CMC Networks and Neutrona Networks to provide cloud network services in Africa, Middle East and Latin America

Two of the most innovative carriers in the Southern Hemisphere, CMC Networks and Neutrona Networks, have reached an exclusive agreement to bring the benefits of additional scale and capabilities for customers doing business in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.

“CMC and Neutrona have very similar operating models, offering world class solutions in historically difficult territories,” says Marisa Trisolino, CEO of CMC Networks. “This partnership reinforces CMC’s commitment to provide a one-stop approach servicing our customers’ needs on a global scale, while offering ‘second to none’ solutions that embrace next generation technology.”

“I’m excited by the opportunity to increase our ability to serve the world’s fastest growing digital marketplaces with the latest in ‘smart’ technologies designed to expand seamless connectivity for our global customers in these regions,” says Luciano Salata, president and co-founder of Neutrona Networks. “We have always viewed Neutrona as a ‘bridge’ into the Americas, and now that bridge just got a lot longer.”

Under the agreement, CMC will extend its footprint by adding more than 30 points of presence (PoPs) in Latin America. In return, Neutrona expands its reach with access to more than 100 PoPs throughout Africa and the Middle East. With the support of established “network to network interconnections” (NNIs) in Brazil and USA, both companies offer lower latency by providing a direct alternative to existing North American routes.

 They will also take advantage of cable systems that directly connect the Americas with Africa.

Each carrier’s respective SDN platforms, CMC’s C-RAN and Neutrona’s SHIFT, use complementary technologies enhanced by artificial intelligence to ensure applications are routed to meet required Service Level Agreements efficiently and without jitter, latency, and packet loss.

 The combined networks also allow real-time provisioning and activation for a seamless customer experience across three continents.

The new agreement promises to offer the world’s first intercontinental network connection across the Southern Hemisphere with the ability to scale to over 140 points of presence in 80 countries. It also brings together two companies who share similar philosophies.

“The ethos of both CMC and Neutrona is built around customer experience, digital transformation and innovation,” says Trisolino. “Each company is a regional leader in providing SD-WAN and access to Cloud services, so we are in an excellent position to drive collaboration and innovation in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.”

www.cmcnetworks.net

www.neutrona.com

[Column] Nick Durrant: New app trends that will help businesses succeed in 2020

Mobile apps are reshaping all industries and business leaders need to quickly adopt the latest mobile app trends in order to succeed in 2020. It is also critical for businesses to integrate the latest mobile app development technologies in order to reach a wider target audience and more importantly, to gain growth.

The innovations in mobile app development will impact all the online digital business products globally. According to Gartner, by 2023 more than 25% of the mobile apps, progressive web apps and conversational apps at large enterprises will be built or run through a multi-experience development platform.

Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant says by merely implementing the right strategy will not necessarily ensure a higher success rate because the mobile app industry is changing rapidly. “So, to keep abreast with the ever-increasing customer demands, it is crucial for businesses to incorporate the latest mobile app trends.”

He says new technologies are gaining popularity making it more efficient to build and maintain apps such as the growing popularity of Facebook’s React Native and Google’s Flutter.

Here is a list of some key mobile app development trends to consider:

Application Performance Management (APM)

APM helps boost the overall app performance and has become a preferred tool of quality assurance testers for the app testing process.

Enterprise Mobile Management (EMM)

EMM helps streamline the mobile computing business processes, it’s a platform that enables businesses to securely authorise mobile devices that are being used by employees on the company network. It not only strengthens the security structure but also helps staff to be more productive by enabling the exchange of applications and data over mobile devices.

Beacon technology

Beacon technology is one of the biggest mobile app trends, it is being embraced by many industries for its location technology and proximity marketing functionality. Beacons are wireless transmitters that make use of Bluetooth technology to send signals.

5G technology

With speeds nearly 100 times faster than 4G, 5G technology will most likely be one of the top trends in mobile app development in 2020. Mobile companies like Samsung and Verizon are already launching their dedicated 5G-capable chips and LG is also planning to fuse 5G services into its devices. With such an array 5G services, mobile app developers need to design apps to take advantage of faster network speeds with enhanced performance.

