Archive for ‘Kserokopiarki’

A luxury lifestyle that makes economic sense

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

If you’re thinking of migrating to the coast or buying a holiday home at Plettenberg or Camps Bay, think again. For the same money as you’d spend on a modest pad by a chilly sea, you can buy a luxurious apartment, duplex or villa at La Balise Marina in Mauritius with its own private mooring at the end of your garden.

Set in the picturesque Black River district, La Marina Balise sits between a gorgeous backdrop of mountains and warm, turquoise lagoons and Ocean. The trendy town of Black River has every modern amenity, but retains its laid-back charm.

Mauritius is only a four-hour flight away, but it’s a different world completely. It’s almost crime free, boasts year-round sunshine, has excellent schools and medical facilities, a strong and stable economy and a tax rate of 15% for individuals and businesses; making it not only ideal for a holiday, but the perfect place to base your business and your family. La Balise Marina falls under the Integrated Resorts Scheme (IRS), a government initiative to attract high net worth individuals by granting permanent residency to buyers who spend more than $500,000.

Phase 1 is sold out with all units delivered to their owners and marina infrastructure operational and Phase 2 was launched in March 2014. As Phase 2 is also the last phase of the development, the opportunity to secure a stake in this luxury lifestyle resort is fast becoming limited. Once it’s complete, La Balise Marina will feature 146 luxury units, with 70 apartments, 62 duplexes and 14 villas with a choice of two to five bedrooms. Interior designers on-site can advise you on the décor and furnish everything to your specifications. Cleaning services and fibre-optic internet access are also part of the package. With prices starting at US$700k for an apartment and US$2.6m for a villa (all taxes and fees included), which includes the investor’s right to Mauritian residency for the family (dependents) as long as he owns his property.

With stunning views on the sea and the marina, “Le Sunset” clubhouse features a bar, restaurant, gym, spa, a kids club and an infinity pool, while “L’Estuaire” a small commercial centre is being built with shops and another restaurant. “L’Estuaire” will also be home to the region’s main nautical service providers, offering scuba diving, deep sea fishing, Catamaran cruises and other exciting activities to mention a few.

It’s a sound investment, as La Marina Balise is the only high-end Marina resort on the island with direct water access and fully established marina amenities, creating a unique investment opportunity. Apartments bought for $600,000 three years ago have already been resold for $800,000. Owners not living permanently in the marina will also be able to put their units into a managed rental pool when they are not using them, generating a regular income.

“Mauritius boasts a solid economy, a stable, democratic government and a remarkably low crime rate. With an attractive 15% tax rate, Mauritius is undeniably attractive for anyone who wants a safe and luxurious lifestyle,” says Rob Hudson, MD of South African property development and sales company Hayes, Matkovich & Associates, the marketing company for La Balise Marina.

The project is being developed by a consortium including Investec Bank Mauritius and ENL Group, one of the largest property companies in Mauritius. ENL Group, also being the promoter of projects like Villas Valriche and Bagatelle Mall, the latter being the largest retail centre in Mauritius in which ENL partnered with the SA based Atterbury Group.

The amenities in Mauritius are improving continually thanks to the buoyant economy and forward-thinking government. With first-class health and education facilities, a 92% rate of employment and a vibrant social scene, Mauritius is ideal for a second home or a first-rate lifestyle.

Access to finance for SMEs – exploring your options

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Three of the major hurdles facing entrepreneurs are getting a new business venture started, making it sustainable, and then being able to grow the business when opportunity comes knocking. A key challenge during each of these phases is the entrepreneur’s ability to access finance, says Standard Bank.

“There are various options that aspiring or existing business owners can pursue when it comes to finance. The options depend on what is most suitable for the business itself, as well as at the different stages of the business’ lifecycle,” says Ravi Govender, Head of Small Enterprises at Standard Bank.

