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Interview: IoT.nxt signs partnership deal with Vodafone UK [promoted]

South African Internet of things specialist IoT.nxt has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Vodafone's UK subsidiary that will see the two companies collaborating in delivering IoT solutions to the mobile operator's enterprise customer base.
IoT.nxt, which was recently acquired by South Africa's Vodacom Group (which is also controlled by Vodafone Group), will help Vodafone UK expand its already-strong position in IoT solutions in the enterprise market.
In this episode of the podcast, IoT.nxt co-founder and CEO Nico Steyn is joined by Vodafone UK head of innovation Danny Kelly to talk about the partnership and unpack its implications.
The two executives discuss how the partnership will work, which industries they intend to target first and why Vodafone chose a South African IoT company to help it expand its offerings in the space.
Don't miss the discussion!

Why Telkom is getting into financial services

In this episode, Duncan McLeod speaks to Telkom Financial Services managing executive Sibusiso Ngwenya to unpack the news at the weekend that the telecommunications operator is launching a range of financial services products.
Telkom has launched a life insurance business and, like other operators, has begun offering funeral insurance -- big business in South Africa -- to it mobile clients. It has also begun offering business loans.
In the podcast, Ngwenya explains why Telkom is doing this, whether telecoms operators have the right culture to tackle a completely different industry to ICT and why the company has chosen to work through partners, including GuardRisk Life, part of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings.
The conversation then turns to Telkom's plan to launch a digital wallet to allow customers to transact electronically on its Yep app (which emerged from its Yellow Pages business) and other transactional platforms online.
Lastly, Ngwenya talks about how big he sees Telkom Financial Services becoming and whether the company plans to develop a full-fledged mobile money offering similar to Vodacom Group's M-Pesa and MTN Group's Mobile Money offerings.
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: Wiocc chief development officer Darren Bedford

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod interviews Darren Bedford, chief development officer at Wiocc, a telecommunications infrastructure company originally founded to invest in the Eassy cable system along Africa's east coast.
Bedford unpacks who Wiocc's shareholders are, why the company was founded to invest in Eassy, and the investments it has made since into other marine cable systems.
He also talks about Wiocc's infrastructure investments in South Africa and where the company is seeing the most demand.
The discussion then turns to the new submarine cable systems coming to Africa, including Google's Equiano and the Facebook-backed 2Africa, and whether there is sufficient demand on the continent for the huge amounts of capacity these systems will bring.
Don't miss the discussion!

IoT.nxt executives on tackling the skills crisis [promoted]

Skills in the IT industry are in short supply and have been for decades. But the skills shortage in the Internet of things (IoT) arena is even more acute.
In the fourth and final in a series of interviews with IoT.nxt, TechCentral is joined by the company's chief digital officer, Francois Volschenk, and its head of business development and operations, Terje Moen, to discuss the challenge.
In the podcast, Volschenk and Moen talk about:
* How the skills shortage is affecting IoT.nxt;
* What the company is doing to address the problem, including the creation of an academy to drive skills development around IoT;
* How the academy will work in practice;
* The company's relationship with the University of the Free State and the Belgium Campus ITversity in Pretoria; and
* The work that IoT.nxt is doing in ensuring upliftment of people through skills development programmes.
Don't miss the discussion!

Pinnacle's Fred Saayman on Huawei and disruption [promoted]

Fred Saayman, head of the Huawei business unit at Pinnacle, returns to the podcast for a discussion on the impact of US sanctions on the Chinese ICT giant's business, especially in the South African context.
In the podcast, Saayman explains that Huawei has made good progress dealing with the challenges that have been thrown at it in the past year, including developing its own chipsets and other technologies across its wide range of products to lessen its reliance on other suppliers.
"I would never have believed an organisation could actually change and transform, research, develop and innovate in such a short period of time - it's impressive," he said.
"With the speed and agility of its supply chain, Huawei has been able to address all of its customer orders. They remain bullish on 5G base stations. They have made plans and they are now a lot more self-sufficient."
Saayman talks about what the South African business community thinks about Huawei and the US sanctions. "They are still optimistic... South African customers, whether it's the financial industry or mining or the public sector, they are still very favourable towards Huawei."
Don't miss the discussion!

Dell Technologies' Tony Bartlett on the rise of edge computing [promoted]

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by Dell Technologies South Africa director of data centre compute Tony Bartlett for a discussion on some of the major trends affecting the IT industry.
Specifically, Bartlett talks about the rise of edge computing and what's driving it, and explains when an edge solution makes sense versus a centralised approach through, for example, a hyperscale data centre.
The need to derive insights from the explosion of the volume of data is increasingly being driven at the edge, he says.
In the podcast, Bartlett explains the implications of this shift.
He also touches on some of the enabling technologies of edge computing, including 5G, software-defined wide-area networking, artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning.
Don't miss the discussion!

