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Mobile apps for all

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The app isn’t just for the large enterprise anymore, now it can provide a highly specialised and customised solution for clients of all business sizes, writes JOHN EIGELAAR of Keystone Electronics.

Until recently the mobile app has been seen as an expensive, time consuming and challenging solution to develop, something that only the large enterprise can afford or implement. This has now changed. Apps are easy to build and they allow for the small business to develop a solution that is customisable and completely structured around the business and the brand. Through an app, the small enterprise (SME) can create a native environment that captures client loyalty and keeps them engaged.

A recent study undertaken by the mobile analytics firm Mobidia [https://www.internetretailer.com/2014/01/09/exclusive-how-consumers-interact-20-top-shopping-apps] focused on the use of customised apps in the consumer space and found that an average 48% of Android users shopped online through mobile commerce apps. The same principles can be applied in the B2B space – create apps that make accessing content, capabilities and features a simple endeavour and you have a solution that keeps your customers coming back for more.  It is no longer a question of whether to build an app for the business or the products it sells, but rather what needs to be done to ensure that it is done well.

It is essential that a business app be easy to use. Complex user interfaces with steep learning curves will alienate the client and are unlikely to keep them engaged. It is also vital that an app be focused on delivering one very specific solution – it’s easy to try and cram a diverse range of capabilities into one app, but this potentially can result in a confused mess that makes little sense to anyone. Keystone Electronics recently designed an app called BlueGoo that allows for the supervision of all IP-enabled equipment on a site over LAN with SNMP. It is a targeted solution that addresses a certain need. It isn’t diluted by other products or solutions and provides clients with a reliable and easy method for configuring the Keystone RSM Blue system. The app took away the need for the client to use a laptop and working network in order to do their work, and replaced it with any Android device from anywhere.

Keystone has created other apps to work in conjunction with other products such as GLAM Bluetooth and ATC Interlock and Job Card Tracker. Each one is focused on resolving a particular problem or addressing a certain client requirement. This then leads to the next point – personalisation.

When creating an app, especially if it is being developed as part of an overall solution or implementation, adding in layers of personalised content can make all the difference. By adding in layers that are client or solution specific, the experience becomes a far more compelling one. The process also does not demand that suddenly the SME hire developers or spend terrifying quantities of cash on getting apps developed. Costs have come down and many organisations offer this service at a price point that doesn’t massively impact the bottom line over the long term, especially if an app can be used across multiple clients and installations. Ultimately, however, the real value lies in keeping clients loyal and engaged and coming back for more and it is in this arena that the app truly shines. It is a tool that can now be used by businesses of any size to boost business capabilities and enhance products and solutions.

* John Eigelaar, co-founder and director of Keystone Electronics.

Featured

Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entires via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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