[South Africa] Teraco welcomes VMware cloud

Teraco has announced that VMware Cloud is now available via VMWare Cloud Verified service providers in the Cape Town (CT1) and Johannesburg (JB1) data centre facilities. VMware Cloud provides the fastest and easiest way to migrate existing enterprise application workloads to the cloud. When you see the VMware Cloud Verified logo, you’ll know you can easily access the full set of capabilities of VMware’s Cloud Infrastructure.

Jan Hnizdo, CEO, Teraco, says that this collaboration will further expand business opportunities for clients already present within Teraco’s data centre facilities as they adopt a cloud-first approach for their existing and next-generation applications.

“With VMware Cloud now available within Teraco, enterprises can take advantage of private and secure multi-cloud connectivity, and quickly deploy hybrid cloud infrastructures. The premise of Teraco’s vendor neutral data centre offering is to serve local and global markets at the digital edge and through channels critical to the connected world we live in. VMware, as one of the world’s leading cloud providers, assists us in making our offering richer.”

Hnizdo says that through the Teraco cloud services ecosystem, the addition of VMware Cloud will further enhance the ability of service providers to deliver more innovative cloud strategies, ultimately delivering better business value and experience to clients. 

“The choice of Teraco’s digital infrastructure platform is critical for the enterprise when transforming and embracing digitalisation. It must enable scale, performance and security and assist in building digital architecture that provides resilient data centre services,” explains Hnizdo.

Together with Teraco, VMware’s expanded portfolio will enable service providers to deliver new cloud services for differentiation and, in turn, potential revenue growth, and create clouds that are developer ready and support modern applications.

Dave Funnell, Senior Manager Cloud Business at VMware, sub-Saharan Africa, says that VMWare is now being viewed as the ‘Switzerland of Cloud’ as it partners with the six major hyper-scalers as well as over 4,000 local cloud providers: “VMware’s goal is to continue being a strategic partner to our clients as they transform their business via accelerated application delivery. It encompasses providing the fastest and easiest way to migrate to the cloud, along with a platform for the management of the hybrid-multi cloud world that provides for both existing application environments, built on virtual machines, as well as the next generation built on containers. We provide freedom and choice to our clients as they adopt cloud, with the VMware Cloud Verified status providing confidence in the cloud provider they engage with.”

VMware Cloud within Teraco’s vendor neutral data centre facilities further supports the ambition to reach and assist the enterprise sector in developing and implementing successful cloud strategies: “We are excited to form part of the Teraco cloud ecosystem as we assist our clients in implementing their cloud journey” says Funnell.

www.teraco.co.za

[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.

[South Africa] Swipe iX announces shift to cloud based digital solutions

South Africa software development company Swipe iX has announced that is shifting its focus towards cloud-based digital solutions.

With successful implementations for key clients such as Shoprite, Old Mutual and M-Net to name a few, Swipe iX’s CEO; Hendri Lategan along with the founding partners Deon Heunis (CTO) and Leo Redelinghuys (MD), elaborates on why the digital solutions agency is delving deeper into cloud computing and how these new categories of applications are transforming the playing field.

Lategan explains that they’ve fixed their gaze on cloud innovation and are focused on utilising cloud computing combined with emerging technologies such as machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and artificial intelligence (AI).

Lategan adds “Swipe iX is not so much focussing on the physical migrations to the cloud, but more on the potential one may have for implementing and leveraging the power of cloud-based applications once there.”

He continues “While there is an absolute imperative for transferring key business functions and workloads to cloud-based infrastructures, where the real opportunity lies in the reinvention and innovation of these functions with the immensely powerful toolkit that will be made available to you.”

Deon Heunis, Swipe iX’s CTO and co-founder remarks, “Serverless architecture is evolving into a necessity rather than an amenity for key industry players, and that future competitiveness is dependant on the rate at which companies adopt and implement cloud computing.”

Due to the buzz surrounding cloud solutions, Heunis predicts that an influx of South African companies will shift towards cloud computing in an effort to streamline productivity, maximise efficiency, and gain a competitive edge.

Leo Redelinghuys explains why Swipe is zeroing in on cloud innovation and why it is uniquely positioned to leverage cloud services to accelerate business innovations for its core clients and beyond.

“Swipe iX has been culturally focussed on embracing emerging technologies since its inception and one of the key focus areas has been strengthening platform architectures through serverless infrastructure and continuous integration for improved scalability and security for our existing platforms.”

