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ISSN 2616-2385

ITNews Africa Magazine

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ITNews Africa Magazine |


36 DEON KATz Head of Investec Private Bank South Africa

In this issue TECH NEWS


34 | Interview: Customers are


18 | Top 20 Women breaking the

the driving force in business



glass ceiling in African tech






Industry Events 06 | tT100 awards


digital africa


da vinci focus


08 | healthcare Innovation


Summit 2017


innovation, people and systems

54 | African companies that fail

10 | africacom 2017


could result in an aligned

to innovate will not survive



digital disruption

12 | huawei Mate 10 Review

29 | How to embrace tech


innovation to drive business

ment of technology

13 | first portable micro-pro-


46 | Science and technology


minister hails TT100 Awards


jector for Nintendo Switch launched

13 | South African drone company raises $499,000 in funding

48 | TT100 Award winners



33 | Accenture CEO addresses innovation challenges in South

AWS cloud to save lives


CONTRIBUTORS Fundisiwe Maseko Darryl Linington Dean Workman





14 | Interview: Mobile ODT using

EDITOR Darryl Linington –

| Focusing on the manage-



PUBLISHER Abe Wakama –

40 | Integrating technology,

SUBSCRIPTIONS IT News Africa is the premier gateway for technology companies who want to reach potential customers in Africa. Building 22A, The Woodlands Office Park, Woodmead, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2191 Tel: +27 11 026 0982 Fax: 0866 130 386 Printed by Paarl Media Paarl

News Enquiries/Press Releases Advertising and Press Offices Media Partnerships Partnerships and Proposals

IT News Africa Magazine |

NIGERIA: GOVT TO ROLL OUT 18,000 KM OF FIBRE OPTIC CABLE The Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council has commenced initiatives to accelerate the country’s industrialisation by installing 18,000km of fibre optic cable nationwide to improve broad band

Zimbabwe completes USD 218 million 4G rollout Zimbabwe has completed a USD 218 million 4G network rollout in line with the government’s policy of delivering a

The Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council has commenced initiatives to accelerate the country’s industrialisation by installing 18,000km of fibre optic cable nationwide to improve broad band penetration. The installation of fibre-optic lines to promote digital economy was one of many initiatives the Industrial Council identified and agreed to implement in five core areas and enablers over the next twelve months at a meeting in Abuja on 30 October 2017. It also sought to begin strategic power projects to deliver another 4,200 MW of electricity into the national grid. The Industrial Council has set up five sub-committees made up of both public and private sector leaders and members of the Council with five focus areas identified as necessary to fulfil its objectives. These are critical infrastructure, skills and capacity, trade and market access, policy and regulation, and financing.

Angola Cables expands South Africa presence

digital society as a key component for economic growth, a press statement revealed. The country has also embarked on a USD 100 million project to ensure rollout of optic fibre to attain these targets. Supa Mandiwanzira, the Minister of Information, Communication, Technology and Courier Services, told delegates at the ICT Africa 2017 in South Africa that the government had raised USD 7 million to upskill the country’s youth so that they can play a leading role in the information and communications industry growth. Mandiwanzira also said that the government has transformed over 200 derelict Post Office outlets into community centres which have been equipped with computers and connected to the internet to ensure access to ICT and e-government services to citizens. Southern African Development Community (SADC) has outlined a target to ensure 80 percent of the population access ICT by 2020; “the government has set that target at 100 percent,” Mandiwanzira said.

capabilities, Angola Cables announced today that it

MTN and Ericsson to trial 5G in early 2018

expects to establish a Point of Presence (PoP) in Cape

Ericsson and MTN have announced that a 5G trial will start

To further expand its network reach and peering

Town before the end of the year. After almost a year of operation in South Africa, the company has seen exponential growth in its customer base. Currently with a PoP in Teraco in Johannesburg, increasing demand has resulted in Angola Cables’ decision to develop a PoP infrastructure for customers based, or with operations

in the first quarter of 2018. The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at AfricaCom 2017 to collaborate on 5G roll-out in South Africa. MTN will trial a range of 5G use cases and applications in its Test Bed (laboratory) Proof of Concept in South Africa, leading to

in, Cape Town. “This expansion will give us the ability to

commercial deployment in the future.

attend to local Internet and content demands, as well

Together, Ericsson and MTN will identify 5G use cases and

as enhancing our peering activities in the region,” said

applications for industries such as mining, transportation,

Darwin Costa, product manager at Angola Cables.

agriculture, manufacturing and utilities.


IT News Africa Magazine |

Konnect Africa introduces public Wi-Fi in Kenya Satellite Internet solutions provider Konnect Africa has introduced new broadband hotspots dubbed SmartWiFi in Kenya, taking on Facebook’s Express WiFi. The new service will be rolled out in retail centres and facilities such as schools and hospitals, and give the surrounding community access to the internet from a “distance of several hundred metres around the hotspot.” Internet access could be extended for wider reach using off-the-shelf Wi-Fi repeaters, the firm said. Wi-Fi users would be required to buy vouchers or use mobile money payments to access various internet packages. SmartWiFi would be installed in urban and rural areas underserved by terrestrial networks. Satellite-based internet, unlike mobile wireless or fibre technologies, is not dependent on terrestrial infrastructure and is capable of providing connectivity in the remote areas. The new Wi-Fi hotspot is designed specifically to address the needs of the majority of the African population that live in rural areas, where there is a need to reduce the digital divide, said Konnect Africa CEO, Laurent Grimaldi.

Kwese launches mobile TV service in Zimbabwe Pan-African broadcaster, Kwese TV, has launched mobile television service, Kwese TV Everywhere (TVE) in Zimbabwe, enabling customers to tether their decoder channels to their phones. A Kwese decoder account comes with up to five TVE accounts. Pan-African broadcaster, Kwese TV, has launched mobile television service, Kwese TV Everywhere (TVE) in Zimbabwe, enabling customers to tether

Re-orienting global data flows and localising content


fast-growing wholesale provider of Internet services in sub-Saharan Africa

with growing global infrastructure – including the Monet and South Atlantic Cable Systems

their decoder channels to their phones. A Kwese decoder account comes

(SACS) – Angola Cables is firmly focused

with up to five TVE accounts.

on growing its presence on the continent.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe CEO, Douglas Mboweni said this would be the

The company is also expanding Africa-

beginning of a different mobile TV service in Zimbabwe. He said Kwese

based clients’ presence overseas. With the

customers in Zimbabwe would soon be able to do “TV roaming” in other

completion of SACS in mid-2018 and Monet

countries where Kwese is available. To support the mobile television service, Econet has rolled out more than 575 fixed Wi-Fi hotspots and 240 mobile sites in the country, in collaboration with sister company, ZOL. Mboweni said Kwese customers can use the service by downloading the Kwese App from the Apple App Store or Google Play on their smartphones or tablets. They should then enter the account details that

this year, the company will pioneer the fastest routes between South Africa and Brazil and the USA. The company has also developed a ‘EuroRing’ to provide African companies with improved connectivity to Europe, including

are only available to customers with a Kwese decoder. Head of Econet

access to the major cloud services providers

Media Zimbabwe, Dorothy Zimuto, claimed that the Kwese team had

and content providers.

been overwhelmed by demand for its service and were now working to hire more Technites (installers). The launch of Kwese TV in Zimbabwe has led to the creation of more than 2,500 direct jobs along with many more downstream opportunities. Kwese TV now operates in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Swaziland, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Kenya and Botswana. In addition, Kwese Free Sports (KFS) operates in 23 African countries.

Angola Cables is spurring the growth of a number of telecommunications markets

in Africa, and as we improve Internet connectivity to and from the continent, we are bringing leading content closer to African users” adds Costa.


IT News Africa Magazine |


tt100 AWARDS

The TT100 awards recognises South Africa’s finest role models in the management of innovation and technology.


IT News Africa Magazine |


The TT100 Business Innovation Awards

process employs the TIPS model which

by the department. The recipients

2017 took place on the 15th of

is the management of technology,

of the Department of Science and

November at the Johannesburg

innovation, people and systems.

Technology Minister Award for Overall

Country Club, South Africa. The awards

The Minister of Science and

have become the country’s foremost

Technology, Naledi Pandor was a

business awards programme.

keynote speaker. She gave insight into

The TT100 awards recognises South

what the department is doing to assist

Africa’s finest role models in the

technology start-ups and encouraged

management of innovation and

the entrepreneurs to utilise the

technology. The unique adjudication

technology support hub launched

Excellence were SSG Consulting and PFK Electronics.

IT News Africa Magazine |


HEALTHCARE INNOVATION summit africa The summit tackled topics such as robotics, electronic health records, delivering personalised healthcare, artificial intelligence, IoT in healthcare and much more.


IT News Africa Magazine |


he 3rd edition of the Healthcare Innovation Summit Africa


policy makers and key stakeholders

into existing healthcare infrastructure.

from public and private hospitals, as

The Summit tackled topics such as

(#HISA2017) took place on 29 and

well as health-tech entrepreneurs and

robotics, electronic health records,

30 August 2017 at VodaWorld in

academics. Unlike any other event

delivering personalised healthcare,

Johannesburg, South Africa. The event,

on the African healthcare calendar,

artificial intelligence, IoT in healthcare,

which featured provocative panel

HISA2017 looked to join the dots

discussions, interactive roundtables

healthcare policy, telemedicine

between innovation and practicality

and a roster of thought-leading,

by presenting the latest healthcare

advances and the future of healthcare

incisive speakers, drew in CxOs,

technologies and showcasing their

administrators, heads of technology,

practical application and integration

in Africa.

IT News Africa Magazine |


africacom 2017 The 20th staging of AfricaCom opened its doors in Cape Town, South Africa to welcome over 13 000 delegates.


IT News Africa Magazine |


he 20th staging of AfricaCom opened its doors in Cape Town,

burgeoning 4th Industrial Revolution. These included the centre-piece of

South Africa to welcome over 13

the spanking new Technology Arena,

000 delegates. The biggest Africa-

AfricaCom 20/20 – a brand new

focused technology, media and

show floor feature, the AHUB, the

telecoms (TMT) event in the world

Innovation Stage, and a host of tech

celebrated two decades of bringing

solutions geared towards making our

the brightest minds in the global TMT

everyday work and play lives easier.

sector together, with the launch of

African Innovator Magazine attended

several new exhibits that speak to the

AfricaCom 2017.


IT News Africa Magazine |


Gadgets & Gaming Huawei Mate 10 Review

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a stunning device with a lot of power under its hood. Not only is the device beautiful and stylish, it also features a superb build quality.


uawei’s latest device, the Mate 10 Pro, not only looks magnificent,

beautiful and stylish, it also features a superb build quality. To add to the accolades, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a multitasking monster; thanks to the Kirin 970 processor and accompanying 6GB RAM. Additionally, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro

Dual Camera. In addition to its slick,

PC-in-hand feature allows the device

premium design, the device comes

to double as a desktop computer.

but feels great too. The device features

with a beautiful 6-inch OLED screen –

Consumers can then use the device

a 3D Glass body, beautifully and

which features HDR10 technology and

symmetrically curved on all four sides

to fulfil their PC requirements as well

an 18:9 aspect ratio.

for an ergonomic hold. The back of

The Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a stunning

as use larger monitors to game on or

the device features a reflective band

device with a lot of power under

design to highlight the New Leica

its hood. Not only is the device

watch Netflix. Overall, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is a rock-solid device that will surprise anyone who uses it.

By Darryl Linington

IT News Africa Magazine |

First portable microprojector for Nintendo Switch launched

South African drone company raises $499,000 in funding A Cape Town-based drone operator, UAV Industries, has revealed that the company has raised ZAR6.84 million (US$499,000) in funding from Glenheim Venture Capital Company, in what was the first direct investment made by Glenheim’s Section 12J fund. The company, which was launched three years ago, offers drone training and leasing services, and according to UAV Industries, the company has seen a 300 percent year-on-year growth off the back of a


aming gadgets company, YesOJO, has unveiled the world’s first portable micro-projector for the

multi-million Rand turnover. According to a report by Disrupt Africa, the investment from Glenheim’s fund, which was

Nintendo Switch. The projector will be available on the

launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa

Indiegogo crowdfunding platform at $269. OJO will be

earlier this year, was made three months ago. Since

available for shipping worldwide from December and

then, UAV has doubled its fixed monthly revenue and

will be in the hands of gamers by Christmas 2017.

has recently entered the US market.

OJO projects a screen that’s between 30” - 150” direct

Louw Barnardt, a director in the fund, said that they

from the Nintendo Switch docked to the projector.

had watched UAV Industries for over a year, assessing

According to the company, with the Switch’s inbuilt

the company before deciding to invest. “The

screen and small speakers, the projector will solve

business is perfectly positioned in the market with a

the issues gamers have experienced when playing

strong team and the best global technology has been

multiplayer games on the move.

acquired and incorporated into their processes,” he

OJO is priced at $269 on the Indiegogo crowdfunding


platform with a variety of other accessories. These accessories include a traveller’s case, extra cables and a large projection screen. Backers of the crowdfunding campaign will receive a substantial $100 discount on the OJO. The recommended retail price is to be $369. The device will ship worldwide with free-shipping costs - so no additional cost to backers of the platform. OJO is designed with portability and sharing at its heart. The unit has a 4 hour a battery life before needing a recharge via the USB-C port, outlasting that of the Nintendo Switch. OJO can also act as a back-up power supply for the games console. Utilising the latest projection technology from Texas Instruments, OJO projects its HD image at 200 lumens on any surface. It is also equipped with a 2nd generation Texas Instrument DLP DMD chip, and PD fast charging protocol for an LG 3.7v Lithium 20400 mAh capacity battery. Since its release in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 5 million units worldwide.

