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Interactive Intelligence reports cloud seat growth of 67 percent

By admin, 22 maja, 2014, No Comment

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., a global provider of software and services designed to improve the customer experience, has reported a 67 percent compound annual growth rate (2010-2013) of its Communications as a Service offering, topping 20,000 seats.

Interactive Intelligence CaaS℠ is a set of cloud-based contact center, unified communications and business process automation services for organisations of all sizes. Based on the Interactive Intelligence all-in-one IP communications software suite, it offers easy integration to existing systems, and migration to an on-premises solution at any time without the need to rewrite applications.

“It’s been fascinating to watch the drivers of our cloud growth change over the last few years,” said Dr. Donald E. Brown, Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO. “In 2010, most of our customers were citing lower up-front capital requirements as the main reason they opted for a move to the cloud. Today, many more are primarily choosing the cloud because of the added flexibility it gives their business.”

In 2013, Interactive Intelligence saw cloud-based orders increase 87 percent compared to the previous year. Cloud-based orders last year were 50 percent of total order dollar volume, up from 35 percent the previous year.

Interactive Intelligence designed its CaaS offering to adhere to the most stringent security and compliance requirements. Industry certifications at the corporate level include SOX, ISO 9001, ISO/IEC 27001, and JITC. Certifications at the cloud services and data center levels include PCI DSS, SSAE-16, customer data isolation, and proactive monitoring.

“Our extensive certifications and a unique deployment option that lets customers keep their data within their network guarantee maximum security,” Brown said. “We also have a network operations center with 24/7 monitoring, and 11 global data centers that give companies regionally provisioned services wherever they are.”

Interactive Intelligence CaaS℠ offers contact centers functionality for multichannel routing and queuing, interactive voice response, workforce optimisation, strategic planning, outbound dialing, CRM integration, supervisory monitoring, multichannel recording, reporting, and more. Business user functionality includes IP-PBX, unified messaging, auto-attendant, desktop call control, presence management, and conferencing. Interactive Intelligence CaaS℠ also offers business process automation capabilities for the contact center and enterprise.

Interactive Intelligence has ambitious plans to continue pushing the limits of the cloud, according to Brown. “Back in 2009 when we re-architected our cloud solution we listened carefully to what customers wanted,” he said. “As a result, we’ve had a laser focus on breadth of functionality, security, reliability and flexibility. Now, we’re turning our sights further into the future with a totally new approach to the cloud that adds unprecedented scalability, and both speed and ease of deployment.”

To learn more about Interactive Intelligence CaaS℠, visit www.caas.com.

Will software defined storage impact data protection/management?

By admin, 22 maja, 2014, No Comment

By Bryan Balfe, Channel Manager at CommVault in South Africa

‘Software Defined Storage’ is the new buzz phrase in the cloud world and as usual, vendor after vendor is jumping on it. In the case of storage, you have ‘system’ vendors on one side looking to defend their proprietary stance whilst newer, software-only companies look to turn storage hardware into a commodity. For those with an interest in data management, it begs the question ‘will Software Defined Storage replace data management?’

Before we can decide that, we need to get a definition of Software Defined Storage (SDS) itself and because it’s a new field that’s currently more of a direction than actual product, that’s where it gets tricky. Analysts such as Gartner and IDC have their definitions and vendors with an interest in this space have theirs, each coming from a different direction. For the most part, it’s defined as automation that can set the appropriate storage volume size, performance, redundancy and access required by workloads or applications based on policy.

The bottom line is it enables data mobility to match the virtual server technology using it. It may even define some levels of protection such as replication and snapshots and can blur into wider orchestration because it still relies on networks and servers to work – doing all three add up to defining much of datacentre with software – a panacea for many organisations which have invested heavily in cloud technologies.

The next challenge is defining Data Management and where it overlaps with the ambitions of SDS. Some hardware vendors would have you believe that snapshots and replication are as far as you need to go and while these companies have some very capable (and important) tools in this space, snapshots and replication clearly don’t answer the challenges of data growth, long term retention, access and compliance. The current thrust of SDS development is following this same path so in the future it may be possible for SDS technology and commodity storage to offer similar functions to proprietary setups, but at lower cost of course. This presents the market with more choice and will ultimately help to lower platform costs.

