EA revs up for the next generation of gaming with need for speed rivals

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Cross the Line as a Cop or Racer today on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that the highly anticipated, high-octane racing game Need for Speed™ Rivals is now available on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Set in a world with a variety of stunning environments and effects powered by the advanced Frostbite™ 3 engine, Need for Speed Rivals is injecting new innovation into the racing genre with AllDrive, a revolutionary feature that destroys the line between single player, co-op and multiplayer. AllDrive will forever change how racing games are played with friends seamlessly connecting gamers to one world where their single-player races and chases can collide at any time.

Winner of the official Game Critics Award for “Best Racing Game” at E3 2013, Need for Speed Rivals is “impressive” according to IGN.com. So far, Need for Speed Rivals has received review scores of 100 from USGamer.net, 90 from Machinima, 85 from AusGamers, 85 from PlayStation Lifestyle.

“At Ghost Games we were given the keys to the Need for Speed franchise to bring new energy into the genre and we’re doing that with AllDrive,” said Marcus Nilsson, Executive Producer, Ghost Games. “Thanks to AllDrive, players can create their own organized chaos, going from driving alone to being in an all-out chase with their friends at an instant. These unexpected moments create the ultimate edge-of-your-seat experience, and this is the direction our team wants to take racing games in the next generation.”

Need for Speed Rivals glorifies the street’s ultimate rivalry, daring gamers to cross the line as either a cop or racer to gain the upper hand by any means necessary.

Playing as either side of the law comes with its own distinct career experiences, each with their own set of high-stakes challenges, rewards, pursuit tech and cars. But this time, the stakes are at its highest level with an all-new scoring system where gamers put their Speed Points on the line and risk losing it all if busted.
Need for Speed Rivals will be in-stores November 22 in South Africa for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC via Origin™.

To join the conversation on Need for Speed Rivals, please visit http://www.facebook.com/needforspeed, follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/needforspeed and #NeedforSpeed. Press assets for Need for Speed Rivals are available at www.ea-anz-press.com.

New platform launched to stimulate high-level discussion around new B-BBEE codes

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

A new crowd-sourced discussion platform launched today with the aim of providing valuable insight into the finer workings of the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice.

Codes Interpreter is an online platform aimed at companies, professionals, consultants, journalists and members of the public wishing to gain a deeper understanding of the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice. The platform is populated with insight and comments from some of the country’s top transformation specialists.

Bruce Rowe, head of Mpowered Business Solutions, the developers of Codes Interpreter, says visitors can gain invaluable insight into the finer nuances of the new Codes. “Codes Interpreter enables you to tap into the collective knowledge of some of the country’s foremost experts on B-BBEE and gain insight into the potential impact of the new codes on the way you do business.”

To date, a number of top industry experts have provided their insights into specific areas of the revised codes, including Ownership, Management, Skills Development, Enterprise and Supplier Management, Socio-economic Development, and General matters. Some of the top comments to date include:

  • On Ownership, Eric Ackroyd says: “”Black owned” is now defined as being 51% or more black owned. The current 2007 Codes define black owned as more than 50% black owned. This change impacts the following i) Application of Modified Flow Through; ii) Procurement from black owned suppliers; iii) Qualification of Enterprise Development Beneficiaries.”
  • On Enterprise and Supplier Development, Robin Woolley says: “The limiting of early payments to 1.5 points is a good thing – limiting abuse, but supplier development beneficiaries being 51% black owned or 51% black woman owned is interesting as many companies have structured to the old definition of black owned being 50% plus one vote – ie often 50,1%”
  • Under General, Leila Moonda says: “The revised Codes do not include a QSE scorecard, even though the Codes make numerous reference to a QSE scorecard. It is not clear whether the DTI intend to issue a QSE scorecard or whether QSE’s are to be measured using the Generic scorecard.”
  • Under Management, Michael Craies says: “After investigation of this report it was found that there are compliance targets based on national as well as provincial statistics. It is my interpretation that the verification agency should use the provincial compliance targets when verifying a measured entity located in a specific region and the national compliance targets when rating a measured entity (like a holding company) with branches located country wide.”

“We’ve also introduced a Knowledge Centre where our contributor community can upload their own documents with specific insights into the new codes. We are hopeful that this will turn into the go-to resource for anyone wishing to understand or adapt to the revised Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Codes of Good Practice,” explains Rowe.