By Dean Workman


IT News Africa Magazine |


The Innovator Mobile ODT using AWS cloud to save lives


T News Africa Magazine recently spoke to Ariel Beery, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MobileODT, in an interview which looks to how the use of next-generation smart medical devices can impact healthcare in Africa. MobileODT is inspired by creating the next generation of smart medical devices. They look to combine the power of biomedical optics with the computational capabilities and connectivity of mobile phones. This allows their connected, intelligent medical systems to be used everywhere, under nearly any condition. Ariel Beery is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MobileODT,

around the world. Ariel has a B.A in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University, a MPA (Masters in Public Administration) from New York University (NYU) in Management, and an MA from NYU in Jewish Studies. Ariel teaches at the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herziliya (IDC), and lectures in workshops about social business and startup development around the world. IT News Africa Magazine spoke to Beery about the cervical selfie device, the impact such devices could have on Africa, the biggest challenges facing similar technology in Africa and how long it will take for this sort of technology to become the norm on the African continent.

a woman enters a doctor’s office and requests a screening for cervical cancer – a common type of cancer caused by the human papillomavirus. Through a regular Pap smear test, her results will be returned within a matter of days. Should any irregularities be found, she can immediately undergo earlystage treatment. Keeping in mind that cervical cancer can be conquered if detected early and regular Pap Smears can prevent this epidemic. By the same token, cervical cancer can be considered as one of the most fatal types of cancer if the diagnosis is left for too late. This particular patient’s story does not always play out in some of the more remote and inaccessible parts of Africa. In fact, access to expert-level care

Ariel Beery is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of MobileODT, and is dedicated to making medical care available to the billions who have access to mobile phones, but not to physicians.

remains out of reach for over 5 billion people around the world. With little or no access to specialised equipment, physicians and social funding, communities are now turning to technology to assist with the delivery of much-needed healthcare. The EVA System by MobileODT

and is dedicated to making medical care available to the billions who have access to mobile phones, but not to physicians. Before co-founding MobileODT, Ariel co-founded and served as the Global CEO of the PresenTense Group, an accelerator for social ventures that has launched over 600 social ventures, and now has franchise operations in sixteen cities

combines the diagnostic accuracy of 1) Can you explain what the cervical ‘selfie’ medical device does?

a colposcope with AWS cloud-based communication and the processing capacity of mobile phones to enable

In a nutshell, MobileODT uses mobile phones supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure to detect cancer. It is the latest tool in remote healthcare. In a typical first world/developed city,

even remote practitioners to conduct visual assessments at an expert level. Now healthcare practitioners from anywhere can identify initial growth visuals, which can be shared through the cloud with any healthcare worker

IT News Africa Magazine |


on the planet to perform an expert

This began in July 2017.

behaviour communication messaging.

level visual-based diagnosis to catch

Additionally, here are some examples

Since 2014, MobileODT and Grounds

the disease early enough to treat.

from throughout Sub-Saharan Africa:

for Health have partnered to provide

Underpinning this technology is AWS

Partnering with the Federal Republic

ongoing supporting supervision

cloud. We selected the AWS cloud

of Ethiopia Ministry of Health, Pink

after training healthcare providers in

because it was fast and easy to set

Ribbon Red Ribbon, and Doctors with

conducting cervical cancer screening

up and run the system, and because

Africa CUAMM, the EVA system is

across rural Ethiopia. Their clinical

of the fact that it is easily scalable.

deployed as a tool for improving visual

consultants in Vermont are using the

The system provides high availability

inspection during routine cervical

EVA portal in order to review images

The EVA System by MobileODT combines the diagnostic accuracy of a colposcope with AWS cloud-based communication and the processing capacity of mobile phones to enable even remote practitioners to conduct visual assessments at an expert level.

and perform reviews on the screenings. 3. What impact can devices such as this have on African healthcare in remote areas? Cervical cancer screening, our first application, addresses a worldwide issue. Today 990 million women are screened annually for cervical cancer. In the developed world, women

and fault recovery and complies with

cancer screening in health facilities

HIPAA regulations related to extend

and mobile outreaches in Ethiopia. The

the ability of a health system to reach

effort improves supportive supervision

out to women beyond geographic

and enhances the capability to collect

boundaries, overcoming many of

and analyse important data among

the challenges currently facing the

District and/or Regional health officials,

extension of care. Today we are literally

Ministry of Health staff, and program

using the AWS cloud to save lives.


Smear in the US, and approximately

In Kenya, MobileODT, Medic Mobile,

4 million women per year (in the US)

and KMET are working to increase

have an abnormal Pap Smear result

outreach, education, and engagement

and advance to colposcopy, in which

MobileODT’s EVA System is currently

to increase knowledge and uptake

the cervix is magnified and examined

being used at the Africa Cancer

of reproductive health services.

and biopsies are taken to help with

Institute at Stellenbosch University,

Following screening with the EVA


Cape Town and by doctors at the

System, patients receive ongoing

However, it is estimated by the World

University of Witwatersrand in

communication for referral, health

Health Organisation that 85% of

Johannesburg through clinical trials.

education, and positive health

women worldwide do not have

2. Where are these devices being used?

undergo routine cervical cancer screening at their gynaecologist or primary care physician. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), approximately 55 million women per year have a Pap

IT News Africa Magazine |

adequate access to such screening,

The EVA System is incredibly easy to

leading to 275,000 attributable deaths

deploy; most of the clinicians using

annually - a tragedy because cervical

the EVA Systems received it in the

cancer takes 20 years to develop, and

mail, have never met a member

can be treated for less than $28, and in

of MobileODT, and have received

less than 40 minutes if caught in the

their training through our website.

first 5 years.

Connectivity is also less and less of a

MobileODT’s technology is a game-

problem; most of the 26 countries in

changing solution to reduce the

which we work have robust cellular

incidence of cervical cancer by

networks and therefore users can

expanding expert-level screening

access our AWS-hosted services

capabilities to health providers in any

directly from their EVA System.

setting. Any trained health professional can use the EVA System (RN, NP, PA,

5. How long do you think it will take


for technology such as this to be

Cervical cancer remains one of the

common practice across remote

largest, unaddressed global health

areas in Africa?

challenges across Sub-Saharan Africa. While cervical cancer is easily detectable and treatable in its early stages in a single patient visit without the need for expensive and ongoing treatment, only 6% of women are screened. Compounded with a limited state of healthcare infrastructure and

We believe that over the next decade, every person will see a connected clinician; one using the EVA System or its peers to ensure that high-quality healthcare is available in every place on the planet.

human resources, detection of cervical cancer occurs most frequently during the advanced stages of cancer. Because cervical cancer screening is a core component of reproductive health care, investment in preventive services for cervical cancer leads to an improvement of health outcomes for women across Sub-Saharan Africa and translates to cost savings for the individuals, families, the health system, and the countries at large. Anticipated changes to the broader community include improved health outcomes for women and their families, a more skilled workforce, building local capacity through mentorship, and rapidly increasing access to cervical cancer screening for communities by including EVA in existing family

Cervical “selfie“ device by MobileODT

planning, HIV, and maternal health efforts. 4. What are the biggest challenges in making this sort of technology the norm in remote areas across Africa?

By Dean Workman


ITNews Africa Magazine |

“The clear leader in anomaly detection” 451 Research

SELF-LEARNING SELF-CONFIGURING Powered by machine learning and AI algorithms, Darktrace’s Enterprise Immune System detects and responds to emerging threats inside your enterprise that no one else can find.


IT News Africa Magazine |




Women all over the world have been climbing the corporate ladder and breaking down barriers in every industry. In the ICT sector, it is no different. Women today are more frequently taking up executive leadership roles in major organisations as they continue to inspire and impart their knowledge.


IT News Africa Magazine |


Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa

Commission, which is the Nigerian Telecom Regulator. She has worked for the Regulatory Authority for over 16 years. Uduma holds a degree in Accounting.


5 Dr. rOzE pHILLIpS, .

Managing Director, Accenture Consultancy

3 CATHy SmITH, .

Managing Director, Cisco SubSaharan Africa

Roze Phillips is the Managing Director of Accenture’s Products industry group

Sabine Dall’Omo has been the Chief

in South Africa, West Africa and East

Executive Officer since 2015. She also serves as a Member of its Managing Board. She had been serving as Chief Financial Officer for Siemens Africa since 2012. Sabine moved to South Africa as the Head of Performance Controlling for Siemens Southern Africa and held the position for 8 years. She has also held various executive positions with Siemens including CFO for Siemens Africa’s Healthcare Sector and Commercial Manager within Siemens’ Automation & Drives business.

2 mAry uDumA, .

Managing Director, Jaeno Digital Solutions – Nigeria

Cathy Smith has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry leading diverse teams as well as building

Africa. She joined Accenture’s strategy practice in 1999 and she previously worked as a researcher, doctor and

strong partner and customer relations.

specialist in medicine. She also

Currently the MD of Cisco Sub-Saharan

holds a master’s degree in business

Africa, Smith joined Cisco in 2015.

administration. She serves on the

At Cisco, Cathy is responsible for

Accenture board of directors in South

the development and execution of

Africa, as well as the board of Enablis

Cisco’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for the region. Prior to her position at Cisco, Smith spent 23 years with IBM.

4 rAFIAH IbrAHIm, .

East Africa.

6 NADyA bHETTAy, .

Chief Officer: Strategy and New Business, Vodacom

Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa

Nadya Bhettay has been with the Vodacom Group including Vodacom since 2005. She held a position at

Mary Uduma served as the President

With over 36 years of experience in the

of the Executive Board of the Nigeria

telecommunications industry, Ibrahim

Internet Registration Association

has held various leadership positions

Executive, Business Development.

(NiRA). She became President in

within the Ericsson Group since 1996.

Prior to her joining Vodacom, Nadya

September 2010, after having served

She currently serves as the Senior Vice

as Vice-President since 2009. Mary

President and Head of Market Area

qualified as a chartered accountant

has also served as a member of NiRA’s

Middle East & Africa and has served

Interim Board of Trustees. She is a

since April 2017. She also served as the

Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau

head of Ericsson Region Middle East in

with the Nigerian Communications


Vodacom Group as Vodacom Group

with Ernst & Young and then spent 5 years in investment banking.

IT News Africa Magazine |

7 Heather Third, .

Founder and CEO, Rainbow Consulting

9 Yolanda Zoleka Cuba, .

Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Ghana


Business Woman of the year in 2007, IT businesswoman of the year, and voted 2nd most influential woman in Africa for IT, Media and Telecoms. She holds an MSc degree in medical chemistry, BSc & diploma in teaching, executive courses at Harvard and IMD.

11 Corine Mbiaketcha .

Nana, Managing Director, Kenya Hub, covering East, Central and West Africa, Oracle

Former Chief Operating Officer of

Yolanda Zoleka Cuba joined Vodafone

Microsoft South Africa, Heather Third

Ghana as Chief Executive Officer

started Rainbow Consulting in 2008.

in June 2016 from Vodacom Group

She also held a position as Director of

in South Africa, where she was the

Strategy for Africa. Heather currently

Director of Strategy and Mergers &

serves as Africa Citizenship & Strategy

Acquisitions covering five markets -

director at Microsoft. She is a Fellow of

South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic

the sixth class of the Africa Leadership

Republic of Congo, Mozambique and

Initiative-South Africa and a member

Lesotho. She has degrees in Statistics

of the Aspen Global Leadership

and Accounting from the Universities


of Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal and

8 Serpil Timuray,

a Masters of Commerce in Finance

Corine Mbiaketcha Nana joined Oracle

Management degree from the

in 2000 as the business development


Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer, Vodafone

University of Pretoria. In 2011, Yolanda was listed as one of the “20 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa” by Forbes Magazine.

10 Thoko Mokgo.

si-Mwantembe, Chief Executive Officer, Kutana Group

manager of Business Intelligence and Data-Warehousing for Africa. Corine took the position in March 2017. She is responsible for developing and managing technology revenue in 25 African countries across West, Central, and East Africa. Prior to that, Corine worked at SAP where she developed Nigeria Financial Services

Serpil Timuray is the Chief Commercial

and French Speaking Africa Market.

Operations and Strategy Officer, and

For over a decade, she has been

joined the Group Executive Committee

involved in major IT transformational

in January 2014. She is responsible for

projects in the areas of Public Finance,

Vodafone’s commercial and strategy functions, as well as innovation and

Telecommunications and Financial

transformation projects, including

Services across Africa. Corine holds a

the customer experience excellence

Thoko Mokgosi-Mwantembe is the

Masters in European Business with

programme. Prior to this, she was the

CEO and a founding member of the

regional CEO of the Africa, Middle

Kutana Group. She has held executive

Technology from both the University

East, Asia -Pacific (AMAP) region until

positions such as CEO of Alcatel

October 2016. Serpil joined Vodafone

SA, Divisional MD at Siemens, Sales

in 2009 as the CEO of Turkey. Serpil is

and Marketing Director at Lucent,

the Chairperson of Vodafone Turkey

Managing Consumer Markets at

and has been a board member of

Telkom and CEO of Hewlett Packard

Safaricom and Vodafone Qatar.

SA. She was awarded the South African

of Brighton in the U.K. and Pole Universitaire Leonard de Vinci in France.

IT News Africa Magazine |

12 Lola Kassim, .

General Manager for West Africa, Uber


French Business school) and began

for fibre optic professionals with a core

her career as Sales Manager at CISCO

focus on skills development.

