Archive for Marzec, 2014

TEAMtalk media scores with launch of sports journalism academy

By admin, 26 marca, 2014, No Comment

TEAMtalk media, the sports content and syndication division of the Ole! Media Group (OMG), has launched a Sports Journalism Academy in collaboration with the Western Cape Government. From April, the company will train interns interested in sport and digital media, in the art of capturing sport related data, interpreting it and using it across digital platforms to enhance content.

The initial recruits will be based in OMG’s Cape Town head office and will undergo a six-month long programme that may even result in the youngsters being employed by the rapidly expanding digital media organisation.

“While the world of sport is in itself of growing interest to our audiences around the world, it is the data and statistics that support the disciplines that are garnering their own loyal following” commented OMG’s marketing director, Deseré Orrill. “Online content changes quickly and consumers relish being kept up to date with what is happening in their favourite sports. The high demand for apps that focus on this is evidence of the trend.”

Although the fascination with numbers is growing, it is the skills to log and interpret the information that require support. OMG has identified this need but has also recognised it is an ideal opportunity to pass on skills through the training and development of youth who are already digitally savvy but need some additional refinement.

“DEDAT are delighted to have been a part of the placement of young interns at a thriving media company like TEAMtalk media. We are confident that they will learn and grow during the six months, and possibly be afforded a full-time position eventually. Chief mentor at TEAMtalk, Jonhenry Wilson, seems more than capable of nurturing and guiding them throughout, helping consolidate their current talents and unearthing new ones,” said Caro Werner, who is assistant director for Workforce Development at the Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

TEAMtalk media’s collaboration with the Western Cape Government’s Work and Skills Programme affords the company the chance to ‘pay it forward’, per se, imparting its substantial knowledge of the world of sports content development and syndication to learners who otherwise would not be exposed to such a dynamic environment.

National small business chamber boosts productivity with Microsoft

By admin, 26 marca, 2014, No Comment

The NSBC has reduced operational risk and improved productivity with Microsoft’s cloud based Office 365 Enterprise E3 solution.

Few structures appreciate the importance of entrepreneurship more keenly than the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC). Founded by Chief Executive Officer, Mike Anderson, this organisation is focused on promoting the interests of SMEs in South Africa.

With over fifty thousand clients nationally, the NSBC is the largest South African forum available to local business owners. Offering free and paid memberships that are accompanied by direct operational support, networking opportunities and annual publications, this group aims to equip emerging entities with the resources required to survive and thrive.

Naturally, swift and effective communication is essential to the NSBC’s continued success as a supportive platform.

This demands access to reliable technology services. As such, the group relies heavily on technologies such as email, telephone, file sharing and instant messaging to interact with its members, partners and providers on a daily basis.

In 2012, the NSBC began to encounter several obstacles within its technical infrastructure.

Consistent email services had become unpredictable due to an ageing on premise solution. Furthermore, the absence of a certified archiving tool required staff members to manually back up formal communication and important documents.

As a recognised business partner, the NSBC turned to Microsoft South Africa for assistance.

Shortly thereafter technology solutions provider, Forrest Technologies, moved the NSBC’s corporate infrastructure over to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3 – an off premise business platform that gives users access to Microsoft’s full Office suite and a consistent experience on both desk based and mobile devices.

To date the NSBC has enjoyed several benefits as a result of migrating its legacy on premise business tools to Microsoft Office 365 Enterprise E3.

According to Twané Gouws, Head of National Sales and Operations at the National Small Business Chamber, the platform has revolutionised the way this entity communicates on a daily basis.

“With Microsoft Office 365 everything is in the cloud, which is great. We now have unlimited email storage space – which was a constant internal challenge at the NSBC, the solution automatically backs up our information to a remote location and we also have access to eDiscovery tools – which certainly helps from a legal compliance perspective”.

“We currently have over fifty thousand members. As a result, the NSBC simply cannot be without email capacity for even an hour. Microsoft and Forrest Technologies have ensured that we are no longer at risk in this regard”.