“Small businesses are often born out of the passion that a person has for a particular activity. Many business owners launch enterprises on a shoestring and pour all their energies into making their business succeed – only to fall at the final hurdle when they should be taking their enterprises to the next level. This is often the case because they are not aware of how to raise the additional business capital they require for growth.”

“In addition to others, the two main options to consider are borrowing money from your bank or selling some of the equity in the business to investors in return for a capital injection. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.”

“Banks are often the first port of call when it comes to obtaining funding. It is worthwhile for someone approaching a bank to remember that if they pay attention to the ‘5 C’s’ of small business lending, the chances of being granted a loan are increased,” says Mr Govender.

Essentially, banks need to be comfortable with:

  • The Character of the entrepreneur and the management team.
  • A business’s Credit Score, as a good credit history means that the business is run well and its financial obligations are met.
  • The Capacity of the business owner to meet monthly loan repayments.
  • Whether all, or a portion of, the Capital in a business belongs to the owner. An owner who has invested his or her own money into the business is personally invested in its success.
  • Collateral being available to provide security for the loan.

“Borrowing money has a lot of advantages for businesses. Although interest has to be paid on the capital borrowed, it is predictable and the interest paid on a loan is tax deductible.”

“At the other end of the scale is raising money from equity investors. This is usually most attractive when a business is in the start-up phase, as it eliminates the large expense of loan repayments.

“An additional benefit of equity financing is also the expertise and access to resources that the right investors can provide. However, these benefits have to be balanced with the fact that ownership is diluted and control can therefore be lost over a portion of the business,” says Mr Govender.

Other avenues of funding growth depend largely on the particular lifecycle that the business is in. Small companies with little collateral and no track record usually have to rely on additional capital being supplied by the owner, or someone who backs the owner and is not too concerned with receiving immediate returns on their investment (angel investors).

High growth potential and a limited track record can open up finance opportunities with venture capital, business loans and mezzanine financing as well as trade credit.

“As a business matures and grows, so other avenues of raising capital become available. The ultimate goal for any business, and one many entrepreneurs aspire to, is seeing their businesses listed on the stock exchange and members of the public providing capital to fund future growth.”

“Whatever the size of the business, and the ultimate aims of its owner, it is worth remembering that the first avenue of assistance is usually a bank. At Standard Bank, we believe it is our role to partner with our customers in the SME sector. Our customers’ success is ultimately our success,” says Mr Govender.

Amazon donation boosts Cape Town school’s literacy drive

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Amazon’s Cape Town Customer Service Center recently donated 75 Kindle e-readers to Harold Cressy High School in Cape Town, as well as US $2,500 (over R25,000) in gift cards to purchase content, such as books for the Kindle e-readers.

The donation of Kindle e-readers to the school is in alignment with Harold Cressy’s vision to develop a love for literacy and encourage learners to read, develop and grow. As a part of this initiative, teachers at Harold Cressy High School have created reading clubs to help improve the reading level of the more than 700 learners at the school.

“I know our learners have an appetite for reading, but without books that appetite is stifled,” says school Headmaster Khalid Isaacs. “Having easy access to a greater variety of suitable books on the Kindle is going to make a big difference. We are very grateful to Amazon for their generosity and love of reading.”

Scott Sommers, Senior Site Leader for the Cape Town Center, says Amazon is thrilled to be a part of the Cape Town community, and is excited to give back to a local school that is focused on expanding reading opportunities.

“We’re proud to be a part of the Cape Town community,” says Sommers, who was on-hand Tuesday for the surprise donation at Harold Cressy High School. “These Kindle e-readers are an exceptional tool that teachers can use to ignite excitement for reading,” says Sommers. “With each Kindle able to hold thousands of books, we hope this gift will help open the doors of learning for every child at Harold Cressy High School.”

Amazon’s Customer Service Center in Cape Town is located just a short distance from Harold Cressy High School, and employs more than 1,000 people who provide customer support to Amazon customers around the globe.

