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For many South Africans, it’s easy to imagine a setting where two different worlds exist side by side, and it is almost normal for one family to live lavishly while the other is barely able to make ends meet.

 

What is a bit more challenging to imagine however, is when an unfortunate series of events causes both families to collide in the most thrilling way – revealing a complex story of romance, social inequalities and prejudices. This is the very premise of Mzansi Magic’s fascinating new telenovela, Gomora.

 

 

For those in the know, Gomora is also the nickname of the famous and beloved Johannesburg Kasi, Alexandra. The hustle and bustle of the township and its colourful flavour is the vibrant home of the series, which explores the disparity between lower and upper-class members of our country, with the contrast between the two worlds brought to life through one of the most innovative filming styles.

 

 

“Our customers are in for a real treat with Gomora,” says Nomsa Philiso, Channel Director at Mzansi Magic. “It is a refreshing new series that narrates a riveting homegrown story and features a rich tapestry of strong female characters.”

This juicy new riches-to-rags telenovela premieres on Mzansi Magic (DStv 161) Monday, 30 March at 19:30.

 

 

Present meets past

Some of us are crawling along on the struggle bus, watching as the lucky few speed down life’s highway in their luxury cars. In a divided South Africa, the line between those two lives couldn’t be thinner than on the border between posh, swishy Sandton and the crowded, hard-working neighbouring township of Alexandra.

 

 

In this gilded life of snakes and ladders, a roll of the dice could see you plunging back into poverty, no matter whether you skipped up a ladder to riches and never looked back, or you’re painstakingly climbing your way from nothing, one block at a time. On the day of the fall, what matters is who you are, not what you have.

 

 

The star-studded cast of Gomora brings this brilliantly true-to-life texture to the series. Katlego Danke plays the role of Thathi, a spoiled princess who’s taken handouts her whole life…but that’s not all there is to her. Also leading in this well-made production are industry heavyweights like Connie Chiume, Themba Ndaba, Thembi Seete and Zolisa Xaluva among many others.

Home again

The series starts with trophy wife Thathi’s posh Sandton life being stripped away in an instant. And it leaves her with nowhere to turn but her past. This means returning to a life she was so desperate to escape that she’s never looked back. With no money and no job, Thathi is forced to pull her teenaged kids out of their private schools and enrol them in a public school in Alexandra.

 

 

And they’d better get ready for their new home with Thathi’s mom, Mam’Sonto (Connie Chiume) – a woman whose strict standards and grandmotherly care for her family mask her true nature as the local queen of crime.

Nice and poor?

Thandi’s catastrophe also catapults her right back into the life of a man she used, betrayed and shattered. Her ex-love Mondli Dlamini (Zolisa Xaluva) is now a school principal married to upright, street-smart social worker Gladys (Thembi Seete). But while the Dlaminis are poster-perfect examples of community conscious South Africa, they might not be the ideal parents they believe themselves to be. Their quest to take care of the whole world has left them heaping a lot more pressure than praise and affection on their teenaged son. As a result, he’s secretly letting off steam and living for kicks with his local gangster friends – lead by glamorous, dangerous MaZet (Siphesihle Ndaba), one of Mam’Sonto’s thugs. It all comes full circle.

 

 

Get into it!

All this drama barely scratches the surface of Gomora’s twisty Telenovella action, where everything is connected. It’s a world of paternity secrets, bitter sisters, gangs, tragic, lost love and consequences of choices that you can never take back.

But above all, we’ll be tuning in to watch those Sandton fish out of water as they get to grips with the costs, complexities and compromises involved in being poor. If you loved the contrast between lifestyles in drama series like Housekeepers (2019) Gomora will bring that home with even more intensity – and just as much secrecy and scandal.

