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MWC: Simplified applications with SAP Cloud

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SAP has unveiled a new consumption-based commercial model for customers to easily acquire and engage the SAP Cloud Platform, the company’s platform as a service (PaaS) at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

Additional updates include the next-generation SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS, which allows customers to easily extend enterprise apps and processes to mobile devices.

SAP Cloud Platform is the foundation of SAP Leonardo, SAP’s digital innovation system. Together they enable rapid innovation and empower customers to become “intelligent enterprises,” ready for the 21st century.

“The new consumption-based commercial model for SAP Cloud Platform makes it even easier for our customers and partners to build and extend innovative solutions utilizing our increasing portfolio of platform and business services,” said Björn Goerke, SAP Cloud Platform president and chief technology officer. “Innovations in mobile delivery with consumer-grade experiences via our new SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS give organizations more freedom and agility to create and reinvent their businesses.”

SAP Cloud Platform: The Foundation for the Intelligent Enterprise
The new consumption-based commercial model for SAP Cloud Platform provides a simpler, low-touch customer experience for configuring and using SAP Cloud Platform services. Cloud credits are easily acquired, and available SAP Cloud Platform services can be quickly activated using a single provisioning cockpit. This allows customers to innovate on their terms and at their own pace. In addition, the new commercial model provides transparency into the usage of each service consumed through regular metering, reporting and detailed accounting analytics on the customer’s cloud credit consumption and balance. This makes it easier for customers to identify, procure and monitor needed services for their applications on a timely basis.

Customers can visit the newly designed web experience cloudplatform.sap.com to explore, test, price and estimate SAP Cloud Platform usage for any innovation project, all within a single site. This new model makes innovating with SAP Cloud Platform even simpler, while offering greater agility and flexibility for enterprises of all sizes. For more details read the blog by Bertram Schulte, chief digital officer at SAP.

The enhanced SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS provides an engaging consumer-grade mobile work experience with new controls and tighter integration with the Xcode integrated development environment, as well as integration with other capabilities within SAP Cloud Platform for delivering powerful enterprise mobile apps. It also supports consumption of SAP Leonardo services, such as image recognition from a mobile app. Customers can now access application programming interfaces from SAP API Business Hub within the apps, as well as easily translate apps using SAP Translation Hub. In addition, new analytic controls enable real-time data analytics and visualizations within mobile apps from SAP S/4HANA®, SAP Cloud Platform Big Data Services and the SAP HANA® business data platform. Additional updates make it easy to use iOS device capabilities in end-to-end processes for administrative tasks, such as onboarding.

Compañía Española de Petróleos, S.A.U. (CEPSA), a Spanish multinational oil and gas company, uses SAP Cloud Platform to meet the emerging needs of oil and gas energy users.

“We needed an innovative platform for app development, and SAP Cloud Platform SDK for iOS was a natural choice,” CEPSA Chief Information Officer Joaquín Reyes said. “By integrating our SAP back-end applications and developing iOS apps for order fulfillment and payment processing, we were able to streamline our business processes throughout our entire value chain. As a result, our employees, partners and service-station managers are now able to improve the overall customer experience.”

SAP introduced two new iOS mobile apps: SAP Insurance Sales Assistant enables the insurance agent to effectively manage all sales activities by providing comprehensive customer insights through a 360-degree customer view and an overview of performance KPIs. SAP Asset Manager leverages the digital core with SAP S/4HANA as well as SAP Cloud Platform as the Internet of Things platform for managing work orders, notifications, condition monitoring, material consumption, time management and failure analysis.

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SA startups in Visa final

Leading fintech companies from the Sub-Sahara Africa technology startup community have made it to the finals of Visa’s Everywhere Initiative.

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Among the 12 chosen, from the 238 total entries, South African startups Howler and FinChatBot will compete against innovators from across Sub Sahara Africa for a chance to secure funding of up to US$50,000 to develop their ideas when the initiative concludes in Johannesburg on July 24. 