To follow the discussion around the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, please visit the Codes Interpreter website on www.codesinterpreter.co.za


In a digital DIY universe travel agencies are more relevant than ever before

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

The importance of a multi-channel sales and marketing strategy in the travel and tourism sector can never be underestimated, says Harvey World Travel managing director Rosemary Moss. The value of travel agents as a sector sales tool and conversely as a consumer service provider remains an important contributor not only to stimulate destination, product and service demand, and in South Africa the travel trade still commands a substantial portion of overall travel bookings.

Rosemary estimates large number of all travel bookings made domestically are still managed through travel agents. “Face time is more than just an online app, it is one of the key value components and differentiators between man and machine in the travel trade. Today’s fast paced environment coupled with demanding business and leisure consumers require flexibility and someone on the other side of the desk or phone where reaching out to change plans amounts to more than just a mouse-click,” says Rosemary who estimates that more than half of South African leisure travellers continue to book through travel agencies. Recent reports also suggest that up to 70% of SMME’s and up to 80% of large corporates still turn to travel agents.

“The business model has changed somewhat over the past two decades,” says Rosemary, noting that consumer needs have changed. “Specialist advisory services and travel management are the pillars of the modern consultancy. Efficiency lies at the cornerstone of the twenty first century travel agency. Gone are the days of fast-food type stores.” says Rosemary. Today consultants negotiate with large travel brands flexing buying power muscles and manage travel budgets on behalf of clients. “It’s become so easy to book anything online, but, the specialist knowledge and service delivery of the travel trade remains priceless.”

Rosemary says that trusted travel brands like Harvey World Travel will continue to grow and prosper. “We do not consider the online universe a threat to our business. Instead, we consider it a shop window propagating travel – ultimately, every role player in the travel trade has a function and delivers to grow the sector as a whole. The service that travel agencies can deliver to customers remains unrivalled.” Moss says that growth of up to 22% at some branches this year confirms this. “Projections for the 2014 fiscal indicate slightly slowed growth due to currency weakness,” adds Rosemary, but she is upbeat about the future. “Insurance is peace of mind purchased online; in travel, agents provide so much more in person.”

Capillary Technologies extends global footprint to South Africa

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Leader in Cloud-Based Loyalty, Mobile and Social CRM Solutions that Help Retailers Drive Sales and Profitability Through Intelligent Customer Engagement forms strategic partnership with Blue Label Telecoms to bring the next generation of Intelligent CRM, Loyalty and Marketing solutions to the South African market

Capillary Technologies, a leading provider of cloud software solutions that help businesses to engage intelligently with their customers through mobile, social and in-store channels, has announced its entry into the South African market with new offices in Johannesburg and a strategic new partnership with Blue Label Engage for their turnkey (direct to consumer) retail customer engagement solution. With industry leaders such as Benetton, Jack Wills, Marks & Spencer, Nicole Miller, Nike, Puma, Nokia, Pizza Hut and KFC on its international client roster, Capillary’s cloud platform integrates everything that retail marketers and operators require to engage with their customers, weaving social and mobile experiences into virtually any point of sale device, from legacy terminals to the latest POS devices and mobile tablets. Capillary’s suite of Intelligent Customer Engagement™ solutions offers real-time loyalty, high quality data capture, actionable analytics, instant cross-sell solutions, and instant shopper gratification to generate significant ROI within weeks of implementation. Capillary is already working with South African retailers like Keedo, UMS and Roots to help them drive better customer loyalty, superior sales growth and a definitive competitive advantage.

Blue Label Engage is part of the JSE listed, Blue Label Telecoms Limited now in its 12th year of trading and with an annual revenue of over R19 Billion. The Group boasts a distribution footprint of over 150 000 points of presence in South Africa and is a leading distributor of airtime and electricity through physical and virtual pre-paid solutions. Through its monthly interaction with millions of consumers it has become highly trusted by South Africa’s leading companies in assisting with driving consumer acquisition and loyalty, through Consumer Engagement Solutions, delivered by Blue Label Engage.

“We are very excited with our latest presence in South Africa and to have Blue Label Engage as one of our key partners,” says Aneesh Reddy, Cofounder & CEO of Capillary Technologies. “Retailers in South Africa are hugely interested in state-of-the-art loyalty and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and will benefit greatly from the proven best practices that Capillary and this partnership offers, leveraging technology to drive revenue. Having a presence in Johannesburg will enable us to better serve our growing South African client base. As the African continent’s largest economy and biggest recipient of foreign direct investment, South Africa is the logical point of departure for our expansion plans across the continent.”

