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28
MAY

Interview: Intergreatme CEO Luke Warner

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Intergreatme co-founder and CEO Luke Warner about how the technology start-up managed a R32-million fundraising round using crowdfunding platform Uprise Africa.
Described as an “emergent regtech player”, Intergreatme wants to create a world where consumers no longer have to fill out forms. The company, which has already secured deals with local banks and telecommunications operators, hopes to remove the pain for processes such as Fica in financial services and Rica in telecoms.
In the podcast, Warner talks about some of the implementations it’s been involved in, how it secures consumers’ private information and its expansion plans after the successful crowdfunding exercise.
He explains how the company went about the crowdfunding to ensure it was successful and offers advice to other start-ups wanting to use this mechanism to raise capital instead of traditional venture capital or private equity.
Integreatme attracted over 400 investors through Uprise Africa, though it also received five R5-million investments, making up the bulk of the R32-million raised. Many of those that invested were black women, raising the company’s black economic empowerment profile, something Warner hopes will help it work more closely with the public sector.
Don’t miss the discussion!
27
MAY

Interview: Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Telkom Group CEO Sipho Maseko on the group’s 2019 financial results.
The discussion kicks off with Maseko explaining whether Telkom can keep up the astonishing growth in its mobile business, where it almost doubled its number of subscribers in the past year. He talks about the impact this could have on the group’s capital expenditure in order to sustain the robust performance into the future.
Maseko then turns to consolidation in the broader mobile industry, whether Telkom is still interested in acquiring Cell C (it’s not) and how consolidation, if it happens, might play out.
He then turns to Telkom’s roaming and infrastructure sharing deal with Vodacom and the impact that it likely to have, with implementation of the roaming component expected to be concluded by the end of June.
He talks about Telkom’s plans to monetise Gyro, its property management business, and reflects on the enormous job losses that have happened at Telkom and whether more cuts are in the offing.
Lastly, Maseko explains Telkom’s strategy around Huawei given the geopolitical tensions between the US and China and how the company is attempting to mitigate the risk associated with developments in the past week.
Don’t miss the discussion!
24
MAY

Interview: Jolla (Sailfish OS) CEO Sami Pienimäki

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod is joined by Jolla CEO Sami Pienimäki to talk about the implications for the world of smartphone operating systems of the US government’s decision to force Google to hang up on Huawei.
In the podcast, Pienimäki discusses the impact the decision could have on Jolla’s Sailfish OS, an open-source smartphone operating system tailored for business users and governments around the world. Jolla, Pienimäki says, has received enormous interest from Chinese smartphone makers in Sailfish OS in the wake of the US government’s directive to Google.
Could Sailfish OS, which has its origins in the Linux-based MeeGo OS – previously developed by Finland’s Nokia and US chip giant Intel – potentially be an alternative operating system to Android for Chinese device makers that fear being cut off by Google? Pienimäki explains why he thinks this is the case.
Sailfish OS, which runs Android apps, can be installed by users on a range of handsets, with the software actively being developed and ported by a large community of open-source developers.
Pienimäki explains why Jolla pivoted from the consumer market – at one time it developed its own smartphone and tablet devices – and into the corporate and public sector markets, and why he believes the US government’s moves against Huawei will shake the foundations of the mobile industry.
He talks about Android’s dominance – it’s installed on about 90% of active smartphones – and whether this dominance is poised to be broken by the developments around Huawei. Could a third major smartphone operating system platform now emerge?
He provides his views on Huawei’s new Hongmeng OS, and its chances of success, and talks about why he thinks previous attempts to tackle Android’s dominance with projects such as Ubuntu Touch and the Firefox OS failed.
It’s a great discussion. Don’t miss it!
21
MAY

Interview: IoT.nxt CEO Nico Steyn

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews IoT.nxt co-founder and CEO Nico Steyn about the recently announced acquisition by Vodacom Group of 51% of the company.
Steyn explains how the deal came about, what IoT.nxt will use the capital injection to do and what’s next for the Centurion, Pretoria-headquartered Internet-of-things platform start-up.
In the podcast, Steyn talks about why he quit his corporate job at Pinnacle to co-found IoT.nxt, its funding from Talent10, its expansion into Europe and more recently the US, and its plans for further globalisation.
What are the opportunities for IoT.nxt in the Vodacom Group – and the broader Vodafone Group – and will the company continue working with other telecommunications operators in the South African market?
The company will continue to be run fairly autonomously of Vodacom, though it already supplies IoT solutions to the company and plans to expand this in time, Steyn explains in the podcast.
Don’t miss the discussion.
15
MAY