Free online stockmarket eBook from Timbukone

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Timbukone, a major provider of software and database solutions to the investor community, has launched its own online resource guide aimed at providing investors with useful tools and data. Titled the “The Stock Market eBook’ http://www.stockmarketebook.com – it aims to help readers learn more about public companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, as well as provide additional essential information relevant to a South African investor.

Alex D’Aloisio from Timbukone says the resource tool was developed by the company based on its thirty-year pedigree in the professional investment market: “This free resource tool is ideal for company analysis, research and market information. It is also available to any investment company wanting to rebrand the ebook or distribute Timbukone’s products.”

TimBukOne is represented in North America, Europe and Africa with numerous blue chip companies as clients as well as over 5000 non-professional/private users. The Stock Market eBook provides useful information in a hassle-free format covering listed companies; JSE indices; unit trusts; international indices and major exchange rates.

The company information drills down into an impressive range of detail including price charts, SENS in PDF format, Directors’ Dealings and Directors’ Biographies, financial analysis as well as a full organisational chart showing the structure of the companies. “We looked at all the currently available websites that contain company and market information, and felt that we could provide improvements on them, and believe we have achieved that with the eBook,” explains D’Aloisio.

The indices cover all local and international share exchanges as well as specific vertical segments and the unit trust information is also provided across various timeframes spanning one month to a full year.

 

South African businesses must scramble to meet deadline for compliance with Revised BEE Codes

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

South African businesses must take action now to benchmark and maximise their Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scores under the Department of Trade & Industry’s new BEE Codes before the transitional period ends on 30 April 2015.

That’s the warning from Saul Symanowitz, Divisional Manager at Sage Pastel BEE123, who says that most companies will find their BEE certification tiers will drop two to three levels under the stricter new Codes when they take full effect. Those that want to retain their preferred status as empowered suppliers to large companies and government when they’re next audited will therefore want to urgently assess their compliance levels so they can develop a strategy to improve their credentials, he adds.

“The Revised Codes were gazetted in October last year, and were originally intended to be phased in over a year,” he says. “The deadline was extended a further six months to give businesses time to understand the impact of the codes on their scorecards, to create a plan, and implement the changes that will allow them to retain or improve their BEE status.”

Symanowitz says that under the Revised Codes, the pillars of transformation have been reduced from seven to five. The Revised Codes focus on the following five categories: Ownership, Management Control, Skills Development, Enterprise and Supplier Development, and Socio Economic Development. Compliance levels for each are tougher than before.

Organisations with a turnover of more than R50 million a year must achieve a score of 40% in each of the following categories that have been deemed ‘Priority Elements’: Ownership, Skills Development, and Enterprise and Supplier Development.

Failure to meet this threshold in just one pillar will result in a lowering of a company’s overall empowerment status by a level, no matter how good its scores are in the other categories. “This is the first time the BEE Codes include such a penalty provision,” says Symanowitz.

Another new concept the new codes introduce is that of an ‘Empowering Supplier’, defined as an entity that meets three of the following criteria if it is large entity (R35 million-plus turnover) or one if it is a medium-sized company (R10 million to R50 million turnover):

  • Buys at least 25% of cost of sales excluding labour cost and depreciation from local producers or local suppliers
  • 50% of jobs created are for black people
  • At least 25% transformation of raw material/beneficiation
  • Spends at least 12 days a year of productivity in assisting small black companies to increase their operation or financial capacity

Other complexities the Revised Codes introduce include new race sub-groupings for the Management Control and Skills Development categories. “Taken together, all the changes have major implications for any company’s BEE scorecard, except those with turnovers of below R10 million that are exempt,” Symanowitz says. “And the calculations that companies need to do to understand how to keep their BEE level constant when the Revised Codes take effect are complex. Automated tools can take some of the pain out of the process.”