Changing retail dynamics have altered the definition of CRM solutions in today’s world. Retailers in South Africa realize the importance of shedding one-size-fits-all ways of thinking. They want to understand and connect with customers personally, gain mindshare among consumers and influence purchase decisions to drive revenue growth and profitability. Capillary’s global experience and inherent cloud advantages bring tremendous opportunities for consumer-facing businesses in South Africa to tap into emerging global best practices from the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific, and achieve significant top-line performance improvement through Capillary and Blue Label’ “Retail Engage” solution.

“Capillary is a great strategic partner for us and we look forward to working with them as they extend their offerings to help retailers capitalize on Intelligent CRM and integrated engagement solutions in South Africa,” says John Shaw, Marketing Director of Blue Label Engage. “Their enterprise solutions and technological expertise allows us to extend Blue Label’s core capabilities, ensuring we deliver best practices and demand-execution services to our extensive retail client base, as well as expanding our Retail Engage solution to a wider customer base. We believe Capillary’s global reach and enviable client base, strong reputation, innovative technology and solutions will assist us in delivering immeasurable value to the South African retail sector.”

Capillary offers an Intelligent Customer Engagement platform to retailers and consumer businesses ― managing the entire life cycle of customer marketing from acquisition, analysis, insights and activations. Capillary is the world’s leading SaaS provider of end-to-end Multi-Channel Customer Engagement, Big Data Customer Intelligence, Clienteling, Real-Time Loyalty and Social CRM solutions to 150+ enterprise customers with over 10,000 locations across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and the Asia-Pacific region and 75 million shoppers interacting routinely with its cloud platform. Capillary has been named Marketing Magazine’s CRM & Loyalty Agency of the Year 2013; Best Consumer Engagement Agency of the Year 2013, a Gartner 2013 Cool Vendor; and one of Mint/WSJ Bloomberg Businessweek’s Hottest Technology Businesses 2013. Capillary is backed by Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. Visit http://www.capillarytech.com for more details.

Overview of the South African Protection of Information Bill

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

By Clinton Pavlovic

The methods used to collect and store information and data have evolved over time.

In the past personal information was collected primarily through direct means by companies that people did business with. The collected information would be stored to enable the company to provide a service to the customer and to bill the customer after service delivery. The high cost of storing information typically meant that a company would only store information that was strictly necessary for these purposes and that the information would be stored for a limited time once it was no longer needed.

In the last two decades new technologies, including the internet and mobile devices, have dramatically changed the way in which people interact with each other and with companies, leading to an increase of the number of ways which companies can collect personal information about data subjects; a cell phone application which has access to your precise GPS coordinates, phone book and text messages; an internet website tracking its visitors; an in-store loyalty card which tracks shopping habits; an internet search engine which logs and stores each of your search queries; a social network application for your tablet computer which redirects your personal and business email to its own servers.

In many cases people are either unaware that data collection is happening or are unaware of the scope of the data collection. The falling cost to store information electronically now means that this personal information which is collected can be stored for longer periods of time, perhaps indefinitely.

Once this personal information has been collected, which could include individual’s names, gender, phone numbers, home address, email addresses, or shopping and internet browsing habits, the question has often been whether this information still belongs to the private individual or whether the information now belongs the company collecting the information? What can a company use the collected information for after collection?

In South Africa a person’s right to privacy has been entrenched in section 14 of the South African Constitution 1996, which provides that “[e]veryone has the right to privacy”, before going further to cater for specific circumstances. The South African Protection of Personal Information Bill, or POPI, which may become law soon takes further steps to entrench the right to privacy and to protect personal information which is collected and stored.

The Protection of Personal Information Bill draws on years of research and contains many broad principles which were developed and incorporated into the European Union’s Data Protection Rules. It seeks to introduce measures to ensure that personal information is protected, but aims to balance this objective against the right to access to information and the principle of free flow of information.

The bill accomplishes its objectives by codifying the rights that persons have in their own personal information and specifying eight conditions, or principles, that must be complied with by persons when collecting, storing and processing the personal information.