SYSTEMS in Paris.

16 Lillian Barnard,

14 Mymoena Ismail, .

Chief Executive Officer, NEMISA


Director for Public-Sector at Microsoft South Africa

Recently appointed as the general manager of Uber, West Africa, Lola Kassim has over 10 years of global

Lillian Barnard is currently the

experience working at senior private

Mymoena Ismail was Chief Director

sector and government levels in Africa

at the then-named Department of

and Canada. She holds a Bachelor’s

Communications’ e-Skills Institute

degree from Harvard University and an

from 2010. Her work included being

MSc degree from the London School of

part of the team that designed and

Economics where she was a Chevening

implemented a national model for

Scholar. Prior to joining Uber, Lola

the development of e-skills human

worked as a Management Consultant

capacity in the country and improving

European Headquarters in France and

with McKinsey and Company where

the country’s World Economic Forum


she led teams providing strategic

(WEF) rankings. In February 2014, she

business advice and implementing

founded the Ikamva National e-Skills

organisational and operational

Institute (INeSI). The first national

improvements in the energy, public

catalytic organisation in South Africa.

and financial services sectors in West

In 2015, she was Chief Executive

and Southern Africa.

Officer at the Cape Digital Foundation.

13 Yacine Barro, .

Country Manager for West and Central Africa, Microsoft

Director for Public-Sector at Microsoft South Africa. Previously, she served as Chief Sales Officer for Vodacom from 2014 to 2016. She worked for 15 years in the IT Industry for IBM and was based for 7 years at the IBM

17 Bunmi Banjo, .

Head of Brand & Digital Skills, Africa at Google

Mymoena has a MCom Information Systems and is currently working towards her PhD.

15 Juanita Clark, .

Chief Executive Officer, FTTH Council Africa

With over 15 years of experience in various fields, Bunmi Banjo currently heads SMB marketing for Google in Africa. She also leads the company’s effort to provide digital skills to millions of youth across the continent. Prior

Yacine Barro returned to Microsoft in

to joining Google, Bunmi worked in

August 2017 after serving as a Business

different capacities in the financial

Development Manager for Microsoft

services and petroleum industries

WCA for three years. In 2006, Yacine

Juanita Clark has close to 20 years’

joined the headquarters of the Celtel

experience in the telecommunications

Group in Amsterdam to launch the

industry. She is the founder and Chief

Discover Financial Services and

corporate segment of the mobile

Executive Officer of the FTTH Council

Chevron Corporation. She holds an

phone operator in 21 African countries.

Africa. Juanita also co-founded the

MBA, a B.Sc. Honours degree and she

She graduated from INSEEC Paris (a

Fibre Optic Association Africa, a society

is currently pursuing her PhD.

including TD Bank Financial Group,

IT News Africa Magazine |



18 Hanlie Smuts, .

General Manager, MTN

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and studied Strategic Management at the Columbia Business School - Columbia University.

20 Suraya Hamdulay, .

Executive Head: Group Sustainability at Vodacom

Hanlie Smuts is an Associate Professor at the University of Pretoria in the Faculty of Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology. She is also the General Manager for MTN. Hanlie joined MTN in 1994 and has held various positions at

Suraya Hamdulay joined

the company. In her role as the General

Vodacom in November 2010

Manager, Hanlie aims to deliver

and she currently heads Group

consistent, customer relevance across

Sustainability at Vodacom. She has

all digital touch points, to empower customers through convenient and effective self-service, to drive growth through personalised digital offerings and to strengthen brand association between the organisation and digital services.

19 Uche Ofodile, .

Regional Head Africa for Express Wi-Fi at Facebook

Uche Ofodile is a former Chief Marketing Officer of Vodafone Ghana. In 2017, she was appointed Regional Head-Africa for Express Wi-Fi by Facebook. Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi is an initiative that gives mobile device owners in underserved communities access to internet services through partnerships with local internet service providers. Uche also worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Tigo DRC.

expertise in telecommunications, public administration; economic development; suite of environmental legislation, administrative and constitutional law, labour law, local government, sustainable development, energy and renewable energy solutions to name a few.

By Fundisiwe Maseko

IT News Africa Magazine |



African business leaders to

follow on Twitter

Many influential people have a strong social media presence. Gone are the days when you had to wait for a conference to get your dose of motivation or the latest update on what a business leader is up to. Social media, specifically Twitter, has gained traction when it comes to shaping societies’ opinions on matters. Twitter is a platform where business leaders can utilise 280 characters in order to inform their followers about what they are working on as well as share their skills and expertise. Many leaders use social media as a platform to share their thoughts, opinions and business advice. Business leaders have sought out these channels to communicate ideas, plans, as well as justify their actions and decisions. Some leaders use social media to announce a new move, which in most cases spreads the word quickly. To ensure that you don’t miss out on the latest announcements or trends, IT News Africa Magazine has compiled a list of business leaders to follow on Twitter.


IT News Africa Magazine |

1 Bob Collymore .

Position: CEO, Safaricom (Kenya) Twitter Handle: @bobcollymore

economics. According to his company

Dr. Chris Kirubi is a Kenyan

website, Michael has helped grow

businessman, entrepreneur,

First National Bank into the second-

industrialist and philanthropist. He is

largest retail bank in the country and

a Director at Centum Investments, a

the largest supplier of mobile devices

business conglomerate, in which he

– smartphones and tablets – in South

is the largest individual shareholder.


3 Trevor Ncube .

Bob Collymore is a Guyana-born British


Position: Chairman and Deputy Executive Chairman at Alpha Media Holdings (Zimbabwe) and M&G Media (South Africa) Twitter Handle: @TrevorNcube

Africa’s 31st richest person (according to Forbes) with interests in a variety of industries, Dr. Chris Kirubi tweets about politics, business and social issues. Dr. Chris Kirubi is a prominent investor in Kenya and the East Africa Region. He has invested in the Manufacturing, Media, Real Estate, Insurance and Investment Sectors of Kenya’s economy.

businessman currently living and work-

5 Grant Pattison

ing in Kenya. He has been the CEO of


Safaricom since 2010. Bob tweets about

Position: CEO, Edcon (South Africa) Twitter Handle: @GrantPattison

social issues, politics and business matters. From 1993, Bob worked in various positions in the telecommunications industry in the UK, including Cellnet, Dixons Retail and Vodafone UK. In 2003 he moved to Japan to manage the integration of J-Phone into the Vodafone Group.

2 Michael Jordaan .

Position: Chief Executive, Montegray (South Africa) Twitter Handle: @MichaelJordaan

Trevor Ncube is a Zimbabwean entrepreneur and newspaper publisher now living in South Africa and publishing in both countries. Trevor Ncube is the Chief Executive of Mail and Guardian, The Standard and The Zimbabwe Independent. He is also the Acting Chairman of the Commonwealth Press Union. He tweets about the political climate in both Zimbabwe and South Africa as well as current affairs and social issues

now heads a private investment company, Montegray Capital and lends a strategic hand to various businesses, including as Chairman of Wines of South Africa (WoSA). Michael is the former CEO of First National Bank. He tweets about the current political climate, business and

Director of Massmart Holdings Limited. He has also served as Chief Executive Officer for Massmart Holdings Limited.

in Africa.

Pattison took the role of chief

4 Chris Kirubi

on June 5, 2017. Grant has the


Michael Jordaan, a former banker,

Grant Pattison is an ex-Non-Executive

Position: Director at Centum Investments (Kenya) Twitter Handle: @CKirubi

operating officer and CEO designate challenge of revitalising the CNA brand, and extending Edcon’s footprint in the rest of the continent. His tweets consist of business, politics and social issues.

6 Ashish J. Thakkar .

Position: Founder and MD, Mara Group (Uganda) Twitter Handle: @AshishJThakkar

IT News Africa Magazine |

Leader by the World Economic Forum.

and social issues. Ncube held the

8 Mteto Nyati

post of Dean of the Faculty of


Position: Chief Executive of Allied Electronics Corp. Ltd (South Africa) Twitter Handle: @mteton


Commerce, Law and Management at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, South Africa and before that, was Dean and Professor of Finance at Wits Business School.

10 Linus Gitahi

With over a million followers, Ashish


tweets about his company, opinions

Position: CEO, Nation Media Group (Kenya) Twitter Handle: @LinusGitahi

on politics as well as business. He is the founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, and is a co-founder of Atlas Mara. Born in Uganda, Ashish began his entrepreneurial journey over 15 years ago as a high school student, where he sold computers to fellow

An engineer who has moved into

students. Mara operates in 16 countries

business leadership with a focus on

on four continents, including Asia.

turnaround and accelerated growth

7 Ory Okolloh

situations in the ICT space. Mteto was


Position: Director of Investments at Omidyar Network (South Africa/Kenya) Twitter Handle: @kenyanpundit

the MD of Microsoft and recently left his position as Group Chief Enterprise Officer at MTN in October 2014. Mteto recently joined Altron as chief executive. He usually tweets about technology and business, and also tweets out motivational quotes.

9 Mthuli Ncube .

Position: Chief Economist and Vice President, African Development Bank (Tunisia) Twitter Handle: @MthuliNcube

Linus is the current Chairman of Tropikal Brands (Africa) Limited, Home Africa as well as Oxygène Marketing. He sits on the board of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Federation of Kenyan Employers, United States International University (USIU) as well as several NGOs. He is immediate former Chief Executive Officer of the Nation Media Group (NMG). He is also a Fellow of the Kenya Institute of

Ory Okolloh is a Kenyan activist,

Management. Gitahi holds a Masters

lawyer, and blogger. She is Director of

of Business Administration degree

Investments at Omidyar Network. She

from The United States International

was formerly the Policy Manager for

University (USIU) and Bachelors of

Africa with Google.

Commerce (Accounting option) degree

She co-founded the parliamentary

from University of Nairobi. He tweets

watchdog site, Mzalendo, in 2006. Ory

about social issues, business and

tweets about politics, social issues as well as business. Ory earned a

Vice President of the African

J.D. from Harvard Law School and

Development Bank, Mtuli Ncube

graduated with a bachelor’s degree in

holds a PhD in Mathematical Finance

political science from the University

from Cambridge University. He was

of Pittsburgh. She was previously a

founding Chairman of Barbican and

Chayes Fellow at the World Bank’s

Selwyn Capital, which are involved

Department of Institutional Integrity.

in investment banking. He tweets

In 2011, Ory was named a Young Global

about politics in Africa, the economy

politics to his followers.

11 Strive Masiyiwa .

Position: Founder of Econet Wireless Twitter Handle: @StriveMasiyiwa

IT News Africa Magazine |

floundering commercial bank in Lagos.

corporate management, including

13 Mohammed Dewji

being corporate counsel at the


Position: CEO of Tanzania’s METL (Tanzania) Twitter Handle: @moodewji


International Finance Corporation and for Aliko Dangote of Dangote Industries Limited, Musando tweets mostly about entrepreneurship and economic issues. She is a 2013 Young Global Leader (World Economic

A Zimbabwean businessman who is

Forum) and Archbishop Desmond Tutu

based in London, Strive Masiyiwa is a

Leadership Fellow. Forbes Magazine

founder and executive chairman of the

and Africa Investor named her one

diversified international Telecommuni-

of the leading Young Power Women

cations, Media and Technology group,

in Business in Africa in 2013 and 2014

Econet Wireless. Strive doesn’t tweet


much but has a large following of over 151 000 followers. He tweets about

Tanzanian businessman, Mohammed,

business ventures and articles related

is the president and CEO of MeTL

to Africa. His business interests also in-

Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate

clude renewable energy, financial services, media and hospitality. Masiyiwa serves on a number of international boards, including Unilever, Rockefeller Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Advisory Board, the Africa Progress Panel.

12 Tony Elumelu .

Position: Acquired Nigerian commercial bank and transformed it into UBA Group Twitter Handle: @TonyOElumelu

founded by his father in the 1970s. His tweets consist of inspirational quotes and business advice. MeTL is active in

15 Khany Dlomo .

Position: Founder and CEO of Ndalo Media (South Africa) Twitter Handle: @KhanyiDhlomo

textile manufacturing, flour milling, beverages and edible oils in eastern, southern and central Africa. In March 2015, Forbes magazine named him the 21st richest person in Africa, with his net worth an estimated US $1.1 billion. He was also the first Tanzanian billionaire featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine.

