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Why network drives digitalisation

The cost of renewing infrastructure is high and as a result, assets are not refreshed as regularly as they should be. RIAAN GRAHAM, sales director for Ruckus Networks, sub-Saharan Africa, believes this is forcing many to look at other options such as virtualisation to fast track certain digital aspects.

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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.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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