Loco for local

Since 2018 DStv has invested over R2.5 billion in local movies and series. In 2020 the platform will be increasing its number of hours of local content by 12% – a strategy that continues to reap rewards as viewers take a “local is lekker” stance. And the proof is in the numbers. In January 2020, DStv’s top 10 shows by ratings were dominated by local sport, local reality and local soap. Give us a mirror of who we are right now in South Africa, and we can’t look away.

Gomora starts on Monday, 30 March on Mzansi Magic (161) at 19:30

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Digital Transformation in Africa

Posted by radio On March - 16 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

IDC defines Digital Transformation (DX) as applying new technologies to radically change processes, customer experience, and value. It allows organisations to support innovation and digital disruption rather than enhancing existing technologies and models.   At the core of digital transformation is what IDC calls the third platform which comprises four pillars; cloud, big data/analytics, social media, and mobility, with all these allowing enterprises to digitally transform in various areas such as new customer contact channels, product innovation, market segmentation among other areas. Further, these four pillars support various innovation accelerators that include; NextGen security, IoT, AR/VR. Cognitive systems, robotics, and 3D printing.

However, there are various challenges organisations currently face when thinking about digital transformation which include; skills, silos, defining roadmaps in an environment that is ever-changing while trying to keep up with daily business pressures and defining what KPIs best show how DX is delivering business objectives.

SSA ICT market

The total -sub-Saharan ICT Market is expected to grow from US$ 95.4 billion in 2020 to reach US$ 104.2 billion by 2023, a CAGR of 4.5% for that period.   Out of this, South African spending will grow from US$ 29.3 billion in 2020 to reach US$ 33.0 billion by 2023 while Nigeria will grow from US$ 10.0 billion to US$ 11.3 billion in the same period.  Kenya’s ICT market will grow from US$ 4.4 billion to US$ 4.8 billion for the same period.

 

According to IDC’s sub-Saharan Africa CIO Survey 2019, third platform technologies (cloud, big data, mobility, and social media – see chart below) are among key investment priority areas for 2020 and, in the periphery are other technology investment that support the third platform or innovation accelerators including disaster response/business continuity, advanced security, enterprise applications, analytics and hosting.

Among the emerging areas of DX in SSA include the following:

  • Financial services – using mobile and social media as new customer contact channels, customer segmentation through analytics, anticipating future banking needs with AI and analytics, fraud detection using AI among other areas.

  • Manufacturing (automated sales processing, analytics/BI, IoT for supply chains,)

  • Government (use of AI for citizen service delivery, mobility (mobile applications hosted in the cloud, service innovation).

  • Telecommunications – use of big data and analytics to segment customers, predict churn, innovate on products, enhance services, lower costs and robotic process automation.

  • Retail – analytics to measure customer loyalty, eCommerce disruption, in-store experience (digital signage, AR/VR), Operational rationalization – IoT, blockchain, AI.

  • Healthcare – Integrated patient records, Patient analytics, “Zero waiting time”, remote doctor on-demand, telemedicine, Intelligent Automation in core areas

 

Four Pillars for Digital Transformation Success in Africa

Over the last 20 years many new technologies have been implemented in the African region – some with resounding success – think the mPesa payment platform, while others have floundered and died.  IDC has noted four common success factors that are not negotiable in the region – we call this the RASA filter.

 

Relevance

The African region has unique operating environment characteristics ranging from diverse consumer preferences to specific line of business expectations.  If a solution is promoted purely based on technological attributes such as speeds and feeds and ignores the direct impact that the application of the solution will have on the ultimate user, then it is bound to stutter.  The relevance of the solution must map exactly to a business outcome such as increased customer satisfaction, higher production output, or improved sales volumes.  The question to ask is “How does this solution immeasurably improve what aspect of the business?”

 

Affordability

Cost is an inevitable aspect of any technology implementation and more so in the African context.  Local currency values fluctuate wildly and buying power versus stable international currencies is typically weak while pricing is denominated in these currencies.  In many cases the technology is desired and will make a significant impact on the business yet is not affordable when measured against returns expected.

