Most companies today are on a digital transformation journey. In fact, according to IDG, more than a third of organisations (37%) have already started integrating and executing a digital-first approach, and 7% say they’re already an enterprise-wide digital business. Still, almost half (45%) of IT and business leaders surveyed say their companies are in the very early stages of becoming a digital business – either gathering information or just beginning to formulate a digital-first strategy. However, no matter what stage businesses find themselves in, what is becoming increasingly evident is the role of the network. From being a supporting function, the network has now become a core enabler to digital transformation and a critical backbone for day-to-day operations.
If we look at South Africa, the cost of renewing infrastructure is high and as a result, assets are not refreshed as regularly as they should be. What’s more, the skills shortage is creating a huge concern for companies as they scramble to not only acquire relevant IT skills but keep in-demand skills sets – forcing many to look at other options such as virtualisation and fast track certain digital aspects.
If fact, with mobility, cloud, IoT, AI and the rise of software-defined anything, many businesses are now realising that their network needs to rise to a new level of agility and scalability as well seamlessly integrate with and support, business applications and new operational technologies, if the business is to ever truly realise their digital transformation objectives.
As a result, businesses today need to rethink how their network should work – with the premise that network availability is not just necessary, but critical. In fact, the network will need to become more dynamic, resilient and responsive to support the speed of business as well as allow for greater innovation as businesses push to become more customer-centric. And if we look at the move towards hyper-convergence, the network itself needs to be fluid and modular – with no barriers to expand, grow and adapt.
And this is the exact premise that Wireless-as-a-Service (WaaS) operates on – a commodity based OPEX driven wireless model, where businesses only pay for their what they use, when they use it. This makes it a viable option on top of a network for businesses that are looking for the flexibility and agility needed in today’s ‘fast era’. According to recent survey, almost a quarter of South African respondents (24%) said that they are already adopting WaaS, while 76% said that they are planning to adopt it in the foreseeable future – indicative of its value proposition. Respondents who either adopted or plan to adopt WaaS were also asked what the main factor was for adoption decision. Just over half (51%) cited simplicity, while 30% indicated cost – revealing key requirements for networks going forward.
What’s more, locally, businesses are starting to play with hyperconvergence, but the digital transformation industry is not mature enough yet here and most hyperconvergence is being done in bits and pieces. However, it is definitely on the radar and in 18 – 24 months, we are likely to see full integration and deployment, and this move to a more software-driven operation, based on simplicity and OPEX, will ultimately define what the network can do.
Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword – it’s radically changing businesses and intrinsically linking traditionally siloed business functions. It’s critical however that businesses look beyond the hype, but recognise that the ‘re-platforming’ of legacy systems is a foundation for business change – with the network at its core.
Naspers feeds into Latin America’s tech funding
Movile will get $400m funding from the SA-based technology investment giant for iFood expansion.
Movile is to receive US$500-million in funding for iFood in the largest tech funding in Latin America to date. Naspers and Innova Capital have committed to invest $400m of new capital into Movile to use for further investment in iFood, the leading online food delivery platform in Latin America, of which Movile is a majority shareholder.
Movile and Just Eat have already invested $100m in iFood during 2018. iFood’s extraordinary growth and the vast market opportunity in Brazil and more broadly in Latin America has driven the increased investment commitment.
iFood’s monthly orders in Brazil have fed more than 9 million customers in the past twelve months, 16 times the nearest online competitor, in terms of daily active users. This means its partner restaurants are serving the biggest population of consumers ordering food in Latin America. iFood has 50 000 restaurant partners and uses 120 000 couriers.
The increased investment commitment from Naspers, Innova and Movile is expected to accelerate growth, speed up product development and innovation, and fuel geographical expansion for iFood across the region. The company’s vision is to gain deeper knowledge of consumers through artificial intelligence technology, to personalise the food delivery experience – and at a reduced price, because of improved logistics.
“Movile is very fortunate to have long-term investors who have supported us for the past decade to help achieve our goal of transforming the lives of more than one billion people and thus we are able to continually back iFood to ensure it remains the market leader,” said Fabricio Bloisi, Movile CEO.
“Our entire ecosystem of companies is focused on allocating resources and energy towards our one billion people goal. iFood is leading the way, fueling unprecedented growth through its innovative technology platform, providing consumers, couriers and restaurants with the best experience in food ordering and delivery.”
