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Care service for S8

Samsung South Africa has introduced a new mobile premium service for the Galaxy S8 and S8+ devices called Samsung Mobile Care (SMC), which offers customers a smooth and convenient repair service with expert care from the people who made the device.

“Your mobile phone is possibly one of the most important technology devices you possess and use daily, it therefore needs to be looked after and maintained properly. This is why we have introduced Samsung Mobile Care exclusively for customers who purchase a Galaxy S8 or S8+ smartphone,” says Craige Fleischer, Director of Integrated Mobility at Samsung South Africa.

SMC is a Service Plan for your Galaxy S8 and S8+ device in the unfortunate event of accidental screen damage. It provides a quick and easy solution that allows you up to two screen repairs in a 24-month period. The Service Plan costs R69.99 per month, with the 1st month being free of charge. Alternatively, customers can purchase the Plan at a discounted fee of only R1 299.00 as a once-off payment for the full duration of the two-year period. We believe that this will offer great value to Galaxy S8 and S8+ customers, says Fleischer. Without the SMC cover which includes two affordable screen repairs over a period of 24months, consumers will run the risk of paying up to R10,000 to have their device fixed.

“Samsung is one of the first global subsidiaries to roll out this service offering and as such leading the way for other markets to empower their customers in taking care of their premium device,” says Fleischer.

“The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are technologically advanced devices that offer the world’s first infinity borderless display. Samsung decided that it would be fitting to ensure they offer a high level service offering to match the ground-breaking technology that went into the design. This was done in order to ensure that consumers have peace of mind and enjoy the user experience without having to worry about service related issues pertaining to screen repairs. In order to ensure the delivery of reliable and consistent service, our SMC technicians are proficiently trained to ensure our customers can continue to enjoy their handsets.”

The SMC Service Plan provides quick and easy assistance. After the one month free trial customers who wish to extend the service plan can log their details onto the Samsung Rewards App which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or the Samsung App Store and a dedicated Samsung agent will be ready to assist. Alternatively they can contact the SMC contact centre on 0861 888 003 or email info@samsungmobilecare.co.za.

The most valuable benefit of SMC is that customers can be assured they will receive the best repair service for their Galaxy S8 and S8+ from knowledgeable, highly trained and accredited technicians at Samsung. Furthermore, with every phone repair, Samsung conducts a standard battery test and if the battery’s power functionality is found to be less than 80%, the company will replace it without the customer paying additional fees.

SMC is customer specific and non-transferable. Should the original device no longer belong to the original owner then the SMC benefit is not valid. Proof of Purchase for your Galaxy S8 or S8+ is required for an SMC incident to be valid and for the repair process to commence.

“The SMC Service Plan is only available from Samsung on the Rewards programme. With Samsung Mobile Care you can unbox your phone with peace of mind and know that in the event of accidental screen damage, Samsung will solve the problem,” Fleischer concludes.

 

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Time is running out for Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Companies are urged to update from the dated database management software as it reaches the end of its support, writes BRYAN TURNER.

The 11-year-old Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database management software is reaching the end of its support on 9 July. The applications that use databases running on this software will be at risk of security and stability issues.

On self-managed databases, upgrading to the latest database version comes with a lot of risks. Many IT departments within companies go by the motto: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.

Microsoft made it very clear that it would not be updating SQL Server 2005 after its extended support date and even left it vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown by not releasing patches for the dated version.

Updating SQL Server versions may seem daunting, but the benefits far outweigh the effort it takes for a migration. In the last major version update, SQL Server 2016 introduced simpler backup functionality, database stretching, and always-encrypted communications with the database, to name just three features.

While backing up the database may be the last thing on the typical database administrator’s mind, it’s become increasingly important to do so. In SQL Server 2008, it’s clunky and causes headaches for many admins. However, in SQL Server 2016, one can easily set up an automated backup to Azure storage and let it run on smart backup intervals. Backing up offsite also reduces the need for disaster recovery for onsite damage.