We can safely say that, at least in the early days of the technology, the real overlap between SDS and data management will be firmly in the traditional hardware vendor space in most cases and additionally where virtualisation typically plays with the storage and protection mechanisms too. However, handing snapshot control to a data management software layer at the point that snapshots are created has a huge number of benefits, just one of which is an element of custody.

What does the issue of custody of the data mean? Custody normally refers to the owner or manager of the data in personnel or departmental terms. Here, I’m referring to data management software and have specifically used the word custody because it alludes to knowledge of the original context of the data (what it is, its value etc.) and what happens to it down the line such as where it goes and the security at rest and in transit. For example, knowing a snapshot of a virtual server contains an Exchange email store means you can process it in a specific way that streamlines tasks such as indexing and deduplication and also allows for one-stage granular restore. This last point is important as many storage admins are left to recover whole volumes to scratch disk before manually sieving and plucking out the required mail or attachment if the data no longer resides on a disk snapshot.

There are also other functions that can be carried out from snapshot copies, such as archiving. Most people associate this as a function acted on by the primary system via an agent but there are a number of advantages of doing it in the protection tier instead; avoiding disk intensive and lengthy file scans on the primary storage being just one of them.

What happens after the snapshot is important and while no one in the SDS world is suggesting that SDS technology will go much beyond that currently, data management processes that are initiated after the snap will always have a disadvantage over data management software that looks after snapshot initiation as well.

So is control of the snapshot the battleground between SDS and Data Management software? It could be in many cases but it need not be in all cases. When you analyse what’s actually going on, there are a number of distinct functions taking place that have a natural division of labour. Most of the snapshot engines today create only ‘crash consistent’ snapshots, whereas data management software combined with the same engine can manage application data to guarantee its integrity and ultimately its recoverability, as well as add value with functions like indexing.

There is no doubt that Software Defined Storage will have a growing impact on primary storage flexibility and some first line protection processes, which will worry many array vendors. The benefit of orchestrating an abstracted heterogeneous pool of storage in an automated fashion, based on rules with one foot in the business, is an attractive one. The fact is that it’s not a reality yet and many companies with big budgets are working to actively hinder its progress, or at least keep you locked in to their flavour of it.

The orchestration goals of SDS may still be some way off but the control of heterogeneous storage snap engines and automation based on classes of service and workloads is already here. Combining that level of management with the ability to maintain the context of the original data and move it through different tiers based on policy is very powerful indeed.

 

Famous Brands names Turrito Networks as its IT supplier of the year

By admin, 22 maja, 2014, No Comment

Turrito Networks, a converged communication provider under the MICROmega Group of companies, has been named as the Famous Brands IT Supplier of the Year, for its simplified network, strategic five year technology roadmap and their approach as a trusted convergence partner.

Over the last 18 months, Turrito Networks’ solution has resulted in Famous Brands achieving a 99.96% uninterrupted network (less than 6 hours total downtime out of 12,960 hours). This in comparison to previous years, where availability to a distribution centre could dropped for days at a time. Network downtime hampers the ability of Famous Brands’ distribution centres to process and distribute orders to the more than 1,880 franchises around the country.

“Congratulations to the entire Turrito Networks team on being chosen ahead of half a dozen IT vendors, to become our IT Supplier of the Year. I certainly sleep better knowing that our network is managed by their team,” said Chris Botha, Group IT Executive for Famous Brands.

Says Louis Jardim, Commercial Director for Turrito Networks, “Our success can only be measured by the results we deliver to our customers. This recognition by Famous Brands, an iconic South African company, is a testimony to our commitment to delivering a strategic, long term partnership with our customers, and tackling their IT challenges.”

Bell Labs challenges global inventors to redefine the future as it launches the Bell Labs Prize

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU), today celebrated the 50th anniversary of the discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, one of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the “Big Bang” theory of the origin of the universe. This discovery in 1964 by Bell Labs scientists Arno Penzias and Robert A. Wilson earned the researchers a Nobel Prize in Physics and provided the basis for future astronomical discoveries.