The Protection of Personal Information Bill may have far reaching consequences on some businesses operating in South Africa. Businesses should evaluate the information which is currently being collected, the reasons for the collection including what the information is used for after collection, in order to determine whether the bill applies to the activities of the business. If the bill does apply a business will have to evaluate and determine what technical and organisational measures need to be taken to ensure that the legislation can be complied with once it is enacted.

Application of the Protection of Personal Information Bill

In terms of section 3, the Protection of Personal Information Bill applies to any activity concerning personal information which is either conducted in South Africa, or which is conducted outside South Africa by a responsible party which is domiciled (a resident) in South Africa.

The bill binds both public and private bodies, extending to any South African state department or administration, state functionary, state institution, private companies, private partnerships, sole proprietors and any other individual.

The activities relating to personal information which are regulated in terms of the bill include:

  • collection;
  • receipt;
  • recording;
  • storage;
  • retrieval;
  • dissemination; and
  • use.

The definition given to “personal information” ensures that the legislation will have a wide application.

Personal information is defined as any information relating to an identifiable, living natural person or existing juristic person, including a person’s name, gender, sexual orientation, religion, education, identifying number, e-mail address, telephone number, personal opinion and correspondence. There are, however, some exclusions, such as the exclusion of data relating to a purely personal or household activity, data which has been de-identified and data collected by a public body involving national security and the investigation or proof of criminal offences.

Rights Granted in Terms of the Protection of Personal Information Bill

The section 5 of the Protection of Personal Information Bill briefly sets out the rights granted in terms of the bill which are elaborated and expanded on in further chapters. The rights granted in terms of the bill include:

  • the right to be notified that personal information is being collected;
  • the right to be notified if there has been any security compromises and if personal information has been unlawfully accessed;
  • the right to establish if a person or entity holds any personal information and if so request access to the personal information;
  • the right to know the identity of third parties who have had access to the personal information;
  • the right to request the correction, destruction or deletion of personal information;
  • the right to object to the processing of personal information;
  • the right to submit a complaint to the Information Regulator, which is to be established in terms of the bill; and
  • the right to institute civil law suits to claim damages suffered as a result of a contravention of the bill.

Conditions for the Lawful Processing of Personal Information
Chapter 3 of the Protection of Personal Information Bill sets out eight conditions, or principles, which must be complied with when processing personal information.

Failure to comply with these conditions when collecting and processing information protected by the bill would constitute an interference with the rights of the individual in terms of section 73 and may result in civil liability in terms of section 93 for damages suffered by the individual.

Contravention of other chapters of the bill can also result in administrative penalties or a criminal conviction punishable by fines or imprisonment of up to ten years for some offences.

These conditions for the lawful processing of personal information are:

Condition 1: Accountability

The first condition provides that the responsible party, namely the public or private body which determines the purposes and means for processing personal information, must ensure that personal information is processed lawfully and that the conditions are complied with at the time when the purposes and means of data processing is determined and during the processing itself.

Condition 2: Processing Limitation

The second condition sets limits on the methods which may be used when collecting personal information and on the scope of processing the information. Focus is placed on the protection of privacy and prevention of excessive collection and processing.

This condition provides that personal information may generally only be collected directly from the individual and not from other third party sources. It also provides that personal information may only be collected and processed if:

  • the individual has consented;
  • it is necessary to perform in terms of a contract concluded directly with the individual;
  • it protects a legitimate interest of the individual or the person collecting or processing the information; or
  • it is necessary for the proper performance of a public law duty by a public body.

Data subjects are also granted the right to object to the collection and processing of personal information, including the specific right to object to direct marketing from companies which they are not already an existing customer of.

Condition 3: Purpose Specification

The third condition sets limits on the reasons for the collection of personal information and limits the duration that the records may be retained.

This condition specifies that personal information may only be collected for specific and explicitly defined purposes and that data subjects must be informed of the purpose for collecting the information.

Once the personal information has been collected it may not be retained any longer than what is necessary for achieving the defined purpose. After the personal information is no longer required it must be either destroyed or “de-identified” in a manner which would make identification of the individual impossible either on its own or if combined with other information.

Condition 4: Further Processing Limitation

The fourth condition limits the use of personal information once collected, providing that all processing must only be in accordance with, or compatible with, the purpose for which the information was originally collected.

Condition 5: Information Quality

The fifth condition ensures that reasonable steps must be taken by the responsible person to ensure that all personal information which is collected or processed is complete, accurate, not misleading and updated where necessary.

