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78% of companies running Open Source

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A recent survey has shown that the use of open source software in business IT environments has increased to 78%, almost double what it was five years ago.

Open source has become an integral part of the technology strategy of any business. The rise of cloud computing, big data, and even social networking, have seen open source being recognised as the way of the future. Matthew Lee, Regional Manager for Africa at SUSE, looks at the shift from a 100% solely run proprietary environment.

According to the 2015 Future of Open Source Survey, 78% of company respondents say they run some form of open source in the organisation. In fact, the use of open source software to run business IT environments has almost doubled globally since 2010.

“With the growth trajectory of adoption rates expected to increase significantly in the next two to three years, there is no escaping the impact that open source is having in the enterprise,” adds Lee.

Additionally, 65% of survey participants reported that open source fuels the competitive advantage of their enterprise. Reasons cited included having better features than proprietary software, providing an easier path to deployment, and giving the organisation the best opportunity to scale to meet business demand.

“This shows that being completely reliant on traditional, proprietary systems is fast becoming extinct. Local decision-makers need to embrace this shift if they are to remain competitive,” says Lee.

When open source software (OSS) started building momentum in the late 90s, much of the arguments in favour of it revolved around the fact that it was free to implement. Today, adoption is not so much about cost as it is about the flexibility to customise according to company (and industry)-specific requirements. Proprietary systems simply do not offer decision-makers the capability to integrate more fluidly into existing systems.

“One of the biggest stumbling blocks to the adoption of open source in South Africa, and the rest of the continent, is fighting against the status quo. Proprietary software is seen as the ‘traditional model’ and many companies think it is easier to follow the norm than it is to change their approach when it comes to IT solutions. However, this is certainly not the case as not only does an always open enterprise give businesses more control of their IT infrastructure, but also enables the deployment of critical IT services in physical, virtual or cloud environments over highly reliable, scalable and secure server operating systems that deliver increased uptime, better efficiency, and accelerated innovation – reducing the risk of technological obsolescence and vendor lock-in.”

Working with the right partner who can provide the necessary assistance for the transition to open source will not only showcase the true potential open source has, but will also alleviate any concerns. This partner should be able to guide business on how best to integrate OSS – not only on an enterprise level, but also broader into storage and cloud solutions.

“The open source approach today is as much about providing true business solutions as it is about the platform on which a company works. Change needs to be embraced as the business possibilities that open source offer are just too good to ignore,” concludes Lee.

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Showmax launches half-price mobile streaming service

A new streaming product designed specifically for Africa, featuring TV series as well as African content and live sport, is aimed at filling the gap in subscription video on demand services

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The subscription video on demand (SVoD) model, which originated in the USA, spread rapidly in countries where uncapped broadband is affordable and widely available. However, because the model also relies on consumers being comfortable with transacting online and having ready access to credit cards, it has barely scratched the surface across Africa.

On top of that, smartphones are often the only only form of Internet access across Africa, and none of the popular SVoD services have been designed for the format.

Showmax says it plans to change this with the launch of a new mobile plan that costs 50% of the standard Showmax package but still features 100% of the same video content. Showmax is set apart by a combination of four pillars: hit African content, exclusive international series, topkids’ shows, and live sport, including weekly matches from the English Premier League, Italy’s Serie A, and Spain’s La Liga.

Showmax says the new plan is aimed at consumers who only use smartphones and tablets to watch video content. Video resolution peaks at standard definition to help reduce data consumption. As it is a product aimed at individuals, only one concurrent stream is included in the plan. As with the regular service, it is also available for a 14-day free trial.

“This is all about an African service developing a solution that meets the needs of African consumers,” saus Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice. “Customer feedback consistently points to local content and sport as some of the things that people value most from Showmax. That’s of course on top of the international series, movies, and kids’ shows that are our bread and butter. With all of that content now available in a product designed specifically for mobile usage, we’re doing something no other service can offer.

“On top of that, with groundbreaking deals like our new offer with Vodacom in South Africa, we solve the credit card issue through add-to-bill payment and the data issue by including data directly in the package. We’re looking to launch similar offers in Kenya and Nigeria soon.”

Both the standard and mobile plans include live sport, sport magazine shows and sport documentaries. The 2019 Rugby World Cup Final was streamed live on Showmax earlier this month, and the following is a selection of some of the football due to be live-streamed in November:

22 November: Levante vs Mallorca (La Liga)

23 November: Arsenal vs Southampton (Premier League)

24 November: Bologna vs Parma (Serie A)

25 November: Aston Villa vs Newcastle United (Premier League)

29 November: Celta Vigo vs Valladolid (La Liga)

30 November: Fiorentina vs Lecce (Serie A)

30 November: Chelsea vs West Ham United (Premier League)

Showmax’s mobile plan is currently available in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa. 

Comparison of Showmax plans:

Mobile Standard
Price per monthR49 / N1450 / KSh 375R99 / N2900 / KSh 750
Watch on smartphone or tabletYesYes
Watch on smart TV and computerNoYes
HD streamingNoYes
TV series, movies, kids’ showsYesYes
SportYesYes
Concurrent streams12
Cancel anytimeYesYes
14-day free trialYesYes
Chromecast and AirPlayNoYes
Number of devicesOne registered device5 devices can be registered, with 2 able to stream at the same time

For a 14-day free trial, visit www.showmax.com

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Online series wins SA’s Journalist of the Year award

A series of stories on gang warfare in Hanover Park earned Tammy Petersen of News24 the ultimate prize in South African journalism. Here are all the winners of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

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At the 18th edition of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards held at Vodacom World earlier tonight, News24’s Tammy Petersen took top honours and the R100,000 grand prize as national winner for her body of work on a gang war series entitled When you live in Hanover Park, you know death. Petersen’s submission was one of over 1,000 entries received from around the country across 12 categories – Investigative, Opinion, Lifestyle, Photography, Sport, Economics, Politics, CSI, Live reporting/ breaking news, Data Journalism, Multi-platform and the Young Journalist of the Year Award. This year’s theme – Connect the Dots – pays tribute to the best-of-the-best of those entries.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group says: “This year has seen extraordinary entries to the 18th Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. Not all the stories that are national winners were about huge events but also showed the importance of telling the stories of ordinary people. In line with our theme, the dots were indeed connected, and we congratulate all the winners.”

Convenor of the judging panel Ryland Fisher says: “The quality of entries has convinced the judges once again that our industry is in good hands, as far as journalism is concerned, despite the many problems that have beset the industry in recent times. Judging from the entries, South African journalists are determined to fly the flag high for a free, independent, and vigorous media, which augurs well for our democracy. As judges, we can only salute all the entrants for the great work that they submitted. In the end, our industry is probably the biggest winner.”

Judges for this year’s awards are: Ryland Fisher (convenor), Jermaine Craig, Arthur Goldstuck, Albe Grobbelaar, Franz Kruger, Patricia McCracken, Mapi Mhlangu, Collin Nxumalo, Mary Papayya, and Obed Zilwa.

Visit the next page for the full list of winners and their citations.

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