She continued, “Since the very early days of AWS making an appearance on the scene we have been keen on understanding how to best use these features and make the most of them. This has provided us with key learnings and experience along the way that has poised us to take our service offering to the next level.”

Cloud computing is the buzz topic in the IT industry, but at this point, the usefulness of this technology is by no means assumed simply by its implementation. It is in understanding and actively working towards the successful optimisation and implementation of these platforms that will bring its true potential to bear on solving real-world business challenges. Swipe iX offers its expertise to help businesses know where to start on their journey to the cloud.

www.swipeix.com

[Column] Sandra Crous: Securing payroll data in the cloud

As with the majority of business software, HR and payroll solutions are increasingly available through the cloud as a pay-as-you-use model and are today, considered as mainstream as any other business application.

However, a fundamental issue for any user looking to move their HR and payroll systems to the cloud is the common, yet incorrect assumption that cloud solutions are somehow less secure than their on-premises counterparts.

There are several trends that are having an impact on payroll data security, says Sandra Crous, MD of PaySpace, a leader in cloud-based payroll and human capital management software. “As more and more solutions and goods go digital, the pace of change increases, and at the same time physical borders become blurred, as applications are accessed on mobile devices outside of the organisation, by those needing instant, anytime access.”

“We have seen a massive rise in the use of and delivery of online payslips, mobile self-service, the growing use of automation, and the consumption of payroll services via the cloud, due to their promise of high configurability, fast implementation and increased flexibility. However, on the downside, whenever you are dealing with data-sharing over the cloud as opposed to on-premise, the risk to data increases.”

Remember too, that as the use of tablets and smartphones to access business applications and systems remotely skyrockets, a company’s data might now be stored on a plethora of outside devices instead of within a single, on-premise network. In addition, this slew of devices are all attached to the Web, and many may not be pre-configured by the company with security in mind. Leaving security at the discretion of the employee is never advisable.

Without realising it, businesses are trading convenience for security. “Our reliance on cloud services has seen our dependency on third parties increase too and has obscured our view of the protocols and measures that are in place to guarantee data security. This can cause serious issues because once a company has signed up with a particular provider, they now have to deal with all the risks associated with compliance, legal, and of course integration with other systems.”

One way to ensure your data stays safe, says Crous, is to partner with the right cloud payroll vendor. “Ask them questions such, as to how they handle, and what they do with your data that they have access to. Also question them on their practices, to ensure they are legal and fully compliant with current regulation. Finally, when reading your SLA agreement, read the fine print too. Many unscrupulous businesses like to cloak how they might use your data in legalese that no one bothers to read properly.”

“A reliable vendor with a well-established brand will host your data in a secure environment,” she says. “Moreover, its solutions will also have an interface that is simple and accessible, as well as powerful mobile apps that enable your employees to work on the move. It will also be 100% transparent about data security and have this built-in from the ground up.”

She says PaySpace, for example, goes way beyond what most providers offer in terms of security. “We believe that security has to be considered at every level, from the internal user level, and application layer, to the facilities and network level, and in fact, are one of the few providers who are ISO 27001 certified.”

For the internal user, PaySpace’s security model is flexible, operating on a “need to know basis” and a “who you can see” basis, where the principle of least privilege is applied, users access is restricted  to selected screens or to  read-only access.”

At the application layer, PaySpace is powered by a single instance, multi-tenant architecture, in which all users and applications share a single, common infrastructure, but is logically and uniquely separated for each customer, with a TenantID in place to ensure that each user’s data is kept separate. “Moreover, all users have a unique email address and password, and all access to PaySpace as a whole is governed by the most stringent password security policies, and all passwords encrypted before they are stored within a database that is encrypted too.”

Crous says PaySpace also employs 128 bit encryption on every form within the system, the reports which are emailed to users are sent in a password protected zip file, and an audit trail exists at every stage for traceability purposes. “Finally, we use safe bank EFT transfer technology for financial account validations as well as communication with banks.”

At a facilities level, PaySpace stores its data at one of Africa’s most modern and state-of-the-art data centre facilities. “Our data is backed up every 15 mins to an offsite server, with a full back up happening every evening. In terms of access, public access is strictly prohibited, and the facility is monitored with live video surveillance 24/7/365.Physical access is controlled by access cards, with access to the facility restricted to Certified Technical Points of Contact. Biometric systems add a third layer of security, with fingerprint scanners used to restrict access and ensure only the appropriate individuals have access to the data centre.”

