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Clean data vital for targeting

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Data and big data are vital for any organisation in order to understand better the target audiences and adapt business strategies accordingly. However, without recent, clean and accurate data, the information used can result in implementing incorrect strategies.

According to Larry Pogir  Executive Chairman at Blue Label  Data Solutions, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms Limited: “We have partnered with a number of companies, including credit bureaus, to safeguard that data is continually updated, thereby  ensuring that we have the latest information on hand to be used by our analytics team for accurate and targeted campaigns.”

Pogir adds that hot or targeted lead generation offers a conversation rate of around 10 to 20% whereas cold calling provides only a 1% return while other traditional marketing methods. In addition, contact-ability is in the region of 80% for all generated leads.

Many organisations believe that they have accurate and up-to-date information. However, the reality is that data is often only 80% accurate as people often do not update their information should they move address, change their marital status or their employment. Only if information is constantly updated can it be used effectively. For example, vital information such as who drives a car, lives in a house, or who has life insurance can be paramount for targeted marketing and sales campaigns.

Pogir adds: “Recent, clean and accurate data can be the cornerstone of a successful business and marketing strategy – moving campaigns from ‘spray and pray’ to a more targeted approach that is aimed at the right people. A ‘spray and pray’ approach will often only lead to 1% of sales, which does not cover the costs of the seats required in a call centre. However, if the data is analysed and used correctly, sales are far more likely to increase exponentially.”

Furthermore, Blue Label Data Solutions ensures that data is not only recent, clean and accurate, but that campaigns are run according to compliance. “Once we have received a brief for a client such as an insurance company, we are able to detail the ideal customer. The analytics team then analyses the data available and provides the client with a list of people fitting this description to locate the ideal customer. An SMS can be sent to individual customers and once they have opted in to receive such messages, systems are automatically updated in the call centre, allowing the call centre to ‘jump on and follow up the lead’. Opting in or opting out is vital from a compliance perspective.”

Furthermore, systems which are automated and updated as and when an SMS is answered, are likely to lead to a sale. However, should an individual not be called within 24 hours of answering that SMS, the chances of closing the deal become more remote.

“All these elements ensure a successful marketing and sales campaign. However, recent, clean and accurate data is vital to ensure the most appropriate person is reached and leads are turned into sales. With the reams of data now available – and many competitors making use of their own – it has become a critical business practice to ensure one focuses on analytics,” concludes Pogir.

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Legion gets a pro makeover

Lenovo’s latest Legion gaming laptop, the Y530, pulls out all the stops to deliver a sleek looking computer at a lower price point, writes BRYAN TURNER

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Gaming laptops have become synonymous with thick bodies, loud fans, and rainbow lights. Lenovo’s latest gaming laptop is here to change that.

The unit we reviewed housed an Intel Core i7-8750H, with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. It featured dual storage, one bay fitted with a Samsung 256GB NVMe SSD and the other with a 1TB HDD.

The latest addition to the Legion lineup has become far more professional-looking, compared to the previous generation Y520. This trend is becoming more prevalent in the gaming laptop market and appeals to those who want to use a single device for work and play. Instead of sporting flashy colours, Lenovo has opted for an all-black computer body and a monochromatic, white light scheme. 

The laptop features an all-metal body with sharp edges and comes in at just under 24mm thick. Lenovo opted to make the Y530’s screen lid a little shorter than the bottom half of the laptop, which allowed for more goodies to be packed in the unit while still keeping it thin. The lid of the laptop features Legion branding that’s subtly engraved in the metal and aligned to the side. It also features a white light in the O of Legion that glows when the computer is in use.

The extra bit of the laptop body facilitates better cooling. Lenovo has upgraded its Legion fan system from the previous generation. For passive cooling, a type of cooling that relies on the body’s build instead of the fans, it handles regular office use without starting up the fans. A gaming laptop with good passive cooling is rare to find and Lenovo has shown that it can be achieved with a good build.

The internal fans start when gaming, as one would expect. They are about as loud as other gaming laptops, but this won’t be a problem for gamers who use headsets.

Click here to read about the screen quality, and how it performs in-game.

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Serious about security? Time to talk ISO 20000

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By EDWARD CARBUTT, executive director at Marval Africa

The looming Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) Act in South Africa and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union (EU) have brought information security to the fore for many organisations. This in addition to the ISO 27001 standard that needs to be adhered to in order to assist the protection of information has caused organisations to scramble and ensure their information security measures are in line with regulatory requirements.

However, few businesses know or realise that if they are already ISO 20000 certified and follow Information Technology Infrastructure Library’s (ITIL) best practices they are effectively positioning themselves with other regulatory standards such as ISO 27001. In doing so, organisations are able to decrease the effort and time taken to adhere to the policies of this security standard.

ISO 20000, ITSM and ITIL – Where does ISO 27001 fit in?

ISO 20000 is the international standard for IT service management (ITSM) and reflects a business’s ability to adhere to best practice guidelines contained within the ITIL frameworks. 

ISO 20000 is process-based, it tackles many of the same topics as ISO 27001, such as incident management, problem management, change control and risk management. It’s therefore clear that if security forms part of ITSM’s outcomes, it should already be taken care of… So, why aren’t more businesses looking towards ISO 20000 to assist them in becoming ISO 27001 compliant?

The link to information security compliance

Information security management is a process that runs across the ITIL service life cycle interacting with all other processes in the framework. It is one of the key aspects of the ‘warranty of the service’, managed within the Service Level Agreement (SLA). The focus is ensuring that the quality of services produces the desired business value.

So, how are these standards different?

Even though ISO 20000 and ISO 27001 have many similarities and elements in common, there are still many differences. Organisations should take cognisance that ISO 20000 considers risk as one of the building elements of ITSM, but the standard is still service-based. Conversely, ISO 27001 is completely risk management-based and has risk management at its foundation whereas ISO 20000 encompasses much more

Why ISO 20000?

Organisations should ask themselves how they will derive value from ISO 20000. In Short, the ISO 20000 certification gives ITIL ‘teeth’. ITIL is not prescriptive, it is difficult to maintain momentum without adequate governance controls, however – ISO 20000 is.  ITIL does not insist on continual service improvement – ISO 20000 does. In addition, ITIL does not insist on evidence to prove quality and progress – ISO 20000 does.  ITIL is not being demanded by business – governance controls, auditability & agility are. This certification verifies an organisation’s ability to deliver ITSM within ITIL standards.

Ensuring ISO 20000 compliance provides peace of mind and shortens the journey to achieving other certifications, such as ISO 27001 compliance.

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