Sage Pastel BEE123 provides a range of tools that help organisations calculate and understand their BEE scores ahead of an audit for certification. With their recently released BEE123 Scorecard Software businesses simply input the relevant numbers in and the application will tell them how the Revised Codes will impact on their scorecards. Once they have done so, they can use the Sage Pastel BEE123 scenario planning tool to determine exactly how certain changes could potentially impact their BEE rating, and thereby develop an appropriate and cost effective BEE strategy.

“For example, you could assess how appointing a black female director, increasing your training budget, or spending more on enterprise development would impact your score,” Symanowitz says. “This allows you to test out a few scenarios before you commit so that you can spend your resources in the way that has the best impact on your budget, your business and your BEE scorecard.”

He adds: “BEE can be complex to implement under the Revised Codes, but organisations that act now to comply can improve their competitive positioning as well as help to drive genuine transformation and inclusiveness in the workplace. Getting it right starts with having the correct data and information at your fingertips, which is where our tools have a valuable role to play.”

Mobility: Helping women achieve better work-life balance

By admin, 23 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

With the growth of smart mobile devices, increased internet connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspots and long-term evolution; people around the world are finding it easier to work from wherever they are. The workplace is now mobile and so is their workforce. In South Africa, it seems a number of companies are embracing the technology, but not the implication.

Kgabo Ralebepa, Associate Director of IT Audit division at SekelaXabiso worked in the UK and managed teams – that she never personally met in four years – on three different continents. These teams were very productive and successful. In South Africa, however, there is a culture of face-to-face interaction and companies need to embrace the full implications of mobility that will in turn increase productivity.

Women, in particular are still battling with pre-conceived ideas from management of what it means to be working. Ralebepa makes some suggestions to companies who want the best out of their workforce.

According to the recent Challenges Faced by Women at Workplace report released by Jet HR, some of the challenges faced by most women are that although they have full time jobs they are still the primary care-givers at home. Women have to work harder to maintain a successful career, alongside a family life – especially if there are children involved.

The latest LinkedIn report about women’s professional paths found that 48% of women surveyed are concerned about finding the right balance between work and family life. The report further states that women are more likely to identify several company benefits as key drivers to career satisfaction – 90% of women prefer the ability to work from home and 50% desire good maternity leave.

Companies should be embracing technological evolutions and innovations as an opportunity to empower women so that they can be productive both at work and at home.

Finding the right work and home life balance has always been a challenge – technology may have made this easier. It is up to companies around the world to trust the technology available to them so that women can get this balance right and be productive at the same time. Connectivity plays a key role and has enabled us to work, video conference and call over the Internet from anywhere –productivity from anywhere, at any time.

Ralebepa has worked in various countries and has seen how productive mobile women are. They are able to work from home and at the same time take care of their families. In South Africa, most women do not feel at ease when they are away from their children, especially those who are few months old – this can affect their performance at work.

Providing women with necessary tools to execute their daily tasks from the comfort of their own homes will no doubt increase productivity. The IT Audit business unit at SekelaXabiso (SkX) has a simple approach when it comes to empowering women: we provide them with the right tools to provide quality service to our clients.

Relooking a mobility strategy as a way of increasing productivity will empower women to work from anywhere and equip them with the necessary tools to do so. If women are not empowered, companies will face consequences of increased absenteeism and reduced efficiency just to mention a few.

Interactive Intelligence to host “Pitfalls of TCPA” industry web event

By admin, 17 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Interactive Intelligence Group Inc., a global provider of software and services designed to improve the customer experience, is hosting a no-cost Web event* titled, “The Pitfalls of TCPA and Its Impact on Your Business,” to be held Tuesday, April 29 at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time (EDT).

Already attracting more than 650 registrants, this 75-minute webcast will evaluate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) impact on up-selling, telemarketing and collections.

Webcast presenters include Mike Bevel, editor of inside ARM; Martha Buyer, telecommunications attorney; and Chad McCormick, product manager for Interactive Intelligence. An extensive Q&A will follow the Web presentation, during which Bevel, Buyer and McCormick will answer live audience questions.