Condition 6: Openness

The sixth condition ensures openness of records relating to the processing of personal information by requiring responsible persons who collect and process personal information to retain records of the processing operations in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act.

This condition also requires that data subjects are notified of their rights in terms of the bill. Steps must be taken before the actual collection of personal information to ensure that an individual is aware of:

  • what information is being collected;
  • the name and address of the responsible party collecting or processing the information;
  • the purpose of collecting the information;
  • the consequences of not providing access to the personal information; and
  • if the information is to be transferred to another country, the level of protection afforded to the information in that country.

Condition 7: Security Safeguards

The seventh condition introduces safeguards to protect the integrity and confidentiality of personal information once it has been collected.

In terms of this condition any person collecting or processing personal information must take appropriate and reasonable technical and organisational measures to ensure that personal information is not lost, damaged or unlawfully accessed or processed. This requires the responsible party to take measures to identify internal and external risks, establish and maintain safeguards and continually update procedures and safeguards in response to new risks or deficiencies.

Data subjects must also be informed of any security breaches as soon as reasonably possible.

Condition 8: Data Subject Participation

The final condition applicable to the lawful processing of personal information provides data subjects with the right to participate in the collection and processing of their personal information.
This condition provides data subjects with the right to:

  • request whether or not a party is in possession of personal information belonging to the data subject;
  • request a record of the personal information held;
  • request information regarding all third parties who have had access to the personal information;
  • request the correction or deletion of inaccurate personal information; and
  • request the deletion or destruction of personal information.




Lantech appoints Duxbury Networking as SA distributor

By admin, 22 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Duxbury Networking has been appointed a distributor for Lantech, a global manufacturer of industrial grade networking products including switches, converters and accessories.

Lantech’s ‘ruggedized’ industrial offerings are targeted at applications in harsh operating environments where solutions for the delivery of universal Ethernet services are increasingly demanded.

“They are designed to be significantly more durable than conventional offerings,” says Andy Robb, chief technology officer at Duxbury Networking. “Fitted with IP30 protective casings, they offer a higher degree of protection against foreign particle ingress, the ravages of rust and damage caused by inadvertent impacts than products relying on regular plastic enclosures.

“This makes them eminently suitable for application-critical network environments in maritime, desert, mining, road and rail transport and many other environments where dust, moisture, motion or hazardous materials may be encountered.”

Robb adds that all Lantech products are subject to tests for electromagnetic interference (EMI) and are compliant with accepted industrial safety standards. They also undergo stability tests which include free-fall, shock and vibration analyses.

“Wider operating temperatures ranging from -40°C to 75°C are available for some models, which allow for operation in more critical environments with extreme weather influences,” he says.

“Lantech’s core competency is centred on its network software and hardware,” explains Robb. “They are integrated with Pro-Ring, Lantech’s proprietary auto network recovery protocol, and Lantech-View, a sever-client utility for monitoring and configuring multiple switches simultaneously.”

He expects Lantech’s solutions will encourage the development of new business opportunities and marketing innovations for Duxbury-accredited resellers and dealers where network installations in ground-breaking operations such as shale gas mines, solar power plants and wind farms present new challenges.

Wireless Broadband Alliance Wi-Fi Industry Awards 2013 winners announced

By admin, 21 listopada, 2013, No Comment

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the industry association focused on driving the next generation Wi-Fi experience, have announced the winners of the WBA Wi-Fi Industry Awards 2013. The awards recognise Wi-Fi innovations by operators, vendors, device manufacturers and new ventures within the industry. The awards were presented yesterday at a gala awards dinner and networking event at Wi-Fi Global Congress in Beijing.

The awards were open to the entire industry and judged independently of the WBA by a panel of highly distinguished analysts and industry experts, led by Guang Yang, Senior Analyst of Wireless Operator Strategies & Mobile Broadband Opportunities, Strategy Analytics. The awards attracted entries from vendors and operators from across the world encompassing the whole public Wi-Fi ecosystem. The Chairman Awards are voted for separately by WBA Members and recognise the outstanding contributions that have been driving key initiatives in the Wi-Fi ecosystem over the past 12 months.

Ruckus Wireless won the 2013 Chairman Award for Technology Partner based on its contributions to specified WBA work-areas and on how Ruckus is driving the Wi-Fi ecosystem agenda.