14 Monica Musonda .

Position: Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods (Zambia) Twitter Handle: @monicamusonda

Khanyi Dhlomo is the Managing Director of Ndalo Media, which she founded in 2007. She is also the founder of DestinyConnect and the Founding Editor of Destiny Magazine. Prior to beginning her own media company, Dhlomo served as editor of True Love magazine for eight years. She tweets almost daily about news, politics and business. She was named most influential woman in South African Media by The Media Magazine in 2003 and made the 2011 Forbes list

A Nigerian economist, entrepreneur,

of 20 Young Power Women in Africa.

and philanthropist. Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings, the

By Fundisiwe Maseko

United Bank for Africa, Transcorp and founder of The Tony Elumelu Foundation. He uses Twitter to inform people about his latest adventures and inspirational quotes. He came into the limelight in 1997 when he led a small group of investors to take over a small,

Monica Musonda is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Java Foods, a food processing company based in Zambia. With over 15 years of experience in legal practice and

IT News Africa Magazine |


Jasco Head Office reduces carbon footprint by 50% with solar energy solution carports used by staff and visitors. Phase 1 of the project involved the installation of 53kWp of solar panels, accompanied by two 25kW inverters to generate up to 50kW AC power during peak generation periods. Kevin Norris, Consulting Solutions Architect for Jasco Power & Energy, explains that owing to the Westerly orientation of the phase one project and the existing carport layout, peak solar generation occurred in the early afternoon, matching the peak load profile (occurring because of commercial operations and air conditioning loads) of the Jasco campus. Phase 2 saw the additional installation of a brand new solar carport system in the Northern section of the Jasco campus. This

Too often in business, we see great strategies fail in execution and the tool we use to ensure our strategy execution stays on point (and on time) is an online app called Perdoo.

upgrade saw the total PV generation of

In early 2015, Jasco, a company that

solar electricity to power much of the

between both the traditional power

delivers end-to-end best-of-breed

campus’ energy needs, to cut down on

solutions across the entire ICT, Power,

the costs of traditional power, reduce

Enterprise and Security value chains,

dependency on the national grid,

seized the opportunity to demonstrate

and gain valuable insights into clean

leadership in the field of renewable

energy deployments. An additional

energy by harnessing its expertise

upside of this project is that Jasco

on a solar project at its own head

is able to use their head office as a

office complex: Jasco Park. Located

reference site and showcase in order to

in Midrand, north of Johannesburg,

better serve clients. The solution:

Jasco Park houses over 250 of the

The team began the installation of

generators, to keep the data centre

firm’s staff, a data centre and various

a solar carport system in April 2015,

operations running and ensure staff

other amenities. The vision was to use

leveraging the real estate available

are still able to work. “Throughout the

the Jasco Campus increase to 150kWp with an increase in inverter output power to 125kW AC. The solar system remains ‘tied’ to the national grid, which enables seamless consumption source and the new solar generation. Energy needs are primarily served by solar power and supported by the national grid where required. Norris explains that, in this way, in situations such as power outages, the solar system is not a backup to traditional power, but a complementary source of clean energy. In the event of power cuts, Jasco Park still fails-over to

IT News Africa Magazine |


“Overall, we’ve reduced the carbon footprint by 50%,” reports Smith, adding that the payback timeframe is pegged at 5-6 years, but that if national energy tariffs and carbon taxes rise higher than inflation, that timeframe may be brought even further forward. At certain periods of time such as at weekends, Jasco Park actually becomes a net exporter of energy - now selling energy back to the national grid and creating a new, growing revenue stream. “Most process, we used this project as an


importantly it has also empowered us

opportunity to create blueprints for our

By the end of the 2nd phase, the

to have the right client conversations,

Renewable Energy programmes within

team had effectively matched the

as we clearly show them the positive

our clients’ environments,” notes Dave

campus demand with a reliable supply

impact of solar - not just from a

Smith, Managing Director of Jasco’s

of new, clean energy. As a result of

business perspective, but more broadly

this initiative, Jasco has reduced

in addressing macroeconomic and

its maximum demand by 27% and

climate change issues,” says Smith.

reduced its electrical consumption

From their experiences with Jasco

from the Utility by 33%. Both these

Park, the firm’s Power Solutions &

reductions have resulted in significant

Renewable Energy team is able to

financial savings, even at today’s tariff

focus on the engineering, procurement

structure. If these savings are projected

and construction requirements for

forward, with Eskom’s current request

solar energy systems in high-end

to increase electricity costs by 20% per

residential, commercial and small-

annum, you can see how Jasco has

scale Utility projects. Renewable

Renewable Energy Division. “This begins with a thorough analysis of the current load and consumption levels, the times of the day that demand peaks, the tariffs that are being paid and so on.” “From this analysis, we then look to match a green energy solution to these needs and start quantifying the capex required versus the savings that are predicted over time. Ultimately we’re able to flesh out a full business case and predict a clear accrual timeframe.” “Our vision for this project is to showcase the opportunities presented by utilising solar energy, and demonstrate tangibly to our clients and encourage other corporates to embrace clean energy,” adds Norris. To this end, Jasco considered the full ambit of civil engineering and construction needs. The team settled on a cantilever system, which does not require any unsightly poles in the front, but ensures that cars cannot

largely insulated itself against future tariff shocks.


energy - which encompasses primarily hydroelectricity, wind, solar and geothermal energy - now accounts for roughly 8% of total global energy generation*. As South Africa looks towards a future of electricity tariff hikes, the advent of carbon tax, and a corresponding decline in the cost of solar, these forces, Smith says, are converging to stimulate

accidently bump into the structures.

the growth of solar

This design also creates a more

energy in corporate

aesthetic, futuristic feel to staff and visitors as they’re welcomed into Jasco. (Image: Jasco solar carpark project

South Africa.

Edited By Darryl Linington

IT News Africa Magazine |


HOW TO EMBRACE TECH INNOVATION TO DRIVE BUSINESS GROWTH Digital transformation has become one of the most important strategic priorities for enterprises in the “alwayson” world of business. It is likely you would have heard how imperative it has become for businesses to evolve with technology as a central pillar. Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of an organisation. It helps create newer, faster and better products for customers and also helps to harness a culture of creativity internally. Those who refuse to transform and innovate (in the sense of technology and mindset) will struggle to stay relevant in an increasingly competitive marketplace. The modern data centre is a particularly

used. This is mission-critical for any business that wants to encourage its stakeholders to adopt the “always-on” mantra. However, a company cannot simply put the building blocks in place and expect changes to occur straight away. In fact, companies across the world remain hesitant to adopt new innovative practices around technology despite an increasingly globalised marketplace. Some business leaders find the idea of transforming their organisation a deeply worrying thought. Rather than adapt, they would prefer to bury their heads in the sand and hope digital will pass them by without disruption. It is precisely this ‘wait and see’ mentality that

This does not mean that retrofitting new solutions over long-standing systems will provide an instantly substantial solution. Ideally, businesses want to design and build something from the ground up. Such an approach would require changes to be made around systems using older technology. If a company continues to miss revenue opportunities due to incumbent technology, what further justification is needed to warrant change and modernisation? Changing systems can also be costly, which can understandably lead to the reluctance of some companies to move away from legacy systems. However, change is an easier process to adopt when a company works with

Digital transformation has become one of the most important strategic priorities for enterprises in the “always-on” world of business.

vendors who use adaptive business approaches to develop innovative solutions to their clients’ business challenges. Companies need to have solutions that are available and accessible to all employees, especially as the modern online business culture

pertinent example here. It provides the fundamental building blocks needed to exploit the technologies of our increasingly connected future. These advanced data centres give decision makers access to components such as virtualisation, flexible storage, and cloud offerings. In turn, this allows them to be innovative – by focusing on their business operations, and become less concerned about the nuts and bolts of the hardware

businesses can ill afford to continue. If an organisation doesn’t have the technology needed to meet customer demands, you can bet those customers will go elsewhere; it might not happen overnight, but it will happen. Rather than wait idly, a strategy is required for digital transformation that not only mitigates digital disruption but also identifies market opportunities generated by the new business environment.

has become “always-on.” Those who adopt the “always-on” business model will increasingly work with service providers who, in turn, become trusted advisers, thanks to their technical skills and understanding of how solutions can be integrated into existing business practices. Challenges can be resolved through a company’s relationship with vendors - who may have access to a roster of merchants across multiple sectors.

IT News Africa Magazine |


Outsourcing is beneficial in that external costs are spread out over time, as services will only be used when required. Outsourcing is also beneficial in terms of the ever-changing technological demands. Technology is evolving at an exponential rate, meaning that many companies do not have the luxury of time to adapt and adjust.

Rather than weighing up the pros

new intelligent services or deploying

and cons of one service provider

mobile applications that simplify a

over another, it is more beneficial to

transaction. These innovations are now

understand how the strengths of each

also coming from tangential sectors,

can be linked together. This means

so just keeping pace with sector rivals

that companies should take advantage

isn’t going to cut it in the digital era.

of how solutions from various vendors

Decision makers should scrutinise the

can benefit their business practice

technology and systems they have

overall. Companies must understand

in place in order to determine where

that, in addition to different systems

change can happen – and whether

and processes, they can also leverage

that involves a bespoke approach or a

their existing data to gain competitive

thorough overhaul. However, there is

advantage. Data availability is one of

no doubt that companies cannot afford

the core pillars of a digital strategy

to be complacent. Change is natural

and there is immense interest from

and must happen. Having a thorough,

business decision makers in meeting

intricate knowledge of the technology

and exceeding the demands of

landscape (or working with partners

customers by using data - whether it

and suppliers that do) opens a gateway

be delivering customised marketing,

to potential revenue rewards through

innovation and transformation.

By Claude Schuck, regional manager for Africa at Veeam

IT News Africa Magazine |



“Digital is changing


ceo, fnb consumer Segment

Dr. Christoph Nieuwoudt, CEO: FNB Consumer Segment says one thing we can all agree on is that digital progress is inevitable.


eople have strong views on the impact of digital technology on their lives - from the excitement of

getting a new gadget to the satisfaction of doing in

technology by society are immensely profound, with terms such as “The Second Machine Age” or the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” being used to give this evolution a name. Dr Nieuwoudt takes a closer look at the profound impact of digital transformation on consumers and the broader financial services industry:

minutes what used to require a trip or a long phone

Digital revolution is already at an advanced stage

call. Contrary perspectives include the fear of being

In 2016, FNB customers had over 10 billion interactions

left behind or even what technology will do to their

with the bank, of which only 120 million (just over 1%)

employment prospects over time. Dr. Christoph

was on a face-to-face basis. Roughly 8.5 billion (85%) .

Nieuwoudt, CEO: FNB Consumer Segment says one

was on purely digital channels and the rest via point-

thing we can all agree on is that digital progress

of-sale (card swipes or online purchases) and ATM

is inevitable. He says the implications of the use of

transactions Dr Nieuwoudt says “The number

IT News Africa Magazine |

of FNB customer interactions has tripled since 2010, growing at more than 20% per annum every year, based on the growth in digital channels. Meanwhile at branches, customers are making significant use of in-branch digital zones.” The reasons for the growth and migration of volumes to digital are obvious as almost every customer knows they can do basically any payment transaction, account or card service function and get most products, including loans, overdrafts, credit card upgrades, savings products and insurance on a 24/7/365 basis via the FNB app, online or cellphone banking. “Customers can also buy airtime, pre-pay electricity, play lotto, trade stocks, get a homeloan approved,

In 2016, FNB customers had over 10 billion interactions with the bank, of which only 120 million (just over 1%) was on a face-to-face basis. order a car license renewal, buy forex, send money to any cellphone in SA, buy stuff via eBucks and the list

grips with banking digitally.” Broadly, banking is also seeing a large contingent of specialised roles – IT specialists, analysts, actuaries, engineers, who play a significant role in “re-inventing” solutions all the time. Automating credit decision making and fraud prevention Today, only a very small percentage of decisions are made by people; rather, statistical models are used to make fully automated decisions instantly at low cost and with accuracy not achievable by a person. “For consumers, this means your risk profile and behaviour determines your loans size and pricing. Importantly, technology has helped achieve fraud loss rates for card transactions below 2 basis points (i.e. 0.02%) of transactional value and below 1 basis point (<0.01%) for digital transactions,” adds Dr Nieuwoudt. Move from product-centric to a customer-centric model FNB has been through a major mind-shift to consistently put the customer “at the centre of the

goes on,” he says.

universe” like never before. Interactions through

What does this mean for branches, do we still need

customer’s experience the best possible by providing

them? Absolutely, says Dr Nieuwoudt. He says that branches and branch personnel are no less critical than before, but their role has changed from performing transactions to re-focusing on sales and advising customers on how to bank. In spite of the powerful digital technology, today, the bulk of banking consumers still want to talk to someone when opening a new account and even for most product categories. Additionally, consumers often need help with the new technology, even just to get going and start using it. “In my view, this leads to much richer and meaningful client interactions,” he says, adding that “in most cases, branches can be much smaller, but with more room for ditigal zones and self-service devices such as ATMs and ADTs (deposit taking machines). This journey is not unique to banking; virtually every sales or service business is or will be going through some elements of digital transformation.” Dr Nieuwoudt says the important effect of such changes is the opportunity to continuously upskill a workforce. “At branch level, it’s important for consumers to interact with consultants who understand how the technology works. On this end, we now have e-Bankers who help customers get to

all channels need to be considerate of making the a consistent experience across all products and services. The Future for financial services Often, the question is which banks will “win” the race; or will Apple/Amazon/Facebook/Google or other ‘fintech’ players win? Dr Nieuwoudt says there are two simple thoughts in this regard. “Firstly, due to the massive (data analytics, channels & customer experience) advantages a customer-centric approach offers, I believe an integrated player like FNB having a compelling offering across transactional, lending, save/invest, insurance (and in our case, telco also) has a major competitive advantage over any player with a limited offering.” “Secondly,” he says, “financial services players that embrace technology and data analytical capabilities in a customer- centric manner can and should be the beneficiary of the digital revolution. However, at the end of it all, it comes down to a philosophical decision around business strategy. Rather than falling prey to fintech disruptors, banks can unlock the incredible power of innovation for their customers to fulfil the ever-changing needs of bank customers.”