To ensure network security, PaySpace has proven security practices in place, a perimeter firewall that guards our network against malicious activity by scrutinising data entering or leaving the network. This protects us from DDoS and Zero-Day attacks, as well as malware and spoofing attacks, explains Crous. “We also have IPS in place to scan for any anomalous behaviours that might indicate an attacker is trying to infiltrate our network and block it immediately.”

Finally, she says PaySpace’s vulnerability scanning process protects its systems by pinpointing vulnerabilities that could be exploited by threat actors and reporting them immediately.

“Choosing the right provider means it is possible to harness all the benefits of the cloud without compromising security. Do your research, and make sure your cloud provider is adequately addressing all security risks.”

Sandra Crous is the Managing Director of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software, PaySpace.

[Column] Kurt Goodall: Extending security to the cloud

Business leaders now have a choice whether they want to continue using their trusted firewall or move to a next-generation firewall delivered by appliances or as cloud services to protect the outer perimeter security in branch offices.

Troye technical director Kurt Goodall says Citrix offers various choices, from the long-established multi-site to the advanced multi-layered approach, both of which can protect users and data at the branches, data centre, and clouds from multi-vector cyber threats.

“Citrix SD-WAN Integrated Firewall complements your trusted firewall investment and strengthens overall security infrastructure. Citrix provides an integrated perimeter firewall that masks users and infrastructure from cyber surveillance,” he explains.

This integrated firewall has global policy control, supports zone-based policies so that you can implement granular micro-segmentation of traffic and enforce uniform policy consistently. Citrix SD-WAN can also intelligently track the fast-changing open ports from SaaS and IaaS apps as trusted traffic and directly breakout the traffic to the internet, enhancing application performance.

It marks all other traffic, such as web browsing, as untrusted and forwards it to the full security stack, typically located at the HQ or a private data centre. Citrix SD-WAN also takes extra precautions by encrypting all branch-to-branch egress traffic, even when it is transported over a private MPLS line

Goodall says Citrix SD-WAN automates connectivity to cloud security. “With most enterprises embarking on some form of cloud transformation, Citrix recommends extending perimeter security to the cloud, where apps and workloads reside.”

Citrix has partnered with industry leaders like Palo Alto Networks, Zscaler, and Symantec to deliver joint solutions that enable our SD-WAN to be a transparent gateway for Secure Web Gateway (SWG) service. Cloud-based SWG is a popular option for branch offices due to its simple and yet effective multi-layer protection.

Citrix SD-WAN management platform is the key component in this joint solution, providing on-boarding automation and a direct subscription link to Palo Alto Global Protect (aka Prisma) and Zscaler Secure Internet Gateway services. Through API automation, Citrix SD-WAN also secures the connectivity (via IPsec) from the branch to the Palo Alto, Zscaler and Symantec clouds.

The benefits of automation become more significant as more branch sites are involved, directly translating into time savings and reduction in configuration errors. Last but not least, Citrix provides this automated on-boarding capability free of charge.

In addition, cloud-based security also enables a new service-consumption model. It provides an option to shift to opex spending, which can be easily aligned with your business growth. There is no need to deploy security appliances at every branch. It also removes the need to build an in-house resource to manage the security infrastructure.

Kurt Goodall is the technical director at Troye Technical Solutions in South Africa.

[South Africa] Telkom forces customers to move to the cloud

Telkom is shutting down its ADSL copper network and is ultimately forcing its business customers to move to the cloud. This is part of Telkom’s strategy to migrate customers to a more stable network and similarly-priced products.

Local cloud telecom provider Euphoria Telecom is elated by this announcement but warns customers to take action before the final shutdown as it could leave them without any connection. It believes switching off the copper network will only benefit customers because of the enormous benefits and cost savings associated with cloud.

Unlike traditional business telephone systems that are pure capital expense (Capex), cloud-based systems are 100% tax deductible as an operational expense (Opex). More importantly, with cloud one only pays for what is required at any point in time.

Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam says business owners need to realise that traditional telephone systems are costly and inefficient. “With our cloud solution there are no contracts and customers can save up to 50% on their calls. And the system is easy-to-use with more than 200 powerful features including cutting-edge functionality and data rich reporting.”

Modern cloud telephone systems like Euphoria’s offering require no hardware and therefore no onsite support. This means there is no hardware to upgrade in order to take advantage of new features and technologies. Upgrades are provided seamlessly through software changes that happen automatically in the background.

Telephone costs represent one of the largest operational expenses for most businesses, but business owners have a very informal approach to this overhead. In order to optimise this expenditure, management should have the ability to quickly and effectively see cost reporting across the organisation.