Larry Illg, CEO of Naspers Ventures, said: “iFood has established itself as a technology leader in Latin America and its success stacks up with some of the most innovative food companies that are leading regions in North America, Europe and Asia. We have been impressed by their execution in Brazil and remain committed to backing the company on its path to transform the entire food chain to better serve consumers.”
Online food delivery is experiencing massive expansion globally. According to latest reported results, Grubhub grew daily average orders 39% year-on-year, reaching over 416 000 orders per day. In Latin America, iFood has reached 390 000 orders per day just in Brazil in the last week of October, compared with 183 000 in October 2017, representing 109% growth.
iFood CEO Carlos Moyses said: “We want our consumers to have an amazing delivery experience from the moment they order their food to the moment it arrives. Our partners – the restaurants and delivery fleet – make that happen by living our purpose of improving people’s lives using our services.
“iFood exists for our customers and, with an increased investment commitment of this size, we will be able to build out our state of the art technology platform, and increase our courier and restaurant partners to even better serve our current and future customers in Latin America.”
Hide your sheep, Spyro is reigniting
Spyro, the iconic purple dragon that entertained living rooms worldwide in the late ‘90s, is making a return with the release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
Spyro Reignited Trilogy introduces players to a fully remastered game collection with a re-imagined cast of characters, animations, environments, new lighting and recreated cinematics—all inHD. Now fans can explore more than 100 lush environments filled with new detail, that brings the Dragon Realms and Avalar to life . The trilogy is available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro and the family of Xbox One devices from Microsoft, including the Xbox One X.
South African distributors Megarom provided the followjng information:
In Spyro Reignited Trilogy, lead developer Toys For Bob is giving fans an all scaled-up version of the original three Spyro games that started it all, Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro: Year of the Dragon, but with a modern-day feel that makes it fresh and fun for today’s player. Adding to the fun, voice actor Tom Kenny is returning to the franchise as the voice of Spyro in all three remastered games. Longtime fans will be treated to Toys For Bob’s reimagined version of the classic soundtracks, in addition to an all-new title-screen theme from original soundtrack composer Stewart Copeland.
Additionally, the new game brings an in-game audio feature that allows players to switch between the original and the newly remastered soundtracks, for those who want a more classic gameplay experience. Players can simply fly in to the “options menu” at any time during gameplay, unleash their preferred nostalgic or scaled-up groove, and glide right back into the Spyro action without losing saved data.
“It’s been a real pleasure to bring back one of most iconic video game characters of all time through the Spyro Reignited Trilogy,” said Paul Yan, Co-Studio Head at Toys For Bob. “We’ve poured everything we’ve got into making sure every detail was done right to deliver a great Spyro experience for fans. We hope players will have as much fun revisiting the Spyro world and characters as we did remastering them.”
In the road up to the official release of Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, created a first-of-its-kind, life-sized, fire-breathing and talking Spyro Dragon drone. The drone took off from “Stone Hill” castle near New York City, spreading his wings across the U.S. to explore the cities and iconic landscapes that resemble levels and themes from the original Spyro games. As part of the tour, the Spyro drone chased sheep, fired up some BBQ and delivered an early copy of Spyro Reignited Trilogy to fellow O.G. and entertainment icon, Snoop Dogg. Highlights from the Spyro drone’s delivery to Snoop Dogg can be found here.
“Fans have been asking Activision to bring Spyro back for some time now. The response to Spyro Reignited Trilogy has been great thus far, and we’re absolutely thrilled that we’re able to continue to reimagine and reinvigorate some of the most iconic videogames and characters of all time with our remastered experiences,” said Steve Young, Chief Revenue Officer at Activision. “With this year being the 20th anniversary of Spyro, there’s no better time to pay homage to everyone’s favorite purple dragon.”
The Spyro community is invited to geek out and elevate their fandom even further through the elite global partnerships from the Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group (ABCPG). Collaborations with Funko, Traly Pins, Exquisite Gaming, KidRobot, USAopoly, Trends International, Rubber Road, and Changes have created new avenues for fans to share their love for the return of Spyro, the original roast master. Spyro consumer products across apparel, collectibles, figurines and more are now available at retailers worldwide. Fans can also take advantage of the GameStop exclusive Spyro TOTAKU Collection.