gain momentum and become a formidable player in the ICT industry, Pema adds, “Customer satisfaction, sound financial management and developing core personnel at the outset.”

“The key to the success of our business can be summed up in one phrase, which the Aptronics team chant as its guiding mantra: ‘The customer is king. Understand and then exceed customer expectations,’” he says.

Pema’s philosophy of investing in people has paid dividends. Over the past 20 years, helped by an emphasis on growing skills internally, Aptronics has a proud record of producing the very best in the field. The company has had minimal staff turnover since it was established all those years ago. “Our staff members are our family,” he adds.

Aptronics shares its success by looking to address imbalances from the past. This is demonstrated through social responsibility programs that include the provisioning of education bursaries to the less fortunate, participation in internships and work experience initiatives, and ensuring that BBBEE is not just a buzz word internally.

Staff are presented with and encouraged to take up opportunities that have seen drivers make the transition to stores management, service desk agents to financial administrators and student engineers achieving HP MasterASE certifications with MCITP or RHCE.

Looking to the future, Pema concluded: “We always want to exceed customer expectations. Our road map is to continue to look for smarter ways to deliver not just excellent service but, in addition, adding value by engaging technology and people with a clear strategy”.


NEC and partners launch UNIVERGE 3C and showcase IT solutions across South Africa

By admin, 24 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

NEC and its partners poised to deliver complete IT Solutions that include powerful UC and collaboration software that empowers emerging mobile workforces and enables collaboration across key growth sectors of South African market.

During a special multi-city tour to be held in September, NEC will tour South Africa in coordination with its partners Gijima and Mustek to showcase the latest enterprise business solutions and officially launch NEC’s Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) solution UNIVERGE 3C in the South African market. Gijima and Mustek represent two of the largest IT solutions & distribution organizations in South Africa and will significantly advance the penetration of powerful UC&C IT solutions to the highest GDP growth sectors within South Africa.

This tour marks the official launch of NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C within South Africa. The UNIVERGE 3C platform is a powerful, all-in-one software-based UC&C platform that operates across premise, cloud or hybrid environments. It delivers essential collaboration tools to business users for virtually any device while maintaining a consistent user experience. UNIVERGE 3C’s software services adapt to a wide variety of business roles, providing increased efficiencies and greater workforce productivity.

“Our story now reaches well beyond just UC,” said Todd Landry, a Global Executive for UC&C, “This tour will launch the power of UNIVERGE 3C, but it will go further to showcase NEC’s powerful NEC IT infrastructure solutions that ensure reliable and cost effective solutions for enterprises.” Mr. Landry will be on the Smart Enterprise Tour delivering a key part of the keynote address to enterprise clients.

A Complete Enterprise Solutions Set
Besides UNIVERGE 3C the tour will showcase other new developments within the NEC’s powerful enterprise solutions portfolio, including Smart Business Mobility, Highly-resilient Server technologies, Virtualisation and Storage solutions. The tour will include live demonstrations of IT solutions and provides attendees the opportunity to engage in how these solutions can truly optimize their business and provide them with a new found agility in their local markets.

“The emergence of more cost effective IP connectivity across South Africa lays a powerful foundation to deliver new collaboration applications,” said Hugo de Wet, Gijima NEC Executive, “UNIVERGE 3C ability to integrate seamlessly with legacy NEC PBX platform is powerful. This allows our customers to deploy UNIVERGE 3C in a structured approach as and when budget are available or when the need arises. UNVERGE 3C allows you to retain cost effective analogue technologies as a speech path on your desk with all the Unified Communication benefits.”

Earlier this year NEC held its EMEA region partner conference, where it unveiled the integration of its IT Platforms and Unified Communications organizations under a singularly focused Enterprise Solution umbrella. UNIVERGE 3C was designed as an IT business application and operates on distributed, virtualised data centre environments, making it a natural fit for NEC’s IT platforms. The combination arms NEC and its partners with a powerful combination of highly resilient computing engines, highly secure networking & storage, software defined networking that can dynamically optimize for real-time communications, communications end-points that include mobility components such as DECT smart devices, and UC, Collaboration & Customer Care IT software solutions.

Nailing Gartner’s Five UC Characteristics for Success
NEC’s UNIVERGE 3C directly address Gartner’s five UC characteristics that effect UC success and the satisfaction of users: User Experience (UX), Mobility, Interoperability, Cloud & Hybrid, Broad solution appeal.

UNIVERGE 3C clients employ a Common UX across PCs, smartphones and tablets enabling anywhere, anytime access for increased efficiency and productivity, personal devices can be used in conjunction with enterprise security credentials – supporting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) needs. It’s Empowered Mobility capabilities work in conjunction with mobile clients to enable a truly unified experience. As a standards-based platform UNIVERGE 3C enables the B2B, B2P, and B2C federation that is critical for businesses to become more agile and much more integrated with partner ad customers. The software technology is designed for on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployment scenarios and provides tailored collaboration for a wide range of business roles in a way that it adapts to the different needs and use cases of business functions. All of this creates broader adoption and better collaboration among a client, partner, and customer ecosystem and accomplishes it more cost effectively than attempting to assemble disparate components.