On the occasion of this celebration, Bell Labs is launching a program to expand the scope of innovation at Bell Labs, in keeping with being the world’s pre-eminent research organization in the field of information and communications networking. At the heart of this program is the introduction of the Bell Labs Prize, a competition that will give any researcher, in participating countries around the globe, the chance to introduce their ideas to the world, and collaborate with world-renowned Bell Labs researchers. The Bell Labs Prize winners will take home cash awards worth as much as $100,000, and the chance to further develop their ideas at Bell Labs, where possible. At the heart of the Prize, are some of Bell Labs core convictions that highlight its new direction and mission including:

  • The desire to collaborate with the global innovation community (both inside and outside Bell Labs)
  • Researchers and innovators need to be focused on the great challenges that will enable the future 10 years from now, that means to solve problems that require a 10x improvement (or more) in multiple dimensions
  • These solutions are at the heart of Bell Labs focus on 10x game-changing research and cross-discipline ‘FutureX’ projects that attempt to solve the big problems (many with currently unknown answers to ‘x’)

“I am excited to see the ideas that come to light through this process, and to introduce many talented young scientists and engineers into the Bell Labs community,” said Marcus Weldon, president of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent. “They will be joining some of the brightest scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the world, who continue to develop world-changing innovations.”

Today’s Big Bang Bash celebration will take place at Bell Labs facility in Holmdel, New Jersey, in the shadow of the “Horn Antenna”, which historically served NASA’s passive satellite program, Project ECHO, and was also instrumental in the Big Bang discovery. In attendance were Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, as well as notable scientists and Bell Labs President and Alcatel-Lucent CTO, Marcus Weldon.

Commenting on the celebration, Weldon said, “I think it is fitting that today, as we honor and celebrate this incredible, Nobel Prize-winning achievement by Arno and Bob, we are launching a program intended to inspire world-changing discoveries and innovations by young researchers that may one day walk in their footsteps. The Bell Labs Prize is intended to recognize innovators with the ability and vision to challenge the common assumptions, and find ways to revolutionize the way we live, work, communicate, collaborate and connect with each other and our digital world.

A game-changing mobile payment solution

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Standard Bank today announced the launch of their mobile payment app, SnapScan. This is the bank’s first mobile payment offering that allows merchants to receive payments from their customers through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN number.

According to Standard Bank’s Head of Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako, “We are excited to bring such innovative offerings to all South African businesses. We created this app together with Stellenbosch-based IT agency, FireID in 2013, and it went on to win the 2013 MTN Business’ App of the year award. After extensive beta testing, we’re ready to take this solution to market.”

The challenge that many small enterprises face is the cost of setting up a POS machine combined with interrupted or unreliable connectivity, for example a small business trading at a Saturday market. SnapScan enables small business owners who wouldn’t normally qualify as merchants, to become fully-fledged merchants. All that is required to become a merchant is for the business to register with SnapScan, print the unique QR code and any mobile phone. The business owner can now accept payments from anyone using the SnapScan application.

“SnapScan works amazingly well for formal and informal enterprises alike. We have created a solution that is as easy to install as it is to collect payments. Our business strategy at Standard Bank is to create accessible, convenient and secure solutions for businesses. SnapScan is a pioneering first,” says Mr Mpako.

The process of transacting with this app is really simple. Once the unique QR code has been scanned, purchases are made with a user-selected PIN and the business owner will receive a SMS notification from Standard Bank confirming the transaction. Merchants don’t need any high-tech devices or connectivity – all payment confirmations are delivered using the standard SMS service.

“For small businesses, this is so much more than an app; it’s a real-time retail payment solution that allows business owners safe, secure and convenient payment methods for their customers. Having SnapScan also minimises potential loss due to the lack of a POS system, essentially creating another sales stream.

“South Africa has seen a proliferation of smartphones and an increase in apps available to the consumer. There are apps for almost everything from smart diaries to smart banking. A safe and convenient cashless mobile solution was imminent and Standard Bank found it in SnapScan,” says Mr Mpako.

Collection of funds

SnapScan offers two avenues for the collection of funds. Informal businesses are able to withdraw their earnings by requesting a voucher that can be redeemed at any Spar outlet, or at a Standard Bank ATM. The business owner does not need to have a Standard Bank account to do so.

The second option is more geared towards formal businesses, where the sales are directly credited to the nominated business banking account.

