Wi-Fi is an Answer for Africa: Across Africa demands are changing, access models are changing and consumers are blurring the lines between corporate

Latest Articles

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Wi-Fi is an Answer for Africa

Wi-Fi is an Answer for Africa

Across Africa demands are changing, access models are changi...

Shortage of Information Security skills in South Africa a cause for concern

Shortage of Information Security skills in South Africa…

The Information Security field is extremely fast moving, how...

Tips to ensure mobile safety

Tips to ensure mobile safety

Today, we cannot live without our mobile phones. We use our ...

A+ A A-
Friday, 26 September 2014 00:00

Wi-Fi is an Answer for Africa

Wi-Fi is an Answer for Africa

Across Africa demands are changing, access models are changing and consumers are blurring the lines between corporate and personal spaces – becoming more vocal in terms of what they want. And what they want is access.


With more than 650 million mobile users* in Africa and with 50% of Internet connections being exclusively channelled through mobile devices, Africa is the second biggest mobile market in the world and the fastest growing. With this growth, the expectation of increased capacity and coverage by users is exploding, but as more traffic, devices and concurrent connections hit mobile networks, the cost for transporting these bits rises. As a result, these trends are driving a new networks strategy that reduces OPEX and CAPEX, using Wi-Fi to offload non-essential traffic from cellular networks as well as scaling coverage and capacity quickly, using smaller cell sizes.

Published in Networking
Increased connectivity places SA Consumers at greater risk of financial scams

The price war among local broadband providers, and the surge in volumes of mobile devices in South Africa, has meant increasing numbers of South Africans are enjoying wider access to the Internet. But it also places consumers at greater risk of becoming potential victims of financial scams.


This is according to Kevin Hurwitz, Chief Executive Officer at Wonga.com South Africa, who says cybercrime is becoming an increasing problem globally, and is becoming more prominent in South Africa as more people become connected. “As a result, it is imperative that people are aware of how to identify scams, in order to avoid being financially defrauded.”


The RSA Anti-Phishing service recorded a total of 1,942 new phishing attacks in South Africa for the first half of 2012, equating to an estimated financial loss of R71 million. In addition to this, the Symantec Intelligence Report for June 2012 identified South Africa as the second-most targeted country globally, with one in 170.9 emails identified as phishing attacks.


“It makes sense that South Africa has become a significant target for cybercriminals, as we have the largest Internet connectivity on the continent,” says Hurwitz.


Much has been said recently about phishing scams in particular, however there are many other scams that don’t involve phishing but are equally dangerous to consumers.


Hurwitz explains that various scams are used by criminals to illegally obtain personal information – such as bank account details, ID numbers, passwords and usernames. These are often sent electronically by individuals posing as legitimate entities, in order to conduct financial fraud. “Consumers are fooled into providing personal details, or depositing money into fraudulent accounts, based on the assumption that these communications are authentic.”


Hurwitz says that there are currently two primary channels used to conduct what is known as ‘advance fee scams’, namely email and SMS. “These communications are designed to look real and can easily trick consumers into financial losses.”


He says anyone receiving an unsolicited email or SMS which appears to come from a legitimate source, but requests personal information, should contact that organisation directly to verify that the communication is authentic, before taking any actions. Consumers who potentially fall victim to these scams are likely to ignore warnings about phishing, because they don’t generally transact online, so don’t believe the warnings relate to them.


According to Hurwitz, another popular type of scam currently doing the rounds involves people receiving an SMS (or email) claiming that they have won money, but in order to receive the funds they need to send their banking details, or deposit money into an account. “No official organisation would ask for personal details in this manner, or request money to be deposited in order to receive a prize, so everyone should immediately be suspicious of this type of communication.”


“With the number of innovative scams growling on a monthly basis, it is imperative that consumers are more vigilant about verifying any communication relating to financial matters before giving out personal information or making payments. After all, it is their identity and financial well-being they need to protect.”


