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06
MAY

Interview: The real cost of data protection [promoted]

Lee Williams, Veritas product manager at Axiz, joins TechCentral podcast host Daniel Robus to share insights into the ever-changing world of backup and recovery in the cloud.
Williams plays an important role as the link between Veritas, partners and customers, which affords her a good vantage to see what’s working and what’s not.
She says that the most important advice to customers is for them to “ask many questions of their partners, vendors and suppliers”, as there are often solutions available that simply are not used and could solve many issues if people know about them.
Williams makes reference to a local partner and their ability to turn around a failed audit through a quick deployment of the Veritas solution. When asked if ransomware is a real threat, Williams said, “I know of a company that has been held to ransom twice in the past year.”
With Veritas driving the focus on NetBackup SaaS Protection, the future looks exciting in the world of backup and recovery.
Enjoy the discussion!
28
APR

South Africa's draft data and cloud policy: Experts unpack what it means

On 1 April, the department of communications & digital technologies quietly published a draft national data and cloud policy that has potentially far-reaching implications for the private sector, state-owned enterprises and the public sector broadly.
Among other objectives, the draft policy document - which could lead to legislative amendments or even a new act of parliament - seeks to promote South Africa's data sovereignty and security as well as enhance investment opportunities, create jobs and enhance skills development.
But it also raises concerns, among them that the policy-making process will eventually create additional regulatory burdens for the private sector while concentrating government cloud business in the public sector to the detriment of private cloud and data service providers.
The draft policy document also raises a number of questions around black economic empowerment.
Bowmans partners Heather Irvine (who specialists in competition law) and Livia Dyer (ICT policy) join the TechCentral podcast to unpack the importance of the draft policy document, where their concerns with it lie, and what it means for South African companies.
Questions that Irvine and Dyer answer include:
* Do we really need additional legislation, or even amended legislation, to cater for data centres and cloud services?
* Does the Cybercrimes Bill not already deal with some of the issues raised by the department of communications?
* If the policy is implemented as it stands, will it reduce competition and harm or exclude private sector players?
* Will the draft policy create additional red tape for companies and will it actually help with investment in this space?
Don't miss the discussion!
20
APR

CallMiner’s Brian LaRoche on why contact centres are the buzz again [promoted]

Boston is known for its beauty, Fenway Park, the Boston marathon, and that pub from Cheers. It’s also the home of an executive with the one of the coolest titles ever, “Driving the buzz at CallMiner”. In this podcast, Brian LaRoche joined us for an early morning discussion, talking about all things contact centre and more.
LaRoche gives an insightful view into a company that is making significant strides in the contact centre world. He says that “feedback is a gift that should be treated as such” and emphasises the importance of listening as a management skill. CallMiner has even named its annual user conference “Listen” because of the importance of, well, listening.
In the podcast, LaRoche draws inspiration from a new study that CallMiner commissioned from Forrester, “The New Contact Centre Empowers its People with Customer Intelligence” and provides advice to contact centre managers and C-level executives considering investing in the exciting area of interaction analytics.
The automation of the mundane is giving rise to the “super-agent”, who needs to be empowered to lead client interactions in an empathetic way, irrespective of the client channel or the agent’s location. Seventy percent of respondents in the Forrester study agree that good customer-agent experience often de-escalates a bad brand experience. Listen to your agents, train your agents and give them feedback on how they are performing. It’s worth it!
With CallMiner continually expanding its artificial intelligence and machine-learning capabilities to show, in context, trending as well as stronger real-time analytics, it’s an exciting time in the contact centre business.
Enjoy the discussion!
* This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned
16
APR

Herman Maritz on building EskomsePush - and what comes next

EskomsePush is by far South Africa's most popular smartphone application for checking load shedding schedules. Herman Maritz, co-creator of the app with Dan Wells, joins the TechCentral podcast to chat about what's next.
In the podcast, Maritz explains how the idea for the app came about - including its name - and some of the challenges he and Wells faced in developing it on a shoe-string budget.
He talks about the usage patterns on the app, including how it spikes massively when Eskom announces load shedding and the challenges involved in the backend in ensuring it stays up when this happens (hint: hyperscale cloud services have helped enormously).
The conversation covers why Google took the app out of the Play store (on a Sunday!), why ensuring the right schedules are loaded in the app is a time-consuming and extremely complex process (even with automation), and what's next for the app.
Don't miss this conversation with the co-developer of one of South Africa's most-used apps.
09
APR

