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Absa Group CIO Wilhelm Krige on the big Barclays de-merger

In this episode, Duncan McLeod interviews Absa Group CIO Wilhelm Krige about the mammoth project, now mostly completed, of separating the banking giant's IT systems from former parent Barclays.
The total cost of the separation amounted to R17.5-billion, with Barclays paying R12.6-billion to help fund it. Much of this spend went to the IT project involved in separating the systems of the two banking giants, with a significant amount also earmarked to marketing costs associated with the rebranding to Absa.
In the podcast, Krige talks about the scope of the IT separation, the complexity involved, how the group got it right with only a few hiccups along the way, and how it has positioned Absa for future innovation and growth.
He covers the milestones achieved during the project and what he'd do differently with the benefit of hindsight. He also talks about the involvement of regulators in the project and why they had to be kept regularly updated on the progress.
Lastly, Krige explains the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, both on this project and on the bank more broadly.
It's fascinating discussion about one of South Africa's biggest-ever IT projects with one of the country's leading CIOs. Don't miss it!

DataProphet CEO Frans Cronje on AI firm's R100m funding round

Frans Cronje, co-founder and CEO of Cape Town-based artificial intelligence firm DataProphet joins the TechCentral podcast to unpack the big fundraising round it announced last week with Knife Capital.
The investment round, which also includes funding from the Industrial Development Corp and Norican Group, came to US$6-million (about R100-million) and will be used to fund global expansion in Europe and the US, TechCentral reported on 24 August.
In the podcast, Cronje explains the background to DataProphet and what it was founded to achieve, including a look at both its first commercial projects and some of the more interesting work it's been involved with around the world in that time.
The firm, which is firmly cemented in what is called "Industry 4.0", has ambitions to expand globally following the latest funding round - Cronje explains which parts of the US and Europe it will focus on and why, and whether he sees opportunities in the global manufacturing hubs of China and Japan (spoiler: he does).
The team plans to keep its engineering and operations base in South Africa and Cronje explains in the podcast why he believes it's easier to attract the sort of talent the company needs here than in, say, the US, where top skills are hoovered up by the big technology giants.
Don't miss the discussion!

The fascinating story behind Nedbank Money App Lite [promoted]

Nedbank has made big strides with Nedbank Money App Lite, a smaller, less resource-intensive version of its banking app that's built as "progressive Web application".
In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Tawanda Chatikobo, Nedbank's head of digital channels, to learn more about how the Covid-19 pandemic, and the associated lockdown, has changed the way consumers use digital banking services and why Nedbank Money App Lite is a cornerstone of the company's strategy to get more people onto its digital channels.
Nedbank Money App Lite was launched in November 2019, and since then the bank has continued to add functionality to it, including card-and-Pin registration, biometric sign-on (fingerprint and face ID) on supported handsets, and chat functionality allowing customers to talk to an agent directly from the app.
In the podcast, Chatikobo provides more details on these new features and the other functionality available in the app. He also explains the concept of a "progressive Web app" and why Nedbank chose to go that route with Money App Lite.
Don't miss the discussion!

Revix CEO Sean Sanders on the future of crypto investment

Revix co-founder and CEO Sean Sanders joins TechCentral for a discussion on cryptocurrencies as an investment class and why current world events are underpinning the renewed boom in bitcoin and other cryptos.
In the podcast, Sanders explains why he thinks cryptocurrencies - and gold - are booming in 2020 and whether this will continue for the foreseeable future. The price rises of most major cryptocurrencies mark a significant shift from the "crypto winter" that followed the January 2018 crash of bitcoin. What happens next?
Revix, which is backed by JSE-listed investment holding company Sabvest, allows consumers to invest in cryptocurrency Bundles, similar to the way people use exchange-traded funds as an investment vehicle. The Bundles ensure investors always have optimal exposure to the world's top 10 crypotocurrencies.
It also has a product that allows people to invest in PAX Gold, an asset-backed digital token that provides direct ownership of physical gold held in London vaults, while also benefiting from the speed and mobility of a digital asset.
The conversation covers everything from decentralised finance, or DeFi, and why this is an exploding area of interest in finance circles, to the way companies like Revix are regulated. Don't miss it!