Survey finds enterprises across EMEA increasing investment in business applications

By admin, 26 marca, 2014, No Comment
  • Riverbed and Loudhouse survey of 1,000 IT decision makers finds that while strategic IT implementations often fail to reach their potential, ‘Transformer’ companies are getting it right –with twice the success rate
  • Transformers  recognise the importance of a high-performance network and application infrastructure to maximise the impact of applications and technology investments

According to new research, only one in four companies (25%) in EMEA meet the definition of a ‘Transformer’ – a company that describes its use of IT infrastructure to drive “innovation excellence”. The success of Transformer companies is supported by a number of metrics. For example:

  • 70% of Transformers expect return on investment (ROI) on all or most new technology investments within two to three years compared to 57% of non‐Transformers.
  • 61% of new IT applications or services introduced in the last 12 months are described as a complete success for Transformers compared to 52% for non‐Transformers.
  • 29% of Transformers see more than three-quarters of projects as a success compared to 16% of non‐Transformers.
  • Transformers are more likely to have reviewed various aspects of their network or application infrastructure. 77% of Transformers have already completed or are currently implementing a data centre consolidation or optimisation project versus 49% of non-Transformers.

These findings come from a survey of more than 1,000 IT decision makers at companies in multiple vertical sectors and across 10 regions in EMEA – UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Benelux, Russia, Middle East, and South Africa. The survey was commissioned by Riverbed Technology and conducted by Loudhouse, an independent research company, in2013, with the goal of better understanding how effectively businesses are embracing and optimising the value of new technologies. The full report is available here: “The Transformers: How to ensure ROI on innovation investments.”

Harnessing the Power of Change Is Not Automatic

“The speed of change in enterprise technologies over the last five years has been astonishing,” said Willem Hendrickx, senior vice president sales EMEA at Riverbed. “Social media, big data, mobility, and cloud computing have disrupted existing business models. Business leaders see these new technologies as a significant opportunity to innovate, improve efficiency, and provide differentiated customer experiences in highly competitive marketplaces. The challenge, however, is to ensure that repeated adoption of the ‘next big thing’ delivers maximum benefit and optimal value to the business. That is the question this study set out to answer.”

How to Ensure the Greatest ROI on Innovation Investments: Better IT Preparation

The study found that investment in new enterprise applications and technologies has dramatically increased across EMEA in the last two years. Eighty-two percent of IT decision makers say the proportion of their overall spend dedicated to new business-critical applications has increased. On average, 25% of IT budgets are now devoted to deploying new technologies or innovations, in particular cloud computing (59%), social media (45%) and mobile application development (44%).

The study also found, however, that whilst new applications offer the promise of improved business performance, for many organisations (44%), the new applications are failing to meet performance expectations ,at a substantial cost to the company.

The survey found that Transformers, on the other hand, are characterised not only by greater success in their major deployments of enterprise applications, but also through better preparation to ensure success, particularly of their IT infrastructure and aspects of its performance.

“The study identified a significant minority – Transformers – who are utilising technology effectively and transforming their investments into high business performance,” explained Willem Hendrickx. “Transformers recognise the importance of a high-performance network and application infrastructure to maximise the impact of applications and technology investments. These model companies are enjoying greater productivity across the business, and they also expect ROI to be realised in a shorter timescale.”

What Separates Transformers from Non-Transformers?

Transformers believe in the transformative power of technology: they are more likely to consider technology to be a driver of innovation (66%) than non‐Transformers (40%) and are more likely to have increased investment in business‐critical applications in the last two years (88%) compared to non‐Transformers (78%).

Transformers also understand that only if technology is optimised for today’s globally networked IT environment, can it fully deliver on its promises. For example, Transformers are more likely to have reviewed various aspects of network provisioning in the last 12 months including data centre (48% compared to 38%), hosting / outsourcing network management (51% compared to 38%), capacity (52% compared to 44%), and storage (56% compared to 47%). Transformers are also more likely to have already completed (36%) or be currently implementing a data centre consolidation or optimisation project (41%) – compared to (15% and 34% for non‐Transformers, respectively).