Interview: MySky Networks founders on building a successful MSP [promoted]

Two brothers decided to take a gap in the managed service provider (MSP) market six years ago and have not looked back since.
Dean Horsten (chief technology officer) and Dylan Horsten (CEO) head up MySky Networks, a Cape Town-based MSP that is making waves in the small and medium enterprise market.
MySky holds Aruba Networks Platinum Status, one of only two partners in South Africa to enjoy that position, and Dean Hortsen also serves as the Aruba ambassador for South Africa.
This podcast interview with the brothers touches on a wide range of topics, including what it’s like to start a business with family; how focus brings results; and key tips to choosing an MSP.
* Specific questions tackled in the podcast include:
* What’s on the horizon for Aruba;
* Three tips on choosing the right MSP for your business;
* Why offering office hours support may be better than a 24x7 option; and
* How an opex-based service helps SMEs in this time of tight cash flow and an uncertain future.
Don’t miss the discussion!
For more information about MySky Networks contact Dylan on dylan@myskynetworks.com.
* This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned
07
APR

‘Kubernetes is the next Linux’: SUSE’s Rob Knight on containerisation [promoted]

SUSE chief technology officer for enterprise cloud products Rob Knight believes Kubernetes technology is such a big deal that it could be considered “the next Linux”.
Speaking to Daniel Robus on the TechCentral podcast, Knight provides an informative dive into the world of containerisation and mass digitisation, and the management thereof.
Knight takes podcast listeners through a crash course in “Kubernetes 101” and explains how containerisation technology is already in the mainstream development world, touching multiple systems and enabling business value for organisations.
Why should organisations try the technology? How is SUSE supporting a low-risk or no-risk entry into containerisation? And where can development teams get training, information and shortcuts to value from the community? Knight answers all these questions and more in the podcast.
He also provides real-world examples of the technology in action, including in in-flight entertainment systems, the fast-food sector and banking.
Kubernetes is here to stay, customers should embrace it and not be nervous of the change, and open-source software is a game changer to enable rapid deployment of digital-ready solutions, he says.
Don’t miss the discussion!
18
MAR

Interview: Why it's absolutely crucial to get CX right [promoted]

Getting customer experience (CX) right could mean the difference between surviving and thriving, says Maxime Blanchard, Zendesk territory manager for South Africa, in this episode of the podcast.
In this podcast, Blanchard and Zendesk commercial account executive for Africa Erica Hall discuss the company’s recently published CX Report and its findings regarding CX in South Africa and the continent.
They explore how Zendesk is humanising CX, how customers are struggling to unlock the best of CX and where the areas of untapped potential sit within an organisation that is on a digital transformation journey.
Topics discussed in the podcast include:
* The most notable trends in the Zendesk CX report;
* Where companies are getting CX right in South Africa and where are they getting it wrong;
* How Zendesk helps remove obstacles in the CX evolution of companies;
* Why Blanchard and Hall are both passionate about the African market opportunity;
* What they’re seeing as the game changer for clients to focus on for the next quarter;
* What the next exciting things are coming out of Zendesk; and
* Zendesk “customer happiness formula” event on 7 April.
Don’t miss the discussion.

This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned.
08
MAR

e4: How regulatory technology can assist banks to transform digitally [promoted]

To keep appraised of all regulatory issues in South Africa while digitally transforming is often arduous. Simply paying attention is no longer enough, which is why regulatory technology, or regtech, now plays a crucial role and can significantly assist in ensuring all digital transformation projects are successful and compliant.
That's the view of Andrea Tucker, head of research & development and strategic projects at e4, who was a guest on the TechCentral podcast.
In the podcast, Tucker talks about e4 and its areas of focus before turning to the subject of regtech and what the short- and long-term benefits are of embracing a regtech strategy.
Has the Covid-19 pandemic put extra pressure on companies to embrace a digital approach to regulation? If so, what’s driving it?
Also, regulation is a broad field. Should companies be applying regtech to every aspect of their business where regulation happens to play a role?
Tucker answers these questions as well as touching on which industries are doing regtech well, including a look at the banking space in South Africa.
What is the impact of privacy legislation like Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation and South Africa’s Protection of Personal Information Act in the regtech field? And how are shifting consumer habits since the start of the pandemic affecting regtech strategies and why?
Don't miss the discussion!
04
MAR

