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How technology is transforming the customer experience in SA [promoted]

The technology landscape in South Africa has changed enormously in the past decade, helping make the country a hotbed for innovation in contact centre analytics.

That’s the view of Frank Sherlock, vice president of international operations at CallMiner, and Peter Flanagan, MD of Genii Analytics, who joined the TechCentral podcast to talk about why they’re excited about the opportunities in the local market.

Sherlock kicks off the discussion with a view on the shifting dynamics in the South African technology space, how companies are taking advantage of the latest innovation, and why he believes the country is well positioned to tap into the global business processing outsourcing opportunity.

Flanagan shares his views on the South African opportunity before he and Sherlock expand on their partnership in the local market – how it came about and how CallMiner and Genii Analytics work together to serve clients.

They also cast an eye to the future, looking at where the next battleground will be in competitive differentiation, including the impact of technologies such as real-time analytics and agent guidance as well as advancements in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.

Don’t miss this fascinating conversation!

Interview: EOH CCO Ziaad Suleman on the promise of Brics [promoted]

The Brics formation of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (Brics) offers South African companies – from small businesses to large enterprises – with unprecedented access to markets that make up more than 40% of the world’s population.
That’s the view of newly appointed EOH Holdings chief commercial officer Ziaad Suleman, who was speaking to TechCentral in a podcast interview. Suleman is chairman of the Brics Business Council 4IR and Digital Economy Working Group and shared his insights the recent Brics Trade Fair virtual event that took place recently.
In the podcast, Suleman unpacks why Brics is important to South Africa, why businesses should be paying more attention to the opportunities it offers them, and what transpired at the trade fair, which took place from 16 to 18 August 2021. He also talks about EOH’s involvement in the Brics formation and why he believes it is of great value to the JSE-listed IT services group.
Suleman then talks about the specific value that South Africa can derive from Brics as well as the priority focus areas for the country, specifically around skills development, connectivity, e-commerce and other digital platforms, and small and medium enterprises.
He says South Africa has a lot of gain from participating meaningfully in Brics. But is the country using the platform optimally, and is the country getting the focus right from a digital economy perspective? Suleman answers these questions and more in the podcast – don’t miss the discussion!

Stephane Duproz on Africa Data Centres' big expansion drive

Africa Data Centres announced a plan earlier this week to ramp up investment in data centre infrastructure across Africa, with plans to build 10 new facilities in the coming years?
In this episode of the podcast, ADC CEO Stephane Duproz speaks to Duncan McLeod from London about the announcement, where it plans to build these new data centres and where the US$500-million (R7.2-billion) in planned investment is coming from.
In the podcast, Duproz expands on:
* The size of ADC's existing footprint;
* How much data centre space it plans to build in the coming years;
* Whether he thinks the market is getting overtraded, especially in South Africa, where rivals such as Teraco Data Environments continue to invest billions of rand on expanding their facilities;
* How ADC plans to interconnect all of its new data centres;
* The impact of new, high-capacity submarine cables around Africa on ADC's business and data centre growth in Africa; and
* The need to - and challenges of - building green data centres on the continent.

HPE GreenLake unpacked: What your business needs to know [promoted]

Ever wondered what Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE’s) GreenLake solution can do for your business?
In this episode of the podcast, HPE country channel and sales lead Sandile Dube and Dimension Data regional head of solutions Quintus Moolman unpack what HPE GreenLake is exactly – HPE describes it as “the cloud that comes to you” – and what application it has in the South African business context.
Dube explains what South African companies need to know about GreenLake, how they can use it to good effect and why it’s particularly relevant in the current environment.
He also talks about the top priorities right now for enterprise clients and how GreenLake can help them in their IT strategies.
HPE is positioning itself as “the as-a-service company”. Dube explains what this means for the market.
Moolman then provides a view on the public vs private vs on-premises cloud debate and the current best-practice thinking around this. He also discusses what HPE GreenLake brings to the party, including the ability to offer cloud-like agility to on-prem IT.
Don’t miss the discussion about some of the most pressing issues facing companies today!

