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The history of doing more, in less time

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People have been using tools to do more with less for millions of years. Whether it was the invention of the wheel, fire, the PC, or the Internet, human beings have always utilised innovation to become more productive in their professional and personal lives, writes COLIN ERASMUS, Device Sales Lead at Microsoft SA.

In 1990, the pace and scope of the evolution of productivity hit top gear with the release of Office 1.0, as it brought productivity software together in a way that empowered workers across all departments of an organisation in a way that was unprecedented.

Since then, there have been many versions of Microsoft Office, with each iteration building on the feature set of the last as part of an evolution that has shaped the way people work across the globe.

Today, digital transformation is changing every aspect of business: shaping growth, disrupting industry landscapes, and providing the catalyst for new business models, products, services and experiences. It is enabling businesses to reimagine their structures and become digital businesses.

Doing more in less time, fewer steps

As a non-renewable resource, employees need to devote their time to the most important tasks with the highest returns on investment for the business. New features in Office enable them to save a great deal of time and hassles including features such as Smart Lookup and Researcher.

The former is available from within Word and uses Bing to enable users to look up information right from within Word, while the latter enables users to pull in relevant content right into their document.

Additional time and effort can be saved by using Designer within PowerPoint, which automatically provides designs for your slides based on any image you insert. With a single click, you can pick from a ton of designs that complement your content and give your slides a professional, polished feel.

Additionally, Morph lets you focus on writing great content while PowerPoint creates eye-catching transitions between slides that make your presentation look like it’s been professionally animated.

New capabilities keeping your devices secure

Buyers can opt for a range of new Windows 10-powered devices that come in various form-factors from traditional notebooks through to tablets, All-in-Ones and convertible (two-in-one) laptops. These devices boasts many new capabilities that will boost your productivity while keeping your data secure.

For instance, Windows Hello logs you into your Windows devices in less than two seconds, three times faster than a password. This feature is available on notebooks and two-in-one devices that sports an Intel RealSense 3D camera or built-in fingerprint reader for enterprise-grade security.

When you are logged in, you can use natural input to input data the way you want, using touch gestures on touch-enabled notebooks and tablets, or digital ink via a Windows Ink capable device by using a stylus to jot notes, use annotations and draw.

Windows 10 Pro -powered devices allow you to use BitLocker Drive Encryption on your computer’s hard-drive as well as for removable drives on which data is stored, to prevent sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

In the digital era, managers need to re-envision entire business models and embrace a different way of bringing together people, data, and processes to create more value and better experiences for their customers. Office and Windows has been designed to help meet your organisation’s needs for robust security, enhanced productivity, and taking the hassles out of standard, everyday business tasks.

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Now download a bank account

Absa has introduced an end-to-end account opening for new customers, through the Absa Banking App, which can be downloaded from the Android and Apple app stores. This follows the launch of the world first ChatBanking on WhatsApp service.

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This “download your account” feature enables new customers to Absa, to open a Cheque account, order their card and start transacting on the Absa Banking App, all within minutes, from anywhere and at any time, by downloading it from the App stores.

“Overall, this new capability is not only expected to enhance the customer’s digital experience, but we expect to leverage this in our branches, bringing digital experiences to the branch environment and making it easier for our customers to join and bank with us regardless of where they may be,” says Aupa Monyatsi, Managing Executive for Virtual Channels at Absa Retail & Business Banking.

“With this innovation comes the need to ensure that the security of our customers is at the heart of our digital experience, this is why the digital onboarding experience for this feature includes a high-quality facial matching check with the Department of Home Affairs to verify the customer’s identity, ensuring that we have the most up to date information of our clients. Security is supremely important for us.”

The new version of the Absa Banking App is now available in the Apple and Android App stores, and anyone with a South African ID can become an Absa customer, by following these simple steps:

  1. Download the Absa App
  2. Choose the account you would like to open
  3. Tell us who you are
  4. To keep you safe, we will verify your cell phone number
  5. Take a selfie, and we will do facial matching with the Department of Home Affairs to confirm you are who you say you are
  6. Tell us where you live
  7. Let us know what you do for a living and your income
  8. Click Apply.

 

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How we use phones to avoid human contact

A recent study by Kaspersky Lab has found that 75% of people pick up their connected device to avoid conversing with another human being.

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Connected devices are becoming essential to keeping people in contact with each other, but for many they are also a much-needed comfort blanket in a variety of social situations when they do not want to interact with others. A recent survey from Kaspersky Lab has confirmed this trend in behaviour after three-quarters of people (75%) admitted they use a device to pretend to be busy when they don’t want to talk to someone else, showing the importance of keeping connected devices protected under all circumstances. 

Imagine you’ve arrived at a bar and you’re waiting for your date. The bar is busy, and people are chatting all around you. What do you do now? Strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know? Grab your phone from your pocket or handbag until your date arrives to keep yourself busy? Why talk to humans or even make eye-contact with someone else when you can stare at your connected device instead?

The truth is, our use of devices is making it much easier to avoid small talk or even be polite to those around us, and new Kaspersky Lab research has found that 72% of people use one when they do not know what to do in a social situation. They are also the ‘go-to’ distraction for people even when they aren’t trying to look busy or avoid someone’s eye. 46% of people admit to using a device just to kill time every day and 44% use it as a daily distraction.

In addition to just being a distraction, devices are also a lifeline to those who would rather not talk directly to another person in day-to-day situations, to complete essential tasks. In fact, nearly a third (31%) of people would prefer to carry out tasks such as ordering a taxi or finding directions to where they need to go via a website and an app, because they find it an easier experience than speaking with another person.

Whether they are helping us avoid direct contact or filling a void in our daily lives, our constant reliance on devices has become a cause for panic when they become unusable. A third (34%) of people worry that they will not be able to entertain themselves if they cannot access a connected device. 12% are even concerned that they won’t be able to pretend to be busy if their device is out of action.

Dmitry Aleshin, VP for Product Marketing, Kaspersky Lab said, “The reliance on connected devices is impacting us in more ways than we could have ever expected. There is no doubt that being connected gives us the freedom to make modern life easier, but devices are also vital to help people get through different and difficult social situations. No matter what your ‘connection crutch’ is, it is essential to make sure your device is online and available when you need it most.”

To ensure your device lifeline is always there and in top health – no matter what the reason or situation – Kaspersky Security Cloud keeps your connection safe and secure:

·         I want to use my device while waiting for a friend – is it secure to access the bar’s Wi-Fi?

With Kaspersky Security Cloud, devices are protected against network threats, even if the user needs to use insecure public Wi-Fi hotspots. This is done through transferring data via an encrypted channel to ensure personal data safety, so users’ devices are protected on any connection.

·         Oh no! I’m bored but my phone’s battery is getting low – what am I going to do?

Users can track their battery level thanks to a countdown of how many minutes are left until their device shuts down in the Kaspersky Security Cloud interface. There is also a wide-range of portable power supplies available to keep device batteries charged while on-the-go.

·         I’ve lost my phone! How will I keep myself entertained now?

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose or have your phone stolen, Kaspersky Security Cloud can track and protect your device from data breaches, for complete peace of mind. Remote lock and locate features ensure your device remains secure until you are reunited.

 

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