Safety

The app is extremely secure which minimises card fraud. With the SMS notification service as proof of payment, the business can be sure that the payment is legitimate.

SnapScan has been successful in businesses across the country and early adopters of this solution include Motherland in Johannesburg and House of Machines in Cape Town.

How to become a merchant

  1. Visit www.getsnapscan.com
  2. Get your unique QR code
  3. Display your QR code at your point-of-sale

Standard Bank launches SnapScan – a snappy payment solution that’s as easy as one, two, three

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Standard Bank today announced the launch of mobile payment app, SnapScan. This is the bank’s first mobile payments offering that allows consumers to pay for their purchases with their smartphones through a combination of a QR code and a secure PIN number.

According to Standard Bank’s Head: Innovation and Channel Design, Vuyo Mpako, “We are excited to bring such innovative solutions to all South Africans. We created this app together with Stellenbosch-based IT agency, FireID in 2013 and it went on to win the 2013 MTN Business’ App of the year award. After extensive beta testing, we’re ready to take this to market.”

This award-winning app is now available to all consumers with a smartphone, meaning that you don’t have to be a Standard Bank customer to use SnapScan. The good news is that transactions are free to all SnapScan users.

“Looking at consumer behaviour and trends, phones are attached to people or the converse for argument’s sake. There are also apps for everything from smart diaries to smart banking. It only made sense to give consumers access to their wallets in safe and secure way on a device that basically never leaves their side,” says Mr Mpako.

The payment process is really simple. Once the app is downloaded and you have registered your details, payment is done in three easy steps; scan the merchants’ unique barcode, enter the amount due and confirm with your unique PIN number. The merchant will then receive their payment with a confirmation SMS. You literally snap, pay and go.

“Our business strategy is all around customer-centricity – to craft solutions that will empower and enrich customers, this app has been designed with the customer in mind. The app is convenient, safe and easy to use,” says Mr Mpako.

Presently, consumers can transact using the app at about 10 000 merchants across South Africa such as Motherland in Johannesburg and The house of Machines in Cape Town.

Is this the end of cash?

“There will always be a role for cash but we realised that it’s not always accessible and it’s in this realisation that SnapScan was borne. We saw an opportunity to create a secure, convenient and customer-centric application that would put the consumer in charge of their money.
Standard Bank also recognised the need to create an app that would assist South Africa in becoming a cash-free society,” says Mr Mpako.

Security
Safety and security is extremely important to Standard Bank. The app’s security features have been designed similarly to that of your day-to-day banking through the inclusion of a user-selected PIN.
The user’s card details are also saved on your phone and not backed up on an external server.

SnapScan is currently available to iOS, Android and Blackberry smartphone owners and registration is simple; download the app, register your details and your nominated Visa or MasterCard and then select a unique PIN which will be used whenever you transact.

How to download SnapScan

  1. Download SnapScan from Apple App Store, Android App Store and BlackBerry App World
  2. Register your details
  3. Register your MasterCard or Visa Card
  4. Select a PIN

How to use SnapScan 

  1. Scan the merchant’s barcode
  2. Type in the transaction amount
  3. Confirm the transaction with your unique PIN number

Ruckus launches the virtual SmartCell Gateway for Carrier-Class WLAN management in the cloud

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Industry’s first NFV WLAN Solution for Service Providers and Enterprises Requiring Faster Time-to-Market, Increased Service Agility, and a Lower TCO

Ruckus Wireless, Inc. (NYSE: RKUS) has unveiled the industry’s first carrier-class virtualised wireless LAN (WLAN) controller, the Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway (vSCG), designed to streamline the creation of highly scalable and resilient cloud-based wireless LAN (WLAN) services.

The virtual SCG is the industry’s first carrier-grade Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) solution for mobile network operators (MNOs), multiple system operators (MSOs), managed service providers (MSPs) and enterprises requiring a carrier-class solution for centralised management of WLAN services that runs in the cloud. The Ruckus vSCG supports all of the WLAN controller features of the industry-leading Ruckus SCG 200, while enabling operators to more cost-effectively build scalable and resilient WLAN cloud services.

