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Free e-learning platform reaches 200k in SA

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South Africans are taking to the Internet in greater numbers than ever before to gain workplace skills, according to new figures released by Alison.

The Irish organisation, which is one of South Africa’s largest free e-learning providers, has announced that the site has passed the 200 000 registered user milestone in South Africa. It also revealed that 57% of its users in 2016 were female, and that the site is most popular in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

Mike Feerick, Founder and CEO of Alison, said: “South Africa has been quick to take up online learning, which is seen in almost 600 000 visits to our site in 2016. The feedback we’re getting from learners here suggests that they value the flexibility and breadth of subjects we can offer. It’s not a surprise to us that the majority of our South African learners are women; this reflects a pattern we have seen in other parts of the world.”

According to newly released figures for 2016, the most popular courses including Touch Typing TrainingDiploma in Project ManagementHuman Resources and Business Management & Entrepreneurship.  Other top courses South African learners took included Web Design, Workplace Health and Safety, Psychology and Customer Service.

Eric Corbett, Course Publishing Manager at Alison, said: “Increasingly, we’re seeing learners turn to us for skills that are vital to the workplace but don’t tend to receive much focus in schools – South Africa is no different. The range of free courses we’re offering is set to grow dramatically over the next 12 months, and we expect to grow our learner-base in South Africa in tandem with this.

“We would encourage students, jobseekers and workers who want to upskill to consider how a course might help them achieve their goals.”

Alison will celebrate its 10th birthday next month. The site currently boasts almost 10 million individual learners globally studying hundreds of courses. Alison is a for-profit social enterprise with a goal to drive the cost of all education and skills training to zero, headquartered in Galway, Ireland.

What They Say

What our South African learners say about Alison:

“There are so many great options that I am excited about. I’ve just completed the Microsoft Access 2010 course and I am enrolled for the ABC IT Suite course and for the Diploma in E-Commerce.” – Nadia du Plessis, Cape Town.

“It is so empowering… I apply Alison to pretty much every aspect of my life due to all the great courses and diplomas offered on the platform. Accounting is teaching to me look at my business in a different language, the language of numbers. HR has taught me about recruiting the best of the best that are aligned with my vision.” – J. J. Oosthuizen, Pretoria

“I learnt a lot about IT on Alison. I am so confident now that I have knowledge that I did not have a few years back, which I can now share with my kids or friends and family.” – Andreas Shabalala

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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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