How Comair did digital transformation right

Comair CIO Avsharn Bachoo has a quiet determination about him and a leadership style that drives change and provides a clear path for his team to follow.
The focus of this episode is digital transformation. Where others seem only to be talking about it, Bachoo has enabled transformation at Comair, collapsing on-premises data centers, building a common cloud platform to dynamically spin up or down workloads to cater for customer requirements, and keeping the team invested in the change process.
Bachoo touches on making mistakes as a first mover and how that is managed in his context of risk management in a cloud architecture. “Get the applicable workloads into the cloud, then you can start optimising for performance; soon your cloud will outperform on-premises legacy.” But there are lessons to learn…
The transformation strategy was adopted to provide agility and enable responsiveness to customer needs, and Bachoo is quick to point out that unless the customer is central to the change there will be no benefit to them. “Customers are digital and mobile friendly, so our channels need to enable that,” he says.
Bachoo is clearly passionate about his team and company, giving great insight into the world of a CIO in the airline industry. He also reminds us that, when allowed, it’s safe to fly!
Enjoy the discussion!

Interview: The digital economy is open to everyone [promoted]

As surprising as it sounds, there are still businesses that operate without an integrated accounting, payroll or payment software to help them.
That’s one of the concerns aired by Viresh Harduth, vice president of small business, Sage Africa and Middle East, in a podcast interview with TechCentral.
Harduth unpacks some of his essential tips for small businesses, explaining why this is the most exciting sector to work in and how Sage is diving in to help customers affected by the market turbulence experienced in South Africa of late.
He also shares how Sage evolved almost overnight to a remote working environment and believes that “everyone has earned the right to a healthy and flexible work-life balance”.
“Over the past seven years, technology has evolved so much that the products and solutions previously only accessible to enterprise businesses are now affordable to small businesses. Barriers to entry are the lowest they have ever been for digital adoption, and small businesses should take advantage now,” says Harduth. He also discusses Sage’s new Sage technical releases – which point to a robust road map.
His passion for small business is reflected in his commitment to the Sage team.

Digital transformation shouldn't be scary, say AWCape and Sage [promoted]

Sage partner AWCape has not been immune to the impact of digital transformation. Selling various “as-a-service” offerings, the company has embraced the change to what’s needed from Sage business partners and what customers want.
Newly appointed AWCape MD Jeff Ryan talks in this podcast about the company’s own maturation and explores some of the challenges faced by South African businesses when considering cloud applications.
Gerhard Hartman, vice-president for medium business for Sage Africa and the Middle East, joins the discussion to talk about solving business problems and eliminating complexity by using technology to remove the manual work. Some benefits are obvious, but some are unexpected and welcomed in these tough times.
Ryan goes into good detail on what a customer should think about when considering a move into cloud applications. This often helps clients modernise their environments and frees up budget to be used in areas of innovation.
This deep dive into the world of partners and Sage is an interesting episode with guests who are both knowledgeable about the space.
Enjoy the discussion.

e4’s Fikile Sibiya on a challenging 18 months for IT leaders [promoted]

Fikile Sibiya is chief information officer of e4. She knows just how much pressure CIOs and IT leadership teams have been under over the past 18 months, with Covid-19 impacting them hard.
In this podcast interview with TechCentral, Sibiya talks about how CIOs have helped steer their organisations through a time of great stress and uncertainty and how they are beginning to emerge on the other side wiser but with the battle scars to show for it.
Can IT leaders ever really prepare for an event like Covid and the sudden need for their companies’ employees to work from home en masse? And what lessons have been learnt through it all?
Certainly, many people may underestimate the strain that people in positions of IT leadership have been through in the last year and a half, Sibiya explains in the podcast. And South Africa’s unique problems – not least of them load shedding – has added to this.
Is a remote workforce, or even a hybrid workforce, sustainable in the longer term? How do companies manage productivity when their employees are working remotely? And equally, how do they ensure people don’t burn themselves out? Sibiya tackles all of these important questions – and more – in the podcast.
The conversation also touches on the security aspects of working from home as well as the impact of the Protection of Personal Information Act.
Lastly, Sibiya talks about a passion of hers: fintech. She explains why fintech start-ups have seen enormous growth through the Covid lockdown and how the technology holds huge promise for the unbanked and the so-called “township economy”.
If you’re in IT leadership, or even just interested in it, make sure you don’t miss the conversation.