Designed for use with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi ZoneFlex access points (APs), the Ruckus vSCG runs as a virtual application within either the KVM (Kernel-base Virtual Machine) or VMware vSphere virtualisation environments. The Ruckus vSCG is the first component in a larger Ruckus solution based on the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) NFV architecture. In addition, Ruckus Wireless plans to provide a virtualised infrastructure and services manager that handles management of Ruckus virtualised appliances. The manager will integrate support for open-source OpenStack, providing a common platform to host the Ruckus virtual appliances from a single pane of glass.

Unlike controller-less cloud alternatives that require service providers to relinquish WLAN management to third-party cloud services not under their control, the Ruckus vSCG gives organisations complete control over their cloud-based WLAN service offerings, empowering them to easily deploy a highly scalable and flexible offering supported by their own service level agreements.

Managed WLAN services represent a major revenue opportunity for MSPs as businesses of all types are looking to outsource this function. The Ruckus vSCG is well suited for this as it can run in either a dedicated or multi-tenant mode. In a dedicated mode, each managed services customer is assigned its own instance of the Ruckus vSCG running on a dedicated virtual machine (VM). In a multi-tenant mode, a number of managed services customers can share one instance of the vSCG. This makes the vSCG an even more cost-effective model for service providers by enabling them to easily and effectively roll out managed services in the way they choose, and with the ability to quickly scale when needed.

“Mobile network operators are increasingly exploring and evaluating architectures based on the principles of cloud computing and network function virtualisation,” said Sathya Atreyam, research manager, Wireless Network Infrastructure, IDC. “Carrier class wireless LAN and the associated managed services model is experiencing a transformational shift from being viewed as vertically integrated hardware and software bundled architectures to solutions that offer the flexibility of a cloud based, scalable and flexible multi-tenant deployment model.”

The Ultimate in Virtualised WLAN Management for Managed Service Providers

The Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway was designed from the beginning for carrier-class deployments. In addition to being highly scalable, reliable, and easily manageable, the Ruckus vSCG can also support value added Smart Wireless Services such as location based services and analytics like Ruckus SPoT Smart Positioning Technology and Ruckus SmartCell Insight (SCI), provide data plane flexibility, and carrier-class features like Hotspot 2.0 and multi-tenant support. The WLAN control plane traffic is handled within the vSCG virtual appliance layer, while the WLAN data plane traffic may be forwarded via either centralised or distributed paths. This provides for some Wi-Fi user traffic to be forwarded directly from the AP to the Internet, while other traffic is forwarded to an operator, partner, or enterprise network for additional handling.

The Ruckus vSCG stands alone as the only virtual Wi-Fi controller optimised for and able to meet the demands of carrier-class networks. Service providers purchase a license for each instance of the vSCG deployed, and then need only purchase licenses for the number of APs that need to be supported. Additional licenses can be added for a ‘pay-as-you-grow’ model. As more instances of the vSCG are required, additional instances can be easily deployed through management or provisioning utilities. There is no need to order and install additional proprietary hardware appliances.

“One of the challenges of delivering wireless LAN services at scale is having a platform that enables us to turn-up new customers quickly and in a cost-effective manner,” said Allen Miu, CTO of Frontiir, a leader in managed Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services in Southeast Asia.

With the goal of transforming the Myanmar IT industry, Frontiir, founded by a group of MIT alumni with Ph.D.’s in wireless technology, has quickly become well known in the region, winning several high-profile projects. As the official ICT provider of the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), the oldest regional sporting event in Asia, Frontiir was entrusted by the Myanmar Ministry of Sports to deliver a critical and time sensitive Wi-Fi project for use at the SEA Games, which were held last December in Myanmar. Frontiir was an early adopter of the Ruckus vSCG, utilising it as part of a massive Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi network deployed at 24 SEA Games venues across four cities, which served 35,000 SEA Games delegates and athletes, and over 100,000 spectators.

“Cost is an extremely important factor in Southeast Asia, because the region is a very price-sensitive market. The Ruckus solution allows us to quickly bring up additional virtual SCG instances on the x86 servers in our data centers, which is much more manageable and cost-effective than using specialised hardware appliances. I’m simply not aware of any other platform available today that can provide the scalability and flexibility of the Ruckus virtual SCG,” concluded Miu.