Notes to editors

1,012 interviews were conducted with IT decision makers in companies with over 1,000 employees, across ten key regions within EMEA – UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Benelux, Russia, Middle East and South Africa – and within multiple vertical sectors.

The Riverbed Transformers Report is available on request. Regional data sheets with further breakdown of the highlight statistics are also available upon request.

IT collaboration – not an if, but a when

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

A sharp uptick in BYOD, video and cloud as a delivery model has local IT decision makers scrambling to regain control. Is collaboration the answer?

The South African IT environment is changing rapidly. What was once a sector dominated by technical jargon and shrouded methodologies open only to system administrators and software engineers is now placing the user firmly in the spotlight. Complex frameworks are now being replaced by simpler systems that empower employees more swiftly and easily.

This is the embodiment of IT consumerisation.

Although this is a fairly recent phenomenon, the shifting technical tides have already begun to gather around what is perhaps the most critical business component of them all – communication. A sudden increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), mobile and cloud expectations has facilitated the development of countless employee friendly solutions aimed at connecting the dots.

According to a recent Gartner survey, CIOs believe 38 percent of their workforce will soon be using personal devices at work. Further to this, The Economist recently revealed that 75% of business leaders believe in-person collaboration is critical to business success and has the potential to increase productivity by over 20%.
The systems designed to achieve this certainly exist. To date Apple has sold over 400 million iOS devices while, at last count, there were an estimated 1.3 million Android activations taking place on a daily basis.
In response, IT departments are beginning to find it increasingly difficult to manage and maneuver these offerings. Designed with the user in mind, precious few systems interact well with each other in the backend. This is where collaboration comes into play.

Developed to offer more seamless communication platforms to both users and system administrators, collaborative solutions have emerged in response to a sharp uptick in BYOD, pervasive video and cloud as a delivery model.

Opting for a unified collaborative communication system offers several benefits.

Chiefly, these services simplify and converge technologies by implementing a unified architecture that optimises the delivery of data, voice and video communications while reducing IT cost and complexity.

The mitigation of business risk is also a significant motivator, particularly at a senior executive level. By providing security and compliance capabilities that meet the highest standards converged systems offer interoperability that protects current investments while providing a migration path to new technologies.

Cost management and added flexibility are key components of these offerings. By providing a choice of deployment options that meet the specific business needs and budget of the organisation while preserving a consistent end-user experience, collaborative communication platforms are able to reduce unnecessary expenditure.

Finally, collaborative solutions hold the potential to expand internal offerings beyond the desktop by combining mobility with superior visual interaction across a variety of devices and applications.

Employee focused business technology is no longer a forecast – it is taking place before our eyes, irrevocably changing the internal IT environment as it empowers internal staff with the platforms they want to use – rather than those that they have to use.

The road forward for South African IT administrators and technical decision makers is clear – permit the uncontrolled influx of these platforms and suffer the consequences or take control and mitigate risk by incorporating collaborative platforms. The choice is yours.

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Managing BYOD expectations – it’s not impossible

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Managing BYOD within the business is simpler than it may seem. The answer lies in collaboration.

Bring Your Own Device. A decade ago this term would have seemed completely foreign to the average IT technician, system administrator or CIO. It is the advent of ubiquitously connected smart devices, arguably sparked by the introduction of Apple’s iPhone and later the Android mobile operating system that has driven the workforce to demand the use of their preferred technologies within the corporate environment.

This is a trend that, instead of dissipating like many before it, is beginning to gain increasing traction – particularly in developing markets where smartphones, tablets and new age laptops are finding eager adopters in the millions. According to research firm Gartner, the rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace.

It makes sense. Using a mobile phone or laptop that is familiar and comfortable can lead to improved productivity. Nearly two-thirds of employees currently use personal devices for work purposes, according to the Corporate Executive Board, while more than 80 percent of working adults in the United States work seven extra hours per week outside the office.

