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MWC: SAP brings Mastercard into vehicles network solution

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SAP has announced the addition of new partners to its open, standards-based services Vehicles Network marketplace at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

New secured and tokenized payment options from Mastercard, navigation capabilities from HERE and on-demand delivery services from Postmates further expand and enrich the portfolio of services SAP Vehicles Network offers.

Powered by SAP Leonardo, SAP Vehicles Network connects vehicles to intelligent, automated services for parking, fueling, food, navigation and payment, transforming driving into the ultimate mobile experience. Through the network, participating members can provide mobility services to drivers and passengers, independent of devices or vehicles. Network members also can offer secure mobility services tailored for business travelers and individual consumers. (For more information, see video here.)

The following network features will be on display at Mobile World Congress:

Mastercard will leverage its technology to provide safe and secure payments for consumers while they are in their vehicles. The company will enable tokenized payments, providing for the replacement of the personal account number (PAN) associated with a consumer’s credit, debit, commercial or prepaid card with a secure “token” — an alternative number that replaces the existing PAN on the front of the card. Mastercard services including security, loyalty and analytics may also be incorporated into the network to further enhance the overall experience.

“With people so connected today, there is the potential for every device to be used not just to interact but to transact —and ultimately drive a better consumer experience,” said Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships, Mastercard. “As a part of SAP Vehicles Network, we’ll engage our bank and retail partners and use our technology to provide a seamless and secure way for people to pay for things like parking or gas while in the comfort of their car.”

HERE, one of the world’s leading companies in traffic, navigation and mapping products, intends to integrate SAP Vehicles Network into its product offering with an initial focus on parking solutions, allowing for easy navigation to the most convenient parking spaces and secure payments.

Postmates helps people unlock the best of their cities — and their lives — with a reliable on-demand “everything” network intended to enable drivers to place orders through the Postmates merchant and courier ecosystem using SAP Vehicles Network.

“From sidewalk-class robotic rovers to being able to order your next meal safely while you’re driving, Postmates is focused on finding innovative ways for people to experience the platform,” said Dan Mosher, Postmates senior vice president and merchant lead. “By being a part of SAP Vehicles Network, we’re able to give our users an additional way to get the things that they need.”

SAP Concur solutions are an expense, travel and invoice management offerings. By integrating SAP Vehicles Network with the Concur Expense solution, network transactions can be seamlessly pushed to Concur Expense to expedite reporting and reimbursement. The integration automates travel expense reporting, including parking and fueling transactions, eliminating multiple time-consuming and manual steps for the business and individual traveler. The integration will be available in the SAP Concur App Center.

“With new customers and partners Mastercard, HERE and Postmates combined with the power of SAP Concur solutions and SAP Leonardo, SAP is redefining the intelligent, connected driving experience,” said Gil Perez, SAP senior vice president, IoT & Digital Supply Chain. “SAP Vehicles Network is not only growing its member companies but also exponentially increasing the value of its open network by integrating with HERE, Mastercard, Postmates and SAP Concur solutions. It offers drivers a comprehensive portfolio of global services that make travel a seamless, digital and personalized experience.”

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Get your passwords in shape

New Year’s resolutions should extend to getting password protection sorted out, writes Carey van Vlaanderen, CEO at ESET Southern Africa.

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Many of us have entered the new year with a boat load of New Year’s resolutions.  Doing more exercise, fixing unhealthy eating habits and saving more money are all highly respectable goals, but could it be that they don’t go far enough in an era with countless apps and sites that scream for letting them help you reach your personal goals.

Now, you may want to add a few weightier and yet effortless habits on top of those well-worn choices. Here are a handful of tips for ‘exercises’ that will go good for your cyber-fitness.

I won’t pass up on stubborn passwords

Passwords have a bad rap, and deservedly so: they suffer from weaknesses, both in terms of security and convenience, that make them a less-than-ideal method of authentication.  However, much of what the internet offers is independent on your singing up for this or that online service, and the available form of authentication almost universally happens to the username/password combination.

As the keys that open online accounts (not to speak of many devices), passwords are often rightly thought of as the first – alas, often only – line of defence that protects your virtual and real assets from intruders. However, passwords don’t offer much in the way of protection unless, in the first place, they’re strong and unique to each device and account.

But what constitutes a strong password?  A passphrase! Done right, typical passphrases are generally both more secure and more user-friendly than typical passwords. The longer the passphrase and the more words it packs the better, with seven words providing for a solid start. With each extra character (not to mention words), the number of possible combinations rises exponentially, which makes simple brute-force password-cracking attacks far less likely to succeed, if not well-nigh impossible (assuming, of course, that the service in question does not impose limitations on password input length – something that is, sadly, far too common).

Click here to read about making secure passwords by not using dictionary words, using two-factor authentication, and how biometrics are coming to web browsers.

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Code Week prepares 2.3m young Africans for future

By SUNIL GENESS, Director Government Relations & CSR, Global Digital Government, at SAP Africa.

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On January 6th, 2019, news broke of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plans to announce a new approach to education in his second State of the Nation address, including:

  • A universal roll-out of tablets for all pupils in the country’s 23 700 primary and secondary schools
  • Computer coding and robotics classes for the foundation-phase pupils from grade 1-3 and the
  • Digitisation of the entire curriculum, , including textbooks, workbooks and all teacher support material.

With this, the President has shown South Africa’s response to a global challenge: equipping our youth with the skills they’ll need to survive and thrive in the 21st century digital economy.

Africa’s working-age population will increase to 600 million in 2030 from a base of 370 million in 2010.

In South Africa, unemployment stands at 26.7 percent, but is much more pronounced among youths: 52.2 percent of the country’s 15-24-year-olds are looking for work.

As an organisation deeply invested in South Africa and its future, SAP has developed and implemented a range of initiatives aimed at fostering digital skills development among the country’s youth, including:

AFRICA CODE WEEK

Since its launch in 2015, Africa Code Week has introduced more than 4 million African youth to basic coding.

In 2018, more than 2.3 million youth across 37 countries took part in Africa Code Week.

The digital skills development initiative’s focus on building local capacity for sustainable learning resulted in close to 23 000 teachers being trained in the run-up to the October 2018 events.

Vital to the success of Africa Code Week is the close support it receives from a broad spectrum of public and private sector institutions, including UNESCO YouthMobile, Google, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Cape Town Science Centre, the Camden Education Trust, 28 African governments, over 130 implementing partners and 120 ambassadors across the continent.

SAP’s efforts to drive digital skills development on the African continent forms part of a broader organisational commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Goal 4 (“Ensure quality and inclusive education for all”)

A core component of Africa Code Week is to encourage female participation in STEM-related skills development activities: in 2018, more than 46% of all Africa Code Week participants were female.

According to Africa Code Week Global Coordinator Sunil Geness, female representation in STEM-related fields among African businesses currently stands at 30%, “requiring powerful public-private partnerships to start turning the tide and creating more equitable opportunities for African youth to contribute to the continent’s economic development and success”.

Click here to read more about the Skills for Africa graduate training programme, and about the LEGO League.

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