Join us for the Tour in Cape Town on Thursday 12th, Durban on Tuesday 17th or in Johannesburg on Friday 20th September



Prevent card-based fraud with secure customer ID verification through a biometric Match-on-Card solution

By admin, 24 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Card-based fraud continues to cost South African financial service providers millions of rands, due to card and PIN theft at ATMs, fraudulent online purchasing and basic identity misrepresentation with stolen cards at retailers.

As security becomes an ever-more critical business need, organisations have generally come to accept the necessity of utilising biometric data for this purpose. While far more secure than PIN numbers and passwords, which are all too often forgotten or compromised through sharing or written reminders, biometric data nonetheless has its own potential points of failure. Most notably, the need to send such data to an external server for verification opens the possibility that the data could be corrupted while in transition.

However, Bytes Technology Group (BTG) offers a biometric customer identity verification solution called Match-on-Card, which obviates the need to send the data to an external server. Instead, the Match-on-Card solution involves matching and storing a fingerprint biometric directly on a smart card, making this an even more secure form of fingerprint authentication.

“Obviously, it does mean that the smart card used requires a greater processing power and memory in order to run the algorithm to match the data, and to store the biometric. But this is more than made up for by the fact that the card makes the decision, rather than having to rely on a third party to confirm a match,” says Dave Crawshay-Hall, CTO of Brand New Technologies (BNTech), which was recently acquired by BTG.

“The trouble with standard biometric smart cards is that if a match is done on the PC and then a command is sent to the card to instruct it perform a particular action, there is no way for the card to know that the fingerprint was actually matched. With Match-on-Card, the smart card physically does the match itself, thereby allowing it to decide internally what action to process, such as allowing access to private data.”

The technology allows access to the digital certificates on the card that can then be used for Windows logon, digital signing, file and volume encryption, secure VPN access and other PKI applications, continues Crawshay-Hall.

He adds that the matching of fingerprints involves two stages, namely ‘feature extraction’ and ‘matching’. Feature extraction, he says, requires a lot of computing power, so this is still done on the PC, with only the actual matching taking place on the card. Despite this, he points out, for the card to accurately perform the match in an acceptable time frame, it still has to have a powerful processor with enough RAM.

“A critical element of a Match-on-Card solution is clearly high quality enrolment of the fingerprint itself, which is used to enrol fingerprints and create fingerprint templates which are stored in the smart card, and possibly elsewhere for back up.”

“For this reason, BTG offers a complete end-to-end solution that includes the card, MOC card applet, customised card applet, fingerprint algorithms and fingerprint scanners. While the algorithms, fingerprint scanners and cards are supplied by third party vendors, Bytes provides the consultation, integration, implementation and support,” he says.

Nick Perkins, divisional director, identity management solutions at Bytes Systems Integration points out that by using a Match-on-Card solution, organisations are able to establish the physical presence of the cardholder using two factor authentication, namely fingerprint and smart card. “This can be increased to three factor authentication by adding a PIN.”

Perkins indicates that this technology can be used for a multitude of private sector security issues, from simple customer identity verification before performing a transaction, to internally within an organisation to manage a business solution or ERP login and transaction approval control. It can also be used in retail point of sale terminals, he states, through integration where cashiers can login biometrically to till points and supervisors can approve voids/credits biometrically. This, in turn, eliminates password abuse and provides clear auditability of transactions.

“Moreover, the Match-on-Card solution is the end result of what should become a far more detailed customer take-on process. Organisations can leverage technologies provided by BTG to ensure an accurate and verified documentation and identity collation before issuing the card in the first place. This effectively introduces a two factor verification process for the financial services provider, ensuring that the person sitting in front of them applying for some form of finance is actually the person represented through the documents that they are presenting.”

“Furthermore, re-verification takes place at each transaction point by re-confirming the identity of the card holder before commencing with the transaction, ultimately putting processes in place which we expect will massively reduce card based fraud,” Perkins concludes.


Be Smart about training with Samsung

By admin, 24 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Exclusive coaching app

Samsung Electronics South Africa, in conjunction with Smart Trainer, today announced the local availability of the Samsung Smart Trainer app, exclusive to Samsung premium smartphone devices. This application provides access to people of all ages with in-depth, interactive sports training, at no cost – directly from professional South African athletes.

“Whether you are a scholar, are part of a sports club, or just want to get in shape, the Smart Trainer application gives you all the material you need in the palm of your hand,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa. “Through this app the mobile device now becomes a personal trainer, underpinned by the expertise of South Africa’s leading sports stars – perfect for every consumer’s fitness and training needs.”

The app can be downloaded via the Google Play Store or Samsung Apps store, where the user will need to register and create a profile. Following this, consumers are then able to browse through a list of sports, coaches, courses, and videos to select the one that best suits their interests – with the opportunity to start their training programme immediately.

The sports available via the Smart Trainer app includes disciplines such as Cricket, Angling, Fitness Workouts, Tennis, Swimming, Soccer, Rugby, Netball, Hockey and Golf.