“The quality and volume of entries received this year was of an extremely high standard and it was tough for the judging panel to select a shortlist. Carrier Wi-Fi is experiencing a boom in interest with massive innovation currently occurring in the industry. This was reflected in the high calibre of submissions this year and I would like to congratulate each of tonight’s winners on their invaluable contributions to the ecosystem,” said Guang Yang, Senior Analyst for Strategy Analytics and Head Judge for the Wi-Fi Industry Awards 2013.

Please visit http://www.wballiance.com/2013/11/20/wireless-broadband-alliance-wi-fi-industry-awards-2013-winners-announced/ for the full announcement. Full details about the WBA Wi-Fi Industry Awards and categories can be found at www.wnalliance.com/awards

HP for everyone – four top HP computers for every market

By admin, 21 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Computers have become essential for any business user and for the majority of home users as well. However, not all users have the same needs or the same budgets. The HP range of personal computers and notebooks, available from distributor Drive Control Corporation (DCC), has something for everyone, and these are four of the hottest products for all users, from entry-level desktops to midrange notebooks, touch screen devices and enterprise business PC.

“Choosing the right computer to suit both your requirements and your pocket can be a tricky task, particularly given the variety of different devices available from so many different vendors. These HP products represent some of the best in the available range, with something for every target market, backed by the legendary quality of the HP brand, taking the guesswork out of the equation,” says Francois van Wijk, HP PSG Business Unit Manager at DCC.

HP EliteOne 800 Touch

The HP EliteOne 800 is an enterprise-class All-in-One business PC with a capacitive touch screen, designed for professional performance. A slim 23-inch diagonal screen houses the entire PC, optimising space utilisation and replacing the traditional bulky enterprise desktops in style. Solid State Drive (SSD) and SSD hybrid drive options and a choice of 4th Generation Intel Core processors ensures you stay up to speed. With several stand options as well as the ability to wall mount the computer, the EliteOne 800 will fit in practically anywhere, delivering an ultra-sleek, high performance machine for even the most demanding applications. The HP EliteOne 800 Touch is available for a recommended retail price (RRP) of R16 999.00 including VAT.

HP ProBook 450

The HP ProBook 450 is a powerful notebook designed for the business user on the move, featuring a 10-point capacitive touch screen for intuitive working and a fingerprint reader for additional security. A 15.6-inch High Definition (HD) LED flat-panel display enables touch, tap and swipe navigation, crystal clear viewing and all of the power and portability of a professional HP notebook. The thin, lightweight chassis and top class specifications offer all of the power the business user needs, and with integrated HSPA+ mobile warriors can keep connected wherever they go. The HP 450 is available immediately for a RRP of R13 499.00 including VAT.

HP 250

The HP 250 offers value pricing in a durable notebook constructed of solid, hardwearing materials, perfect for the home, the student, or the small business user on the move. Featuring 64-bit Windows 8 Operating Systems (OS), 3rd Generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processors and dual channel memory up to 6 Gigabytes (GB), the HP 250 is powered for business. A 15.6-inch HD display gives you crystal clear views for document processing, Internet browsing, content viewing and any other day-to-day task, without sacrificing on portability. The HP 250 is available for a RRP of R4 999.00 including VAT.

HP 3500 Desktop

The HP 3500 is the perfect solution to meet desktop computing requirements, ideal for home users as well as any size of business. It is available with an entry-level Celeron processor at a value price, and is expandable to grow with your needs as they change. Featuring a space-saving micro tower design, the HP 3500 incorporates the latest Intel processers, integrated HD graphics, customisable expansion slot options and six USB 2.0 ports for a variety of peripheral devices. Dual monitor support enables more productive working, and HP ProtectTools offer essential security to protect your information and identity from theft. The HP 3500 is available for a RRP of R4 499.00 including VAT.

The HP EliteOne 800, HP ProBook 450, HP 250 and HP 3500 are all available from Drive Control Corporation as well as selected resellers and leading retailers.

Jasco wins Medscheme IT support contract

By admin, 21 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Jasco has entered into a three-year agreement to provide IT support to Helios IT Solutions (Pty) Limited which provides IT services to one of South Africa’s largest health administration and managed care service providers, Medscheme. In term of the contract, Jasco Electronics will provide IT support, maintenance in the evolution of Medscheme’s Avaya CM6 platform.

