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AppDate: AB de Villiers cam app offers social rewards

In his apps round-up, SEAN BACHER highlights a tyre-size service, AB de Villiers’ rewards app, Waze gets voice-control in Ford, kulula.com’s app revamp, and GeleZAR.

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ABD Cam offers rewards to cricket fans

AB de Villiers, in partnership with the JET8 Foundation has launched a JET8 social iOS and Android app called ABDCam. Fans and supporters in South Africa, India, and all around the world will be able to use the ABDCam app to customise photos and videos with AB de Villiers personal Geo-stickers and Geo-frames, and earn points (‘JETPoints’) in exchange for their social influence throughout social media platforms. JETPoints can be used to redeem a variety of rewards and to contribute to youth-related social impact causes supported by the AB de Villiers Foundation.

JETPoints are awarded to fans for likes, comments, and shares of social media posts when customised using AB de Villiers’ Geo-stickers and Geo-frames found in the ABD Cam app. Users are additionally rewarded JETPoints when sharing the posts onto other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: The ABDCam can be downloaded here.

Waze in Ford vehicles now with voice commands

Waze users in South Africa can now project the app’s real-time traffic and navigation service onto the touch screen in Ford vehicles via SYNC 3 AppLink, and control it through voice command, allowing for easier access to features like finding the quickest traffic routes and reporting traffic accidents.

To use the feature, customers connect the smartphone to the USB port of their Ford, select the Waze app on the car’s heads-up display, and access the app’s features on a larger display. Voice commands can then be given directly to the application – making it safer to find alternative routes or getting traffic updates.

To deliver optimal driving directions and traffic updates, Waze uses crowdsourcing to gather information about road conditions from all of its users. People type in their destination and drive with the app open to contribute data to Waze’s community of users. At the same time, people can take a more active role by sharing reports from the road, including notifying the community of accidents, hazards or route changes that were previously unknown.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: In order to use the service, Ford owners need to update their SYNC 3 software here.

Users will also need the latest Waze version, which can be downloaded here.

Tiger Wheel and Tyre tyre size specificator

Tiger Wheel & Tyre has announced a new fast and simple online search functionality that will reveal a vehicle’s tyre sizes – for existing customers, that is.

Now, when customers search for tyres, and can’t recall the size, they input their vehicle registration number into the relevant search box at www.twt.to. Anyone who has shopped at Tiger Wheel & Tyre from 2016 onwards will instantly have their vehicle’s tyre sizes returned to them.

Accuracy is perhaps the most important aspect of this new offering. In their haste to get their search done quickly, online shoppers and researchers often make errors entering tyre sizes. Or, if their vehicle has a staggered fitment (different size wheels and tyres on the front versus the rear), they forget this rather important consideration.

Platform: Any device with an up-to-date Internet browser

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit tiger Wheel and Tyre here

kulula.com’s revamped mobile app

kulula.com’s app has been redesigned with a fresh new look and feel, in an attempt to personalise and simplify its overall digital experience.

The app is still in its first phase, which currently allows check-in, seat selection, flight status and an opportunity to manage their booking and add flight extras. Additional features include sharing of upcoming trips and boarding passes with loved ones, along with the weather forecast at their destination.

When the second phase is included, enhancements will include car rental bookings, sharing on social media platforms, geo-location, push notifications of travel information, and flight bookings – pretty much the reason for most airline apps to exist.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: The app can be downloaded directly from kulula.com here.  

GeleZAR

Experian South Africa’s app called GeleZAR, South African slang for “learning about money”, aims to bring more micro, small and medium sized enterprises into the mainstream economy. 

GeleZAR has been developed to help entrepreneurs gain basic business and financial education skills, and also so that they can more easily access personalised financial products at interest rates that work for them.

The GeleZAR app was developed by Experian in partnership with local South African  fintech developer Flat Rock Solutions. It is designed to provide financial education and credit scoring to micro-entrepreneurs and individuals to ensure that they get the credit score they deserve. The app also advises individuals on how to maintain good credit health and recommends remedial actions, such as seeking a debt counsellor, if the need arises.