Restrictive devices or software limits potential. Modern knowledge workers simply expect access to the platforms of their choosing. Do prescribe otherwise is a surefire way to encourage dissatisfaction and poor staff retention in the long term.

For all the positives associated with BYOD efforts, there are other considerations to be taken into account. Is it possible to centrally manage thousands of dissimilar devices each with their own software instances and service packs? How can BYOD friendly applications fall in line with broader organisational strategies?

These are the questions most commonly asked by those responsible for guiding maintaining corporate IT systems. BYOD, at its most fundamental level, is at odds with traditionally risk averse technical strategies. Compatibility between the two can often appear difficult, if not impossible to achieve.

This is where a collaborative approach comes into play. By introducing unified collaboration architecture it is possible to empower employees while centrally managing and overseeing the platforms and systems they use to work together and communicate.

Furthermore, these offerings provide employees with a seamless experience across all devices and applications – negating the need for multiple systems or offerings. By giving workers access to a unified and common platform it is not only possible to encourage uptake, but also to improve productivity by providing more opportunities to collaborate.

Finally, and perhaps most significantly for those who are more technically inclined, a collaborative approach improves organisational security while lowering IT capital costs. Maintaining a single overview of communication systems despite multiple device usage reduces the risk of loss of control.

In many ways, collaboration is the best option when seeking out an efficient and price friendly approach to managing BYOD expectations within the business. The expectation is here to stay – how are you responding to it?

Win an Apple iPad Air by completing the Business Connexion Mobility Survey, click here

Key issues facing the supply chain industry

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Key Issues Facing the Supply Chain Industry to Be Discussed at the Gartner Supply Chain Executive Conference 2014, 10-11 September in London

The future explosion in the number of intelligent devices will create a network rich with information that allows supply chains to assemble and communicate in new ways. Gartner, Inc. forecasts that a 30-fold increase in internet-connected physical devices by 2020 will significantly alter supply chain leader information access and cyber-risk exposure.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to reach 26 billion installed units by 2020, up from 0.9 billion just five years ago, and will impact the information available to supply chain leaders and how the supply chain operates, depending on industry.

“It’s important to put IoT maturity into perspective, because of the fast pace at which it is emerging, so supply chain strategists need to be looking at its potential now,” said Michael Burkett, managing vice president at Gartner. “Some IoT devices are more mature, such as commercial telematics now used in trucking fleets to improve logistics efficiency. Some, such as smart fabrics that use sensors within clothing and industrial fabrics to monitor human health or manufacturing processes, are just emerging.”

As these capabilities become mainstream they will allow modern supply chains to deliver more differentiated service to customers more efficiently. This will happen when many more physical assets than today are communicating their state to a networked ecosystem that then formulates an intelligent response.

Gartner said that a double-digit increase in digital marketing investment will provide supply chain leaders with deeper market insight, as well as fulfilment challenges in industries where more granular market segments are targeted.

Digital marketing budgets are expected to continue to increase in 2014. A rapid move to digital marketing has direct implications for the supply chain, particularly for consumer product industries with rapid cycles of go-to-market and promotional activity. B2B industries adopting digital channels to reach customers will also be affected.

Marketers are segmenting audiences, understanding what they want and then building customer experiences around their commerce sites. There will be increased fragmentation of demand as digital marketing targets finer market segments in search of differentiating value propositions to end users, customers and consumers.

Using digital channels for product launches, seasonal promotions and other initiatives, marketers are conducting campaigns and communications across multiple channels, and adjusting promotions depending on results.

“Supply chain leaders must design their processes to operate in this digital business world,” said Mr Burkett. “This includes fulfilling the new expectations of customers and the volatile demands that digital marketing will create. A future supply chain will meet those expectations by converging people, business and things in a digital value network, and incorporating fast-emerging capabilities such as IoT and smart machines into this design strategy.”

The supply chain team can use digital marketing customer information to refine its own segmentation efforts and to enhance demand planning. In this way, the team becomes market-driven itself, by understanding channel programmes and using this as an early indicator of demand.