Wearable devices

Wearable devices such as smartwatches, fitness bands and trackers have been around for some time already. They are changing the way people interact with smart devices. In a report by Statista, it claims a staggering revenue of $33 billion generated by wearable devices by 2019. Surprisingly, many apps still don’t integrate with wearable devices.

Mobile app developers must keep an option to integrate apps with wearable devices. They require a set platform to run e.g. Apple Watch requires WatchOS and Android smartwatches sync with WearOS. Wearable devices will also be less dependent on the smartphone, currently, it still needs to be kept close to the smartphone to function.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

AI has seen a significant breakthrough in new technology in mobile application development. AI has not only made the mobile apps smarter, but it saves the mobile app development company a huge amount of time, effort and money. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), the AI market will experience revenue growth of more than $47 billion by 2020.

Internet of Things (IoT)

By the end of 2019, global Internet of Things (IoT) sales were expected to reach $1.71 trillion and by 2020, the total number of IoT devices should reach 20 billion. This convenience has already become a mobile app requirement, developers need to make apps IoT friendly.

Augmented reality (AR)

In 2020, AR integration will be an essential step for the mobile app development industry. Google and Apple used AR platforms for adding AR capabilities to their apps. There are many apps like Ikea that are already using the technology to enhance the user experience. Snapchat and Instagram have already been using AR for some time already, the stickers and animations are only possible through the AR technology.

Blockchain technology

Blockchain technology is already been used by many payment apps for providing trustable and uncompromised safety during transactions. Blockchain has surprisingly entered the mobile payment market and is offering a more secured money transaction option for mobile users. Online banking and eCommerce has evolved enormously, but with the advent of Apple Pay and Google Wallet, customers are gradually shifting to m-commerce.

Payment gateways

Businesses need to integrate a payment gateway into their apps. Mobile giants like Samsung are working on enhanced scan and pay techniques to make mobile payments more convenient. Apple is also working on a peer-to-peer money payment system called Apple Pay.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Developed by Google in collaboration with Twitter, AMP is a lean version of HTML to accelerate the speed of mobile pages. AMP enables mobile app developers to create complex websites with fast loading speeds and high performance across all mobile devices.

Google has integrated AMP listings into its mobile search results, it has helped developers reduce web page loading time. With a good AMP score, businesses can now achieve a better conversion rate, reduce the bounce rate and increase user retention. It will also boost the user experience. Google will also soon be providing a mobile search box that will help users find mobile-friendly websites.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is a key aspect of all mobile app developments and will continue to dominate this space. Business leaders should explore deception technologies to catch the staff that have defiled the company’s network. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has also increased the risk of mobile apps being attacked. It means mobile app developers need to work on the app security from the beginning and use a different approach.

Also, with more apps including a payment or money transaction feature, means a more robust security infrastructure. Developers now need to embed code encryptions, secure backend and API, and also include trusted payment gateways to ensure user safety over the app.

Chatbots

With nearly 5 million apps available, there are very few that have incorporated chatbots to facilitate better user experience. Businesses need to integrate this trend in their apps to ensure future growth, chatbots are crucial and welcomed by the users. Mobile apps that offer online shopping and food delivery services are integrating chatbots to help consumers get common queries answered without having to contact customer support.

According to Gartner, chatbots will be saving $8 billion for companies between 2018 and 2020. Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant are already much smarter and have many new features that help simplify people’s lives by assisting them in their day to day tasks.

Cloud technologies

To make the app function seamlessly across multiple platforms, businesses need to ensure that their apps integrate cloud technology in their app development strategy. Cloud technology will also ensure streamlined operations, reduced hosting and equipment costs and enhanced storage capacity.