Edited By Darryl Linington


IT News Africa Magazine |



AccenturE CEO addresses innovation challenges in South Africa


uring the course of October 2017, Accenture hosted the 2017 Accenture

Innovation Index and Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. The conference addressed some of the findings of the Accenture Innovation Index 2017. According to the Accenture Innovation Index, innovation is taking a back seat as companies grapple with economic uncertainties. William Mzimba, Chief Executive of Accenture South Africa and Chairman of Accenture Africa said, “We are not doing well in terms of adopting the disruptive technologies that are bringing about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We do not see enough innovation in this space; we do not see enough resources being channelled to creatively solve the unique problems that South Africa has today.” The Accenture index measured innovation maturity across five stages namely: Innovation Strategy, Ideation, Absorption, Execution as well as Benefits and Impact. Throughout the stages, Accenture found that as companies mature their innovation capability, their focus shifts from just developing ideas towards a more comprehensive innovation value chain. Early innovation initiatives focused almost exclusively on brainstorming and ideation. This has recently been augmented with a concerted effort to ensure that relevant ideas are well executed. Speaking about South Africa’s position, Mzimba said, “To get the results on

the platform index that we did in the G20 countries, we surveyed five key points namely the digital user savviness, digital entrepreneurship, the adoption of digital technologies, and the policy on the regulatory framework to see how coherent it is to enable a thriving platform economy. We found that out of the G20 countries, South Africa was third last.” Mzimba says the lack of innovation growth can be attributed to the rate of unemployment in the country. He says that South Africa is not innovative enough to create solutions to current problems. Innovation and Cybersecurity Addressing cybercrime in Africa can be done by firstly creating the need for protection, says Mzimba. “At the moment we underestimate the cybersecurity threat and we are not ploughing enough resources to protect our boundaries and borders. Just as we have the army to protect us against invasion, we need protection against cyber-attacks.” Mzimba says that in order to address cybersecurity talent shortages, we must start with awareness and the need to do something about the problem. He says that all of this requires the powers that are in the private sector and the government sector to channel resources and find people who have the ability to create solutions around cybersecurity. The Index notes that South African companies preparing for 2018 should take note of how Innovation Leaders enable, measure and drive success.

By Fundisiwe Maseko

“At the moment we underestimate the cybersecurity threat and we are not ploughing enough resources to protect our boundaries and borders. Just as we have the army to protect us against invasion, we need protection against cyberattacks”

IT News Africa Magazine |


Customers are the driving force

in business I

ICT solutions in Kenya and throughout

In a climate where customer feedback


has become an essential part of a

Officer of Kenyan company mSurvey,

mSurvey was launched in 2012

company’s business strategy, IT News

about how African companies

and is the only global mobile-first

Africa Magazine spoke to Claire about

are using their technology to gain

consumer experience and feedback

the inspiration behind the business,

critical customer feedback in order

platform leveraging SMS and mobile

how the mSurvey technology works,

to enhance user experience and

messaging technology to simplify

how important it is for companies

customer relations.

access to credible, on-demand data

to leverage such technologies, the

Claire Munene has played a large

from Africa and other emerging

importance of customer feedback, the

role in placing mSurvey as a leader

regions. Leveraging the growing

changing face of user experience and

in scalable conversations between

reach of mobile phones, mSurvey’s

how African companies are adopting

customers and businesses as

robust platform enables users to

the technology.

mSurvey’s COO. Prior to mSurvey,

engage in real time conversations at

Claire spent 12 years working in

scale, connecting them directly to

multiple senior roles with Safaricom,

people anywhere and on any topic.

the creators of mobile money, M-PESA,

Delivering elusive data from hard-

where she contributed to 70% of

to-reach communities, mSurvey is

Safaricom’s revenue mainly through

quenching the thirst for fresh, credible

product management and marketing.

data that powers growth, ideas and

In keeping with her motivation to drive

innovation. mSurvey’s proprietary

business growth in Africa, Claire is also

mobile-first research platform serves

very involved in various innovation

customers across the globe, providing

T News Africa Magazine spoke to Claire Munene, the Chief Operating

IT News Africa Magazine spoke to Claire Munene, the Chief Operating Officer of Kenyan company mSurvey, about how African companies are using their technology to gain critical customer feedback in order to enhance user experience and customer relations. and acceleration initiatives and

unprecedented access to rich, real-

spearheaded the launch of Safaricom

time data from select or random

Academy, a program that seeks to

populations in Africa. Headquartered

develop leadership skills and increase

in Nairobi, mSurvey continues to grow

students’ entrepreneurial spirit to meet

with regional offices in San Francisco,

the growing demand for innovative


1. What was the inspiration behind mSurvey? Kenfield Griffith, Founder and CEO of mSurvey, a Caribbean of Bajan/ Montserratian descent, was a PhD student at MIT when he created mSurvey. While there, he spent months experimenting with geometric models, computations and algorithms, trying to bring his building automation innovation to Kenya. After running into several roadblocks, Ken realised the problem wasn’t the technology, but a basic lack of contextual data - proving that empathy drives innovation. The challenge inspired him to reinvent the way information influences decision making, solving a problem that he and most would-be entrepreneurs and businesses in emerging markets face - a lack of actionable, credible, contextual data.

IT News Africa Magazine |


Most definitely. The focus on customer experience has increased as we have seen a shift from product-focused solutions to a more consumer focused one. Companies are realising that getting a deeper understanding of their customers’ needs and experience is an area that will allow them to survive and thrive in a competitive environment as well as in a sustainable manner.

6. Making use of analytics, how can the customer feedback shape a company’s ideas/strategy? Customer feedback is the solution for businesses to receive credible data,

2. Can you explain how mSurvey works and how it leverages digital technologies? We are fundamentally shifting the way information is collected in the emerging markets. We use cloud computing connected directly to mobile network operators to enable users to connect with, and get feedback directly from their target audience. Using mSurvey’s intuitive web interface, users can design structured conversations, similar to customised bots, and push survey questions as chats to the mobile phones of a targeted, local audience or a random, diverse population – whether it’s one, one thousand or one million. The SMS surveys can be triggered at the respondent’s convenience, unlike traditional tools which can be time consuming and typically more expensive. Responses begin to roll in within minutes, and as mSurvey aggregates, assesses and analyses them in real time, users can view trends and takeaways illustrated on a visualised data stream.

3. How important is it for businesses to take advantage of technologies which provide them with critical customer feedback? Very important. Customers are the driving force in business, which means that it is absolutely necessary that they not only interact with their customers, but they understand their customers’ needs. The use of data is a door opener to economic growth, entrepreneurship and development, and offers businesses access to precise insights needed for critical, contextual and timely decision making.

4. In your opinion, how are new digital technologies changing the customer/user experience? New digital technologies are transforming the customer experience through optimised options from the customer’s perspective as well as delivering exceptional experience that is more individualised as opposed to more traditional mass forms of interaction.

5. Has there been an increased focus on the customer/user experience?

which then makes it easy to navigate new terrain, deliver stellar service as well as efficiently tackle business challenges.

7. From an African perspective, are African companies leveraging these technologies and what more can be done? New market entrants have started to disrupt traditional business models by introducing digital technology at various parts of the value chain; this is evident in Africa’s Financial Services industry. New entrants are also leveraging mobile technology to bring down costs, achieve reach and increase trust. An example of this is the use of the mobile wallet that has been used not only to send and receive money in previously hugely untapped and unbanked markets, but also to offer credit and other unique services. A focus into other sectors other than Financial Services, such as Health, Education and Agriculture, needs to be done in these markets to exploit the potential of leveraging digital technologies that have been demonstrated in the Financial Services sector.

By Dean Workman

IT News Africa Magazine |


IS CRuCIAL TO SuRVIVAL DEON KATz Head of Investec Private Bank South Africa


IT News Africa Magazine |


IT News Africa Magazine recently spoke to the head of Investec Private Bank in South Africa in an interview which looks to uncover how the company embraces innovation. IT News Africa Magazine recently

including lending, FX trading and

As with any business, innovation is our

spoke to the head of Investec Private

account services.

lifeblood. Without it, the risk is your

Bank in South Africa in an interview

In his previous role, Katz worked in

products and services become stale

which looks to uncover how the

the Growth and Acquisition finance

and your clients don’t feel they are

company embraces innovation.

team at Investec. He later became the

getting value for their money. They’ll

Investec is an international specialist

head of banking for the Johannesburg

bank and asset manager that

Private Bank.

provides a diverse range of financial

Katz holds a Dip Law (Higher diploma

products and services to a niche

financial law, financial planning and

client base in three principal markets:

services) from the University of the

the United Kingdom and Europe,

Free State. He also holds an MBA and

South Africa and Asia/Australia, as

a CFP and has, in addition, completed

well as certain other countries. The

executive programmes at Harvard

group was established in 1974 and

Business School and Singularity

currently has approximately 9 700



In this interview, IT News Africa

Investec aims to deliver distinctive

Magazine spoke to Katz about

profitable solutions for its clients in

how Investec has continued to be

three core areas of activity, namely

innovative over the years, what sort

Asset Management, Wealth &

of innovations they focus on, how

Investment, and Specialist Banking. It

the company encourages constant

is thus imperative that the company is

innovation, how important it is

of the ordinary client experience we

able to remain agile and innovative in

for African companies to remain

offer. It’s something we have always

order to continue producing results in

innovative and the main challenges

been known for and remains firmly

quickly move on to find what they’re looking for. Investec is known for our personal connection with our clients. We take the time to get to know them, both personally and professionally, and through extensive research, we continually personalise, tailor and innovate our products and services to what our clients really want and need. This is how Investec came into being. Our clients are global citizens and require banking and investment products and services, both locally and internationally. Our strongest competitive differentiator however, is the 24/7 out

at Investec’s core; embedded into the

Deon Katz is the Head of Investec Private Bank South Africa. He is responsible for private capital, property finance and banking. He also oversees marketing and client value proposition including lending, FX trading and account services.

fabric and culture of the organisation. What are some of the innovations that resulted in the company being awarded the best private bank and wealth manager in South Africa? For the past few years we have focused on our international offering

a constantly changing environment.

facing organisations who are looking to

to ensure we offer our clients banking

Deon Katz is the Head of Investec

become more innovative.

and investment services, both locally

Private Bank South Africa. He is

and internationally, through Investec.

responsible for private capital, property

Investec has over the years shown

Some of our more recent innovations

finance and banking. He also oversees

consistent innovation, what has kept

include our Youth Account, Investec

marketing and client value proposition

the organisation on top of its game?

Life, philanthropy services and pension funds solutions.

IT News Africa Magazine |

funds solutions. Digital innovation is

and adapt in a fast-changing world

and threats presented by changes in

also a key focus for us and underpins

without ever losing the Investec touch.

the economy, market, competitive

our business. For example, Investec

A practical example of how we

landscape and client preferences.

Online enables our clients to get a

encourage innovation is our annual

Organisations then need to process

real-time consolidated view of their

hackathon. Hundreds of employees

these learnings internally to find

banking and investment accounts, on

in South Africa and the UK get 24

one platform, with one login. We’ve

hours to work in cross-skilled teams

also introduced ‘My Investments,’

on specific innovation projects

for self-directed or guided investing,

from conception to practical

‘Manage my finances,’ where clients

implementation. Many of these

get a holistic view of their income

projects have been incorporated

and spending, and ‘Manage My Life’

successfully into our business, with

including ‘My will,’ where clients can

very positive results.

organise all their personal information

When people have purpose and are

and documents in one secure online

inspired and engaged, they unlock


an inner drive to help the business innovate, succeed and deliver great

How is Investec encouraging

results for our clients.

innovation within the organisation? Why is it important that

How important is it for organisations,

organisations include people

especially in Africa, to have an

when they evolve to become more

innovative approach to their business

innovative in their business?

or incorporate technology into business dealings?

We celebrate the individuality of


solutions, either in the form of technology or improvements in their offering, to remain competitive and relevant into the future. For Africa, the technology doesn’t have to be the most complex or the most expensive. Often, it’s a solution that can be quickly implemented, can scale and is cost effective. It’s about being smart, and solving a need. What do you think are some of the challenges that organisations who want to become innovative face? Organisations say that innovation is crucial to survival, but in practice, they often resist changing a formula that has worked for them previously, especially if they have a proven business model. If leadership does not

our people and strive to create

Africa has a unique culture, and faces

have the passion and vision to push

a stimulating and progressive

a particular set of opportunities and

the boundaries continually and make innovation a priority, the rest of the

Organisations say that innovation is crucial to survival, but in practice they often resist changing a formula that has worked for them previously, especially if they have a proven business model

organisation will struggle to make it happen. You have to have the skill and will to innovate and, most of all, the desire to add value to your clients. Investec is fortunate to have an innovation culture, with entrepreneurial people and leadership that wholeheartedly supports innovation and ongoing client focus.

working environment that enables

challenges. Traditional first world

extraordinary performance. We employ

solutions might not always address

people from various academic, ethnic

the nuances of the African context, so

and social backgrounds, but all our

people and businesses are challenged

people share a commonality in that

constantly to find practical solutions

they’re entrepreneurial free thinkers

and to innovate.

with a social conscience in line with our

To innovate successfully, organisations

culture. The alchemy of our culture and

need to look externally at the macro

our people empowers us to innovate

environment to identify opportunities

By Fundisiwe Maseko

ITNews Africa Magazine |


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION CONGRESS 2018 Redefining the future organisation through Digital



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IT News Africa Magazine |

Da Vinci institute Integrating technology, innovation, people and systems could result in an aligned workforce


IT News Africa Magazine |

Business management is defined as the process which enables managerial leaders to make value judgements on ways to improve the performance of their operations using processes that include technologies relevant in the market


he Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management is a managerial leadership school that is focused on the creation of trans-disciplinary, socially relevant knowledge and of which the intent is to find solutions to practical work-based problems for future business leaders and innovative entrepreneurs. The institute aims to equip managerial leaders with the relevant tools to enable them to appreciate the importance of (and contribute to) the socioeconomic transformation of South Africa. Through the TIPS framework, Da Vinci enables managerial leaders to thoroughly understand technology management, innovation management, people management, systems management as well as business management. Business management is defined as the process which enables managerial leaders to make value judgements on ways to improve the performance of their operations using processes that include technologies relevant in the market. It also includes human interface as well as innovative processes. Speaking about the origins of the TIPS framework, Da Vinci Chief Executive Officer/ Vice-President, Prof Benjamin Anderson said, “The management of technology, innovation and people in a systemic context found its origins in the work that has been done over the past 26 years in the TT100


business innovation Awards programme.” “In the beginning years, we were curious in understanding, how people manage technology and how they make linkages in managing the results into innovations. In doing so, we realised that the companies who demonstrated competence in managing their technologies efficiently and effectively, and those who at the same time managed to put forward certain innovative constructs and commercialise them in the company DNA, start[ed] seeing a more agile engagement at work,” he added. As part of their findings, Da Vinci realised that people were more interested in how problems are probed as opposed to how they are solved. The institute also found that people were also excited about creating solutions. “As time went on, organisations started talking to us about how they engage and manage their people in ensuring the sustainability of the technology they have in place, as well as the longevity of the innovations that they are starting to emerge in. We then started seeing a more integrated picture emerging. The first was [that] the companies that had good management of technology, engagement and good management (of people) practices seem to be more aligned and can align themselves to changes in the world of work,” said Prof Benjamin. When there is a recession, an uncalled-for crisis or changes in legislation, companies that manage technology successfully can be more sensitive towards the changes and align themselves to the emerging emergencies.

