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IBM opens cloud data centre in Jhb

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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.

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Load-shedding leads
local searches

South Africans are searching in the dark, according to the latest Google Search trends.

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With more 1 million search queries generated in the space of 76 hours, load-shedding was by far the top trending search on Google South Africa this week.

Valentine’s Day came a distant second.

After news emerged last Sunday of the impending stage 3 load shedding, South Africans had generated more than 1-million load-shedding search queries by the time Tuesday came around:

  • “Loadshedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Eskom load shedding” – generated more than 100k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding Cape Town” – generated more than 50k searches on Sunday
  • “Load shedding schedule” – generated more than 400k on Monday
  • “Load shedding Johannesburg” – generated more than 20k searches on Monday
  • Load shedding schedule” generated more than 200k search queries on Tuesday

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, South Africans generated close to 300k search queries related to the romantic festival, including searches for quotes and gift ideas:

  • “Valentines Day” generated more than 100k search queries on Thursday
  • “Happy Valentines Day Images” and “Valentines Day Images” generated more than 10k search queries each on Thursday, with “Happy Valentines Day 2019” generating more than 20k search queries on Wednesday
  • “Valentines Day Specials 2019” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Love quotes” generated more than 5k search queries on Thursday
  • “Valentines Day quotes” generated more than 100k search queries and “Valentine messages” generated more than 50 000 search queries on Wednesday

Search trends information is gleaned from data collated by Google based on what South Africans have been searching for and asking Google. Google processes more than 40 000 search queries every second. This translates to more than a billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Live Google search trends data is available at https://www.google.co.za/trends/hottrends#pn=p40

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Showmax invites
student films

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Thanks to the growing popularity of video-on-demand services, there’s a new opportunity to help kickstart the careers of local filmmakers.

Numerous Hollywood blockbusters (District 9Tomb Raider 2018, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron to name a few) have featured substantial shoots in Johannesburg and Cape Town. While providing great opportunities for SA’s production talent, aspiring writers and directors don’t get the same benefit.

So where can local creatives showcase their work? Broadcast TV isn’t a natural home for unknown short films, and while self-publishing platforms are readily available hosting options, it’s tough to get noticed and get traffic when competing with videos from across the planet.

But with the emergence of video-on-demand services into the mainstream, there’s now a solution. The African film school AFDA has teamed up with the streaming service Showmax to give local talent a much larger platform than ever before. From 18 February, eighteen of the best recent short films made by AFDA students from their Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth campuses will be live on Showmax. Drama, documentary, fantasy, and animation are all represented, in pieces running from under eight minutes to almost half-an-hour long. The full list of movies is included below.

Teresa Passchier, CEO of AFDA, said: “AFDA, Africa’s number-one school for the Creative Economy, is proud to kickstart this exciting and meaningful journey with Showmax and AFDA students, ensuring emerging young African filmmakers’ voices are heard and given a platform. It’s ground-breaking to share young, local, culturally relevant content on the same platform as Hollywood blockbusters. I am certain that this unique initiative will serve to boost and develop the African film industry and the careers of many young South African and African students alike.”

Included in the short films coming to Showmax are the award winners Junior and O-PunchaJunior, directed by Bert Dijkstra, picked up the Audience Award in the Made in South Africa Competition at the shnit Worldwide Shortfilmfestival Awards 2017. O-Puncha, directed by Adam Hansen, won two awards at the 5th annual Eldorado Film Festival: Best Student Made Short, and Best Editing – Alexander La Cock.

Another celebrated film is Sicela Amanzi directed by Mlu Godola, which talks to the subject of water shortage. The film’s heroine Zoleka is a mild-mannered young woman forced to go to extreme lengths when a small community’s only source of water unexpectedly collapses. The power of films like this is they shine a light on critical topical issues in new ways.

Speaking about working with the film school, Candice Fangueiro, Head of Content for Showmax, said: “There’s immense depth of filmmaking talent in Africa and it’s a privilege to be able to give that talent a home and a platform. Showmax is becoming part of the fabric of film and TV production in Africa, and importantly we’re doing this as a partner rather than just as a consumer. This is a key competitive advantage of being local and something we aim to continue to work on.”

AFDA is an Academy Award-winning institution, founded in 1994, and the first and only African film school to win an Oscar – for the Best Foreign Student film in 2006, the postgraduate film Elalini, directed by Tristan Holmes.

The full list of AFDA short films coming to Showmax is as follows:

Film titleDirectorGenre
Lullaby from the CryptKeenan Lott & Raven DavidsAnimation
Ko Ga CherenyaneSibonokuhle MyatazaDocumentary
IzilwaneKyllian RouxDrama
MallemeuleJaco Van BoschDrama
Canal StreetBrodie MuirheadDrama
On the FenceWarrick BewsDrama
The Righteous FewLindo LangaDrama
Hlogoma PeakLuke AhrensDrama
Frozen FlameCameron HeathmanAnimation
WolfBrett van DortFantasy
The Walk HomeSisanda DyantyiDrama
BearWesley RoodtDrama
JuniorBert DijkstraDrama
O-PunchaAdam HansenDrama
UmngenoSiphosethu NdungeDrama
DoreenLuvuyo Equiano NyawoseDrama
ForeverLindo LangaMusical
Sicela AmanziMlu GodolaDrama

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