Cloud computing integration also helps mobile apps store large amounts of data more efficiently to carry out complex tasks. Cloud storage platforms like AWS, Dropbox and SlideRocket have made it possible to run an app directly in the cloud, they help in increasing the reliability, speed, processing power and security of the apps and enable apps to deal with large amounts of data.

Predictive analytics

Predictive analytics can be used to make future predictions by analysing existing data, it uses techniques from data mining, machine learning, AI, statistics and modelling. Tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook have already enhanced the customer experience by integrating AI to use predictive analytics.

“The mobile app industry will continue to expand at a rapid pace and the competition will grow exponentially, especially amongst mobile app developers. It is therefore critical to understand the trends before developing a new app. One also needs to understand the benefits and limitations of every new technology in mobile app development,” he concludes.

Nick Durrant is the CEO of Bluegrass Digital, South Africa.

Netskope extends its NewEdge infrastructure in South Africa

Netskope, a player in cloud security, has announced the opening of a dedicated data centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The new point of presence (PoP) is part of the company’s ongoing strategy to ensure its real time security solutions for cloud and web are delivered universally and consistently around the globe.

Netskope’s South African PoP further extends the company’s NewEdge infrastructure. NewEdge is the global security network that enables Netskope’s security cloud to deliver real-time, cloud-native security without the traditional performance vs security trade-off. It is one of the world’s largest and fastest security networks, ensuring that security is always on, always present, and never a roadblock.

This announcement signals significant growth for the company in the region. Netskope’s revenues in South Africa have doubled year-on-year, and the organisation is continuing to demonstrate commitment to the region through dedicated hiring of industry experts and partnership programmes. Today’s news follows the appointment of Tinus Janse van Rensburg as Regional Sales Manager, who joins Netskope from Cisco where he managed the organisation’s African cybersecurity business.

Andre Stewart, Vice President for EMEA and LATAM for Netskope commented, “With ever increasing data moving to the cloud, security needs to follow that trend. Netskope is committed to best of breed granular, contextual Cloud Security, and the only way to ensure low latency – below 45m/s – worldwide, is to own your infrastructure. NewEdge is about giving the end user the best security without compromise. Our Jo’burg POP means that our South African customers can take advantage of all our security portfolio and benefit from the best end user experience possible.

Netskope has long term plans for the region which is why we are happy to invest in the best infrastructure but also the best people. I am delighted to have Tinus join our team and the plan is to hire great talent to best serve our customers in the region.”

Grant Reynolds, Regional Sales Manager for Africa continued, “This is great news for our customers and partners in Africa, who are already benefiting from our Next Generation Secure Web Gateway which decodes the latest cloud services and web traffic to deliver comprehensive visibility, prevent advanced threats, protect data, and simplify security operations. We are ready for fast growth both in the region and worldwide. This is an exciting time both for Netskope and for the broader security industry.”

Netskope’s Security Platform uniquely ensures that customers have all of their data and policy enforcement occur in Netskope owned / leased high end, highly secure, data centres. The Netskope Security Cloud always maintains SOC-3 Type II, SOC-2 Type II, and SSAE-16 Type II certifications and is the longest-standing security cloud to do so in the market.

www.netskope.com

[Column] Garsen Naidu: Scaling collaboration cloud service in the workplace

When it comes to scaling a cloud service (and more specifically) a collaboration cloud service – what must-haves comes to mind?

For me, it’s a vendor and service that has experience with millions of users, millions of calls and meetings, billions of messages, 99.999% reliability, and a whole lot of geek talk. These are crucial factors if you are choosing a collaboration cloud service for your business. But there are a few more facets you need to think about.

Enabling your teams and employees to make the best of any and every workspace in today’s ‘work-anywhere, work-anytime’ era is a big one and can be a competitive advantage. And this is why a collaboration experience that scales to different workspaces and devices is so important.

Collaboration is about of getting things done, together. It’s important to think about where the work gets done, what tools your teams use to get work done and how time, context, and continuity affect their work. The collaboration experience needs to transcend the physical workspaces we occupy, the gadgets and devices we use, and how work gets done over time. It’s enabling fluidity in form factors and workflows.