IT News Africa Magazine |

“We then saw a linkage between the

establishment of a system to ensure

way these companies managed their

continuous development of new

people in the workplace and the way

innovations. We may not already be

they manage the innovation; this

the bright sun or the bright star, but

results in companies getting a more

we are definitely the rising sun.”

engaged workforce. The companies

Prof Benjamin believes that the

that were successful on those axes will

integration of the TIPS core themes

talk easily about how they are involved

could result in organisations being

in other community projects, how they

more agile, more aligned and having

are involved in reaching out to new communities, how diverse they are in their thinking of people being at work,” said Prof Benjamin. “The linkages between how you manage your technology, your innovation and your people brought the frame of a more agile, a more aligned and more engaged workforce,”

a more engaged workforce. He said, “These three principals or energies are critical in suggesting sustainable socioeconomic development both within an organisation and outside of it. The TIPS framework is not the only frame that could facilitate socio-economic development, but I’m sure that it makes a real contribution.”

said Prof Benjamin. Prof Benjamin says the risk is [that] organisations not balancing technology, innovation and people will ultimately show a detrimental effect on the bottom line. Speaking about Africa embracing technology, Prof Benjamin says that the fact that there may be easier access to technologies in some of the

The management of technology, innovation and people in a systemic context found its origins in the work that has been done over the past 26 years in the TT100 Business Innovation Awards programme.” developed socio-economic contexts doesn’t necessarily mean that people are not competent in utilising those technologies in Africa. According to Prof Benjamin, the continent’s people practices is a strength; he says, “… but I am not sure that we are embracing enough the

By Fundisiwe Maseko


IT News Africa Magazine |


Focusing on the management of technology created or invented by human beings

The Da Vinci Institute for Technology

Framework for Managerial Leadership.

Management is an educational

Over the years, we have realised

establishment for higher learning

that there are linkages between

which aims to cultivate managerial

the Management of technology (T),

leaders to contribute towards the

innovations (I), people (P) and systems

development of sustainable societies.

(S) in a systemic way. We realised

The use of the term technology, as we

that organisations which manage

define it, reflects the emergence of

their innovations and systems in

a significant link between scientific

collaborations with how they manage

knowledge, technical capabilities and

technology demonstrated more

industrial production. At the Institute,

“AGILITY” in dealing with change.

we co-create realities with our students

At the same time, organisations

and stakeholders by understanding

that linked the way they manage

industry,” or “advances in computer

and explaining why in recent years

technology and systems with a clear

technology,” or “machinery and devices

technology has come to be viewed

understanding of how they manage

developed from scientific knowledge.”

as a crucial competitive factor.

people showed more “ALIGNMENT”

These perceptions are limited and

Technology is designed according

with current realities. We also realised

limiting in defining and explaining

to the specific objectives pursued

that organisations that became aware

in our engagements with students

and connected the dots between how

The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management is an educational establishment for higher learning which aims to cultivate managerial leaders to contribute towards the development of sustainable societies. & stakeholders. We believe that it is

they manage their people, systems

suited for examining the competitive

and innovations, seem to be more

impact of technology, and for

“ENGAGED” with internal people and

improving the strategic management

external stakeholders.

of technology.

In this article, the focus is on ‘technology’ as one of the pillars of the

At the Da Vinci Institute, the


Management of Technology is part

There is a simple definition for

of a meta-frame which we call TIPS

technology: technology is anything

for productive use, leisure or other means. However, in the popular media, when people speak about technology, it usually relates to information technology. Information technology in fact only encompasses computers and electronics, and could therefore be seen to be a part of a much larger body of knowledge. Nevertheless, even dictionaries define technology as “the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes, especially in

what technology is. Below is an illustration of how the word technology is used most often in our time :

• She is a technology addict. • Technology is always changing. • We live in the age of technology. • We need an expert in green technology

• Some people argue that technology has negative effects.

• The use of new technology is attracting more customers.

• Old people have difficulty

understanding modern technology.

• Modern technology has made our lives more comfortable.

• Old words often take on new meanings because of inventions and technology.

• Encryption technology has advanced to the point where it’s pretty reliable

IT News Africa Magazine |

Throughout the ages, an inextricable link between technology and competitive advantage has emerged. In the modern era, there is the recognition that there is a danger when organisations do not seek to pursue renewal processes in keeping with technological developments.

artificial intelligence. This perception

be a contributor to the blurring of

tends to focus on category 9 as listed

boundaries between organisations/

above. The challenge for us is to be

organisational functions/industrial

proactive in making advances in the

sectors, which were previously clearly

area of “Electronics & Computers.”

differentiated, and could thus lead

Concurrently, we need to encourage ourselves, students and stakeholders to engage in advancing technology in other areas. Technological development has nevertheless been a feature of human endeavour throughout time. In

The Da Vinci Institute encourages

every age (see below), appropriate

the understanding of roots of words

technologies were discovered and

and practices. Promoting a research-


oriented mind-set is part of our DNA. We encourage our stakeholders to dig into literature to contextualise and lay foundations for their problem- solving


Throughout the ages, an inextricable link between technology and competitive advantage has emerged.

to the formation of new entities. Alternatively, technological change can result in the further segmentation of a business into a set of businesses, clearly distinct from one another. At the Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management we believe that all people are technologists. Every one of us who knows how to do something in a certain way using a tool or a device, be it pencils, computers, or machines, is a technologist. We participate in the management of technology of

and innovation. The research indicates that we can classify technology into nine categories of technology: 1.

Food & Agriculture


Tools & Devices

3. Materials 4. Communications 5.

Architecture & Construction

6. Energy 7. Transportation 8.

Medical Technology


Electronics & Computers

The concept of technology is different from the notion of technique. The use of the term technology, as we define it, reflects the emergence of a significant link between scientific knowledge, technical capabilities and industrial production. Techniques, on the other hand, are used or applied, whereas technology is created and continuously improved. We believe that organisations manage technology in order to achieve a competitive advantage. Against this background, there is the

In the modern era, there is the recognition that there is a danger when organisations do not seek to pursue renewal processes in keeping with technological developments. This

builders of factories or financial plans, whether we use language labs or lasers in whatever we do. In our engagement with students and other stakeholders,

may lead to organisational decline.

we put an effort to remind them of

It is therefore important to identify

the simplicity of the technology as

which technologies would be most

instruments, and the complexity of the

appropriate and how to implement

effective management of technologies.

new strategies to achieve sustainable growth, always keeping in mind that

Source: Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans

technological developments should

(1993), The Timetables of Technology: A

support and enhance business

chronology of the Most Important People and

growth (not replace it). Remaining

Events in the History of Technology, New York,

up to date with the latest technology


may be one of the most daunting tasks faced by managers. This is

view that we are entering the “Fourth

because technological change can

Industrial Revolution Era”, which in

impact the departments within an

terms of modern-day technologies,

organisation and can change the way

encompass advanced digital

in which activities are organised and/

technology, robotics, 3D printing and

or separated. Technology could also

our age as teachers, auto designers,

Source: Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans (1993), The Timetables of Technology: A chronology of the Most Important People and Events in the History of Technology, New York, Touchstone.

The Da Vinci Institute: Publishing

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IT News Africa Magazine |



science and technology

minister hails tt100 awards

The TT100 Awards uses a unique adjudication process to assess what drives companies that demonstrate excellence in the management of innovation and technology. The Da Vinci TT100 Business Innovation Awards took

is really important; it is not just about the profit

place at the Country Club in Johannesburg, South

youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re making as an organisation or the number of

Africa on the 15th of November, 2017. The platform

persons you employ, it is a set of very rigorous criteria

gives recognition to companies that use technology

that are utilised to examine the capabilities and the

to innovate and manage the process of creating new

achievements of these companies. I think that rigour is

technologies. For 26 years, Da Vinci has been identifying

unusual in an awards process.â&#x20AC;?

leaders in the management of technology and

The TT100 Awards are open to businesses of all sizes

innovation and this year was no different.

that have been in operation for more than a year. State-

In an interview with IT News Africa Magazine, Science

owned enterprises were also invited to participate. The

and Technology minister Naledi Pandor said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having

TT100 Awards uses a unique adjudication process to

an institute like Da Vinci that is involved in this process

assess what drives companies that demonstrate

IT News Africa Magazine |


excellence in the management of

products, new processes and new

that we support small and medium-

innovation and technology.


sized enterprises to innovate, to

“Some of these companies are

Pandor says that the real challenge in

perform research and development,

significant medium-sized corporations,

South Africa is that the country does

and to absorb new technology because

others are small, but what we are

not produce enough local technologies

we have realised that these three

seeing is that they are very inventive

to make a real difference in the global

and strategic in their thinking. Some of

market of innovators. “We really have

elements prevent them from being

them are young companies that have a

to look at how we can improve our

potential to grow,” said the minister.

capabilities in terms of producing

“It is important for us to recognise

greater amounts and types of local

technology companies that are

technology,” she says.

innovative and to profile them in South

It is predicted by the department that

Africa. We don’t sufficiently highlight

there will be more small and medium

the role that such companies play in

enterprises emerging in the country.

enhancing business activity in our

Pandor said, “All the interventions

country,” added the Minister.

by the department have shown that

Pandor says that because technology

the country will see the emergence

is a sector that is beginning to grow

of more start-ups, which is what the

in the country, the importance of

country desperately needs. Although

emerging technology companies is

we don’t know how many start-ups

crucial to the economy. Addressing

we see mushrooming will survive, we

the entrants of the TT100 Awards,

know that there is immense potential

the minister said, “As your company

for growth in this sector and huge

succeeds and grows, I hope one of the

potential to impact on our technology

things you will do is look to others and

balance of payments in a very positive

help them to secure the experience


and knowledge you’ve gained.”

The minister believes that there are not

“Having an institute like Da Vinci that is involved in this process is really important; it is not just about the profit you’re making as an organisation or the number of persons you employ, it is a set of very rigorous criteria that are utilised to examine the capabilities and the achievements of these companies. I think that rigour is unusual in an awards process.”

competitive,” she said. The department has technology stations throughout the country that have provided support to more than 2000 small and medium size firms annually. With plans to extend the current model, the department wants to increase their reach. “We want to extend our ability for walk-in support at our technology stations, we also want to increase the geographic reach of our nano-technology station that we provide at the Council for Science and Industrial Research (CSIR) throughout the country so that any SME requiring technology support can have access to it and grow in capacity and competence,” said the minister. According to a study by the department, South African businesses spend, on average, 2 percent of their turnover on innovation activities. Pandor says businesses are very clear about the factors that hamper their innovation activities and that the key inhibiting factors are a lack of funding from internal resources, the high cost of innovation and the market dominance by established enterprises. “We have the capabilities in South Africa, but we are not exploiting new technologies and what they can do for

The department has many initiatives

enough entrepreneurs; she says South

that aim to assist and aid technology

Africa needs to have a start-up culture

enterprises. The minister said, “One of

which will see everybody in the country

the things that we are keen on as the

having a livelihood, and become a

department of Science and Technology

promising nation that is globally

is to encourage local innovation


because our country has to intensively

“As the department of Science and

grow the use of opportunities for new

Technology, we are trying to ensure

our businesses and for public service delivery,” concluded Pandor.

By Fundisiwe Maseko

IT News Africa Magazine |


TT100 Award

on a global drive, we are going into

winners revealed

Performance and the Small Enterprise


an excess of 23 countries as we grow our market share and penetrate new markets.” The Department of Science and Technology Director General Award for Overall Excellence - Emerging Enterprise, went to Passion for award went to Hear X Group. The TT100 Award for Excellence in the Management of Technology for Emerging Enterprise went to Brucol Global development; Small Enterprise goals.

went to Cura Risk Management

Grant Smith, General Manager of

Software; Medium Enterprise Award

in Johannesburg, South Africa on

projects at SSG Consulting said, “What

went to Globaltrack and the Large

Wednesday, 15 November, 2017

sets us apart as a technology company

Enterprise award went to Altech

saw South Africa’s most innovative

is the way we approach innovation; we


companies recognised for being

are a young group of people and we

The TT100 Award for Excellence in the

role models in the management of

play hard and work hard.”

management of people - Emerging

innovation, technology, people and

“For SSG consulting, as well as our

Enterprise went to This is Me, Small

systems. These companies have

software product, Key360, we are

Enterprise award went to X/procure

demonstrated their excellence in co-

moving towards a more global

software, Medium went to BCX Accsys,

creating new workplace realities.

expansion. Winning an award like

The recipients of the awards showed

this one will definitely impact our

and the Large Enterprise award went

excellence in the management of

company. It is legitimacy to a lot of

Technology, Innovation, People and

our hard-working people behind the

Systems. This is based on The Da

scenes,” said Smith.