Steve Briggs, MD of Jasco Enterprise, says there is the potential of expanding the scope of the contract to include the integration of existing legacy systems with the Avaya platform aimed at further optimising Helios’ and Medscheme’s operations.

“This partnership opens some exciting doors for us. We are already looking at ways to connect systems such as workforce management and access security to give Medscheme even tighter control of their business,” he explains.

“We bring a totally new approach to the IT environment at Helios to the table, ” he says, adding that the contract reflects Jasco’s strategy to help clients optimise their contact centre infrastructures to maximize the value-add to their businesses.

“Increasingly, customer relationships are considered an organisation’s most valuable asset and on this context it is crucial to ensure that that the technology deployed enhances the customer experience,” he adds.

Medscheme currently manages the medical scheme benefits of 3,4 million people and employs over 3 000 employees across its 16 branches located nationwide.

Helios MD, Vijay Pillay, says that a cost-effective, reliable and intelligent IT Support Service is pivotal to Medscheme’s operations and its ability to provide good quality service to all its clients.

“Medscheme is a technology-driven business and Helios offers sophisticated technology platforms which enable the company to deliver efficient services to clients through the best-of-breed Avaya platform. Jasco has extensive experience in this area and we will rely on this expertise to maintain the system at the cutting edge, ” adds Pillay.

“During the first few weeks we’ve experienced a seamless transition to Jasco as the service provider with no business disruption. This has opened up a number of interesting discussions to find new technology synergies that enhance our agent forecasting and scheduling,” he continues.

Briggs says that by providing multi-skilled technicians who are familiar with the various applications and aspects of the Avaya technology set, Jasco is in a unique position to be able provide the most cost-effective service and solve any issue very quickly.

“Winning strategic deals such as this bears testimony to our unique strengths and innovative approaches. I am confident that over the next three years our performance on the Helios/Medscheme account will also reflect that,” he concludes.


Cloud computing brings massive benefits-but make sure your service provider is reliable

By admin, 21 listopada, 2013, No Comment

Today, cloud computing generates a lot of hype; it’s both promising and scary. Businesses see its potential but also have many concerns – one of them being security.

This is according to Johann Evans, chief technical officer of Cherry Olive, the unified data management specialist.

“Cloud computing is certainly one of the most exciting developments to hit the computer world over the last decade, and there is no doubt that it offers a host of incredible advantages – including financial and technological advantages.

“But,” said Evans, “security remains a big concern when it comes to cloud computing. This is because although the concept of time-shared remote services isn’t new, cloud computing infrastructures use new technologies and services, some of which haven’t been fully evaluated with respect to security.

“Security is considered one of the most critical aspects in everyday computing, and it is no different for cloud computing due to the sensitivity and importance of data stored in the cloud. This is something vendors and users have to be acutely aware of,” said Evans. “This includes the risk of malicious insiders in the cloud and the failing of cloud services – which have received strong attention by companies.”

But, besides the security risk – which must always be a major consideration for all players the loop, cloud computing offers a myriad of benefits that just cannot be ignored.

Firstly, cloud computing offers users unlimited flexibility, with access to millions of different databases, and the ability to combine them into customised services.

Secondly, if handled correctly, cloud computing offers better reliability and security -as users no longer need to worry about their hardware failure, or hardware being stolen.

Thirdly, cloud computing offers enhanced collaboration by enabling online sharing of information and applications – and “certainly offers users new ways of working together”, noted Evans.

“Other advantages include portability as users can access their data from anywhere, at anytime. Users can also harness simpler devices as data is stored and processed in the cloud. Users simply need an interface to access and use this data.

“Then there are other major advantages such as the access to unlimited storage for a relatively minimum charge-and access to lightning quick processing.
“Even with all these massive benefits, trust between the service provider and the customer, today, is one of the main issues cloud computing faces. There is no way for the customer to be sure whether management of the Service is trustworthy- and whether there is any risk of insider attacks. This is a major issue and has, increasingly, received strong attention by companies.

“The only legal document between the customer and service provider is the Service Level Agreement (SLA). This document contains all the agreements between the customer and the service provider; it contains what the service provider is doing and is willing to do. However, there is currently no clear format for the SLA, and, because of this, there may be services not documented in the SLA that the customer may be unaware of-that will be needed at some time in the future. But a tight-written SLA is definitely a way to start,” said Evans.

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