 

Security

As the variety and complexity of technology increases so too does the security threat surface available for malicious exploitation.  Africa is well connected to the global ecosystem in terms of finance, banking and commerce so cyber and physical security threats originating internationally and, more importantly, locally, must be considered whenever a new technology is implemented.

 

Accessibility

While much has been made of the significant improvements in global connectivity via undersea and satellite communications around Africa in the last 10 years there are notable gaps in terrestrial access across the continent, especially in rural and semi-rural areas.  Affordable connectivity via reliable, high-speed fibre is typically limited to urban or metropolitan areas while rural connectivity remains expensive and inconsistent.

 

IDC suggests that by applying these four, simple common-sense filters at the outset of any digital transformation project much frustration is prevented and will help African CIOs and IT strategists to identify and overcome challenges before they occur.

 

 

[Issued by: IDC]

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MusicTime®, the world’s first time based music streaming application has revealed its new corporate identity. The logo was revealed this week via social media, following months of research and testing, and has already found favour across the market.

 

MusicTime® was first launched in South Africa in December 2018 and it is now officially live in six African countries namely South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Cameroon and eSwatini.

With over 500,000 downloads already, MusicTime® has already proven that a unique, legal and affordable music streaming experience is in the rise in Africa.

 

 

MusicTime®’s vision is to become the music streaming app of choice for the youth and early adopters in Africa and the world, with affordable and flexible plans; as well as to be the best and recommended platform for local artists in the market.

 

 

No bill shock
MusicTime® has a totally unique offering, that replicates the consumer behaviour of airtime. Users can buy a weekly pack, that gives 2 or 5 hours access to music, over the seven day period. Their continent-wide partnership with MTN means that the data is pre-packaged with the music, so users can listen to their favourite artists with no fear of running out of data. MusicTime® offers a 60 minute free trial to all users. Payment is done via convenient airtime billing.

 

 

Local first, but international too!
MusicTime® has one of the largest catalogues on the continent, offering more than 40 million songs. Label partners and licensing deals include Content Connect Africa, Africori, DMCE and more. MusicTime® also has the major international labels such as Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group, rounding out a rich catalogue.

 

 

Miss Oyinkasola Fawehinmi, the CEO of DMCE, an Intellectual property administration and valuation company based in Nigeria, Ghana and Tanzania said, “The MusicTime® pricing model is innovative and it provides a zero data music consumption offering which is easier to access for users through airtime billing. DMCE and its rights holders are excited about the prospect of this model and believe that it will be mutually beneficial solution for all stakeholders in the local music scene.” She further went ahead to say “We love working with MusicTime® as it is positioned to provide African artists with a platform that allows them accelerate their careers and reach new audiences. We are certain that this new brand refresh will help further with their positioning”.

 

 

Mr Yoel Kenan. CEO of Africori, a leading content distributor and aggregator focused on the African Market also added “MusicTime® integrated offering to users is set to challenge music consumption patterns to mainstream audiences across Africa by offering new opportunities to local artists to reach new fans locally and across the continent. We are looking forward to working with MusicTime® as a key partner in generating revenues and promotional opportunities to our clients as leading African artists and labels”.

 

 

Expansion to other markets in Africa and the Middle East is a priority for 2020 and the services will be made available in a further four countries by the end of the year.

 

 

Speaking on the MusicTime® rebranding, the CEO of SIMFY Africa, David Gillaranz said “We are delighted to introduce our new brand to our users. This goes alongside with our vision to provide an affordable and legal music streaming services in Africa and beyond. Our proposition is unique and truly provide everyone the ability to access millions of songs and playlist focussing largely on local music.

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Based on Malorie Blackman’s award-winning novels
• No. 1 show across all channels when it premiered on 5 March 2020 in Britain
• Largely shot in South Africa, with SA’s Masali Baduza in the lead role
• Also starring BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Born to Kill, Peaky Blinders)
• 82% critics rating, Rotten Tomatoes

“Over 700 years ago, the Aprican Empire invaded Europe. Aprica colonised the continent and reached as far as Albion. Albion has been under Aprican rule ever since.”