Vinci Institute’s trademarked TIPS

The Department of Science &


Technology Ministers Award for Overall

The TT100 Awards participants receive

Excellence - Large Enterprise, went to

intensive, customised feedback on how

electronics company, PFK Electronics.

they manage technology, innovation,

PFK Electronics was established

people and systems, enabling them

in 1985 and specialises in

to improve the way they operate their

innovative automotive solutions for


manufacturers, the aftermarket, major

One of the most prestigious awards,

fleet and freight companies, and the

the Department of Science &

public transport sector.

Technology Ministers Award for Overall

PFK Electronics offers tailored solutions

Excellence - Small Enterprise, was

which are produced in-house under

given to SSG consulting.

two brands, namely Autowatch and

SSG consulting has been around

PFK Shurlok.

since the end of 2007 and has a solid

Finance executive, Craig Hilary said,

foundation in local and international

“The drive for what we do sets us apart.

mining projects and petrochemical

We focus on innovation, team work

industries. Through Key360, a Business

and on making sure that we love what

Intelligence software platform for

we do. We make sure that we always

project management and business

satisfy our customers’ needs.”

process functions, SSG consulting

Speaking about their plans for the

helps major companies to achieve their

future, Craig said: “PFK electronics is

he TT100 Business Innovation Awards 2017 that took place

to Nelito systems. The TT100 Award for Excellence in the Management of Sustainability - Emerging Enterprise went to Passion4Performance International, Small Enterprise was jointly taken by X/procure Software and I AM Emerge, Medium Enterprise Awards went to SSG consulting, Large Enterprise Award went to PFK Electronics and Altech Netstar. The TT100 Award for Excellence in the Management of Systems - Emerging Enterprise went to Passion4Performance International, Small Enterprise went to X/procure software, Medium Enterprise went to Space Advisory Company and Large Enterprise went to PFK Electronics. The TT100 Award for Excellence in the Management of Innovation - Emerging enterprise went to Brucol Global development, Small Enterprise went to Hear X Group, Medium Enterprise went to SSG consulting and Large Enterprise went to PFK Electronics.

By Fundisiwe Maseko

IT News Africa Magazine |

Digital Africa Digital transformation accelerates business growth

Deriving true value from digital

weaken under the pressure of those

transformation demands vision, insight

who have. Digital transformation isn’t

and investment. It’s not dipping the

bold leaps or tentative dabbling, it is a

proverbial toe into digital, nor is it the

measured and tactical approach that

bold, brave leap. Done with intent, it

maps corporate vision to deliverable

is strategic and sustainable. Research

reality. The clichéd comparisons

undertaken by International Data

with Netflix, Uber and Airbnb are

Corporation (IDC) and Microsoft

unremitting for a reason – they

South Africa found that 20% of South

came out of nowhere, they were fast

African organisations are wary of

and they completely changed the

investment into the concept of digital

landscape. The organisations they

transformation because they do not

disrupted are scrambling to catch up

believe it is relevant, and 20% believe

and keep customers. The problem is

they have more pressing business

that unless a business is ahead of the

matters. They are right, if looking at

transformation curve, it will always

digital transformation through the

be playing catch-up. IDC’s research

wrong end of the microscope. These

also found 80% of South African

statistics highlight some of the most

organisations believe that they lack

common digital transformation

the funding needed to undergo

misconceptions - the impact of

digital transformation. However, by

disruption won’t happen to us, it is

transforming into digital businesses,

just a trend that’s riding on the wave

companies are able to optimise

of hype; we have enough time. The

operations, make the business more

reality is that other industries and

responsive to both challenges and

organisations are already investing in

opportunities in the market, improve

these technologies, and those who

service levels, and reduce costs with

don’t, run the risk of slipping into

intelligent processes that anticipate

obscurity. Volatile markets, currency

the future and coordinate people

fluctuations and tightening corporate

and assets more efficiently. Thus, the

wallets are shaking the foundations

process does not only end up paying

of business and investment. A report

for itself (ROI), but actually streamlines

from Forrester that details how

the business’s overall operations to

businesses can go about transforming

save the company even more money

digitally sums up the situation neatly

in the long run. Moreover, if an

- companies that fail to transform will

organisation isn’t ahead of the


IT News Africa Magazine |


Research undertaken by International Data Corporation (IDC) and Microsoft South Africa found that 20% of South African organisations are wary of investment into the concept of digital transformation because they do not believe it is relevant, and 20% believe they have more pressing business matters. competition and market, they may

information sharing. This helps make

problems. It would just be another

not exist in 10 years’ time. How does

every customer interaction more

technology investment that cost

the business take on the digital

meaningful and goes a long way in

money and didn’t deliver results. What

mantle without looking down the

deepening customer relationships.

the business needs is technology

barrel of bankruptcy? This perhaps

The latter provides businesses with a

that breaks down the silos between

is the most important question

real-time view of virtually every facet

CRM and ERP, that brings the back

that should be asked before digital

of their operations - from production

office into the front, and that allows

transformation is even considered

and inventory, through to order

for the business to benefit from

- when does the investment start,

processing. This solution allows for easy

comprehensive synergies. This is when

and where? It is a three-step process:

integration into existing IT systems,

the data and the deliverables defeat

hire external support to gain an

and offers companies seamless links

the competition – complete system

accurate view of the business and

into social selling software, enables

integration. IDC’s research found

its processes, assess the corporate

employees to gain actionable insight

that digital transformation has a 48%

vision and its sustainability against

and allows them to visualise these

lower initial cost than organisations

market and demand, then invest in

insights by turning data into easily

realise, and that it delivers the

the technology that can turn these

comprehensible charts. With Microsoft

scalability, access and flexibility they

goals into reality. Ask questions. Why

Dynamics 365, there is only one version

need to remain relevant. It allows

does this process have to be followed?

of the truth as the solution provides

them to set themselves apart from

Why does this need to be optimised?

comprehensive insight into everything

the competition when it comes to

What is the strategic reason for this

happening across the organisation

customer engagement – millennials

business process? One size fits all is

at any point in time. There aren’t a

don’t care about brands, they care

for fashion, not technology. Digital

thousand Excel spreadsheets, manual

about experiences. Today, the qualities

transformation failure often happens

processes and varied versions of reality.

that differentiate a business aren’t its

because companies throw technology

These systems, when integrated across

products and services, they are the

at a problem without understanding

the company, can update immediately

business itself. Agility and speed to

why the problem is there in the first

and work both online and offline to

market, and the ability to collate and

place. Purchasing a shiny new solution

include all levels of employee and

analyse data to enhance research

only to populate it with the same old

application. It sounds simple, but this

and development and drive customer

Digital transformation isn’t bold leaps or tentative dabbling, it is a measured and tactical approach that maps corporate vision to deliverable reality. systems and issues will only deliver

level of communication is what lifts the

the same old issues and systems.

constraints around productivity and

Technology must be tied to strategy;

allows the organisation to adapt 36

it must know the problem it is going

and pivot on demand. However,

to solve, and it must integrate across

the business will only achieve these

silos. Two of the most important

vaunted levels of capability if it follows

tools to implement are Customer

a clear strategy and ensures complete

Relationship Management (CRM) and

integration. There won’t be any new

Enterprise Resource Management

deals if the CRM system isn’t being

(ERP). The former allows for real-time

run across all silos, isn’t supported

communication and customer-relevant

by executives and isn’t solving any

acquisitions - these are the results of a digital transformation strategy done right.

By Kethan Parbhoo Chief Marketing and Operations Officer at Microsoft SA

IT News Africa Magazine |


Top 5 ways artificial intelligence can support your business A

other, making them redundant to the

With all this in mind, Sage, accounting

human employees ‘in charge.’

and payroll platform providers, have

science fiction and fantasy films. But

This is an extreme example though.

identified 5 ways in which A.I. can be

we’ve come a long way since ‘Skynet.’

There are many practical A.I.

applied to a business.

Only a few months ago, Facebook

applications that can support the day-

deactivated a chatbot project, as

to-day running of a business, and you

the bots had developed their own

don’t need to be a Robotics Engineer

language to communicate with each

to learn how to use them.

rtificial Intelligence (A.I.) has for decades been the subject of

IT News Africa Magazine |

How can A.I. be used in business?


algorithms can track user behaviour

can choose to publish (or not!), and

and improve your ad targeting. Most

provides a detailed analysis of how the

A.I. technology uses algorithms to

of us are familiar with Facebook for

performance of your page, posts and

analyse data, sometimes from many

personal use, yet there is a suite of

events compared to similar pages (your

different sources, and then uses this

enhanced tools available ‘behind

data to spot vast amounts of data

the scenes’ for businesses that gives

competitors), on Facebook.

much faster than any data analyst,

you access to the goldmine of data

proving an effective tool for businesses.

held within Facebook’s platform. It’s

As highlighted by Facebook’s recent

intuitive, user-friendly and immediately

hiccup though, the key to success is


ensuring that your human employees

All you need to do to gain access is to

can work effectively together with your

create a ‘Page’ for your business.

A.I. applications.

Facebook ‘Insights’ provides you

In 2016, a Narrative Science survey

with a detailed analysis of your Page

found that 38% of enterprises were

performance, including ‘views’, ‘likes’

already using A.I. to automate manual,

and what demographic the posts

repetitive tasks, with this predicted

are reaching. It provides specific

to rise to 62% by 2018. However, a

information, such as the times during

Forrester survey conducted that same

which each group of people are most

year, found that 39% of businesses are

active, and the types of post they

still unclear about what A.I. can be

respond to most – helping you to

used for in a practical business context.

create new Facebook content that you

all can be enhanced by the use of A.I.

This shows a real gap in knowledge.

know your audience is going to like.


The science is moving fast, but us

For videos that you post, it tells you

Technology such as Arya uses big

business owners need it packaged in

how long individuals watched for, and

data alongside behavioural pattern

Sage has, this year, launched the world’s first accounting chatbot, ‘Pegg’, an A.I. virtual assistant designed specifically to help you manage your finances

2) Intelligent Candidate Matching for Recruitment From interview assistant Bots that can answer the same question over and over again, to video interviewing and passive candidate identification, the applications for A.I. in recruitment are vast, and can remove much of the ‘donkey work’ from a recruiter’s day. Creating job listings and posting them in the right places; using the right language to generate engagement from the right calibre of candidate -

recognition to provide you with the best candidates for your roles, matching candidate applications and specific criteria outlined in the job listing to create a long list of quality potential recruitees for a more personalized interaction.

an easy-to-implement way. (We’re not

even whether they had the volume

all experts in robotic science!)

turned on! This level of detail is invaluable to a small to medium-sized business, helping you to understand the audience you are reaching.

Here are 5 ways that A.I. applications

Perhaps you want to target a new

can be applied in multiple areas of

audience for your business, Facebook

your business today:

is a great platform to test new

1) Facebook for Business

products and content with this new

3) Chatbots Having sufficient staff to deal with telephone calls, emails and social media interactions around the clock, in a world that never sleeps, is one of the greatest challenges for any business. Making use of a ‘Chatbot’ might be

demographic, helping you to find out

the answer. Think: ‘Siri’ for the iPhone

what they do and do not like.

users out there. Gartner predicts that

It seems perhaps a little obvious to

‘Insights’ allows you to export data

by 2019, requests for customer support

mention Facebook, but it is a great

to Excel; it will draft posts for you

through mobile messaging apps will

example of how machine learning

based on posting history, that you

exceed customer support by traditional

IT News Africa Magazine |

social media and that by 2020, 85%

catastrophic. They gather critical

applications are not things that can

of customer interactions will be with

information from every sensor,

just be ‘bolted on’ to your business.

A.I. ING Bank, The Hyatt, Vodaphone

every moving part. The insight

For them to truly provide you with

and FedEx are all now using Chatbots

this information provides includes

to support their customer service

assessment of functionality and

accurate information, and efficiently


efficiency, but also the prediction of

Chatbots are created for a specific

mechanical failure, the automated

business purpose. For example, an

creation of maintenance schedules

online shop might create a chatbot

and, with machine-learning, intelligent

that will help you purchase something;

guidance to help you maximise your

instead of customers taking time to


browse a website, they could have a

As an example, DataRPM’s Cognitive

‘conversation’ with a Bot to explain what they are looking for, and the Chatbot then provides links to the products that fit the description. Another great application for Chatbots is to create your own personalised


perform the tasks they are designed to do, they need to be integrated with your existing technology, and the data sources need to be clean and accurate; that is, the data you get out will only be as good as the data you put in. A.I. is not something to be feared

A.I. technology uses algorithms to analyse data, sometimes from many different sources and then uses this data to spot trends and irregularities.

virtual assistant. Sage has, this year, launched the world’s first accounting chatbot,

Predictive Maintenance Platform,

‘Pegg’, an A.I. virtual assistant designed

integrates information from multiple

specifically to help you manage your

sources to analyse and provide insights

finances. Pegg can keep a real-time

on a single platform.

account of your expenses, track incoming payments, and automatically

5) A.I. Writers

balance your books. The more you interact with Pegg, the more

A.I. writers can be used to generate

intelligent the Chatbot will become,

data reports, for example: quarterly

adapting to how you work and

earnings, market data and regulatory

providing you with recommendations

reporting. Rather than employees

tailored to your business.

spending hours manually analysing

For customer service support, there

and compiling data, A.I applications

are many ‘bot builders’ available online.

can be used to automatically create

Try MEOKAY, an easy to use tool that

these reports. They work by collating

enables both skilled and unskilled

data from multiple sources within

developers take part in creating a

your business using predetermined

conversational Messenger Bot.