Hurwitz provides the following advice to avoid falling victim to financial scams:


  • When an email or SMS requests personal details or payment,  contact the organisation directly to verify the authenticity of the communication
  • Never provide or verify personal details via SMS or unsecure websites (In order to identify a secure website, an image of a lock will appear on the browser status bar or the URL will read “https” as opposed to “http”)
  • Never deposit money into a bank account, especially a private bank account, unless the communication has been verified with a legitimate organisation
  • Never click on links, download files or open attachments from unknown sources
  • Never enter personal information on a pop-up screen - a legitimate organisation will never request details like this
  • Check bank statements regularly to ensure no unauthorised transactions have taken place
Published in Mobile
A new kind of customer engagement: smart connected interactions

The rise of smart devices and a focus on customer loyalty has created the proverbial "perfect storm" for enterprises that want to reinvent the customer experience around smartphones and tablets. These devices can help solve some of the challenges that have plagued the contact centre industry for more than 30 years. For example, caller identity, intent, and call context (what the customer tried immediately before calling) can be easily and passively established before a call begins. Caller expectations can be better managed, and enterprises can smooth the arrival rate of calls with intelligent, resource aware call-back.

Published in Networking
Google’s major AdWords switch has big implications for SA marketers

Google has made many sweeping changes to how Google Adwords works since it was launched in 2000. But the introduction of “enhanced campaigns” is one of the largest and most significant changes to the platform we have seen in a number of years.

Published in Advertising
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:15

Purpose in Africa: Doing well by doing good

Purpose in Africa: Doing well by doing good

Brand purpose is one of the most powerful tools for growth and sustainability in a global marketplace devoid of trust in business. A brand’s purpose is its reason for being – it goes beyond what you do, or who you’re doing it for. Purpose is the why: why your business exists, and why that should matter.

Published in Branding
Tuesday, 11 December 2012 08:46

Which tech trends will be making waves in 2013? Experts weigh in

Which tech trends will be making waves in 2013? Experts weigh in

2012 has seen interesting technological advances. Vodacom and MTN have both announced the rollout of 4G as South Africa heads towards full LTE mobile networks, fibre optics are becoming more accessible and consumers have rushed to buy the iPad 3 and iPhone 5. We’ve asked 5 experts to weigh in on which developments will be making waves in 2013:

01 Mobile internet will be on the uptake

“I expect that the advent of 4G networks will have a positive impact on the market. The cost of bandwidth and smart devices will decrease, which means that rich technology will become more prolific. On the negative side, the IT skill issue remains a problem, particularly best of breed. We need to start developing skills from the ground up to ensure that the technology sector remains lucrative in the future.” – Nick Cadenhead, IT solutions consultant AIGS

02 Businesses will become greener

“The implementation of carbon taxation in 2013/2014 means that IT departments will be subject to scrutiny in terms of energy efficiency and carbon footprinting. Not only will this drive innovation for low-energy hardware development, but also in terms of usage. Inefficient PC power management can be a significant source of electricity waste. In 2013, we should be seeing greater demands on the reduction of “drowsy servers” and wasted power through wake-on-lan technology.  The good news is that this will greatly reduce costs (along with carbon emissions), particularly for industries with an extensive IT infrastructure.” Tim James, MD of sustainableIT and The Carbon Report

03 Cloud computing will become more prevalent

“Cloud computing will continue to prove disruptive to businesses, but the providers that will weather the storm of rapid cloud tech adoption are the ones who are willing to provide support throughout the project life cycle. Rather than selling a solution-in-a-box, but they will guarantee service at a fixed monthly hosting cost to minimise upfront investment. We expect to see several companies move to a cloud-based model in order to take advantage of the cost benefits and scalability.” – Bruce von Maltitz, MD of 1Stream

04 VoIP will become more important

“While fixed line penetration is waning, ADSL is growing in absolute numbers and as a percentage of fixed line installations. By and large, the gap will be filled by mobile and wireless solutions, but also by networked voice (VoIP) offerings from a plethora of alternative telcos. VoIP is making increasing inroads, worldwide as well as in South Africa. The technology is strong in greenfields implementations (new companies or branches) and as replacements of end-of-life analogue systems.” – Rob Lith, Director of Connection Telecom

