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Disruption driving innovation – or causing chaos?

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Disruptive technologies are changing lives and transforming markets and according to GYS KAPPERS, CEO of Wyzetalk, this brings two elements to the fore – that a company is not being made obsolete and that rather than seeing chaos, businesses see the opportunity.

The only constant is change and today this has never rung truer. We are in an age of change where disruptive technologies are not only changing lives, but transforming markets. Accordingly to Wyzetalk, two critical elements become important – that your company is not being made obsolete and that rather than seeing chaos, businesses see the opportunity.

“We are in an era of engagement and those technologies that enable collaboration, communication and connection also provide a platform that allows businesses to create,” says Gys Kappers, CEO of Wyzetalk. “However many businesses are still beholden to traditional models driven by silos and hierarchies and as a result, are finding it difficult to truly capitalise on disruptive technology and the potential innovation that can be reaped from open collaboration and a culture of engagement.”

However, there are those businesses that have realised the potential of disruptive technology and ‘organised chaos’. In fact, according to Forrester, many organisations are making a fundamental bet on social business and collaboration to drive worker effectiveness (not only knowledge workers) as a competitive differentiator – stating that the next generation of market-leading organisations will digitise their enterprise model with new capabilities enabled by social technologies.

“Business as we know it has changed and continues to change, just more rapidly,” adds Kappers. “While business has always been about providing a service or product that a customer wants – today it’s about enabling them to consume it through their desired platform(s) – anytime, anywhere. In order to make this possible, business needs to truly listen to their customers, their wants and their needs and ultimately create not just a destination, but a portal for engagement with the brand.”

The role of mobile and technology even in Africa cannot be denied as it opens up enormous opportunities not only for increased productivity – but for broader engagement, collaboration and communication across all levels of the business not just externally, but internally as well.

“As businesses open up they need to be focused on not only creating communication channels for customers and external parties, but also internally for their staff,” adds Kappers. “In many respects, social media has created a culture of collaboration. People share information freely which often translates to a similar mindset in the workplace. This means that projects, in theory, should be able to get done faster as more people are working on the problem. Additionally, it helps organisations retain knowledge, drum up corporate spirit, get new employees up to speed, collaborate on business-purpose projects, foster innovation and improve customer service by creating highly engaged communities.”

“Businesses need to adapt. It’s as simple as that. They need to challenge paradigms and test hypothesis – looking to everyday challenges and experience and asking the question – how can this be improved or how can we make it better? Technology has been a catalyst in driving new behaviour and interconnectedness and has led to an awakening that helps us realise change is possible and that we can make it happen. Therefore, instead of viewing social networks and disruptive technology as a bad thing, organisations should harness the spirit of collaboration and ‘out of the box’ thinking and apply it into their own environment to truly reap the benefits,” concludes Kappers.

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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