Pinnacle’s Nyeleti Shikwambane on being a female leader in IT [promoted]

This episode of the podcast brings a fitting end to Women’s Month as we get to know Nyeleti Shikwambane, a mother of four who is also the Huawei Enterprise product manager, IP, at Pinnacle.
Speaking from home – Nyeleti has welcomed a new baby into her life a week ago – she shares her ups and downs being a female leader in the still male-dominated world of IT.
Her insight into life and management, and her advice for young entrants into the working world, make for an interesting interview. Shikwambane has an open, candid outlook, which is laced with optimism; she is a great example of hard work. From humble beginnings to a high performing leader, she shares it all.
“Leadership in IT has a place for us all. I don’t want to manage like a man; I bring a motherly side, which is part of me. It makes me special and my team responds to that,” she says.
Enjoy the discussion!
* This promoted content was paid for by the party concerned

Protecting unstructured data doesn’t have to be a nightmare [promoted]

By 2025, global data creation is projected to grow to more than 180 zettabytes, according to Statista. This growth does not always happen within neat boundaries, nor within systems of record – rather, unstructured formats make up much of the critical business data driving the economy.
This poses massive risks to businesses from both malicious sources and innocent employees.
Praven Pillay, MD of Maxtec, and Kfir Kimhi, co-founder and CEO of ITsMine, join the TechCentral podcast to discuss challenges being faced by business and the associated risks, and the solutions to them.
ITsMine is an Israeli company offering is a multidimensional data loss prevention (DLP) tool that is easy to install, simple to manage and powerful in its operational focus.
Kimhi explains that the DLP focus is now everyone’s challenge, and can have significant impact on any organisation, but the solutions do not have to be overly complicated nor expensive to deploy.
“Within one day, we can have a working solution in a customer’s environment,” says Kimhi.
Join us to learn how this can be achieved, as well as hear about an exciting offer from Maxtec to coincide with its ITsMine South Africa launch.
* This promoted podcast was paid for by the party or parties concerned

Kim Reid reflects on 10 years as Takealot CEO

Kim Reid has spent the past 10 years building Takealot Group – today controlled by Naspers – into South Africa’s largest e-commerce company. He sat down with TechCentral to reflect on his time at the helm.
Reid, who will step down at the end of September to take on the role of board chairman – he will be replaced in the hot seat by outgoing Illovo Sugar MD Mamongae Mahlare on 1 October – reflects in the interview on some of the pivotal decisions that contributed to Takealot’s success. He also talks about what his new role will entail: It’ll be much less operational and much more strategic in nature.
He explains why he’s decided to step down as CEO now – even though Takealot is still very much a growth business – and why he believes a changing of the guard is important in the South African context. He also talks about how big the e-commerce opportunity is in South Africa, even after 10 years of solid growth.
He also talks about the Competition Commission’s probe into the sector – he believes the regulator should leave the industry alone instead of interfering where it’s not warranted – and why the Post Office’s attempts to gain a monopoly over the delivery of packages weighing less than 1kg makes no sense.
Lastly, Reid touches on what the future holds for Takealot, including expansion elsewhere in Africa and why that’s not in the company’s immediate plans.
Don’t miss the discussion!

Insight and flexibility: Invisible accounting at its best [promoted]

Sage has made a significant impact in the applications market and today, Gerhard Hartman, vice president: medium business at Sage Africa and Middle East, joins the TechCentral team to chat about creating efficiencies in business and driving key performance indicators.
He talks about providing business software to drive success. In his opinion, South Africa is a maturing applications market that adopts technology to enhance business while saving time. Sage helps achieve this through constant enhancement and innovation such as VAT automation, which Sage recently announced.
“If we save our customers minutes, the cumulative savings help them achieve their business goals,” says Hartman. Further, he talks about Sage’s Business Cloud Marketplace – a curated selection of cloud-native, and cloud-connected apps to help businesses perform at their best – all of which integrate with Sage and enhance the solutions for specific industries.
This marketplace supports the evolution of Sage partners and independent software vendors (ISVs) and establishes a path to the cloud for ISVs and partners that are not yet deep in the cloud. It features a dramatically enhanced customer experience, along with better process automation and self-service capabilities for ISVs.
Hartman is open in his ambitions of “customers for life” and explains how Sage focuses on the customer experience for large, medium and small customers. After spending time in the podcast focusing on Sage customers, Hartman finishes the episode with advice for all customers on the digitisation journey.

361 episodes

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