Interview: What you need to know about going solar in South Africa [promoted]

With ever-escalating electricity prices and an unstable supply of power from the national energy utility, more and more South African consumers and businesses are looking to invest in solar. But what’s involved?
In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Tian van der Bijl, commercial division manager at Ellies, about the costs involved and the requirements that must be met to go the solar route – including going off-grid entirely.
Given Eskom's endless supply problems, why don't more homes and businesses already have solar? What factors, if any, are holding back the adoption of the technology as an energy-supply solution in South Africa? And how expensive (or cheap) is it really to deploy? And when should users expect a payback from their investment?
Van der Bijl tackles all of these questions and talks about what businesses can do to reduce the upfront cost of deploying solar. He also covers what homeowners need to consider before embarking on a solar installation and what some of the traps are that people fall into. Should those interested in solar deploy projects in a big-bang approach, or does a modular and phased implementation of solar make more sense?
Other areas covered in the discussion include lithium-ion vs lead-acid batteries for energy storage and what the latest developments are in solar panel technology.
Lastly, Van der Bijl talks about Ellies' solar solutions and how the company works with homeowners and businesses to deploy solar energy solutions.
Don’t miss this fascinating discussion!
25
FEB

Interview: DG and HP on the rapidly shifting South African IT landscape [promoted]

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to representatives from Digital Generation (DG) and HP about the impact that Covid-19 has had on the local IT industry and how it's shifted conversations with end-user customers.
DG marketing and sales specialist Michelle Budde kicks off the conversation with a look at how her company adopted to the Covid-19 and the associated lockdowns. She then talks about some of the challenges the industry has faced in securing stock in the past year.
Budde also covers DG's black empowerment credentials and its relationships with global original equipment manufacturers, including HP.
Ricardo Duarte, senior technical consultant at HP, then joins the discussion in the second half of the podcast to talk about HP's direction since the break-up of Hewlett-Packard to create HP and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Duarte then has a look at what the largest enterprise users in South Africa are talking about today, a year into the Covid pandemic, and what some of the hottest topics are on their agendas, including cybersecurity.
He then unpacks HP Analytics and why this is relevant in today’s climate of working from home - how can endpoint data analytics could help organisations deal with distantly connected users and ultimately the user experience?
Don't miss the conversation!
22
FEB

Interview: Why Dark Fibre Africa was named Top Employer 2021 [promoted]

Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) was recently awarded Top Employer status in South Africa for 2021 by the Top Employers Institute. But how did the company win this highly valued accolade?
In this promoted episode of the TechCentral podcast, DFA chief human capital officer Portia Thokoane and the company's head of strategy and mergers & acquisitions, Vino Govender, unpack what was involved in achieving the Top Employers award.
With headquarters in the Netherlands and offices in several countries around the world – including South Africa – the Top Employers Institute was established with the aim of promoting excellence in human capital management to support business strategy.
DFA's efforts in this regard were led by Thokoane, who believes human capital had become increasingly acknowledged as a critical business differentiator. She believes that organisations that give adequate attention to this area of their businesses will continue to distinguish themselves from those that do not.
In the podcast, Thokoane and Govender talk about the work that was done at DFA to secure the award, including how it identified factors crucial to employee engagement and development and applied those across the organisation.
Thokoane also provides her views in the podcast on the big trends in the human resources industry in 2021 and beyond.
Don't miss the discussion!
19
FEB

'DevAnything': In conversation with iOCO's Brian Harding and Richard Vester [promoted]

In this final episode in this week's series of podcasts with executives from iOCO, the systems integrator in the EOH Holdings stable, TechCentral speaks to Brian Harding and Richard Vester about the company's local and international expertise in software development and cloud computing.
Picking up on the focus of the podcast series -- namely, the great African tech opportunity -- Harding, who is managing executive for iOCO digital, international and regions, unpacks the the size of the opportunity and where South Africa fits into the picture.
Vester -- who is group executive for cloud -- then provides an overview of iOCO's cloud business and its go-to-market approach.
Harding turns to the four key components he believes companies must get right if they want to be successful at digital transformation, namely software, design, agility and interconnect.
The discussion also covers South Africa's opportunity to become a much bigger outsourcing destination. What will it take to get this right as a country?
Don't miss the discussion, and this wrap to an insightful series of podcasts.

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