Digital business will also disrupt the design and manufacturing of products during the next five years. First will be the use of digital product models for use in 3D printing (3DP) and for simulating hybrid digital-physical software-embedded products. The promise of 3DP is to achieve supply chain bliss by postponing a product’s manufacture to the latest point in the supply chain. If 3DP delivers on this promise, it would disrupt entire supply chains by responding only to actual demand, thus eliminating excess inventory and plant capacity.

Shipments of 3D printers are growing rapidly as these technologies emerge to find their right fit in manufacturing and the extended supply chain. However, supply chain strategists should recognize that 3DP is still in its very early stages and is currently applicable to only select materials and manufacturing process technologies.

The second disruption will be the process of designing embedded software into physical products so they participate in an intelligent network to add value to a digital business.

“As the number of software-embedded digital-physical products grows, the methods of product development and life cycle management across the supply chain will change,” said Mr Burkett. “Supply chain teams will have to take ownership for coordinating the delivery of quality-perfect orders of these digital-physical products. This extends beyond developing and ensuring quality of a single device to managing the larger complexity of these connected systems.”

More detailed analysis is available in the report “Digital Marketing, Internet of Things and 3D Printing Are Digital-Business-Driven Disruptions for Supply Chains.” The report is available on Gartner’s web site at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2680415.

Gartner highlights the four key attributes of customer engagement

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Analysts to Discuss Trends in Customer Relationship Management at the Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2014, 28-29 April, in London 

Engaged customers are usually better advocates of the brand and are more loyal and more profitable, according to research by Gartner, Inc. Gartner has identified four underlying attributes that can help customer relationship management (CRM) leaders to improve their level of customer engagement.

“All organisations in the private and public sector connect with customers, most often through the work of the marketing, sales and customer service departments,” said Michael Maoz, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “However, in most cases, these organisations are not actually engaging with the customer, and instead they have been disengaging for a decade in order to lower costs. Furthermore, relatively few have an enterprise-wide approach to engaging with customers.”

Customer engagement needs to be rooted in a wider cross-enterprise reconsideration of engagement, involving how employees, partners and customers engage. Measuring the level of engagement itself is complex and requires examining the active, emotional, rational and ethical attributes that determine the organisation’s brand/values.

Increase Active Customer Engagement Through Social, Mobile and Traditional Channel Alignment

Being active requires activity, yet many organisations have been attempting to reduce the activity required to engage with customers to lower their costs. An actively engaged customer is more willing to participate with the organisation through multiple different channels, ranging from online self-service tools or a mobile application to community participation or user group involvement. They are more willing to provide feedback when asked, make best use of the products or services on offer, and make suggestions on how to improve them. From the organisation’s perspective, active engagement requires changes to people, process and technology.

Processes can be modified to make them more flexible, timely, reliable, thorough, accessible and personal, while technology can be introduced to encourage participation in such forums as ideation platforms, peer-to-peer support communities and better user experiences. Each is important to improve active customer engagement.

Build Emotional Customer Engagement Through Transparency and Trust

Emotional engagement is built up from multiple factors and is often a more powerful influence than rational/physical elements in how a customer engages with an organisation. The emotions associated with owning a product or using a service and with the interactions customers have with the organisation are of key importance. However, recognising an emotion and measuring and modifying an emotion in a systematic manner are extremely difficult.

Customer satisfaction surveys have been used for decades in an attempt to detect and quantify emotions related to happiness and unhappiness. It is clear that those customers who are emotionally engaged are more likely to complain less, compliment more, buy more and contribute more than those who are not.

Another key factor is how organisations use, or more likely misuse, customer data. By respecting customers’ privacy rather than bombarding them with semi-personalised campaigns, organisations can elevate trust and engagement. Allowing customers to access the personal data held and giving them the ability to set controls on what data can be used puts them in a position of control and makes them more at ease with their provider.