Fintechs in Africa are making incredible strides; not only to bring more convenience to consumers, but also to enable people who would not otherwise have access to financial services or even a way to connect to the formal banking system. Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51% to $195 million in 2017 and fintech in Africa is expected to grow exponentially in the next few years as it continues to disrupt the traditional financial sector. With a clear goal of reducing reliance on cash, building digital payment based economies and increasing financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape. 

The Sub Saharan Africa edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative challenged local fintech startup to deliver solutions based around three real life business challenges: 

  • How can startups leverage Visa Developer APIs to either:  Enable smaller merchants to accept payments in-store digitally OR Provide a safe and secure solution for online merchants to drive eCommerce and reduce cash on delivery?
  • How can startups use Visa’s APIs to leverage mass reach and social media partner platforms like Facebook to help businesses operating in fast-paced consumer centric environments improve cash flow and receive payments? 
  • How can startups leverage technology to provide services that are functional for illiterate customers to provide them with secure transaction experiences that build and enhance their confidence in the banking system?. 

Entrants were asked to submit ideas to leverage Visa’s network and technologies to resolve against at least one of the challenges. One winner per brief will be selected, with each receiving funding of US$25,000. Winners will be invited to a working meeting with Visa and may be presented with the opportunity to create a prototype. Visa will then select one overall winner to receive an additional US$25,000.

Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director – Digital Solutions, Sub-Sahara Africa, Visa, said: “We are delighted with the response to our Visa’s Everywhere Initiative and the quality of submissions we received is an indication of the region’s rich talent pool and innovative spirit.”

“Launching this innovation program in the region has been an exciting time for the Visa SSA team, and the takeup reflects Africa’s enthusiasm to develop and pioneer solutions to the continent’s challenge – particularly in the payments technology space. I would like to congratulate the finalists and  wish them luck as they enter the final stretch.  When they come together for the final, they will not only have the chance to turn their ideas into reality, but also potentially help shape the future of payments in the region.”  

Howler which enables cashless transactions and end-to-end ticket handling for consumers and event organisers is competing in the first challenge and FinChatBot, which aims to automate part of customer services for financial service providers through AI-powered conversations is competing in the third challenge. 

The SSA edition of the Visa’s Everywhere Initiative will wrap up on July 24 in Johannesburg, with each finalist having an opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of expert judges from Visa and the payments industry. 

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Win a Poster Heater with Gadget and Takealot.com

This winter Gadget and Takealot.com are giving away three Poster Heaters, which look like posters but become heaters when you plug them in.

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Three Gadget readers will each win a unit, valued at R550 each. To enter, follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter and tell us on the @GadgetZA account how many Watts the heater consumes.

What’s the big deal about these heaters? Many of us are struggling to keep the balance between soaring electricity costs and the need to keep warm this winter.

However, the recently launched Poster Heater by EasyHeat and distributed in South Africa by Takealot.com is not only one of the most cost effective electric heaters currently on the market, it is also easy to setup and use.

As the name indicates, it is a poster similar to one you would hang on a wall. But, plug it in and it turns into a 300 Watt heater. The Poster Heater isn’t designed to heat hallways or large rooms, but rather smaller ones like a bedroom or a baby’s nursery or a dressing room.

It uses radiant heating, which means that it heats up in a couple of minutes and the heat is directed at the objects or people around it, quickly taking the chill out of the air and providing a comfortable ambient temperature.

The other advantage of radiant heating is that it doesn’t dry out the air like infrared or gas heaters. Users also don’t have to worry about their children or pets getting too close to it because, even though it gets hot, it can be touched.

To enter the competition follow the steps below:

Competition entry details:

1. Follow @GadgetZA and @Takealot on Twitter. (We will ONLY be accepting entries via Twitter, so please don’t enter through the comments section of this article.)

2. Tell us on Twitter, via @GadgetZA, mentioning @Takealot in your posting, how many Watts the Poster Heater consumes.

cleardot.gif3. The competition closes on 31 July 2018.

4. Winners will be notified via Twitter on 1 August and Takealot.com will be in touch to organise delivery.

5. The competition is only open to South African residents.

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