Dell's Chris Buchanan on the dynamics of the new workforce [promoted]

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by Dell Technologies South Africa client solutions director Chris Buchanan for a discussion on how Covid-19 has brought about dramatic changes in the workforce.
The pandemic has been called a Black Swan event, something that only comes around once in a generation. It has certainly impacted the way people work significantly and probably made digital transformation a top priority for many companies, even those that were previously sitting on the sidelines.
Will Covid-19 change the way we do things fundamentally and forever, or once the pandemic is over will we go back to business as usual?
Buchanan gives his take on these issues and also expands on the impact that the lockdown has had on demand for computers and other technology products, and what the outlook is as companies increasingly look to equip their employees for remote work.
The workforce, he says, was changing anyway, before the pandemic hit, especially as millennials, who have a different outlook to previous generations, begin to enter the world of work.
Lastly, the conversation turns to the subject of electronic waste and the work that Dell is doing to reduce its impact on the planet.
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: Seacom CIO Marius Burger on cloud in the time of Covid [promoted]

Seacom chief information officer and head of Seacom Cloud Marius Burger joins the TechCentral podcast for a discussion on cloud computing and the company's approach to market.
Burger discusses how cloud computing's role has changed (or, rather, how people's perceptions of its role have changed) as a result of the Covid-19 lockdowns and work-from-home measures.
He also explains Seacom's approach to cloud, and why the company is targeting the mid-market, where it sees a big opportunity.
What do companies need to consider before moving their systems and processes into a cloud environment? Can it be done on a piecemeal basis and does it need a proper strategy behind it? And just how safe is it?
Burger covers all of these topics in the podcast, and more.

IoT.nxt's Nico Steyn and André Jacobs on the value of innovation [promoted]

In the third of a series of podcasts with IoT.nxt, the company's CEO, Nico Steyn, and chief of product engineering, André Jacobs, join TechCentral for a discussion on innovation.
Innovation is probably something we don’t see enough of in South Africa’s IT industry, with many of the large players in the sector historically building their businesses on the back of reselling and supporting international technology products.
There have, of course, been exceptions to that rule, and IoT.nxt fits into that category. In fact, the company was created on the back of an idea to solve a business challenge.
In the podcast, Steyn explains why he sees innovation as important to IoT.nxt’s growth over the years and its success as a business. He expands on some of the innovations IoT.nxt has been involved with.
In 2016, the company was identified by Gartner as one of the six "Aspiring Innovators" at the Gartner Symposium/ITXpo held in Cape Town. It was also a finalist for innovation for Emerging Enterprises at the 2016 Technology Top 100 Awards and the winner of the category "Management of Technology for Medium Enterprises" at TT100 in 2019.
Steyn and Jacobs expand on what that recognition contributed to the company and its innovation focus?
Don't miss the discussion.

Dell Technologies rings the changes - MD Doug Woolley on where to next [promoted]

TechCentral is joined in this episode of the podcast by Doug Woolley, MD of Dell Technologies South Africa, for a discussion on the company post Dell's blockbuster acquisition in 2016 of EMC for US$67-billion and how that deal has changed the organisation.
In the first of a series of three podcasts with Dell Technologies executives, Woolley explains the rationale behind the acquisition of EMC (and with it, VMware) and the impact it's had on Dell locally. He explains the importance of VMware to Dell and why it continues to be run as a separate business.
He then expands on where Dell Technologies is positioned in the local market, as an end-to-end technology provider, as well as the company's growth plans in the coming years.
Don't miss the discussion!

Ex-Huge Group CEO Anton Potgieter on his new telecoms venture

Anton Potgieter, founder of TelePassport and a former CEO of Huge Group, has a new venture in the telecommunications space. Called Trabel, the Cape Town-based company has developed Scotty BusinessLine, an app and service he said will "reinvent business calls on cellphones".
Scotty BusinessLine provides “a second or business telephone line on your mobile phone”, Potgieter said.
"Historically, making business calls from a cellphone has had several inherent failings: the telephone number shown is not a company number, which can look unprofessional, the call is not automatically charged to the company account and requires reimbursement (via tax inefficient “cell allowances”, or admin-intensive manual claim forms), and possibly the most important, the company gets no record of the business numbers that are being called on its behalf," he explained.
Scotty is an Android app - iOS is coming soon - that gives users their own Scotty telephone number (in the 087 range) from which they can make or receive calls at a flat rate of 79c/minute.
The app replaces users' default Android phone dialler and allows them to make calls through either their Sim card, or through their Scotty number, using a choice of two separate dial-out buttons.
Calls made from the “Scotty” button are made from the Scotty phone number and they use neither the phone's Sim card airtime or data - instead, these are billed to the Scotty account. The technology Trabel is using is known as "seamless callback".
In the podcast, Potgieter explains why he started Trabel and launched Scotty BusinessLine, and why he believes there is huge demand for such a solution in South Africa.

Interview: Giovanni Chiarelli on MTN South Africa's 5G launch

MTN South Africa chief technology and information officer Giovanni Chiarelli joins the TechCentral podcast to chat about the company's launch on Tuesday of its commercial 5G network and what was involved.
In the podcast, Chiarelli talks about why MTN has chosen the cities and towns it has for the launch, why it's using different frequency bands - including 700MHz in Port Alfred - and why it won't be rushing to build a national 5G network until there's clarity on the outcome of a planned spectrum auction.
Chiarelli also explains why MTN is deploying a technology known as dynamic spectrum sharing and why he believes this year's Apple iPhone 12 launch is going to propel consumer interest in 5G.

270 episodes

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