When your experience does not scale…
Here’s an all-too-common scenario: You’re sitting at your desk working on your laptop, getting ready to join a meeting. Three other people, sitting just a few feet away from you, also need to join the same meeting. So why not just go into a conference room? Easier said than done these days.

So now, you are all walking around the office, carrying your laptops, looking for an empty room or available space. While you all search the floor trying to decipher which rooms are reserved, you finally, settle on a huddle space, put your laptops next to each other and get the dreaded, “meeting join” echo.

And as with almost every meeting and collaboration situation, someone grabs a dry-erase pen and starts whiteboarding on a wall-board while another person provides audio commentary of what’s being written to the remote participants.

As you get closer to the end of the meeting, someone else gets the bright idea to point one of the laptop cameras at the board itself and then someone says, “Let’s take a picture of this board and email or post it in shared space.”

Why do we do this to ourselves?
Of course, you have ways to get around these; you can set up a “stitched together” video conferencing room – with iPads, USB-connected cams, and stuff from seven different vendors. You can have someone send help, spend an entire day stitching it together and then leave sticky notes and printouts on the wall with instructions. This is what you get when you don’t have a solution that can scale your workspaces and the way we meet today.

Now, imagine what it’s like when your collaboration cloud experience scales…
Actually, you don’t have to imagine what it’s like – it’s already possible with Webex. In fact, many of our customers have already started the workplace transformation journey with Webex and are seeing the benefits of cloud collaboration that actually scales. A poll conducted on Businesstech and Wystalk revealed that 14% of South African employees’ organisations use collaboration tools like a channel of communication.

Imagine a collaboration cloud service that scales

On a PC, iPad, or mobile device, simply click the green Webex “Join” button to start a live meeting. You realise four other colleagues sitting in the same area need to join, too, so you all simply move over to an adjacent huddle space.

In the room, the Webex video device, which supports video, audio and screen share, immediately recognises everyone in the meeting. The meeting is connected and displayed on the 55-inch screen with a single swipe of a finger. No dongles, no cables, no echo, and (even better) no one else needs to click anything. Everyone is automatically in the meeting, with laptops connected, ready to collaborate.

What if one of your colleagues needs to take the rest of the meeting in her car? Easy. She just swipes the meeting back to her mobile phone (with no disruption to anyone else) and walks to her car. Once inside and the engine has started, her Webex meeting automatically shifts into “driving mode” like any phone call.

And what’s a brainstorming meeting without some whiteboarding?

Simply walk to the Webex Board in the room and start ideating with everyone in the meeting – including remote participants. At the end of the meeting, you now have a digital copy of the whiteboarding session saved to the cloud, which you can later access on your phone or PC to resume where you left off – from any meeting space or even a different city altogether.

And, yes, the person who took the meeting from her car also has the whiteboard available by the time she logs back on as well. Webex provides a truly connected experience for everyone in the room and gives remote people easy instant access to the same material.

Scaling the experience means making the most of the workspace – including the screens and phones – to effectively participate, collaborate, and contribute with zero disruption, wherever you are and wherever you are going; being able to pick where you left off and always in the most natural way.

Garsen Naidu is the General Manager of Cisco South Africa

Gemalto and Eseye launch World’s first IoT ‘device-to-cloud’ solution

Gemalto and Eseye have launched the world’s first IoT ‘device-to-cloud’ solution to simplify the process of onboarding an IoT device into AWS IoT Core securely

To realise the benefits of IoT, organisations need to navigate an enormously complex ecosystem and a fragmented value chain. With many development hurdles to cross, typically it can take an average of two years to launch a new IoT solution, while many projects are paralysed by complexity and even struggle to make it to market.

With the new Intelligent Cloud Connect solution, Eseye and Gemalto are fundamentally disrupting the IoT ecosystem with a collaborative IoT Connectivity Platform, which cuts through the complexity of IoT and enables new product development timelines to be reduced from 2 years to less than six months.