Target Rational Customer Engagement Through Greater Customer Participation and Knowledge Availability

Rational customer engagement is the involvement of a customer in accumulating lessons on a product or service and conducting additional fact-finding and research. The customer will decide what level of further relationship investment is warranted based on this research or general knowledge of the product or service and will then develop an appropriate depth and understanding of the product or service and the vendor. Their level of engagement will therefore be linked to rational elements associated with the product or service such as value, quality, detail and innovation. This elevated level of knowledge may then manifest itself in additional activities such as participation in a self-service community or engaging in co-creation or a customer panel.

Gain Ethical Customer Engagement Through Demonstrated Commitment to Fairness With Employees, Partners, Customers and Community

Ethical engagement explores the deepest values and meanings by which people live. These aspects of life and human experience go beyond a purely materialistic view of the world. The organisation has a published framework that discusses how it views its responsibilities to employees, partners, customers, suppliers, the community and the world.

In the past, ethical engagement has been somewhat optional. If you are not ethical in your actions but you don’t get caught, then no harm would have been done. The problem now is that with two billion Facebook users and seven billion mobile phone users across the world, organisations can no longer hide their ethical misdemeanours. In tandem, society as a whole is becoming more ethically aware and supportive of ethical principles and standards. Ethical engagement is, therefore, a growing consideration within many industries.

More detailed analysis is available in the report “The Four Attributes of Customer Engagement.” The report is available on Gartner’s web site at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2599818.

This report is part of a larger Gartner research collection on customer engagement “Adopt Customer Engagement Strategies to Drive Growth.” This research spotlight can be viewed at http://www.gartner.com/doc/2663123 and contains links to reports focusing on the people, process and technology considerations that organisations will need to invest in for successful customer engagement.

Gartner analysts will share additional information on the importance of customer engagement at the Gartner Customer Strategies & Technologies Summit 2014, 28-29 April, in London.

Additional details on the London Summit are available at http://www.gartner.com/technology/summits/emea/crm/. Members of the media can register for this event by contacting Laurence Goasduff at laurence.goasduff@gartner.com.

Information from these Summits will be shared on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Gartner_inc using #GartnerCRM.

 

Job specific training a key factor in staff loyalty and retention

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Employee engagement has become an increasingly important part of a company’s retention strategy, with research suggesting that training programmes in particular play a huge role in motivating staff and increasing employer loyalty.

According to a global survey conducted by the SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) on Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement, 86% of employees believe that job-specific training is important in the workplace.

Martin Naude, CTO at Entelect, says job-specific skills training is one of the most important investments a company can make in its workforce. “Further training employees in their core functions and specialised focus areas will have the dual benefit of keeping a company ahead of the rapidly changing industry whilst also empowering employees with insights and knowledge of products, technologies and software skills that help build their confidence and increase morale.”

“It is particularly vital for companies operating in the corporate environment to have the highest quality skilled employees, especially when it comes to the fields within the technology space. Employees who are competent and on top of changing industry standards help companies hold on to a position as a leader and strong competitor within their industry,” says Naude.

The importance of opportunities to use skills and abilities at work saw a 95% rating among employees surveyed in the SHRM survey, showing that employees want more time to develop themselves. “Introducing projects that allow employees to develop their own skillset not only increases the satisfaction of the employee but can also lead to ideas and/or products for the company itself,” adds Naude.

For example, Google’s 20% other project policy, where employees spend 20% of their work time working on projects not related to their jobs, resulted in the launch of G-mail and AdSense.

“We recently found that by introducing a similar concept, we added a new dynamic to employees’ daily working hours and an interest to engage with other employees more frequently. We also introduced a rewards program to work alongside the innovation programme that recognises the top innovative products and/or services developed by employees,” says Martin.

He notes that while some businesses don’t offer training due to the additional expense and concerns that it may not offer the value being promised, it is important to strike a balance between using internal resources and outside trainers, the cost can be significantly reduced whilst still providing added value.

“It is important to remember that by investing both time and money in training, employees feel more valued by their employers which in turn increases the retention rate of staff and facilitates business growth,” concludes Naude.