Woollam says most companies are still unaware of their operational inefficiencies and this could mean the end for many businesses in today’s tight economy. “Without accurate information, it is nearly impossible for any business to address these inefficiencies and more importantly, to manage expenses.”

“The new version 3 of our Telephone Management System (TMS) is capable of significantly improving business efficiency with its workforce management capabilities. The system empowers businesses to control, manage, automate, personalise and analyse every aspect of a company’s phone system from one central point,” he explains.

Unlike the traditional phone systems that have limited functionality, Euphoria’s innovative cloud-based system offers multi-office coverage with remote extensions and mobile phone integration.

Euphoria provides all the communication features needed to keep business moving forward, from start-ups right through to established multi-franchise operations.

www.telkom.co.za

[South Africa] Troye announces new version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365

Managed IT services provider Troye has announced new backup solutions for Microsoft Cloud Platforms. These new Veeam solutions provide Microsoft users with additional data protection, scalability, and enhanced control of their cloud-based data.

Veeam, the leader in backup solutions that deliver Cloud Data Management, recently unveiled its NEW version of Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 and previewed cloud-native Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure with industry-first cloud cost estimator at Microsoft Ignite 2019.

The company also gave a sneak peek of a NEW cloud-native data protection solution for Microsoft Azure workloads, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure.

Troye technical director Kurt Goodall says the NEW Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v4 offers direct integration with Microsoft’s Azure Blob Storage. “With Office 365, Microsoft is responsible for the uptime of the Office 365 infrastructure, but backup and management of the data is the customer’s responsibility.”

“Companies that want to keep their Office 365 data in Azure, it gives them a cost-effective, scalable and secure solution to do so. This latest release also adds additional performance improvements for backing up Microsoft SharePoint and OneDrive for Business,” he explains.

Ease-of-use is built into the new Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure with turn-key deployment via the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, while powerful recovery capabilities are also delivered with features like file-level recovery for native snapshots and Veeam backups.

An industry-first built-in cloud cost estimator tool will provide customers with greater cost controls and savings while integration with Veeam Backup & Replication will allow customers to take control of their cloud data by protecting and managing Azure backups alongside their cloud, virtual and physical data.

“With 114% year-over-year growth, Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 continues to be the fastest growing product in Veeam’s history,” said Ratmir Timashev, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Veeam.

“Just as in the on-premises days with customers backing up and protecting their data, the need persists with SaaS solutions to backup and protect this same critical information. Veeam Backup for Office 365 delivers on this need and with the rapid rise in adoption for Azure we’re seeing across our customer base, Veeam is excited to build from our work with Microsoft and deliver a native backup solution developed specifically for Azure-based workloads,” he adds.

NEW Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 v4 enables IT decision makers from cloud-first companies who prefer to store their Office 365 backups in Azure a cloud-optimised solution leveraging cost-efficient Azure Blob Storage for doing so.

“As cloud storage becomes increasingly popular as a data backup strategy, Veeam’s support for Azure Blob Storage enables organisations to eliminate the need for on-premises storage, enabling faster RTOs, improving availability, reducing costs and accelerating our customer’s journey to the cloud,” said Tad Brockway, corporate vice president for Azure, Storage, Media and Edge, Microsoft Corp.

Significant benefits of the new version include the ability for customers to reduce costs with object storage and only pay for what is consumed; leverage unlimited scalability with unlimited storage capacity; and simplify deployment in the public cloud and no complex planning.

IDC Research Manager Archana Venkatraman says cloud is seen as the engine for business growth and innovation, and cloud spending across IaaS, SaaS and PaaS continues to grow at a fast rate. “As cloud applications such as Microsoft Office 365 become the centre of business productivity, excluding them from enterprise backup strategy is risky because the customer has the ultimate and exclusive responsibility for all business data wherever they reside.”

“Savvy enterprises are beginning to understand the risks of data loss in cloud applications due to ransomware or internal threats such as accidental deletions and identify SaaS data protection as a key priority. They are evaluating cloud-native backup solutions to protect and manage the data sprawl in their new cloud environments,” he concludes.

www.troye.co.za

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

[Column] Sandra Crous: Making the right decision to benefit from true Cloud applications

Many people often confuse the similarities and differences surrounding both web hosting and cloud computing. While many believe that cloud and hosted services are the same, this is not the case. Yes, they are both hosted off-premise and can be accessed remotely through an internet connection, but that is where it begins and ends.