The foundation of this first solution developed in partnership is Gemalto’s ground-breaking Cinterion® PLS62-W Global IoT Module which comes pre-installed with Eseye’s market leading intelligent AnyNet Secure® SIM, also provided by Gemalto. Each AnyNet Secure® SIM comes pre-programmed to leverage Eseye’s unique network switching as a service platform, delivering near 100% global cellular connectivity. As each Intelligent Cloud Connect device is powered-on a dedicated embedded application automatically and securely connects directly to AWS IoT Core, delivering ‘plug and play’ global IoT connectivity.

Anand Gandhi, VP of Worldwide Channels & Alliances at Eseye, said “This partnership will change the way IoT devices are developed and deployed in the future. Intelligent Cloud Connect vastly reduces the complexities of creating an IoT device and then directly connecting it to the cloud, saving customers significant resources and time, whilst giving them a distinct competitive advantage. “

Andreas Haegele, VP IoT at Gemalto, a Thales company, notes “Our customers can now follow a quick and easy process to deliver IoT data securely to the cloud with confidence. It paves the way for massive innovation and marks a watershed moment for the IoT industry, which can now accelerate the deployment of secure IoT solutions at previously unachievable speeds.”

Intelligent Cloud Connect allows customers to develop a single IoT product SKU for any application that connects out-of-the-box on power-up to any mobile network in the world, while offering seamless and secure data provisioning to the AWS IoT Core. This means it is now possible to have an IoT device automatically activated and fully connected to AWS in less than 10 minutes.

The platform handles zero-touch IoT security certification with AWS IoT Core, as well as lifecycle device management, allowing customers to manage global device estates through a single pane of glass. With this solution the complexity of balancing bandwidth, data plans and negotiating multiple Mobile Network Operator (MNO) contracts is completely removed, providing customers with only one single bill for consumed MQTT messages, which can be conveniently purchased via the AWS marketplace.

www.eseye.com

www.gemalto.com

Cloud offers 20% saving on IT spend

Cloud migration is typically driven by business demand, cost-savings and IT efficiency. However, to realise the full benefit of cloud migration, business leaders must understand the real business benefits for moving an application to the cloud.

One Channel CEO Bernard Ford says companies that have already migrated the majority of their business systems to the cloud save on average more than 20 percent in IT spending as a percentage of revenue and the benefits of Cloud will continue to increase.

According to a new report from Gartner, public cloud-services technology revenues are projected to grow by more than 50 percent worldwide in the next three years, to about $355-billion in 2022.

It predicts that the global public cloud services market is set to reach $266.4 billion, representing a growth of 17%, up from $227.8-billion in 2019. Software as a service (SaaS) will remain the largest market segment, which is forecast to grow to $116-billion next year due to the scalability of subscription-based software.

The second-largest market segment is cloud system infrastructure services, or infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which will reach $50-billion in 2020. IaaS is forecast to grow 24% year over year, which is the highest growth rate across all market segments.

Gartner says this growth is attributed to the demands of modern applications and workloads, which require infrastructure that traditional data centres cannot meet.

“Some people have a perception that the Cloud means a single Cloud. However, to really take advantage of the Cloud, you need to understand that there isn’t going to be just one Cloud, but many of them,” he explains.

As the world of Cloud evolves, it’s important to distinguish between siloed Cloud environments versus a multi-cloud approach. When people say they are moving all their business systems to the Cloud, they are essentially referring to the Internet where information will be accessible anytime, anywhere.

“However, with the concept of a multi-cloud world, it goes a step further. Although Cloud services all run on the Internet, they are often siloed. Cloud environments such as Microsoft Office 365, SalesForce and Zenefits provide critical services to businesses, but they don’t easily interact with one another,” he says.

This leaves companies trying to piece together various Cloud environments, and essentially creating a version of the former on-premises world, but in the Cloud. In the former on-premises world, businesses would purchase a range of applications and then be faced with getting them to talk to each other.