Interview: Sophos's Paul Ducklin on WhatsApp security

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Paul Ducklin from British security company Sophos about the news that WhatsApp has been targeted by an advanced "cyber actor", who exploited the software’s voice calling feature.
The exploit allowed attackers to potentially install malicious code on targeted users' smartphones.
Ducklin explains what we know so far about the security exploit, who is behind it and how it's been used, and why users must urgently install the latest version of WhatsApp.
How concerned should ordinary users be about the exploit, how do they check if they've been compromised and should they be considering alternatives to the ubiquitous instant messaging platform?
Don't miss the discussion.
30
APR

Interview: Axiz CTO Jacques Malherbe on the changing role of distribution

In this promoted episode of the TechCentral podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Axiz chief technology officer Jacques Malherbe on how the ICT distribution industry is changing significantly.
Driven by the growth of cloud computing, digital transformation and a less comprehensive role being played by original equipment manufacturers, the relationship between these vendors, their distributors and resellers is being shaken up radically.
In the podcast, Malherbe explains how all the big vendors globally are changing their business approach -- from one where there were “super active” in the entire value chain to one where they are shrinking into their core businesses, in the process moving a lot of their activities to distribution partners.
They are asking distribution to do market-making, to have enablement technical resources and provide other support services. At the same time, corporate customers are shrinking their IT departments.
All of this has a big impact on the profit margins for distributors, as vendors shed their service offerings. It also affects how and where distributors must invest. This has drastic implications not only for the IT distribution channel but for the broader IT ecosystem in South Africa.
In the South African context, government is shifting spend from the big systems integrators into the small, medium and micro enterprise segment, leading to a big shift in the sector. Malherbe explains how Axiz hopes to help SMMEs participate in the market more actively and meaningfully.
25
APR

Interview: BBD director Gus Pringle on SA's IT skills crunch

In this promoted episode of the TechCentral podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews BBD director Gus Pringle about the IT skills challenge in South Africa and the work that the company is doing to try to mitigate the problem.
Pringle explains that no matter how many IT skills are developed, this is never enough to fill all the positions available – an unfortunate dichotomy in a country with a severe rate of unemployment.
In the podcast, Pringle talks about the work that BBD is doing to develop new skills, including its initiative with WeThinkCode. He explains where the demand for skills in coming from, the sort of talent needed by corporate South Africa and the skills mismatch in terms of what’s available and what employers are looking for.
BBD, whose employees typically work on bespoke and complex systems, says developer skills are in high demand, are easily able to job hop for higher pay or simply emigrate – the latter having become a major challenge, particularly in the past six months, with a spike in talented coders leaving the country.
Pringle expands on BBD’s initiatives to retain talent, including setting up operations in markets favoured by South African expatriates, and bemoans the difficulty involved in getting talent from overseas into the country.
The conversation then turns to what schools and universities are doing right – and wrong – in nurturing fresh talent for the sector. What should they be doing to encourage talented youngsters and prepare them for the world of work?
Finally, Pringle talks about the challenge of bringing more female skills into the IT industry and why it’s important that the sector becomes less male dominated.
It’s a great discussion – don’t miss it.
22
APR

TalkCentral: Ep 257 - 'Breaking the Fold'

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod and Regardt van der Berg take to YouTube for their first-ever live video discussion to talk about Samsung's breaking Galaxy Fold smartphone.
What do Samsung's problems mean for the future of foldable phones - and will anyone buy a Fold in light of the problems experienced by early reviewers?
Also on the show this week, there's plenty of news in the world of consoles; BBM is dead; and Apple and Qualcomm smoke the peace pipe.
Listen to the show to find out who's been picked as winner and loser of the week.
Duncan's technology pick is the Sony WH-1000XM3 over-ear Bluetooth headphones, while Regardt doesn't have a pick this week.
WhatsApp the show on 0719991111 - voice notes may be used on air.
Apologies for the slightly poorer audio quality in this week's episode - it will be back to normal in our next show.
18
APR