“Today, TCPA rules span autodialing, texting, calls to cell phones, faxing, certain landline calls, express consent, and more,” said Joe Staples, chief marketing officer for Interactive Intelligence. “We designed this webcast to help organizations use technology and best practices to improve TCPA adherence, while maximizing performance.”

To register for this webcast, visit: http://www.inin.com/WebEvent.

*This Web event and its associated content and materials are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Interactive Intelligence does not assume any liability for any errors or omissions or for how the Web event and associated content and materials are used or interpreted. You are responsible for obtaining advice from your attorney or other relevant professionals.

LSD Information Technology – doing IT differently

By admin, 17 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

LSD Information Technology, a member of the Aptronics Group of Companies, has a different approach to IT. For the past 12 years, LSD has been servicing the business sector and establishing itself as a lynchpin in the enterprise open source field, providing superior and reliable solutions to their clients.

Having seen the popularity of open source soar over the years, LSD Managing Director, Sven Lesicnik, believes that open source has become the new way of doing business. “In the open source market, it is the community that develops software using open source licences. Because it’s not one company developing the software, but a diverse variety of experts collaborating, the types of products coming out are far more innovative and contemporary.”

According to Lesicnik, businesses can’t afford to ignore open source because of the cost savings and other benefits it offers. “There is no vendor lock-in and the strict open standards ensure collaboration in order to develop technologically-superior software.”

Open source promotes a culture of innovative thinking, sharing and collaboration, and that’s exactly what LSD strives to do Lesicnik says. “Just like the technology we use, we strive to be creative, different and forward thinking. We pride ourselves on our ability to fuse being fun with being professional, because, as our email signatures attest, ‘there is no charge for awesomeness’.”

To learn more, please visit: http://www.lsd.co.za.

Leading organizations invest in BlackBerry Enterprise Mobility solutions

By admin, 17 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

BlackBerry Limited (NASDAQ: BBRY; TSX: BB), a world leader in mobile communications, today announced that several leading Canadian customers are deploying BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 (BES10), including: Volker Stevin, City of Waterloo and Samuel, Son & Co., Limited.

According to J. Gold Associates¹, over the next year or two the average enterprise user will employ three to five personal devices and use eight to 10 business applications. With the growing need for enterprise users to connect to at least five different enterprise systems, such as VPN, email and the cloud, to perform work-related tasks, the management and security of devices will become increasingly more complex to control without the right enterprise mobility management (EMM) solution.

Migrating to BlackBerry’s EMM solution allows organizations to seamlessly manage devices, operating systems, applications and security. “Our enterprise customers know they can trust BlackBerry because they’ve long counted on our mobility solutions to arm their employees with the best tools to help them be more productive and collaborative – all without ever having to worry about the security of their data,” said John Sims, President, Global Enterprise Services at BlackBerry.

Volker Stevin, one of the largest heavy civil and highway maintenance contractors in Western Canada, is deploying BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones as the company’s sole EMM solution. “We have hundreds of employees on and off the field, and they all require one thing – fast, secure and consistent communication tools,” said Mike Philip, Wireless Program Manager, Volker Stevin. “We evaluated other MDM solutions like MobileIron and AirWatch, but BES10 was a clear winner in terms of being more user-friendly and cost-effective. BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BES10 allow us to improve operational efficiency with security capabilities that are second to none.”

The City of Waterloo continues its long-standing partnership with BlackBerry in innovating and injecting new ideas and technologies to provide valued services that help build the best quality of life for its citizens. In addition to deploying BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones for its workforce, the City of Waterloo also worked with BlackBerry to develop the Ping Street mobile application on the BlackBerry OS platform. The first-of-its-kind mobile application provides Waterloo citizens real-time access to location-based information including garbage and recycling calendars, construction detours, road closures and more.

