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5 reasons to outsource call cloud

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To outsource or not? From a different perspective, BRUCE VON MALTITZ, co-founder of 1Stream, unpacks 5 key reasons why outsourcing specialist tech services, allows business decision makers to produce the best results.

Whether it stems from our desire to remain in control or the often inherent mistrust of outsourcing services, many businesses prefer keeping departments in-house. But when looked at from a different perspective, it becomes clear that to manage specialist technology, we need specialist resources, for a number of reasons. With managed services such as cloud-based call centre providers, it is possible to make the most of the opportunities available to produce the best results for a business.

1. Meeting business objectives and retaining IP

Those who praise the retention of in-house technology departments, will offer up shared business objectives and retained internal IP as vital benefits. Both elements are essential to the success of a business, but an internal team is not necessarily a requirement for this. Retaining the ever-important IP and ensuring all parties, whether employed or contracted, are working towards the same goal is not an empty hope – it is a reality. Through proper management and building successful business partnerships with external teams and specialists, business objectives are reached faster and the internal IP is built up.

2. Less time spent attracting and retaining talented staff

Those who find their career in the tech world, often do so because of a fascination with new developments and a desire to be at the forefront of new technology. Unfortunately, the reality in many large enterprises and SMEs is that the day-to-day Information Technology (IT) needs are more mundane than many would like, making it more difficult for businesses to attract and retain talented employees with the work available.

By building relationships with specialist companies who have the skilled resources necessary to do the job effectively, the ongoing recruitment battle becomes less of a constant focus.

3. Fewer resources put into ongoing, high-level IT training

Technology is constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. As a result, the level of ongoing training necessary to ensure internal resources are well equipped to manage the systems in use, becomes increasingly pricey and time consuming. Add that to the difficulty of attracting and keeping talent, and maintaining an internal team at the required level of functionality becomes difficult.

In specialist companies, the main priority is to ensure the human resources are upskilled and trained constantly in order to provide the best service possible. With the right managed services, companies can see a significant cut in the time and cost it takes to consistently update their employees’ skills.

4. A more streamlined process

A lot goes on within a company, and often internal teams are pulled in several different directions. The sole function of specialist companies is to service the needs of the client, so the areas that need more attention internally can be attended to with more focus while the service provider works on the assigned projects. It’s also possible to select a service provider who complements your business needs and culture, which sees the company team grow in a way that solves more problems than it creates.

5. Increased cost effectiveness

Human resources are a high-level line item on the expense budget for any company, and their time and efficacy is a priority focus in any company. Making use of outsourced services means that the specialists and their expertise are available when needed without the entire team being employed in-house. Specialist teams can be on site or are available remotely via cloud-based computing, delivering expert assistance more efficiently.

For larger enterprises, outsourced managed services lessen the HR burden and ensures that focus is being put in the right areas by both internal teams and the managed services. For the smaller businesses without significant cash flow, outsourcing the management of technology systems means access to the best possible services that would otherwise have been out of reach.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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Buy 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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SAFTA awards get first streaming video nominees

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The 2019 nominations for The South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) were announced late last week, and for the first time in the 13-year history of the awards, a TV series produced for a video-on-demand service was in contention. The result was a surprise boost to streaming service Showmax.

The comedy series Tali’s Wedding Diary, which premiered in December 2017, represented a major step for the then two-year old streaming service. It was the debut Showmax Original, the first time Showmax ventured into producing its own content. The gamble paid off, with the show becoming the most watched of any series on its first day on Showmax, and now Tali’s Wedding Diary has been further recognised with seven SAFTA nominations, making it this year’s most nominated comedy.

“When we first floated the idea of Tali’s Wedding Diary, we joked about winning awards,” says Candice Fangueiro, Showmax’s head of content. “At that point, just getting our first Showmax Original off the ground was already a major challenge and it was more than we could hope for to actually hit it out of the park. I was stunned when I heard the news about the nominations – it’s amazing to be considered in the same company as these other shows and thanks to this we’re already seeing a fresh spike in Tali views.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary was also a first for co-creator and star Julia Anastasopoulos, who until then was best known as YouTube star SuzelleDIY. “I am so thrilled about the SAFTA nominations for Tali’s Wedding Diary,” says Julia, who is up for Best Actress – TV Comedy and Best Achievement in Scriptwriting – TV Comedy, along with her husband Ari Kruger and Daniel Zimbler. 

“It was such a big and daunting step to create a full TV comedy series and intro a brand-new character. I really didn’t know how it would be received and am so happy to have received such positive feedback for the show and the Tali Babes character, along with the nominations. It feels so good to be recognised for something we poured our hearts into. None of it would have been possible, of course, without the incredible hard work and vision of my husband Ari and the incredible team, cast and crew that were part of the show. And a huge thank you to Showmax of course for making it all possible. Congratulations and best of luck to the entire team and to all the other nominees.”

Tali’s Wedding Diary is a mockumentary that follows Tali, a self-obsessed Joburg princess who’s moved to Cape Town and is planning her wedding to property-agent fiancé Darren (Anton Taylor). The series was inspired by Julia’s own wedding to Ari, her SuzelleDIY and Tali’s Wedding Diary co-creator, who is also up for Best Achievement In Directing – TV Comedy.  

In addition to Julia and Ari’s nominations, Tali’s Wedding Diary is up for Best TV Comedy, Art Direction (Keren Setton),  Cinematography (James Adey), and Editing (Richard Starkey). Winners will be announced on 2 March 2019 at Sun City Superbowl.

Following the success of Tali’s Wedding Diary, the second Showmax Original, The Girl From St Agnes, was released earlier this month. A third Showmax Original, Trippin With Skhumba, is slated for release at the end of February.

“With three Showmax Originals now under our belt and more on the way, we’d like to think this is the start of many more SAFTA nominations for shows from a streaming service,” concludes Candice.

South African content currently on Showmax has 110 nominations and includes the most nominated movie (Five Fingers With Marseilles), telenovela (The River), drama (Lockdown) and soap (Isibaya), with more SAFTA nominees scheduled for the coming months.

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