Integration was the misery of many an IT department’s existence, as was customisability and adaptability. While the Cloud could make it easier, organisations may still wind up in the same silos as before in the on-premises world.

Ford says one of the exciting things that happened early on in the Cloud computing era was that a set of open standards were defined. “These standards dictate the way pieces work for an individual application, but they also dictate how one application talks to another. This is what is known as cloud interoperability and is critical for businesses to not end up in a siloed Cloud environment.”

Choose the right platform for the future. Businesses that have moved their systems to the Cloud often use a wide range of applications. This is now starting to create real challenges with regards to scale, interoperability, cost-effectiveness, and integration.

For businesses that want to be strategic and mitigate these issues, one of these applications needs to be selected to be at the centre of this multi-cloud world. It would make sense to anchor this in one that’s the most critical for business namely ERP.

“You might call this a tiny bit self-serving, but I would offer up that an ERP system truly is the system of record for a business. If other systems stop or break, the business can generally move on. If the ERP system breaks, you can’t order or ship products or bill your customers. Things stop so thinking about your ERP Cloud strategy as the centre point of this multi-cloud hub is something I would strongly recommend,” he adds.

Ford says companies that embrace the multi-cloud world are set up for success, they are light years ahead of their competitors, because they have chosen to centre their entire business around one main ERP platform that easily integrates into other Cloud environments.

The IT department doesn’t stress when the CIO recommends a new Cloud application that the ERP system must integrate into. The CFO has one less major headache to deal with, as the cost effectiveness of the ERP platform enables the business to put their money where it matters most.

“Finally, their customers are happy because they can count on a business that is always taking orders, shipping on time and making their buying experience the best in the industry, creating customer loyalty like never before,” he concludes.

www.onechannel.cloud

[South Africa] Local partner role is critical to cloud success in Africa

While cloud technology presents a significant opportunity for enterprises to innovate as if they were potentially start-ups, the time and approach some are taking to make this decision could ultimately cost them. This is according to Guy Zibi, principal analyst, Xalam Analytics, who was a keynote speaker at Hype, vendor neutral cloud infrastructure provider, Routed’s recent event series.

In his sessions in Cape Town and Johannesburg, Zibi says that there is no doubt that the African cloud is here: “While customers are going digital at an alarming rate, competition is increasingly amorphous and more agile. There are also thousands of start-ups looking to disrupt. Traditional rivals are becoming more agile and are leveraging new technologies, making the African cloud complex and varied,” says Zibi.

He says that this has led to many enterprises playing a defensive strategy, now looking at how to leverage technology to grow revenue: “This is predominant in consumer-facing businesses and has led to growth of mobile applications and a rise in the use of analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).”

This, he says, is while data volumes grow, budgets get tighter, economies slow down, and unpredictable power supply, cyber-attacks and a heavier regulatory burden all make the landscape more challenging.

How organisations approach the cloud largely hinges on what and where they are, according to Zibi. Is the market cloud-ready? How important is technology in the production chain? What is the quality and cost of connectivity?

“In Africa we are seeing selective cloud usage, which includes a mix of basic and critical workloads onsite and a mix of full-blown migration. The latter includes lift and shift; re-platform; replace/rebuild and rearchitect,” says Zibi. Interestingly, he says that the financial services sector is the most progressive in Africa, having moved to a combination of off premise and public cloud.”

Migration patterns in cloud-ready markets have been amplified by the arrival of hyperscalers, which is evident in the acceleration of the financial services sector. While rebuild/replace is not seen as a viable option, lift and shift together with rearchitecting seem to be dominating cloud migration.

“Rehosting is growing within financial services as well as in retail, however the public sector and industry are slower. It is this reluctance to consider viable alternatives that could impact the outcome and success of cloud migration across several industries,” says Zibi. 

He says that there is room for locally-attuned platforms in Africa: “While it is good to see global market leading cloud platforms in Africa, it is highly likely that several markets and sectors will be highly-dependent on local providers. Managed Service Providers (MSPs) will play an important role in cloud migration but they must evolve.”

