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Interview: Sanofi seeks SA healthtech start-ups for Afric@Tech Challenge

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Thibault Crosnier Leconte, country chairman and GM at French pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi, about the company’s initiative to identify and support healthtech start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Sanofi is calling for South African entries to the Afric@Tech Challenge, part of the Viva Technology 2020 event in June in Paris, France, and is specifically looking for start-ups that are innovating in the area of health and medical technology. There, they will have a chance to present their inventions to global investors and tech leaders at Europe’s largest technology event.
As part of the Afric@Tech Challenge, which closes on 6 March 2020, start-ups stand a chance to not only present their technologies at Viva Tech but also gain access to an investment partnership with Sanofi.
In the podcast, Crosnier Leconte explains why Sanofi is interested in supporting South African – and African – healthtech start-ups and entrepreneurs and what those entering can expect from the challenge.
Enter the challenge here:
Sanofi at Afric@Tech comprises four challenges aimed at providing innovative and adapted solutions to improve access to medicine and healthcare in Africa. Initiated by Sanofi in all African countries, this contest will help identify, reward and accompany the best start-ups in their goal of revolutionising practices in the health sector in Africa.
Now in its third year, the event consists of four challenges, which Crosnier Leconte sets out in the podcast.
The selected projects could also benefit from financial assistance and individual support from Sanofi, through a system of coaching and mentoring.
“The four challenges are part of Sanofi’s strategy to encourage innovation in Africa. They represent a concrete way to contribute locally through the support provided to the most audacious and innovative entrepreneurs in the achievement of their projects,” says Crosnier Leconte.

Interview: Mmapula Kgari on the Sentech Connect broadband project

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral interviews Sentech chief of sales and marketing Mmapula Kgari about the company's new Sentech Connect broadband project.
The idea behind Sentech Connect is for the state-owned communications company to "play a significant role in the implementation of SA Connect’s mandate and servicing of government with wireless broadband services”. SA Connect is government’s broadband strategy plan.
“Sentech Connect will digitise health care, education and government services in underserviced and rural areas, bridging the digital divide with fast, reliable broadband connectivity,” the company said in a statement when the project was launched at the AfricaCom event in Cape Town last year.
The broadband offering ranges from bandwidth of 10Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s, allowing for the creation of smart classrooms; smart city services; smart clinics and hospitals; the Internet of things; and public safety initiatives
In the podcast, Kgari explains why Sentech has launched Sentech Connect, where the network is available, how it's being funded and the impact it hopes it will have in underserved parts of South Africa.
She also talks about the technology and radio frequency spectrum it's using and its go-to-market strategy.

Interview: Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo

In this episode of the podcast, Duncan McLeod interviews Teraco CEO Jan Hnizdo about the data centre operator's massive expansion of its Johannesburg data centre campus.
In the podcast, Hnizdo talks about how Teraco has rapidly expanded since its founding in Cape Town 12 years ago, how continued demand, especially from cloud providers and South African enterprises outsourcing their IT, has fuelled the need for the company to expand its available space.
He also talks about the impact that Eskom's load shedding is having on Teraco, and explains why he is optimistic that South Africa's electricity supply problems will be resolved.
It's a great discussion ... don't miss it!

Interview: iTMaster CEO Stanton Pillay

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined for a discussion by Stanton Pillay, the recently appointed CEO of iTMaster, a national information management consultancy and technology solutions company.
Pillay tells TechCentral about the history of the company – it was founded by three women in Polokwane – and his history with iTMaster. He explains how he started as a technician at iTMaster in 2004, but through a keen interest in technology and business, and in working with clients, advanced quickly up the rungs before taking the reins in 2019.
In the podcast, he discusses iTMaster’s principal focus areas, how its strategy has developed over the years and how it went from a business focused on servicing the market in Limpopo to a national provider of IT solutions.
iTMaster is an important partner of technology giant HP. Pillay expands on that relationship, how it has developed over the years and where he sees it going in future.

Interview: .ZADNA acting CEO Peter Madavhu

In this promoted episode of the podcast, .ZADNA acting CEO Peter Madavhu joins TechCentral for a discussion on the role of the regulatory agency in South Africa's Internet domain space.
In the discussion, Madavhu provides an overview of the .za namespace and what is involved in regulating it.
.ZADNA is a non-profit accountable to the department of communications & digital technologies responsible regulating local Internet registrars. Madavhu talks about the regulator's ambit and how it works with registrars.
What are the benefits of using .za over, say, a .com address? And what are the challenges that the local industry is facing and how can these be resolved?
Madavhu talks about this as well as the growing problem of domain-name abuse and how is .ZADNA trying to deal with it.
The discussion wraps up with a discussion about .ZADNA's alternative dispute resolution process and how it works.

Interview: Axiz's Traci Maynard on incentives in the channel

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral talks to Axiz executive Traci Maynard about the importance - and upsides and risks - of using incentives in the IT distribution channel.
Maynard explains why vendors use incentives for their distribution and reseller partners, the impact these incentives have on the channel - helping drive different behaviours - and how they work.
Research group Forrester has shown how companies can automate incentives, which helps remove friction in the partner sales process and streamline the lead to revenue processes.
Maynard shares examples of incentives that work particularly well and how companies can measure how well they are actually working. What are the return-on-investment metrics companies need to pay attention to?
Lastly, she explains how the shift to cloud computing is changing the incentives model and how Microsoft manages incentives through its Cloud Solution Provider partner programme.

