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Vodacom backs SA’s Journalist of the Year awards again

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The Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards returns this year to seek out and honour members of the media who have shown exceptional dedication to achieving excellence in their work.

Firmly established in encouraging, recognising and rewarding distinction in the arena of dissemination of news and information, the annual Vodacom Awards are recognised as a prestigious career achievement worthy of the R100 000 prize for the overall national winner.

The Vodacom Awards has a 10-year history of honouring excellence in journalism across a range of categories and has celebrated some of South Africa’s finest reporters and most newsworthy stories. This year, Vodacom has raised the bar in excellence and journalists can begin submitting their efforts now.

‚”We have reviewed the Journalist of the Year Awards, and we are delighted to announce the opening of entry season for the 2013 Awards,‚” said Maya Makanjee, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom.

Journalists will be able to enter their best achievements in the following categories for work done in 2012/2013:

 Television General News

 Television Feature

 Print General News

 Print Feature

 Radio General News

 Radio Feature

 Financial/Economic

 Sport

 CSI/Sustainability

 Online

Editors can also nominate their candidates for:

ÔÇ∑ The Editor’s Choice Award and,

The judging panel will vote on:

ÔÇ∑ The Lifetime Achiever’s Award that recognises the lifetime contribution made by a single individual to journalism and media in this country.

Regional category winners will receive R5 000 each, national category winners will receive R10 000 each, with the coveted and sought-after national accolade of Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award winner receiving R100 000.

‚”The recognition of excellence in journalism is a way for us to acknowledge and reward those reporters who are communicating vital news of an extremely high standard. This fits very well within with our mission of connecting people and keeping them informed,‚” said Makanjee.

‚”This year we have assembled a veritable who’s who in the media world to act as judges for us. We are grateful to Elna Rossouw, Mary Papayya, Collin Nxumalo, Arthur Goldstuck, Professor Johann de Wet, Joe Thololoe, Ryland Fisher and Patricia McCracken, who have made their time and expertise available to us,‚” said Makanjee. Mary Papayya and Joe Thloloe will serve as co-convenors for this year’s awards.

The national Award ceremony will be held in Johannesburg in November 2013. We are looking forward to hosting South Africa’s top achievers in journalism again this year, and being able to showcase the fine work done by the media in the country, ‚”said Makanjee. . ‚”At the last Awards, the growing importance of social media was clearly on display as the event trended on social media platforms.

Entries are open from 1 July – 31 July. Journalists and editors nominating their Editor’s Choice candidates can enter online through the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards website on http://journalist.vodacom.co.za

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Dell aims to unlock tech for start-ups

The upcoming Dell Technologies Forum in Johannesburg will show that cost and scale are no longer barriers for a mid-size businesses to adopt enterprise-grade tech

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Today’s medium-sized companies enjoy reinvigorated access to business technology. The powerful systems that raised the game of enterprises are now also open to smaller, agile, start-up and niche businesses.

“When you look at medium and start-up businesses, those companies have very similar needs to a large company, but not necessarily the internal resources to always pull it off,” said Sabine Dedering, Regional Sales Director at Dell Technologies South Africa. “Dell Technologies worldwide has a lot of focus on the medium business. This includes South Africa, where we established a dedicated medium business team about a year ago.”

Medium-sized businesses – internationally defined as those typically between 100 and 1,000 IT users – do not  necessarily have smaller IT footprints than their enterprise peers. Some manage large and complicated accounts or service enormous user-bases among their customers. In the big picture, they deal with the same complex market demands that the large players do, but until recently often had to make do with much less in access to technology due to constrained resources such as limited IT teams and budgets.

This balance shifted dramatically with the advent of cloud, scalable services and hyper-converged infrastructure. Yet despite the doors opening, the traditional gatekeepers – other vendors and their partners – still habitually focus on enterprise players. It undermines the new possibilities technology can offer to medium businesses, a world that often marchesto the beat of its own drums.

“These are not small customers,” said Dedering. “Sometimes they are market leaders in a specific niche. But they don’t have thousands of people. You get your traditional companies that may have a few hundred employees. They provide a certain service on a regional basis or in a niche market and might never grow much beyond that because that’s what they do really well.”

Everyday everyone faces the same thing: Challenges. With support from Dell Technologies, those Medium business and start-up customers can prevent work disruptions, streamline operations, and increase productivity, using scalable, fast technology optimised for the way their business works.

Ambitions to use modern enterprise-grade technologies can be purely functional, such as hunting for efficiencies and streamlining processes. But they can also include the adoption of emerging technologies such as machine learning, mobile workforces, predictive analytics, real-time data, Internet of Things (IoT), automation and active business continuity. These capabilities are available because their services are able to fit the mould of the business, instead of traditional monolithic technology systems that dictate cost and availability.

Accessing tech’s best

But just because the technology is more accessible doesn’t make its adoption seamless. That still requires a business-first view and as such a reliable partner. As mentioned earlier, too many vendor ecosystems obsess over large enterprises. But Dell Technologies has seen the demand from medium businesses and is actively meeting them on their terms.

This can be put to the test: there will be a stand dedicated to medium businesses at the upcoming Dell Technologies Forum in Johannesburg. Visitors will be able to meet Sabine Dedering and her team:

“First and foremost, we will have a chat and understand their business requirements. Then we will connect them with the experts at the Forum and showcase the different technologies available that could be relevant to them. For us, the main focus will be to understand our medium business customers, understand their business and how our expertise can help transform their business. We explore what types of services we can wrap around their requirements to make it easier for them to leverage technology the way other bigger companies may be.”

Finance is part of this conversation: Dell Technologies is pioneering a number of finance models that are very flexible and customised around customers’ cash flow.

Medium-sized businesses don’t need different technologies than what enterprises use. Nor are they excluded anymore: the barriers of costs, complexity and scale have collapsedto open the market, aligning to the limited resources that medium-sized companies have to manage. Every business has its own unique requirements.

* Dedering and her team will be at the Medium Business stand, hosted at the Dell Technologies Forum on 27 June, at the Sandton Convention Centre. Attendance is free but attendees must register beforehand at https://www.delltechnologies.com/en-za/events/forum2019/Johannesburg/index.htm.

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3D printed room-service? Visit the hotel of tomorrow

To mark its 100th birthday, Hilton predicts the trends that will change travel and hospitality in the next 100 years.

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Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, 2-3 hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges. These are some of the predictions for the next 100 years that the Hilton hotel group has put together in celebration of its 100th anniversary.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal the impact of the growing sophistication of technology and climate change on the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some surprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” said Simon Vincent, EVP & President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

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