Sam Beskur is co-founder and director of U.S. operations for Global Gossip, a global MSP headquartered in Sydney, Australia that operates Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks around the world. Beskur says they are keenly interested in using virtualised WLAN management tools like the Ruckus virtual SCG to streamline their Wi-Fi business, reduce time-to-market, dramatically lower their opex, and better enable them to go after new market opportunities.

“With the Ruckus virtual SCG, we can now quickly spin up additional instances of the platform as demand dictates without having rack and stack discrete WLAN controllers,” said Beskur, who is also one of the first users of the vSCG. “This radically reduces our time-to-market, giving us a distinct competitive advantage. As more and more of our operations are moving into the cloud, we see the virtual SCG as a critical component to attacking new markets, streamlining our operational management services and opening new revenue streams previously out of reach due to the cost and complexity of conventional enterprise-class wireless LAN management technology.”

 

Business Connect by Europcar – moving the SME way

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

With its innovative new offering, Business Connect, Europcar SA launches a first for the South African car-rental market and is set to energise the SME sector.
“We’re thrilled to release a product for SA’s often-neglected SME sector,” says Europcar SA COO Martin Lydall. “We take SME businesses seriously and want them to enjoy all the benefits they should. The potential of SMEs as a major growth engine for SA’s economy is close to our hearts. That’s the origin of our business and the Imperial Group, of which we’re part, and that energetic, entrepreneurial culture is still very much present in in Europcar SA today.

“We decided to devise a tool that sets a new benchmark for our industry, while addressing SMEs’ unique needs and challenges. Our new Business Connect tool gives them better and simpler control over costs and logistics when they need staff to travel and drive their business growth. For us, this is putting the Europcar pledge, ‘Moving your way’, into action for SMEs.”

Business Connect makes booking and paying for car-rental easier and safer for both SME owners and staff, from its streamlined online booking (indicating real-time rental availability and saving time with call-centres) to its three key fast-track advantages when collecting the rental car.

First, no queuing thanks to Europcar’s Ready Service at all major airports. Second, no time wasted signing paperwork. Third and most importantly, collecting the rental car using only a valid driver’s licence. No personal or company credit-card needs to be produced – previously a major barrier to uptake of car-rental in this market.

“Another payoff for the SME owner is better business practice, with Business Connect becoming an all-in-one time-management and payment solution,” says Lydall. “We understand how business owners are often very much stretched, since they have to multi-task as managing director, financial director, sales, marketing and HR executives, all while they drive their business to greater growth.

“We believe SMEs deserve a service traditionally reserved in SA only for corporates, larger businesses and government departments. That includes enjoying all our usual products – plus a lower, preferential business rate and electronic invoices and statements to meet business need for financial control and management.”

Signing up to Europcar’s Business Connect is quick and easy – online, naturally. Guidelines for joining Business Connect are fairly flexible to allow for SMEs’ highly variable structures. SMEs should have:

•  Company registration number from the CIPC
•  Annual turnover of less than 45 million
•  Less than and up to 200 employees
•  Credit card

“Only when applying for Business Connect must the SME owner make a credit card available,” says Lydall. “Rentals are automatically billed to the one approved credit card, but it doesn’t need to be produced when a rental car is collected or returned.”

Once signed up to Business Connect, the SME owner receives a unique login and password to create their own business profile so that they can conveniently manage both their own and employees’ bookings.

“What matters to us at Europcar SA is ensuring our customers enjoy a rental experience tailored for them,” concludes Lydall, “and that we help support the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and growth.”

DCC appoints new Overland Storage and Huawei Devices Product Specialist

By admin, 21 maja, 2014, No Comment

Distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC) recently appointed Fayaaz Seedat as its Overland Storage and Huawei Devices Product Specialist. Seedat is responsible for the procurement, training and overall management of the Overland and Huawei Devices product lines. Furthermore, Seedat will also create awareness through marketing campaigns and incentives.

“We are pleased to welcome Fayaaz to the DCC team and look forward to his contribution to the Huawei Device and Overland Storage portfolios. His knowledge and expertise within the industry will assist DCC to increase market share as well as product and brand awareness with our resellers and their end users,” says Raul Del Fabbro, Storage Division Manager at DCC.