Coolcumba recognised as Level One B-BBEE contributor

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Employment Share Ownership Plan provides employees with 30% ownership

Coolcumba Communications is among the first South African organisations to adopt the new broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice. By instituting a 30% black women-owned Employment Share Ownership Plan (ESOP), a priority element in the new codes, the company has fully embraced the ownership requirements of the codes and has thus been recognised as a B-BBEE Level One contributor.

A full-service marketing agency that has been in operation for close to 14 years, Coolcumba has always been committed to empowerment and supporting entrepreneurial growth. It is this focus that has led to the organic growth that has seen the development of offices in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Keith Orffer from Lanham-Love Consulting, points out that by following the ESOP route, Coolcumba is allowing employees to genuinely participate in the future growth of the company.

“By fully embracing the ownership requirements laid out in the new codes, the company’s value to its suppliers becomes enormous. Its procurement recognition is very high thanks to this approach, which means that Coolcumba can provide an even greater range of benefits to its clients,” he says.

Owner Debbie Whittaker adds that her business is committed to empowerment and to doing what is best for its clients. The company’s Level One ranking will not only provide a boost for the business but, she suggests, will assist it in venturing into new markets as well.

“Coolcumba prides itself on being flexible, proactive and passionate about what we do. Becoming an early adopter of the new codes certainly makes us more competitive in the marketplace, and the fact that many of our clients have been expressing the desire to be more compliant means that we can now deliver what they require in this regard,” she says.

Coolcumba Communications offers clients a range of unique, end-to-end marketing solutions. The company adopts an integrated approach where it combines traditional channels with modern, technology-driven communications. Its marketing services include, but are not limited to: event and project management, exhibition stands and displays, strategic consulting, brand activation, PR and content management, print and online advertising, website design and development, branding and signage, promotional clothing and merchandise. For more information, visit www.coolcumba.com

Want to sell more? Consider the cloud and do it quickly

By admin, 25 marca, 2014, No Comment

Quinton Pienaar, CEO, Agilitude, South Africa’s first Salesforce.com reseller outlines why sales teams can potentially fail if they don’t consider better use of the cloud. Selling isn’t just about talking any more. Today, thanks to technology and its rapid and continual development, sales teams need more than just air in their lungs and a gift of the gab. It is here that technology becomes an enabler of selling success. Consider these four steps why you need to upgrade your technology and head straight for the cloud:

The dreaded pipeline

There are a number of reasons why a viable pipeline is a consistent sales challenge, but one definite issue is the lack of a lead briefing process. It is either that the lead is poor, all leads are treated the same, the sales person is speaking to the wrong person or the data is incorrect. This results in a significant waste of time and effort, in fact a market research study estimated that as much as 79% of all marketing leads are not pursued, which is a staggering statistic.

Sales representatives or admin slaves?

68% of sales representatives spend more time doing administration than actually selling. Very often these people are using an excel spreadsheet or ERP solution as a selling system. While this may seem ok, it does immediately tell us that these sales teams will find it difficult to report or to analyse the information, nor will they have mobile access. This result in more time spent on admin tasks and less time selling.

Underperforming or badly trained?

Because there is no defined process to follow, the quality of work is impacted negatively. There are no predefined standards or procedures, which leaves the sales team in the hands of whomever is nominated to train them. Process automation is required to ensure the team knows what to sell, when and at what price. Those teams that have used a bespoke selling system have reported a 72% increase in sales as a result.

Blinkered insight

Accurate reporting from a sales perspective is not just about tracking performance; it is also about analysing the data and using it to forecast, predict trends, provide input in terms of growing the pipeline, increase productivity and gain full insight into the sales process.

So how do you resolve the above issues? By embracing cloud technology and using a cloud sales tool. In this way you eliminate so many technology and administration headaches because you’re not managing hardware and software—that’s the responsibility of an experienced vendor like salesforce.com. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: you only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy. Cloud-based apps such as Salesforce.com can be up and running in days or weeks, and they cost less.

 

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