The City of Waterloo has also embraced BBM™ to stay connected and share secure real-time updates and news with its employees during emergency situations. BBM™ Groups used during emergencies sped up response time and drastically improved collaboration and critical communication during emergency incidents. “BlackBerry 10 devices are by far some of the best business smartphones available. While they deliver tangible productivity benefits and iron-clad security standards, our whole crew from planners to bylaw personnel to firefighters can also enjoy all the benefits of a cutting-edge device with all the enterprise apps they need at their fingertips,” said Max Min, Director of Information Management and Technology Services, City of Waterloo.

Samuel, Son & Co., Limited, Canada’s oldest and largest metals service center and metal manufacturing company, has chosen BES10 and BlackBerry 10 smartphones as their core end-to-end business mobility solution. “We’re confident that our investment in BlackBerry 10 is the best mobility solution for our workforce,” said Bob Carter, Chief Information Officer, Samuel, Son & Co., Limited. “The powerful combination of BlackBerry 10 smartphones and BES10 offers us an integrated mobile device and server solution that meets our highest security and productivity needs. BlackBerry also offers a best-in-class customer service experience and product training support, which makes deploying BlackBerry 10 a great value proposition overall.”

The BES10 multi-platform solution allows customers to manage BlackBerry, iOS and Android devices from a single, highly secure, reliable platform. Around the globe, nearly 33,000 BES10 commercial and test servers have been installed to date. To further accelerate migration to BES10, BlackBerry launched the new EZ Pass offer that provides free migration for existing BlackBerry customers or those on any other mobility management platform. The EZ Pass offer will be available from March 31, 2014 through January 31, 2015. Please visit www.blackberry.com/ezpass to apply for the program.

For more information about BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, please visit: www.bes10.com.

¹SOURCE: “BES10: Enterprise Mobility Management for a Multi-Platform World.”
J. Gold and Associates Research Reportö

Check Point holds top spot in worldwide combined Firewall and UTM appliance market for 2013

By admin, 17 kwietnia, 2014, No Comment

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a worldwide leader in securing the Internet, recently announced that the company held the number one vendor position in worldwide combined Firewall and UTM appliance revenue for the full year (FY) 2013[1], according to the latest IDC Tracker research data.

Data in the IDC Worldwide Security Appliance Tracker indicated:

  • Check Point led the global market in combined Firewall and UTM appliance revenue share for FY 2013.
  • Check Point is the leader in combined Firewall and UTM factory revenue in both the U.S. and Western Europe for FY 2013.

“Our continued market leadership in 2013, and recognition by IDC, is a testament to our innovative technology, rock-solid partner network and unmatched customer focus,” said Amnon Bar-Lev, president at Check Point Software Technologies. “The threat landscape continues to grow more complex, and our customers rely on both our world-class hardware and our full-scale security solutions to help them be more secure. With our revolutionary advances in security infrastructure, such as Software-defined Protection, our global threat prevention and intelligence capabilities, and best-in-class appliances that scale from small businesses to enterprise data centres, we are very confident of our continued success in 2014.”

IDC defines firewalls as appliances that have as their primary function general-purpose filtering of networking traffic through packet filtering, stateful inspection or proxy. UTM appliances combine at a minimum network firewalling, network intrusion detection and prevention, and gateway antivirus (AV) onto a single device, though other functions may be included as well.

Check Point has been a leader in the firewall market since its founding in 1993. Entering the security appliance business in 2006, the company has aggressively grown its enterprise hardware business. In 2013, Check Point introduced eight new appliances, protecting small businesses with the 600 appliance, and securing data centres with the recent launch of the 13500 appliance.

Check Point’s 16 security appliances deliver powerful turnkey systems for deploying and optimising Check Point’s award-winning Software Blade Architecture, which include four predefined security packages: Next Generation Firewall, Next Generation Threat Prevention, Next Generation Data Protection and Next Generation Secure-Web Gateway. By consolidating security into a single, integrated solution, organisations of all sizes have the flexibility to customise their security infrastructure based on the protection and performance needed in any environment.

[1] IDC Worldwide Quarterly Security Appliance Tracker, March 6, 2014

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