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AWS switches on Direct Connect in South Africa

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched the AWS Direct Connect in South Africa, making it the first time that the Amazon network has come to Africa, giving customers local access to redundant and diverse network infrastructure.

Having AWS Direct Connect in the country allows customers based in South Africa to have dedicated, reliable, and high bandwidth connectivity to the Amazon Global Network, bypassing the public internet. Customers can connect to all AWS infrastructure Regions around the world (except China) from locations in Johannesburg and Cape Town and their traffic will remain in the Amazon backbone network throughout the entire journey.

For many years AWS has been working with organisations of all sizes in South Africa, from the newest startups, like Entersekt, NicheStreem, and Paygate through to some of the most well-known, household names, such as Pick ‘n Pay and TravelStart to help them move workloads to the cloud. One of the main requests AWS has received from South African customers has been to help reduce costs and improve network performance from on-premises environments to AWS infrastructure Regions located in Europe, the US, and around the world.

The new AWS Direct Connect location in Johannesburg is located at the Teraco JB1 facility and in Cape Town at the Teraco CT1 facility. If customers have equipment within these facilities they can use Direct Connect to optimize their connection to AWS. If their equipment is located somewhere else, they can work with one of AWS’ APN Partners supporting Direct Connect or their carrier to establish a connection from their location to the Teraco AWS Direct Connection location nearest to them, and from there on to AWS.

This is good news for customers in South Africa for several reasons:

Reduced Bandwidth Costs

For customers in South Africa that have bandwidth-heavy workloads that they wish to run in AWS, AWS Direct Connect reduces their network costs, in that, by transferring data to and from AWS directly, they can reduce their bandwidth commitment to their Internet service provider.

Consistent Network Performance

Network latency over the Internet can vary given that the Internet is constantly changing how data gets from point A to B. When looking at the distance from South Africa to Europe, the US, or Asia, this can get magnified. With AWS Direct Connect, customers choose the data that utilizes the dedicated connection and how that data is routed, which can provide a more consistent network experience over Internet-based connections.

Elastic

AWS Direct Connect provides 1Gbps and 10Gbps connections, and customers can easily provision multiple connections if they need more capacity. Customers can avail lower bandwidth connections of 50Mbps to 500Mbps through our APN Partners supporting AWS Direct Connect. Customers can also use AWS Direct Connect instead of establishing a VPN connection over the Internet, avoiding the need to utilize VPN hardware that frequently can’t support data transfer rates above 4 Gbps.

With global access enabled, customers using AWS Direct Connect can reach their AWS resources in any region worldwide (except China). With global public VIFs (Virtual Interfaces), customers get all global Amazon public routes allowing global access to publicly routable services like Amazon S3, Amazon EC2 etc. For private resources such as Amazon VPC, customers can use Direct Connect Gateway with private VIFs to reach multiple VPCs in multiple AWS regions from a single AWS Direct Connect location.

Customers can get started by logging into the AWS Management Console and ordering their AWS Direct Connect port today! Both Teraco CT1 and JB1 can be found in the EU West (Ireland) region. More details about AWS Direct Connect can be found on the website here:

https://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/

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Huawei goes ultra-premium

Porsche Design and Huawei have launched the Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS in South Africa exclusive to MTN and retailing for R 26 459.

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The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS boasts features like the world’s first dual fingerprint design, including an in-screen fingerprint sensor, the world’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) processor and Leica triple camera with 40MP image capture.

“After the overwhelming success of the Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Pro in South Africa, we now bring you our latest offering, a perfect blend of innovation in a smartphone and luxury design,” said Likun Zhao, Vice President of Huawei Consumer Business Group Southern Africa. “From three-point security feature including facial recognition, rear fingerprint scanner and the new innovative in-screen fingerprint to the Leica triple camera system. it culminates in an unprecedented experience for our customers.”

The device incorporates Porsche Design’s signature design language and Huawei’s breakthrough technology.  The phone has a 6” 2K curved OLED screen and symmetrical look, minimalist feel and 8-edged 3D curved glass body.

High performance is symbolised by the naming of the smartphone: the term “RS” in the world of Porsche motorsport stands for outstanding racing performance.

Huawei provided the following information on The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS benefits and features :

·         The world’s first dual fingerprint scanner for enhanced convenience, allowing users to wake and unlock the device simply, thanks to an in-screen fingerprint sensor. Hover to wake the device, touch to unlock it

·         The winning combination of Leica triple camera with 40MP RGB sensor technology and exceptional photography powered by Master AI. This combination puts effortless, eye-catching photography at the fingertips of those looking to immortalise their favourite moments. Combined with 5 x hybrid zoom, and the world’s first AI image stabilisation on a smartphone camera ensures photography lovers can capture the best shots with exceptional clarity in almost any situation

·         The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS is the first Huawei handset to allow quick wireless charging, making it even easier to keep the phone topped up and ready to go and, thanks to its long lasting battery, users will easily be powered through the busiest of days

·         An ‘intelligent’ smartphone, the powerful AI processor automatically tailors the performance of the phone according to how it is used – constantly learning, understanding and anticipating needs, it is the perfect personal assistant for the pocket

·         256GB of internal storage means those constantly on the go and constantly on their phone can be worry free

·         Dual SLS (super linear system) speakers with DOLBY ATMOS enable users to have a superior experience, with the best immersive surround sound and entertainment on the go

·         Splash, water and dust resistant, which means there is no need to worry about damaging the device in the rain or accidentally dropping it in water

Jan Becker, CEO Porsche Design Group, said: “Both Porsche Design and Huawei seek to imagine and develop products that stand for precision and perfection, intelligent functionality and highly sophisticated design. Our aim was to create an outstanding device that goes one step further. We believe we have reached this goal by taking our partnership to the next level.”

Porsche Design and Huawei have worked in tandem to develop a smartphone that fuses together the two brands’ DNA, wealth of experience in design and technology, industry-leading expertise and exceptional performance. Through the use of colour in the device’s body, software themes and accessories, the new handset is accentuated with Porsche Design’s distinguished aesthetic and purist, minimalist feel.

The Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS will be available to purchase exclusively from MTN at R 26 459.

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Cross-channel chat launched

Clickatell has launched a cross-channel live chat service, Touch Go, that transforms omni-channel customer care.

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It enables live chat across a company’s website as well as social platforms (Twitter and Facebook) and mobile apps, bringing customer care and engagement into a single business platform.

“Today’s consumers expect to engage with your brand on the digital channel of their choosing,” says Deon van Heerden, Clickatell Engage CEO and Group CFO. “They want to message your business and instantly have queries resolved, find the information and services they are looking for, without the need for a voice call. Clickatell’s Touch Go makes that happen with the right level of capabilities for businesses of all sizes.”

Businesses can start using Touch Go immediately, with a free Starter option. Touch Go requires no credit card for sign-up and is fully featured with a simple setup process. It offers customisable branding, a unified chat desk business application as well as reports and analytics.

As the business scales up its digital customer care, it can opt-in for the Touch Enterprise offering. Touch Enterprise is designed for scaling up customer care efforts through advanced capabilities including AI driven virtual agents, sentiment analysis, automated workflows, enterprise integrations and in-channel mini-applications.

“Customer care has become a defining factor for sustained business success ” says Nirmal Nair, Clickatell Engage EVP Product & Marketing. “In an ever-increasing mobile native world, customers often choose to interact digitally, but they also expect to be able to reach a human immediately, should they need. Monitoring multiple channels and providing immediate action becomes challenging with siloed deployments. Touch’s unified solution allows businesses of all sizes to provide the customer delight in a simple modular approach.”

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