‘intent,’ or a set of inputted objectives,

4) Cognitive Technology for Asset Management

to ensure that the focus is on building strategy from statistics. Companies like PWC, Deloitte and MasterCard are using technology such

A.I. can be used within organisations

as Quill to do exactly that; the language

that use heavy machinery, to promptly

technology is reportedly so smart, that

detect faults and make real-time

it’s impossible to distinguish it from a

decisions - invaluable to businesses


where mechanical failure could be

Artificial Intelligence-based

either! It is not about replacing people but helping support people with the mundane and repetitive processes, allowing you to spend time on more proactive and productive tasks.

Edited by Dean Workman

IT News Africa Magazine |


DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION: AFRICAN COMPANIES THAT FAIL TO INNOVATE WILL NOT SURVIVE DIGITAL DISRUPTION disruption. They may even have the opportunity to lead in their industries. Tomorrow’s winners are those businesses that constantly look for new ways to fuel growth, that welcome the agility that cloud technologies bring, that embrace intelligent-enterprise capabilities, and strive to understand and deliver on customer expectations. Fuel for growth Digital is driving convergence across a number of industries, enabling new competitors to enter, and forcing companies to redefine how they compete. At the same time, there is added pressure from active investors in various industries

We are in the midst of a major

a span of just seven years, from 2005 to

technology revolution. Digital now

2012, the company lost half its revenue

dominates every sector of the economy

as new digital technology wiped out its

– it is reshaping industries, disrupting

lucrative film business.

and companies are determined

businesses and introducing new

Kodak’s experience is not all that

to survive this perpetual state of

operating models. It is also opening up

uncommon. Many businesses today

uncertainty by becoming lean and

new opportunities to create jobs and

are reluctant to take bold steps in

boost economic growth. Businesses

the face of innovation, new trends or

agile enough to focus on aggressive,

that are not ready for this revolution

challenges. Soon, these businesses

will struggle within the next seven

will be vulnerable to more forward-

years and beyond.

thinking and innovative competitors.

forward is clear: to grow, companies

In January 2012, The Eastman Kodak

Digital is the new imperative and

must proactively identify activities that

Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It

organisations who haven’t already

drive value, take out costs that are not

marked the end of an era for one of the

made the shift have no time to lose.

world’s greatest innovators, a company

They must take hold of the opportunity

contributing to business goals and

that played an important part in the

to innovate today to ensure that they

lives of millions of people for more than

survive tomorrow. Those who “Seize

130 years through the famous “Kodak

the Now” and embrace innovation are

the future, it’s already here. More

moment.” The change came swiftly. In

most likely to ride the wave of digital

businesses are finding that the sooner

who have a higher expectation for profitability. Speed is the new normal

sustainable growth. The task may be great and the stakes high, but the path

reinvest those savings into growth. Journey to cloud Cloud is not

IT News Africa Magazine |

NTOMbI MHANgwANI Africa Director for integrated marketing and communication

Companies that want to achieve the

meet customer expectations at all.

type of agility they need to succeed

Customers’ expectations are forged

in today’s business climate migrate

by their experiences of leading brands

to cloud while embracing a robust

across industries. They are brand and

ecosystem of cloud solutions - and

quality conscious‚ they seek out the

they’re teaming with Accenture to

latest trends (but watch their budget)

make the journey a safe, affordable and

and look out for personalised as well

profitable one.

as unique shopping experiences.

Intelligent enterprise The next level

However, many companies are still

of operational excellence will emerge

failing to deliver on these expectations.

from the latest gains in software

Businesses who are not ready

intelligence. Business and technology

for innovation – driven by digital

leaders must now view software

disruption – will lose customers who

intelligence not as a pilot or a once-off

are prepared for this modernisation,

project, but as an across-the-board

and companies that meet their needs

functionality – one that will drive

first will gain a competitive advantage

new levels of evolution and discovery,

difficult for rivals to overcome.

propelling innovation throughout the

A business that recognises the power

enterprise. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the many great examples. Intelligent customer management lifecycle. New research commissioned by Accenture Interactive in partnership with Forrester Consulting finds that most brands are falling short and customer expectations are outpacing experiences. Only seven percent (7%) of brands are exceeding customer expectations and, even worse, twenty-five percent (25%) don’t

of now, does not hesitate to innovate, take new technology on board, and stay ahead of the competition. It is always primed and ready to leap ahead, leaving opponents in its wake.

By Ntombi Mhangwani, Africa Director for Integrated Marketing & Communications at

Cloud is not the future, it’s already here. More businesses are finding that the sooner they adopt cloud technology, the better positioned they will be to compete.


IT News Africa Magazine |


DIGItal banKs are bECOMINg REALITy


he services offered by traditional banks are too restrictive for what smaller retailers require and

to offer smaller retailers a more flexible and affordable service that traditional banks are unable to offer

many of them are looking for alternative solutions.

because of their limiting risk management policies.

Disruption in the financial space is inevitable and

In the South African financial landscape, regulation

company heavyweights such as Discovery and

is not keeping pace with innovation. The upside

Outsurance are taking advantage of the financial

is reduced risk for financial institutions, but the

technology (fintech) opportunity and moving into this space. Digital banks are fast becoming a reality. We are already seeing that you no longer need a bank to transfer money, with fintech companies such as Transferwise, WorldRemit and Mukuru changing the way we send money to friends and relatives in neighbouring countries. In payments, emerging technologies such as SamsungPay, Apple Pay and other mobile wallets are breaking boundaries, and traditional brick and mortar stores like supermarkets are starting to accept these alternative methods of payment. This historically highly profitable area for the bank is under threat with improved options and better cost to the retailer. Payment-solution providers (PSPs) have the potential

downside is that it stifles innovation as well as alternative thinking, which impacts economic growth. It does, however, create a perfect space for PSPs like ourselves, because we have the agility to develop innovative new technology in rapid turnaround time â&#x20AC;&#x201C; we can deploy more agile risk assessment processes than the very traditional risk assessments employed by banks. With over 10 000 Sureswipe card machines in the market and having processed over R40 billion since 2008, we understand the tough economy and challenges that our customers - independent retailers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; operate in, and to this end, we provide a flexible and customizable full suite of offerings, which include tools to help them improve sales and enhance

IT News Africa Magazine |


customer loyalty.

were a big driver for this.

and secure platform. The increased

There had been a lot of hype around

In some European markets, the

number of inquiries we have received

the development of alternative

use of cash is regulated. In France

from retailers reflects this trend.

payment options in South Africa, but

for example, cash payment are not

Africa is a great opportunity to expand

this trend has somewhat subsided.

allowed above 1,000 Euros; these are

There were a number of players in the

beyond our borders, but it presents

all drivers of growth in electronic

field, but many of them have been


challenges for fintech companies like

unable to achieve economies of scale,

In South Africa, retailers in the informal

or achieve enough market share to

sector still rely mostly on cash as

get off the ground properly, forcing

the preferred and trusted means

them into a situation where they have

of transacting, based on historical

become survivalist businesses.

habits. PSPs such as Sureswipe can

But I still believe there is a lot of scope

add value to these retailers as there

and opportunity for PSPs. There is

is an opportunity to reduce cash in

an opportunity for smaller fintech

circulation - which decreases the risk

companies to consolidate, which would

of robbery, saves on cash-deposit fees

be more cost-effective and attractive

and brings informal traders into the

for the merchant.

formal economy. Another point of

There is also room for PSPs and

growth and opportunity for PSPs is

FinTech companies to identify new

e-commerce. According to a recent

partnerships and test alternative

Paypal survey, e-commerce spending

solutions to see what new possibilities

is predicted to increase in 2018 to R53

lie ahead. There are still failure points

billion from an estimated R37.1 billion

in the technology supply chain which

in 2017. As stated in World Wide Worx’s

present opportunities for the industry

South Africa Online Retail report

to collaborate and create more secure

released last year, online retail in this

and trustworthy payment platforms.

country will reach 1% of overall retail

Depending on where you get your

during 2016. Although this represents

statistics from, between 70% and 80%

a small percentage of the total retail

ourselves who offer payment solutions that require a high circulation of bankcards or mobile/digital wallets. You can have cards without payment solutions because people can still use ATMs, but you can’t have payment solutions without cards. The world of payments is changing and it is changing fast. Watch this space!

By Paul Kent, MD of Sureswipe

With over 10 000 Sureswipe card machines in the market and having processed over R40 billion since 2008, we understand the tough economy and challenges that our customers - independent retailers – operate in of retail transactions are done in cash.

market in South Africa, more and more

The huge amount of cash in circulation

brick-and-mortar stores are investing

in the country offers attractive

in some form of e-commerce platform

opportunities for payment solutions.

– and reliable payment portals for

Internationally it is not that different.

these platforms are crucial. As retailers

In the UK, for instance, the number of

increase the number of platforms they

electronic transactions only recently

transact on, they need a payment-

surpassed the number of cash

solution partner that can offer a full

transactions. Contactless payments

range of payment options on a trusted

IT News Africa Magazine |


Country Focus:

Technology - key to Kenya’s success


he 2017 general elections in Kenya made history when the Supreme


Africa. The country’s GDP growth is expected to decelerate to 5.5% in

Court called for a second round of

Labelled as the country with the fastest

2017 because of drought, weak credit

elections. Kenya is only the third

growing internet, Kenya’s internet

growth, security concerns and a rise in

country in the world and first in Africa

penetration is amongst the highest

oil prices, states the World Bank.

to annul a presidential election. The

on the continent, with an impressive

court annulled the August 2017 poll,

89.4 percent internet penetration

saying it was marred by “irregularities

according to Internet World Statistics,

and illegalities.”

and an impressive internet growth of

After the first elections in August 2017,

21.6 percent.

leader of the opposition party, Raila

In terms of speed, Kenya’s mobile

Odinga of the National Super Alliance

internet speed ranking is higher than

(NASA), who got 45 percent of the

some advanced economies such as

vote, deemed the elections unfair and

the USA. This is according to research

took his complaints to the Supreme

conducted by

Court. His victory at the courts was

During the 2017 general elections,

short-lived as Odinga boycotted

Kenya had in place some of the

the re-run elections still disputing

most advanced election technology.

its integrity and citing complicity of

This included a biometric voter

major companies, including telecom

registration process which involved

operator Safaricom, in electoral

capturing biological features such

misconduct. Uhuru Kenyatta came

as the fingerprints of prospective

out victorious, re-elected for a second

voters. Biometric features captured

term. According to the Independent

during voter registration were used

Electoral and Boundaries Commission

on Election day to verify the identity of

(IEBC), Kenyatta received 98.25 percent

those who registered.

of votes.

The electronic voter identification

It is reported that approximately 50

required a voter to present their

people had been killed (mostly by

biometrics for validation prior to voting.

security forces) since the original

The government also introduced a

elections, raising fears of sustained

results transmission system.

violence only a decade after 1,200

Telecommunication Kenya telecommunications market continues to undergo changes, with improved connectivity and major developments in the mobile markets. According to a report conducted by, the number of fibre broadband connections increased by 18 percent (18%) in 2016, year-onyear. Kenya has also seen a number of competitors rolling out national and metropolitan fibre backbone and wireless access networks to deliver services to population centres across the country. Safaricom continues to lead the telecoms industry in Kenya. The company solely distributed KIEMS (Kenya Integrated Elections Management System) tablet SIM cards to the 40,883 gazetted polling stations during the second elections in 2017. The decision was made by the IEBC owing to the company’s reliable

Growth of the economy

coverage across Kenya.

disputed vote. The political turmoil also

Although this East African country

diversified economy in East Africa

resulted in some companies suffering

might be faced with some political

significant losses.

turmoil, the country’s economic

The elections in Kenya reflected

growth has been quite steady.

the importance and relevance

According to the World Bank, Kenya’s

of technology. During the time,

economic growth has resumed after

the government acted on

facing some uncertainty in 2008. In

recommendations and had elections

2016, it reached 5.8 percent (5.8%),

electronic systems put in place by the

making Kenya one of the fastest

for 80 percent of the regions mobile

time of the 2013 poll.

growing economies in Sub-Saharan


people lost their lives in serious ethnic fighting triggered by another

The country has the largest and most and continues to be at the forefront of technology in Africa. The success of M-PESA is one of many examples. The money transfer service was launched by Safaricom in Kenya in 2007 and allows users to send money using their mobile devices. M-PESA accounts

By Fundisiwe Maseko

ITNews Africa Magazine |



2018 DATE: March 14-15, 2018

VENUE: Gallagher Convention Centre, Midrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

WHY ATTEND: Navigate the complex IoT ecosystem to identify partners, providers, and prospects. Hear about the technologies, platforms & devices that will power the future. Also hear from companies that have implemented revenue producing IoT solutions.

#IoTFA2018 For more info:

Tel: +27 11 026 0982 Email:

Register today at

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ITNews Africa Magazine |




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