With their permission, micro-entrepreneurs will be able to build an alternative credit score using hundreds of mobile data points through the GeleZAR app, to determine creditworthiness. 

Experian and Flat Rock are working with one of the large low-cost mobile phone retailers in Africa to trial the app, which has been pre-installed on a range of its entry-level smartphones. . 

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: To learn more about GeleZAR, visit their site here.

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It’s printing, Jim, but not as we know it

Selling printing services is not only about the hardware anymore, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK

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The seminal science fiction series Star Trek generated many catch-lines, like “The Prime Directive” and “Live long and prosper”. One of its most parodied lines, however, is Doctor Bones McCoy’s words to Captain Kirk on encountering an alien species: “It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.”

That’s exactly the way one could describe the printer industry today. Every time an HP, Epson or Konica Minolta releases a new machine for this sector, one can sense the puzzled frowns of people taken by surprise that it still exists.

The difference is that it has evolved from a focus on paper to an emphasis on document management.

One of the first companies to spot that shift in the market, Japanese-headquartered Konica-Minolta, pioneered the concept of a dedicated printer company introducing its own software development division.

“We’ve always believed our role is solving problems for the customer, and not just to provide print, copy and scan solutions,” says Marc Pillay, CEO of the company’s South African division. “Our primary focus is multi-functional devices, but we always look at adding value to clients. Our real job is to assist in achieving a better return on investment.”

The proof of the pudding is that the local division is one of the biggest Konica-Minolta distributors in the world. The reason is simple: unlike most other countries, the South African operation has both a direct and indirect channel. That means it is able to supply companies through its reseller network, while also having a presence on the ground in the form of a dealer network across the country. That, in turn, has given it access to municipalities and other organs of state.

“Our value proposition is based on quality products, service and an unparalleled supply chain,” says Pillay. “When everyone was afraid to do business with government, we thrived on it. It comes from being located in areas where it’s easy to do business with us.”

One could call that the secret of success for existing demand. The coming era, however, will require an appreciation of the next big shifts in printing, says Pillay.

“We’ve seen the big shifts from analog to digital, from monochrome to colour, and from decentralisation to centralisation of printing. The next shift is unbundling printing into a hybrid approach, using both cloud and managed solutions. It’s all going to become subscription-based, and it will be print-on-demand. The high-end customers go into that very quickly, but we still have to cater for people who just do copying.”

Pillay believes that the opening of Microsoft’s Azure data centres in South Africa in March has already made a difference.

“Now you can scan from a device into Microsoft’s SharePoint online or Google Drive. It’s not about screen size anymore, but what you can do to make an impact.”

Where people don’t print, says Pillay, they’re absorbing documents digitally.

“We have to make sure that, where we lose the print, we are gaining the management of the scan, digitisation of the document or management of the workflow. Our income will come out of the workflow.

“Clearly, we’re not just focused on selling a piece of hardware anymore.”

  • Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram on @art2gee

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SA chooses most loved local businesses

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A new World Wide Worx research report identifies and names South Africa’s 12 Most Loved Local businesses, and places the spotlight on the vital role commercial businesses play in the South African economy. The country’s favourite local businesses include the Chapman’s Peak Hotel in Hout Bay – famed for its calamari, celebrity chef David Higgs’ Rosebank eatery Marble as well as Rouge Day Spa with branches in Kenilworth and Constantia in Cape Town run by a dynamic mother and daughter duo.

The aim of the Most Loved Local report was to celebrate those businesses South Africans love the most and to investigate exactly what makes consumers big fans of these entities. It further offers these enterprises insights into what it takes to succeed in business, highlights the qualities that convert clients into fans and encourages more South Africans to ‘shop’ local.

Report results

Commissioned by Santam, results were compiled using a combination of digital listening tools and traditional research. Social media listening using organic search analysis looked into which business categories were being searched for most. This was followed up with a trend analysis to assess whether a business category was growing in popularity, keyword volume analysis to refine the categories and finally social listening within the categories which businesses were being spoken about in the most positive terms. Thereafter, a poll was conducted among 2 489 respondents to find out what made them love a local business – or not. The sample was nationally representative and aligned to the economically active population per province. A respected independent research house World Wide Worx conducted the research.