Dave Funnell, VMware Senior Manager: Cloud Provider Business, Sub-Saharan Africa says that the growth of applications is driving Cloud adoption, with a different destination depending upon the lifecycle status of the application. This is leading to a hybrid multi-cloud world, with the requirement for cloud services not just from the hyperscalers, but also hosted private clouds. Having recently presented Routed with Africa’s first VMware Cloud Verified accreditation, he says that these Cloud platforms provide customers with a valuable proposition: the easiest and lowest risk pathway for migration to the cloud.

“The reality is that it’s a hybrid cloud future with multiple cloud providers. The majority of applications being migrated to the cloud are ‘lift and shift’, so why expend the time, cost and energy to migrate over months and years to a hyperscaler, often with unpredictable results. Rather perform a rapid and confident migration to a private cloud, whether delivered by a hyperscaler or a localised provider, such as Routed. This is why all six major hyperscalers, including AWS and Azure, have partnered with VMware and explains the growth of localised cloud provider partners, who deliver services tailored to their client’s requirements. As more enterprises adopt a cloud first strategy, I expect the private cloud market to grow in lockstep with the native hyperscale requirement, making the role of companies like Routed and other MSPs, critical,” says Funnell.

www.routed.co.za

www.xalamanalytics.com

Companies worldwide struggle to manage and protect multi-cloud compute infrastructures, survey

A vast majority of enterprises worldwide have adopted multi-cloud strategies to keep pace with the need for digital transformation and IT efficiency, but they face significant challenges in managing the complexities and added requirements of these new application and data delivery infrastructures, according to a global survey conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks.

The new study, entitled “Mapping The Multi-Cloud Enterprise,” finds that improved security, including centralized security and performance management, multi-cloud visibility of threats and attacks, and security automation, is the number one IT challenge facing companies in these new compute environments.

“Multi-cloud is the de facto new standard for today’s software- and data-driven enterprise,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership and research for the BPI Network. “However, our study makes clear that IT and business leaders are struggling with how to reassert the same levels of management, security, visibility and control that existed in past IT models. Particularly in security, our respondents are currently assessing and mapping the platforms, solutions and policies they will need to realize the benefits and reduce the risks associated of their multi-cloud environments.” 

“The BPI Network survey underscores a critical desire and requirement for companies to reevaluate their security platforms and architectures in light of multi-cloud proliferation,” said Gunter Reiss, vice president of worldwide marketing at A10 Networks. “The rise of 5G-enabled edge clouds is expected to be another driver for multi-cloud adoption. A10 Networks believes enterprises must begin to deploy robust Polynimbus security and application delivery models that advance centralized visibility and management and deliver greater security automation across clouds, networks, applications and data.”

The study finds that some 40 percent of companies have or will reassess their current relationships with security and load balancer suppliers in light of multi-cloud, with most others still undecided about whether a change in vendors is needed.

www.bpinetwork.org

[Kenya] KETRACTO digitizes procurement processes with SAP Ariba Cloud

In a bid to improve its operations and in compliance with presidential directive and government requirements, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited, KETRACO, has digitized its procurement processes via an e-procurement platform powered by SAP Ariba Cloud. 

This second phase of an end-to-end automation of tendering, supplier management and contracts process will see tenders and quotations submitted and processed online for efficiency, accountability and transparency. This process is 100% Paperless.

Open and secret tenders, Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quotations (RFQ) will be advertised through the government portals, KETRACO websites and in newspapers. All interested Bidders/ Suppliers will be required to submit their documentation online. The tenders will then be received, evaluated and awarded online.

In the first phase of the implementation that went live in April this year, the company automated ‘procure to pay’ operations by on boarding suppliers to the SAP Ariba network to start transacting electronically. Purchase Requests, Local Purchase Orders, invoices and payment of goods/ services were processed online in the ‘procure to pay’ operation.