Database stretching allows admins to push less frequently accessed data to an Azure database, automatically decided by SQL Server 2016. This reduces the admin of manually looking through what must be kept and what must be shipped off or deleted. It also reduces the size of the database, which also increases the performance of the applications that access it. The best part of this functionality is it automatically retrieves the less accessed records from Azure when users request it, without the need for manual intervention.

Always-encrypted communications are becoming more and more relevant to many companies, especially those operating in European regions after the introduction of GDPR. Encryption keys were previously managed by the admin, but now encryption is always handled by the client. Furthermore, the keys to encrypt and decrypt data are stored outside of SQL Server altogether. This means data stored in the database is always encrypted, and no longer for the eyes of a curious database manager. 

The built-in reporting tools have also vastly improved with the addition of new reporting metrics and a modern look. It includes support for Excel reports for keeping documentation and Power BI for automated, drag-and-drop personalised reporting. Best of all, it removes the dreaded Active X controls, which made the reporting in a webpage feel very clumsy and bloated in previous versions.

A lot has changed in the past ten years in the world of SQL Server database management, and it’s not worth running into problems before Microsoft ends support for SQL Server 2005.

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Local apps to feature in Huawei’s App Gallery

Huawei’s mobile app store, the HUAWEI AppGallery, will soon feature a multitude of apps and designs by local developers. The company says this is part of its drive to promote South African digital talent and include more useful apps for Huawei smartphone users. HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes are pre-installed on all the latest Huawei and Honor devices.

“South African consumers are increasingly wanting more apps that are relevant to their unique circumstances, addressing issues they experience regularly – such as load shedding or safety concerns – but also apps that celebrate South Africa’s multitude of cultures and this vibrant country,” says Lu Geng, director of Huawei Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Region.

Akhram Mohamed, chief technology officer of Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa, says: “Huawei is committed to catering to the needs of South African consumers, but we also know that we do not have all the answers. For this reason, we aim to work closely with South African developers so that we can give our users everything that they need and want from their devices. At the same time, we also hope to create an open ecosystem for local developers by offering a simple and secure environment for them to upload content.”

Huawei Mobile Services was launched in South Africa in June last year. Since then, both the HUAWEI AppGallery and HUAWEI Themes – which features tens of thousands of themes, fonts and wallpapers that personalise user’s handset – have become increasingly popular with the local market. Even though it is a relatively new division of Huawei, there has been a great increase in growth; at the end of 2018 Huawei Mobile Services had 500 million users globally, representing a 117% increase on the previous year.

Explaining what differentiates the HUAWEI AppGallery from other app stores, Mosa Matshediso Hlobelo, business developer for Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa says: “We use the name ‘HUAWEI AppGallery’ because we have a dedicated team that curates all the apps in terms of relevance and ease of use and to ensure that there are no technical issues. Importantly, all apps are also security-checked for malware and privacy leaks before being uploaded on to the HUAWEI AppGallery.”

Huawei recently held a Developers’ Day where Huawei executives met with South African developers to discuss Huawei’s offering. 48 developers registered their apps on the day, and Huawei is currently in discussions with them with the eventual aim of featuring the best apps and designs on HUAWEI AppGallery or HUAWEI Themes. The Consumer Cloud Service Southern Africa Team at Huawei plans on making Developers’ Day a quarterly event and establishing a local providers’ hub, where developers can regularly meet with Huawei for training on updates to programmes and offerings.

“We have a very hands-on approach with our developers, and hope to expand that community so we can become an additional distribution channel for more developers and expose them to both a local and a global audience,” says Geng. “For example, we regularly feature apps and designs from local developers on our Huawei social media pages, and do competitions and promotions. We want to do everything we can to make our Huawei users aware of these local apps and upload them. This will encourage the growth of the developer community in South Africa by giving developers more opportunities to generate revenue from in-app purchases.”

* Developers who would like their apps featured on the HUAWEI App Gallery, or designs featured on HUAWEI Themes, should visit https://developer.huawei.com or email Huawei Mobile Services on sacloud@huawei.com.

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