Seedat developed his passion for IT while in school when he took on a part time job within the industry, introducing him to gadgets and computers. Seedat went on to obtain a BComm in Management at the University of South Africa which provided him with marketing, procurement, information systems and general management skills. Once he finished his studies, Seedat launched his career path as an IT Administrator and over the years, filled positions of IT Consultant, IT Support Specialist and General Manager within the information systems industry and wholesale sector.

“I look forward to the experience I can develop in a distribution environment and gaining an understanding of the channel. This position will allow me to increase my knowledge while working with a great team at DCC. I am ready to bolster relationships with our internal staff and resellers, further providing them with the best products and service,” says Seedat.

Seedat will focus on the full portfolio of Overland Storage products as well as Huawei devices which includes modems, routers, smartphones and tablets. The Overland Storage portfolio offering includes tape libraries, Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) storage. He will manage product availability for resellers through stock control and in addition, ensure high service levels are offered. He will also provide support and assistance to internal staff.

Training is an essential component within the channel and Seedat will take charge of this role. He will ensure regular product training is provided to resellers. Knowledge is an essential sales tool and as such, Seedat will ensure resellers fully understand the products, target markets and trends which will assist them to successfully sell to the end-user market. He will provide resellers with access to the Huawei education centre, allowing them to showcase solutions in a Proof of Concept (POC) environment.

“My primary objective with this position is to make a noticeable contribution to the Overland Storage and Huawei Devices product portfolios, increase market share and become a key contact to DCC’s resellers for all their needs. I look forward to working in the dynamic environment of distribution and the latest technology,” Seedat concludes.

Changes to the BBBEE codes and the mining charter will negatively impact productivity says ATI

By admin, 20 maja, 2014, No Comment

Changes to the BBBEE codes and mining charter are punitive and are going to place many companies under considerable financial strain, many of whose BBBEE rating could drop by as many as two levels, said Sean Jones, CEO of black-owned artisan training company, Artisan Training Institute (ATI).

“Industry will be put under immense financial strain with these new codes – and I predict that ATI is also going to see its BBBEE rating drop by at least two levels, despite our business being majority owned by a black female. This is extremely negative news for us as we have spent a lot of time and money to get a Level 1 rating, only to see it being brazenly torpedoed.”

He said rather than wielding a big stick, government and its various mouthpieces and institutions should offer tax incentives to achieve milestones. The cost of BBBEE to the fiscus could be exactly the same either way, but the psychology of incentives versus punitive targets is very different.

One of the many negative points is that racial quotas have been introduced. This marginalizes certain groups such as Indian and Coloured communities, especially where these communities are densely populated in certain areas.

The new Mining Charter targets include:

  • 26% of equity to be held by historically disadvantaged South Africans (HSDAs);
  • To be supplied by BEE-compliant suppliers:
    • - 40% of capital goods;
    • - 70% of services ; and
    • - 50% of consumables.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DT) codes, which come into effect in October, include:

  • Black ownership – 25% + 1 ;
  • Black female ownership – 10%;
  • Black voting rights – 25% +1 ;
  • Black female ownership – 10% of executive management are to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females;
  • 75% of middle management are to be black, of which 38% are to be black females;
  • 88% of middle management are to be black, half of whom are to be black females;
  • 2% of the workforce to be black employees with disabilities;
  • 50% of board to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females; and
  • 50% of executive directors to be black persons, half of whom are to be black females.

“These codes are simply unrealistic with the current supply of skills available and will cost industry financially and from a productivity perspective. The South African economy will be dealt a further blow” said Jones.

“Rather than wielding a big stick, the government should be more forward thinking, and should, instead, look at introducing tax incentives coupled with radical improvements to the education system.”

“In terms of education and global competitiveness, South Africa is rated badly internationally – and, right now, what the government is effectively doing is pressurising the private sector to fulfil the role it should be playing, which is to provide quality education to its people. This could very well result in companies taking their eyes off the ball as they are forced to continually jump through additional “legislative hoops”. Our global competitiveness will take additional hits.”

This year, South Africa’s Global Competitiveness ranking out of 148 countries dropped from 52nd to 53rd. In the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2013 the country’s ranking dropped three positions, from 50th to 53rd.

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