Speaking during the go live event, KETRACO’s Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa noted that over 260 suppliers have registered on the Ariba network and continue to transact with KETRACO in a paperless environment for Purchase order and invoice submission and processing and are ready to move the entire tendering process.

‘’Supplier registration and qualification has now been made available online. The youth and the special groups will be submitting their registration applications online and will be on boarded immediately. ‘’ He noted.

This automation has been made possible by SAP Ariba, a leading global provider of collaborative business commerce solutions which allows suppliers to easily extend their back-end systems and processes to benefit from electronic transactions.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for SAP Central Africa adds, “Two years ago Kenya’s leading electricity transmission company implemented SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and shortly after, won Gold at the SAP Quality Awards. Today, we are thrilled to yet again be a part of Ketraco’s continued digital transformation journey with the adoption of our Ariba e-procurement software solutions.  By streamlining business operations and connecting to Ariba’s +4.2 million companies, Ketraco has established a solid foundation for tomorrow’s Intelligent Enterprise, pointing to a bright and innovative future for the organisation, its staff and customers.”

www.ketraco.co.ke

www.sap.com

[South Africa] Euphoria Telecom launches cloud based telephone management system to boost business efficiency

Euphoria Telecom has launched the latest version of its market leading cloud-based business Telephone Management System (TMS).

The new TMS version 3 is packed with easy-to-use features and is capable of significantly improving business efficiency whilst delivering powerful reporting and workforce management capabilities.

Designed specifically for the South African market and using international best practice development methodologies, the Euphoria TMS is at the cutting edge of new technology.

Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam says the system empowers businesses to control, manage, automate, personalise and analyse every aspect of a company’s phone system from one central point. “You simply log-in to the TMS, from anywhere, make any change you require and it’s done. It’s as simple as that. “

“The new TMS is the result of nine years of building, learning and developing – and the end product is incredible. All the basics that our customers love are still available, but they are now even easier to use. And there is a host of additional features that are accessible through an upgraded web interface which is faster and better than ever before,” he explains.

Version 3 functionality offers multiple features such as per-extension based budgeting, mobile device applications (for both Android and IOS) that ensure full landline mobility and remote office deployment. Customers can also access browser phone applications, POPIA compliant call recording, global contact manager and extremely rich reporting tools.

Furthermore, overseeing team members is simplified with the new ‘User Manager’ feature that provides business owners with the freedom to give team leaders and managers access to specific sections of the TMS. By setting permissions for certain users, managers can easily control access to sensitive team data.

He says the real differences are the security layers. “Our TMS user interface allows full PBX control of every aspect, enabling management to restrict and secure their business phone system data and user functionality as required.”

“Reporting is a dream with Euphoria’s proactive scheduled reporting feature. One can now schedule reports to be delivered directly into your inbox hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Version 3 also offers our customers the opportunity to design their own personalised reports,” he adds.

Woollam says customer satisfaction is the name of the game. “The customer experience can easily be managed with our SLA answer time adherence feature that provides you with a better understanding of your customer wait-to-answer times and overall experience.”

Management features include detailed drilldown functionality as well as great workforce management control in being able to create company specific pause and unpause codes, providing greater control of user productivity.

With stricter governance and data protection laws, it is important for every business to understand how long they need to keep customer data. Euphoria has made this extremely easy because business owners can now choose how long they want to keep their data, when it must be deleted and who exactly has access to that data.

Euphoria ensures that all data is safe and securely backed up, it is stored in top data centres across South Africa and Europe.

“We know that collaboration with other platforms through our integration technology is a critical component of our latest version. We have worked extremely hard to develop advanced Webhook features that make it possible for customers to integrate with other platforms that allow for API integration,” he explains.

Euphoria Telecom has always strived to give the power back to its customers. With over 4000 happy customers migrating to the new version, the company aims to improve the user experience while simultaneously enabling businesses to improve their general operational efficiency.

“We offer so much more than a just a phone system, we provide a game changing business tool that can take companies of all sizes to the next level,” he concludes.

www.euphoria.co.za