05 M-commerce and location-aware will increase

“For over a decade, mobile retail has been viewed as a niche market, with profitable but somewhat insignificant products such as ringtones/wallpapers. This is slowly changing, as more shoppers prefer to use mobile smart devices to conduct business with. If the cost of mobile data goes down, the popularity of m-commerce will increase.  Companies should start integrating their existing websites and tools with the new technology and devise a holistic digital strategy. Ultimately, of course, the real benefits lie in the opportunities presented by the bevy of apps that are being created. Shoppers browsing a retail store are free to either buy online on the same store’s website, or do comparative browsing online and shop elsewhere. In this scenario, mobile loyalty schemes are becoming a must. Coalition loyalty schemes like Shopkick offer rewards (‘kicks’) for merely walking into stores, with ‘kicks’ redeemable on any partner merchandise. Soon we’ll see location-aware services, near-field communications and other innovations dominating the market.” – Wesley Lynch, MD of Realmdigital


It’s seems as though the consumerisation of IT continues to drive innovation as developers scramble to create applications and services that can be accessed on any platform, on any device. But one thing is certain: technology continues to empower businesses to lower their operating costs and improve their service offering.

Published in Technology
Wednesday, 05 December 2012 00:00

Why ERP solutions have to be mobile – and multiplatform

Why ERP solutions have to be mobile – and multiplatform

With the dramatic emergence of tablet computing into the corporate workspace, enterprise resource vendors have a new frontier to consider: do their applications extend to these devices, and if not, can they stay competitive?


It’s no trivial question. The force of the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) trend has seen a multiplicity of new platforms and devices enter the workplace. The users of these gadgets represent a new generation of workers, for whom choice and convenience are valuable criteria in determining job satisfaction.


Where other ERP vendors may find the demands of iOS, Android and the Windows Mobile environments somewhat intimidating (or they may even ignore them altogether), others have always embraced multiple platforms. For example, long before the Apple Mac and Linux operating systems gained popularity, HansaWorld was available for clients who made these technology choices.


It’s a legacy which has also propelled the company to stay on the sharp end of compatibility, even as tablet computing emerged from almost nowhere to become the present darling of the industry. With applications available for the iPhone since 2009 and on the iPad since its inception, the rise of Android and now Microsoft Phone don’t present challenges. They present additional opportunities to extend ERP right into the palms of executives around the world.


The Microsoft ecosystem, built around the Windows Phone mobile operating system, and the release of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet, is yet in its infancy. However, a great many CIOs are waiting for devices with a full Microsoft software stack. It will provide them with the necessary control and governance expected of a business; while the Intel-based Microsoft Surface is scheduled for release only in 2013, HansaWorld apps will be available on the Windows Phone marketplace.


It is and always has been a multiplatform world. While in the past, ERP vendors could get away with addressing only one sector of the market, today it is the end-user who is setting the agenda; by providing applications which work regardless of the choice of platform, those end users will be kept happy, productive and loyal to the company.

Published in Mobile
Friday, 09 November 2012 11:51

SMEs to reap the benefits of Video Conferencing

SMEs to reap the benefits of Video Conferencing

Small business owners can attest to the fact that business travel can be both an extremely expensive and tiresome necessity, particularly if the company is owner-driven and absences can result in decision-making delays. Fortunately, there are alternatives to airports – including video and mobile conferencing.


Video conferencing has been available for a number of years, but SMEs have steered away from the technology because the perception exists that it is simply too expensive in the long run. The reality is that with hosted and mobile solutions, prices are as low as R175 per month for unlimited conferencing time – much cheaper than travel costs. 


Some SMEs have opted to use free options, such as Skype, but this is not ideal. This type of software doesn’t give users the functionality to connect into the formal video conferencing environment or virtual boardrooms, and they are not secure. It is best that companies opt for an alternative that offers a secure, locally hosted, encrypted platform – the company won’t have to invest in expensive video conferencing infrastructure or worry about constant security upgrades, as this falls to the provider.