Interview: Seacom Business South Africa GM Grant Parker

In the third of a series of promoted podcasts with Seacom, TechCentral’s Duncan McLeod talks to Seacom Business South Africa GM Grant Parker about the “smoke and mirrors” of the country’s Internet market.
Parker kicks off the discussion with a look back at the development of the Internet industry in South Africa over the past 10 years, and the impact that Seacom has had in bringing meaningful competition to the sector.
It’s clear that the South African Internet market has come of age, and consumers -- especially business customers -- are benefiting from plummeting prices, increased speeds and a vast array of package choices.
But, as Parker explains in the podcast, not all offerings are created equal, and businesses need to do their research to ensure that what they’re getting what they pay for.
“This golden age of the Internet access has a dark underbelly, with many too-good-to-be-true promises proving to be just that,” Parker wrote in a recent column. “There are a lot of smoke and mirrors in the sector, with providers easily winning customers via impressive offers, and then disappointing when the actual experience falls short.”
He explained that in a cluttered and competitive sector, deciding on a broadband contract and Internet service provider can be “incredibly confusing”.
“When rival products look the same, it’s not uncommon for providers to promise the earth in terms of ‘speeds and feeds’ to win a sale -- only to hide behind the service-level description when the customer is dissatisfied. Service-level agreements, which may include penalties for early agreement terminations, also help more nefarious providers get away with providing an inferior service.”
Broken promises typically hinge on “breakage” models widely
02
APR

Interview: Dominic Cull on the Films and Publications Amendment Bill

In this episode, TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod is joined by Regardt van der Berg for an interview with Dominic Cull on the contentious Films and Publications Amendment Bill, which may soon be signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Cull, who is a legal and regulatory expert with Ellipsis and regulatory advisor to the Internet Service Providers' Association, has been intimately involved in lobbying to have the bill extensively redrafted. However, it still contains serious flaws, Cull says, which could have a serious impact on content creators and ISPs in South Africa.
In the podcast, Cull explains the origins of the impending legislation and why the original Films and Publications Act had to be updated for the Internet age. While the amendment bill has some good aspects to it, he warns that the final version now awaiting the president's signature is badly drafted, is likely to face constitutional challenge if enacted and could prove harmful in several key respects.
One of the biggest drawbacks of the bill is that it fails to draw a clear line between commercial and non-commercial providers of content. It also places onerous conditions on ISPs and demands high fees from content distributors, which Cull says will hurt smaller players.
What are the biggest problems with the impending legislation? Is it simply a revenue-raising exercise for the Film and Publication Board (FPB)? How does it affect people posting content to the Web, including YouTube, which hasn't been classified by the FPB? Does the bill constitute legislative overreach? And will it ultimately have a chilling effect on free speech?
Cull answers these questions and more in the podcast. Don't miss this important discussion about a critical piece of legislation and what happens next.
29
MAR

Interview: Pinnacle Dell EMC brand manager Ricky Pereira

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral talks to Ricky Pereira, Dell EMC brand manager at Pinnacle, about how companies are using hyperconverged infrastructure to solve their complex IT challenges.
In the podcast, Pereira talks about Dell EMC’s VxRail appliance solution, which helps companies virtualise their IT infrastructure, in the process reducing complexity and making it easier to manage IT resources.
Pereira explains the concept of a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) platform, and the benefits it offers to businesses trying to manage disparate legacy systems. As part of companies’ digital transformation journeys, he explains how VxRail can help them get ready for the era of cloud computing.
The interview touches on the impact that HCI can have on businesses’ IT costs, while delving into how it can make disaster recovery much more effortless.
Lastly, Pereira explains how Pinnacle works with Dell EMC and its channel partners to go to market with the solution.
29
MAR

Interview: Kwese Free TV's Zolile Ntukwana

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Econet Media group regulatory affairs executive Zolile Ntukwana about the new licensed free-to-air television provider Kwese Free TV, for which he is spokesman.
Kwese Free TV was awarded a licence from communications regulator Icasa last week to launch a free-to-air terrestrial service - the first such licence to be granted in South Africa since e.tv was licensed more than 20 years ago.
Econet Media owns 20% of Kwese Free TV, while Royal Bafokeng Metix and Mosong Capital own the remaining 80%.
In the podcast, Ntukwana explains why the consortium bid for the licence, its launch plans and the channels it intends offering.
Kwese Free TV has been given 55% of what is known as digital Mux 3 - a chunk of radio frequency spectrum that it plans to use to offer half a dozen channels, including a high-definition sports channel.
Ntukwana explains why Kwese believes there is room in the market for another terrestrial television player, what it still has to do before it's ready for launch and how consumers will be able to receive the broadcasts.
Don't miss this discussion.

198 episodes

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