Interview: Highpeak MD Gavin Hill on the tech behind Vumacam's CCTV network

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Gavin Hill, MD of Highpeak Technology Services, about the work his company has done to build the IT system that helps power Vumacam's CCTV network throughout Johannesburg.
The system, built with the support of Tarsus On Demand and Microsoft, delivers complex and real-time analytics to help security companies and law enforcement offers fight crime in the city.
Highpeak built a custom, cloud-based platform to analyse hundreds of millions of data points and apply intelligent analytics to create actionable information to help Vumacam fight crime.
In the podcast, Hill explains how Highpeak got involved in the project, its relationship with Tarsus On Demand and why it's using Microsoft's South African Azure data centres and a cloud-based model to run the solution.
He explains what the technology allows Vumacam and its security company customers to do and how the company plans to build artificial intelligence and other advanced features into the system.
Don't miss the discussion!

Interview: Dimension Data Security managing executive Tony Walt

Dimension Data Middle East & Africa on Wednesday announced it has launched a significant new practice, known as Dimension Data Security, that will sit alongside its existing businesses Internet Solutions, Dimension Data Systems Integration, Britehouse and Merchants.
The new business is headed by Dimension Data veteran Tony Walt -- a former chief operating officer at Internet Solutions -- who says the addressable market across the region for the new business is in the region of R30-billion.
In the podcast, Walt tells TechCentral why Dimension Data has decided to create the new business and how it is amalgamating security expertise from elsewhere in the group, including ContinuitySA, which was previously in the Internet Solutions stable.
Walt talks about the new company’s go-to-market strategy, how the business will be positioned in the market relative to the competition and how it will draw in expertise from parent NTT’s global NTT Security business.
Dimension Data Security will consist of four key pillars, led by a consulting practice. Walt talks about the company’s growth plans and where it sees the growth opportunities.
Don’t miss the discussion!

Interview: Axiz executive Traci Maynard on IT sector growth

In this promoted episode of the podcast, Axiz executive Traci Maynard returns for a discussion on recent research by Gartner that was surprisingly upbeat on growth prospects for the IT sector in South Africa.
Gartner said IT spending in the country will total R303.5-billion in 2019, growth of 3.9% in an economy that is barely growing. In fact, the company reckons South Africa will end the year as the fourth fastest-growing major IT market in the world, behind only India, Israel and Singapore.
Does this square with reality? Axiz, one of the country's largest IT distributors, is uniquely placed to have a view on the health of the local industry.
In the podcast, Maynard explains how the shift to cloud computing in corporate South Africa is spurring sales, but also how this means the IT channel needs to adopt a different approach to the market.
She explains how Axiz is helping the channel adapt and how the changes are affecting operations elsewhere in Africa.

Interview: Nutanix speaks out on cloud and hyperconverged infrastructure

In this promoted episode of the podcast, TechCentral is joined by Nutanix vice president for customer success Pai Venugopal and regional sales director Paul Ruinaard for a discussion on hyperconverged infrastructure, or HCI, and its importance in enterprise cloud computing.
In the podcast, Venugopal talks about the Nasdaq-listed company’s focus, where it’s positioned in the market and why HCI has become a hot-button topic in enterprise IT - particularly as companies consider their options around cloud.
Venugopal and Ruinaard talk about the somewhat surprising findings a new global survey, Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud Index, the results of which were released this week at the company's .NEXT on Tour event in Johannesburg, and why companies are again looking to on-premise and hybrid solutions in favour of a wholesale shift to the public cloud.
Ruinaard talks about what the survey says about local enterprise customers in the context of the global results and the discussions he’s typically having with them.
Interestingly, for 60% of enterprises, security is the biggest factor in their cloud decisions.
Don’t miss the discussion!

Interview: Axiz executive Traci Maynard on ethical leadership

In this episode of the podcast, TechCentral speaks to Traci Maynard, an executive at technology distributor Axiz, about the important of ethical leadership and good corporate governance in South Africa’s IT industry.
In light of the various scandals that have erupted around several high-profile companies in the past 18-24 months, Maynard talks about how corporate South Africa allowed itself to be caught up in the state capture narrative, the risk to corporate reputations and the need for solid governance controls to ensure wrongdoing isn’t allowed to flourish.
She explains the types of governance checks and balances that need to be put in place to ensure companies aren’t found wanting -- and looks specifically at some of the controls Axiz has in place to prevent corrupt and unethical practices.
Axiz, part of the JSE-listed Aviva Holdings, is a major player in the complex South African IT distribution market. It, along with other distributors, work with multinational vendors to supply technology products and services into the public sector and into corporate clients. With many parts to the chain, Maynard explains how ensuring ethical behaviour at all levels can sometimes be quite challenging.
In the podcast, she talks through a scenario of where and how unethical behaviour might creep into a big tender, for example, and how companies should determine what amounts to good business and what doesn’t. What red flags should companies be looking out for?
It’s a great discussion on a crucial topic -- don’t miss it!

215 episodes

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