Video conferences are every bit as interactive as live meetings, with tools enabling employees to work on a joint presentation or document from different locations by sharing files and screens. Notes can be written in digital ink, instant messaging keeps the conversation flowing, and users switch between screens in addition to the video and audio feeds. The application can also be linked to Smart interactive whiteboards and sessions can be recorded in full.


This also means that users no longer have to wait for boardrooms to become available – these solutions work on any webcam-enabled PC, Android or IOS device with video capabilities, affording them the opportunity to catch up with business while on the move.


Tips when using video conferencing as a mainline communication tool:

  • Enquire about hosted solutions before investing in traditional boardroom VC equipment. Not only are the costs of the latter quite high, it also limits users to a single location.
  • Ensure that the product is user friendly – too much time is wasted if the various parties are unsure of how to set the system up.
  • Make use of a local service provider. It is best to have support close to home, should a problem arise.
  • Take a moment to do the maths. Most companies are shocked when they find out how much they can save through effective video conferencing.
  • Don’t let anyone tell you that bandwidth is an issue – with the right provider, it won’t be.


As companies are becoming more mobile and environmentally conscious, the need for extensive travelling is decreasing. Mobile conferencing – in any form – can reduce time and costs drastically, without investing in complex equipment.

Published in Networking
Friday, 02 November 2012 09:38

IBM SmartCamp winner is announced

IBM SmartCamp winner is announced

Winner of the IBM SmartCamp program initiative which is in the second year is MODe, a nano-finance company from Kenya offering mobile users the ability to take a small loan against their next prepaid mobile top-up. This offers mobile users the ability to use their mobile for a while longer before their next paycheck. With the large number of mobile users in Africa this venture is lucrative based on the volume of users alone, MoDe has already reached 200 million transactions. The owners of MoDe Josphat Kinyua and Julian Kyula are expecting rapid growth in transaction after rolling out the technology to new countries and extending the product offering to cater for other prepaid purchases, such as prepaid electricity.


Tom Rosamillia, vice president of Corporate Strategy and general manager of Enterprise at IBM, says “the important thing when judging and selecting winners of the SmartCamp is not necessary how advanced the technology is but how the commercial and applicable the technology is to the market.” Tom went on to mention, that he hopes that Government takes notice of initiatives like the IBM SmartCamp to develop technology entrepreneurs in South Africa, which will ultimately lead to job creation and the decline in unemployment.


With 40 qualifying entrants which competed at the Cape Town KickStart event four entrants where select to as finalists.


The winners of the SmartCamp program benefit from free software and a project resource manager offering the winner one-to-one guidance through all stages of their project development. In addition all finalists and winners benefit from networking opportunities and exposure for their products and services.


In order to qualify for the IBM SmartCamp the organisations has to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • be less than 5 years old,
  • be privately held, and
  • the business must be actively engaged in developing a software-based product or service.

“The last winner of IBM SmartCamp was exposed to over 300 Venture Capitalists” explained Tom, offering great financial growth opportunities for a start-up company.


MoDe is on their way to San Paulo, Brazil where the Regional winner for will be crowned.

Published in Software
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 00:00

Cloud-based contact centres of the future

Cloud-based contact centres of the future

How hosting enables customer responsiveness in small business

With instant gratification a fact of everyday life, a strategy of customer-centricity is a hallmark of competitiveness. Market leaders employ cutting-edge technologies that connect them more closely with their customers, enable a better understanding of their needs and allow shorter response times.

Published in Mobile
  • Start
  • Prev
  • 1
  • 2
  • Next
  • End
Page 1 of 2

The SA Leader Magazine


In the September issue

Leadership in a changing context

Interview with one of SA’s Young Achievers

While you’re speaking, what’s your body saying?



Technology Tags

3G bandwidth BYOD call centres cloud software cloud technology cost cutting ERP iPad LTE network malware mobile mobile apps mobile commerce mobile device management networking outsourcing SaaS security security risk smartphones SME social media software development tablets telecoms virtualisation VOIP WiFi
Copyright © 2014 gdmc (Geoffrey Dean Marketing Corporation cc). All rights reserved. Material may not be published or reproduced in any form without prior written permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. External links are provided for reference purposes. SALeader.co.za is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Login or Subscribe