The most significant difference between the two is the true cloud’s multi-tenancy, which involves the sharing of resources and costs among a large cluster of servers, enabling economies of scale and allowing infrastructure to be of numerous machines, with better peak-load capacity and improved utilization.

The biggest benefit of true cloud software to customers, says Sandra Crous, Managing Director of PaySpace, are the speed of development of new modules and features. To be able to rollout new features daily instead of two to three times a year, has made cloud software extremely popular. Adding to that, we also do not have to use manual testers to test our software, all updates are tested in real-time using automated testing methods. By using robotic processes, our teams focus on product innovation instead and giving our customers the benefit of being at the forefront of technology.

Cloud servers enable organisations to enhance IT performance without the crippling costs associated with the capital outlay to buy and manage dedicated infrastructure. They are ideal for businesses whose workloads and demands vary, as they offer on-demand utilities, multi-tenancy capabilities with uninterrupted scaling, and features that adapt along with your business.

“Customers do not have the hassle of maintaining software and upgrading hardware, and no intervention is needed from IT to maintain the solution,” Crous explains. “Nor do they need to handle security, as the provider handles this function, including SSL encryption, vulnerability tests, and ensures the availability and performance of the software.”

So, what does this mean for customers? According to Crous, it means access to your most critical Payroll & HR data in a risk free, always up to date, secure online environment accessible from anywhere in the world, with the knowledge that you will never have a product with static features.

Another great benefit, she says, is the consumption-based billing, because customers pay for what they use. It can be instantly scaled up or down, with zero hassle.

In terms of performance, the very nature of the multi-tenant architecture makes it far more agile for the different parts of the technology stack, so optimum speed and reliability can always be guaranteed.

When it comes to providing end user service, having one instance enables the multi-tenant cloud provider to deliver more efficient and effective service and support, including troubleshooting and problem resolution, because all customers are on a single version she adds.

At PaySpace, “we have a single instance, multi-tenant platform, that consolidates payrolls and HR data across 43 countries in Africa. We offer intelligent workflows and guidance in the product, second to that, customers can also make use of our knowledge base, giving them access to tutorial video content and tools.

The cost benefit of using intelligent Cloud Payroll & HR software is the reassignment of resources on more strategic functions instead of arduous manual processes.

With PaySpace, the “No app required” method for employees and managers, allows them to gain real-time and secure access to their personal data or action-specific HR processes on any smartphone and tablet.  Moreover, data is automatically backed up in a secure environment, Crous concludes.

Sandra Crous is the Managing Director of cloud-based payroll and human capital management software, PaySpace.

[Column] Jason Penton: Offshore platform development growing as South Africa looks to play cloud catch-up

As cloud entered its teen years in 2019, South Africa remains a late adopter of what is globally an established technology. Jason Penton, co-founder, Jini Guru, a cloud platform builder, says that in the 13 years that cloud has been around, the technology landscape has changed almost beyond recognition.

“Globally, cloud will continue to impact the next decade, but with more focus on newer technologies such Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT).  These markets have generally been engaging in cloud for five or more years, which is why they are looking ahead. Cloud is still very much a chosen technology and enterprise companies globally are looking to the next generation cloud model to see what it could bring to the business,” says Penton.

2025 is the year predicted for this new approach, which will essentially give these companies access to new technologies such as AI, blockchain and Internet of Things. But Penton says locally, the landscape is much different. 

“South Africa’s adoption rate is much slower as enterprise businesses remain overly cautious of a full migration to the cloud. Instead, platform technology is bridging this gap. We are seeing increasing interest in developing new platforms while enterprise debate migrating legacy systems,” says Penton.

With an established team in South Africa and a development team in India, Jini Guru’s core business remains at the centre of digital transformation as it takes traditional networks into the cloud: “We are seeing increasing interest in creating new platforms in the cloud. From telephony to Know your Customer (KYC) and RICA implementations, our team of developers are doing some innovative projects in the cloud,” says Penton.

He says that the combined offshore force that Jini Guru offers is compelling to local businesses: “We are able to be very price competitive but also offering exemplary development work. In addition, clients deal with our team in South Africa, while benefiting from an offshore team of developers.

While South Africa is essentially behind the adoption curve, we are still seeing some excellent development work and major innovation taking place. Penton says that he anticipates increasing demand for custom development work as clients either realise the benefits of moving into the cloud or reach end of life and essentially need to make a move.

Jason Penton is the co-founder, Jini Guru, a cloud platform builder.