The sports tuition is provided by true sporting professionals who have competed on an international level and are respected in their field, given their knowledge in their respective sport disciplines, and as a result provide a credible platform for people of all ages to learn key skills pertinent to the respective sports. Each of the sports have a variety of training videos available – giving players unique insights into improving their game and providing them with real-time, invaluable tuition in these areas.

The service currently boasts numerous well-known South African heroes including; Mark Fish, Ernie Els, Victor Matfield, Albie Morkel, and Chiliboy Ralepele to name a few, and will look to include other celebrity sports stars in time to come – to ensure that Samsung continues to bring the latest and greatest sports stars to the South African consumer, via their smart mobile devices.

“The Smart Trainer is another example of how we are providing consumers with innovative solutions that not only provide a smarter lifestyle offering but that enhance the experience they have with their mobile devices. In addition, while providing them with the training they need to improve their skills, the app also helps consumers live healthy and balanced lifestyles no matter where they are,” concludes Fleischer.


Frost and Sullivan identifies the mega trends that will shape the future of the South African economy

By admin, 24 sierpnia, 2013, No Comment

Audacious predictions and strategic plans unveiled at GIL 2013: Africa

The Frost & Sullivan Growth Innovation Leadership (GIL 2013: Africa) event took place on 15 August at the Table Bay hotel in Cape Town. Over 200 CEOs and their executive teams gathered to share best practises and discuss the latest predictions for various industry sectors up to the year 2030.

Frost & Sullivan Chairman, David Frigstad, led the day’s proceedings by emphasising the importance of innovation in developing a competitive edge and driving long term revenue growth. Dorman Followwill, Partner for Frost & Sullivan, then went on to present the Mega Trends of the Mind, Body and Soul, drawing attention to the fact that business is driven primarily by human needs. “These core drivers of human behaviour influence the way in which we do business,” said Followwill. “They determine spending decisions, inform government policies, and also drive important family and personal choices.”

Dr Ismael Lagardien of the National Planning Commission Secretariat for South Africa supported Followwill’s message by stating that, as citizens, we need to be actively involved in our own personal development and that of the nation. “Change begins at home, in schools, and with government,” stated Lagardien. “We need to hold one another accountable for performance. In order to move forward and grow our economy, it is crucial for government to support the collaboration between businesses and public sector, as well as collaboration between different spheres of government.” The National Development Plan (NDP 2030) is now entering the implementation phase, with each national department drawing up a 5 year plan to support its actualisation.

Other highlights of the event included the rapid-fire 360 degree insight session on predictions across the energy and power, information and communication technologies, infrastructure, and public sector industries to 2030. Hendrik Malan, Operations Director for Frost & Sullivan Africa, opened the session by indicating that Africa has just experienced its best growth decade on record and that there is tremendous scope for growth. “The continent has moved from an aid-dependant, extractive based economy; to one with the highest Rate of Return (ROR) on investment in the world,” he said. Africa’s growth rate has outpaced that of the global GDP growth average by more than 2% since the turn of the millennium.”

Based on current Frost & Sullivan analysis, it was also shown that only 5 percent of households across Africa have access to internet. In Nigeria, oil accounts for 95 percent of export earnings and that gas will be the feedstock of choice across the continent by as early as 2020. In sub-Saharan Africa, trade is expected to increase to 1,175Mt by 2030, and the Mauritius Freeport offers enormous potential with a 2.5 percent growth rate and a connection to more than 400 million consumers in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Gert Schoonbee, Managing Director of T-Systems South Africa, also delivered an insightful presentation on how “To Achieve: Zero Distance” to your employees, to your customers and within your society.

The Mega Trends Think Tank workshop session stimulated participants to envisage what the world will look like, along with key issues that will be the form the focus of debate, in 2020. The oil and gas track predicted rapidly increased access to energy resources for all Africans, as well as a radical reduction in poverty.

David Frigstad then presented Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu with the Growth Innovation Leadership award for Visionary Innovation in Global Economic Development. He accepted the award with grace, while recognising the achievements in setting South Africa on a new course, in what was really a glorious struggle for good. “What we proved is that people have the power to overcome their most pernicious problems when they work together to achieve their goals,” he said.

“We have the power to settle the Israel-Palestine crisis; we have the power to ensure that poor people in the south are not left out (again) in the new north-led race for minerals and energy resources; we have the power to slow down global warming and prevent the destruction of our earth.”

Birgitta Cederstrom, Frost & Sullivan’s Director for Growth Innovation & Leadership in Africa, presented South African entrepreneur, Ludwick Marishane, with the Growth Innovation Leadership Award for his invention DryBath™; a proprietary blend of a biocide, bioflavonoids, and moisturisers yielding one’s ability to bathe without water. DryBath™ aims to save the lives of millions of people globally affected by preventable diseases caused by poor hygiene and sanitation.

The GIL programme is proud to be a part of the changing corporate and industrial scape of Africa, bringing together best thought leaders from across all industries and regions for what has been a truly learning experience.

To secure a booking at the next GIL: Africa event, and to learn more about Frost & Sullivan’s growth strategies, please contact Samantha James at Visit for more information on Frost & Sullivan’s Global Community of Growth, Innovation and Leadership.

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