IBM, in collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom has announced that it is opening a Cloud Data Centre in Johannesburg.
IBM has announced that it is opening a new IBM Cloud Data Center in Johannesburg, South Africa. The new cloud center is the result of a close collaboration with Gijima and Vodacom and is designed to support cloud adoption and customer demand across the continent. IBM will provide clients with a complete portfolio of cloud services for running enterprise and as a service workloads.
The new IBM Cloud Data Center has the ability to run and manage SAP applications and workloads in the cloud and underscores IBM’s growing cloud footprint, which now includes 46 cloud data centers across six continents.
“We’re working to drive cloud adoption that best leverages a customer’s existing IT investments,” said Hamilton Ratshefola, IBM Country General Manager in South Africa. “Our new Cloud Data Center gives customers a local onramp to IBM Cloud services including moving mission critical SAP workloads to the cloud with ease. It also gives customers the added flexibility of keeping data within country which is a key differentiator for IBM.”
The IBM Cloud Data Center will provide SAP enterprise customers in South Africa and Africa with access to IBM’s global network of Cloud Data Centers and services expertise. This will enable businesses to run critical applications on the cloud, providing access to a broad array of services for building in-country cloud solutions, while offering faster network speeds to improve performance and reach end users even faster.
“The increase of enterprise cloud computing on the continent is being driven by large enterprise and multinational organisations expanding their presence and IT requirements across Africa,” said Vuyani Jarana, Chief Officer of Vodacom Business. “CIO’s are looking to gain efficiencies and cut cost by moving more of their IT infrastructure, applications and processes into the Cloud. Vodacom’s extensive Fixed and Mobile network infrastructure, Pan African and global footprint and its investment in data center infrastructure provides the ideal platform and environment to deliver cloud services to large and multinational enterprises.“
Today’s news showcases IBM’s global reach and broad portfolio of cloud services capable of supporting very large enterprises like big retailers and financial institutions. Vodacom is committed to delivering enterprise grade cloud solutions and this partnership with IBM delivers on that scale and will position Vodacom Business as a leader in total IT solutions across the continent.
“Gijima as a 100 percent black owned South African company, is proud to be the cloud partner of choice for these unique IBM services,” said Eileen Wilton, CEO of Gijima. The partnership with IBM and Vodacom is an extension of Gijima’s hybrid cloud strategy and is the culmination of two years of hard work as part of our turnaround strategy. Gijima is the ideal partner for this service as we already have the system and SAP integration skills as part of our existing solutions offering.
Bringing together Vodacom’s network and Africa footprint, Gijima’s SAP enterprise expertise and IBM’s cloud platforms will create a powerhouse in cloud services, resolving data latency and in-country regulatory issues through the protection of data in-country and potentially also offset data networking costs. Gijima and Vodacom will both resell IBM’s Cloud Managed Services to the SAP enterprise customer base in the region.
IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to public, private and hybrid cloud services to help clients digitally transform. IBM Cloud is a growing collection of services including analytics, mobile, networking, storage, Internet of Things and cognitive computing. With more than 46 global cloud data centers, IBM helps companies securely manage and gain insight into their data no matter where it resides.
Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart
Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.
As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page
KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching.
The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter.
The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style.
The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button.
The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on.
In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode.
Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.
Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.
Find them on Kickstarter here.
Taxify enters Google Maps
A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.
People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.
Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.
Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.
If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.
This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.
“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.
Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.