Interview: Introducing Dimension Data’s Smart Virtual Workplace [promoted]

When the hard Covid-19 lockdown was introduced in South Africa on 27 March, many companies were forced to scramble to find ways to shift their workforces from their offices to employees’ homes.
Some did better than others; some are still struggling to find the right balance and to support their employees during this unprecedented time.
It was a shift that had a big impact on productivity – both positive and negative – and one that left many companies unsure about everything from connecting their newly remote workforce to ensuring the company’s systems were secured.
In this episode of the podcast, Dimension Data’s chief go-to-market officer, Setumo Mohapi, and the company’s intelligent infrastructure executive, Kyle Stanton, discuss the company’s Smart Virtual Workplace solution that aims to make it easier to adjust to the new reality.
The Smart Virtual Workplace solution is designed to meet end-user requirements and expectations – for both customers and employees. It is secure by design, monitored and delivered at scale. It offers solutions such as Smart Connectivity, Secure Smart Access, Secure Remote Productivity, Advanced Collaboration and Secure Remote Desktop Access.
Mohapi begins the discussion by talking about the big changes that have taken place at Dimension Data this year, including a major restructuring designed to simply the group’s structure and make it more efficient and simpler for customers to get the support they need from the group.
He then discusses the impact of the lockdown on the way companies approach IT and answers whether there has been a fundamental and permanent shift, especially when it comes to conversations around digital transformation and digital readiness?
Stanton then provides an overview of the Smart Virtual Workplace solution and what it offers companies and their employees. He also talks about what the distributed workplace of the future might look like and why. And what does this mean for productivity in ... ctd ...

Interview: SA's LightWare LiDAR raises R25m for global expansion

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod speaks to James Portman, founder and CEO of Centurion-based LightWare LiDAR, about the company's R25-million fundraising round with private equity player Sanari Capital.
Portman, who is joined in the discussion by Sanari CEO Samantha Pokroy, explains how a South Africa light detection and ranging (Lidar) company has caught the eye of hi-tech clients around the world.
LightWave plans to use the private-equity fundraising to expand its product offerings further abroad, Portman explains in the podcast. He talks about how the company was started, its focus areas and where he sees the business going.
Pokroy then explains why Sanari Capital -- backed by institutional investor 27four -- decided to invest in LightWave LiDAR and its expectations from the investment.
She explains Sanari's focus area, how the investment in LightWave came about and where the company intends to direct funds through its new, R1.5-billion "lower and mid-market fund".
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: Pinnacle's Fred Saayman on the importance of Wi-Fi 6 [promoted]

In this promoted episode of the podcast, executive for the Huawei business unit at Pinnacle, talks about the latest version of Wi-Fi, version 6, and what it can do that previous versions could not.
He delves into Huawei's AirEngine solution and what it is capable of, including supporting up to 512 users on one access point and delivering throughput of up to 10.75Gbit/s.
Aimed at enterprise users, the technology is aimed at environments where there is significant demand for Internet access.
The discussion then shifts to Huawei's OceanStor Dorado all-flash array solution and why it's important to business. He explains the advantages of the technology over more traditional storage arrays, including speed, reliability and power consumption.
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: DStv's Mark Rayner on the Explora Ultra, streaming, 4K and more

Mark Rayner, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa, joins TechCentral editor Duncan McLeod on the podcast to discuss the major announcements made by the pay-television operator on Wednesday, including the launch of the DStv Explora Ultra personal video recorder (PVR).
In the podcast, Rayner unpacks what the new PVR can do and its significance in MultiChoice's product portfolio.
He explains why, despite the Explora Ultra's support 4K-resolution content, MultiChoice has no immediate plans to launch 4K channels.
The discussion then turns to the DStv Streama, a streaming set-top box also unveiled by MultiChoice on Wednesday. He explains what the Streama will be able to do, why it's running software called the Reference Design Kit (rather than Android), and where it fits into the portfolio.
Then, on DStv's new "dishless" offering, Rayner explains why this is priced the same as legacy satellite bouquets and what consumers need to know about it.
There's plenty more in the interview, including a look at Covid-19's impact on the SuperSport business and why MultiChoice decided to allow competitor streaming services on its platform.
Don't miss the discussion!

Trend Micro's Mannie Tzingakis on IT security in a pandemic [promoted]

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by Mannie Tzingakis, technical lead for sub-Saharan Africa at Trend Micro, for a discussion on the trends in the Internet security space, especially since the advent of Covid-19.
Tzingakis talks about the biggest security problems associated with the work-from-home measures introduced during the lockdown and what both end users and companies need to do to secure themselves from malicious actors.
How do companies ensure their employees are more security conscious -- do they take a heavy-handed approach or is a softly-softly approach the better option?
Tzingakis explains what Trend Micro, which is a leader in cloud security solutions through its Cloud One offering, is doing in the cloud space and how this differs from the traditional security solutions companies have deployed.
Lastly, Trend Micro recently commissioned research, called Head in the Clouds, which identified four personas of people in organisations and their approach to security: fearful, conscientious, ignorant and daredevil. Tzingakis talks about the research findings and explains which of the personas is most dangerous to the business from a security perspective -- the answer may surprise you.

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!

291 episodes

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