The full list of businesses that came top across 12 categories are:

  1. Place to Stay: Chapmans Peak Hotel (Cape Town) – the one with the perfect calamari
  2. Eatery: Marble (Johannesburg) – the one with the celebrity chef in the kitchen
  3. Butcher: The Butcher Man (Cape Town) – the one that people cross town for
  4. Bakery: Fournos (Johannesburg) – the one that is way more than a bakery
  5. Spa: Rouge Day Spa (Cape Town) – the one run by a dynamic mother-daughter team
  6. Entertainment Spot: Gold Reef City (Johannesburg)  – the one with the heart of gold
  7. Gym: Dream Body Fitness (Johannesburg) – the one that is completely unintimidating to work out at
  8. Interior Designer: By Dezign Interiors (Johannesburg) – the one that really, really gets its clients’ style
  9. Market: Bryanston Organic & Natural Market (Johannesburg) – the one that was an organic market before it was trendy to be an organic market
  10. Laundromat: Exclusive Dry Cleaners (Johannesburg) – the one that treats every single client like family
  11. Car Wash: Tubbs’s Car Wash (Johannesburg) – the one that cleans your car while you have a haircut
  12. Construction company: Radon Projects (Pretoria) – the one that is ready all day and all night

Delving into what makes a consumer go from ‘client to fan’, the key factor standing out above all others was service. Arthur Goldstuck, CEO of World Wide Worx, says it seems South Africans will forgive a multitude of ‘sins’ if they are treated well. “Good service was the number one factor that makes 40% of those surveyed support a local business. This was followed by quality products at 18%. Third place went to value for money at 10%, proving the old adage that competing on price alone is not a sound business strategy,” said Goldstuck.

When asked what makes them loyal to a local business, some interesting views across age groups emerged. “Younger clients are more swayed by quality, while older ones are impressed by service. This seems to fit with younger people wanting the status of nice things, and older people wanting to feel valued and respected,” said Goldstuck.

Unsurprisingly, all 12 Most Loved Locals called out service as one of their guiding lights and core pillars when interviewed. Theo and George Parpottas, owners of Exclusive Dry Cleaners, the selected company in the laundromat category, believe when someone walks into their shop, they should be greeted with smiling faces and courteous people. “We don’t care if it’s the president or a beggar, from the moment they walk in, they are a client. We greet them, we are courteous, and we treat them with respect. It doesn’t matter what they bring.”

For Gary Karycou, who co-owns Marble in Rosebank with celebrity chef David Higgs, it is all about attitude. “You can teach someone anything if they want to do it, but we employ on attitude. You get the basic skills but if someone really wants to learn, you can transform them.” He continues, “Giving the best service to our clients, is our motto. It’s something that’s lacking in South Africa and even globally. Businesses just become a bit complacent.”

Famed Green Point butchery and restaurant, The Butcher Man, is owned by Arie Fabiani. He says people will drive past other butcheries and come all the way to the Butcher Man because “we deliver a great service. Good service is critical, and our team knows it.”

Another key finding was that people are more likely to recommend a business if there is a good deal or excellent value for money. Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, Chief Marketing Officer at Santam, says this is an interesting finding. “Perhaps we are more likely to share a good deal with others and keen to help others find great nuggets of the positive trade-off between value and price. So, it is worth ensuring that, in addition to service and quality, your clients feel like they are getting value for the money they spend with you. That way, they are more likely to tell family and friends the good news!”

Dilotsotlhe added that the report’s release has been well-timed as the need to stimulate sectors of the economy which can create jobs has never been more vital. Commercial enterprises are responsible for a significant percentage of the labour-force in South Africa, and the impact thereof is significant. Due to the fact that these enterprises remain a largely underinsured sector, the campaign also seeks to highlight the need for insurance as a vital aspect of business continuity. When they thrive, it benefits the whole nation, and from a Santam perspective, this translates into sustainable growth for our business.

To download the full report, click here.

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