So begins Noughts + Crosses, a controversial six-part BBC One series that has just started screening on Showmax and M-Net, with new episodes every Thursday night from 23:30.

 

South African Masali Baduza (Trackers) and BAFTA winner Jack Rowan (Born To Kill, Peaky Blinders) play Sephy and Callum, two star-crossed lovers in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet. Sephy is the privileged daughter of the Home Secretary, Kamal Hadley, while Callum’s mother, Meggie, is the Hadleys’ housekeeper. While Sephy and Callum grew up together, they may as well have lived in different worlds.

 

Shot largely in Cape Town, the series also stars Paterson Joseph (Peep Show, The Leftovers) and South African actress Bonnie Mbuli (Invictus, Wallander) as Sephy’s parents, Kamal and Jasmine, with BAFTA nominee Helen Baxendale (Cold Feet, Emily in Friends) and Tribeca winner Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell in Harry Potter) as Callum’s parents, as well as Josh Dylan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, The End of the F***ing World) as his brother Jude.

 

The alternate reality love story is based on the multi-award-winning 2001 novel by former Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman, which was included in both BBC’s list of the 100 Novels That Shaped The World and in The Guardian’s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century. Grime superstar Stormzy, who has a cameo in the series as newspaper editor Kolawale, calls the five-book series “my favourite books of all time.”
“What I wanted to do was have the black people in my story not as victims, but celebrating their own culture,” says Blackman. “I remember the first time I wore an afro at school, I was sent out of the class for being a troublemaker. It was this thing of black people being penalised for wearing our own natural hair. The celebration of African culture in myriad forms gives a different sensibility to what has been on TV before.”

“Prior to reading Malorie’s books, I had never heard of a world that existed where Africans were the ruling class,” says Baduza. “It was unique and it made me feel warm inside, to imagine a world where this could be a possibility.”

 

“As a black African, I have never seen a television show that showcased our being or our ways, in a way that was given a place and was acceptable, until now,” says Mbuli. “It is quite a feeling to walk onto set and feel seen as a person, and feel like your hair and the way you wear it, or the way the people in your world wear their clothes or what they hold dear, is suddenly important and is being given a platform. It is shocking.

“Then you realise that you have spent your whole life without it, that you have never switched on a TV and seen that. That too is shocking. I sometimes walked onto set and started weeping.”

Visionary short film director Kibwe Tavares (Jonah, Robots of Brixton, Robot & Scarecrow) executive produced the series and steered the creation of its Afrocentric world, where everything has been rethought, from the language to the architecture, from beauty norms to the colour of plasters.

 

 

In one powerful scene, Callum cuts his finger and Sephy gets him a plaster, which is too dark for his skin. For context, South Africa has only had ‘skin tone’ plasters for black people since 2015, while in the UK, Tesco has just this year released multi tone plasters – and claims to be the first supermarket there to do so.

 

 

“There are so many small moments that a lot of people wouldn’t think about, like the fact that flesh coloured plasters are not the flesh colour of anyone but white people,” says Joseph. “It is an insidious, tiny, incremental knock to you as a citizen of any country to be told what normal is in those casual ways… Working on this drama has exercised all of our minds and made us super aware of everything.”

 

 

Noughts + Crosses was the number-one show across all channels when it premiered on 5 March 2020 in Britain. The series has a 82% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with The Guardian hailing it as “vital viewing”, The Telegraph as a “must-see”, NME as “must-watch TV”, RadioTimes as “a series on the cusp of greatness”,  and The Evening Standard as “properly incendiary.”

 

Of course, the glowing reviews weren’t universal: The Independent predicted “this race reversal drama will induce hernias in right wing commentators” – and they weren’t wrong. Trolls took to Twitter to denounce it as “deeply racist”, “anti-white tripe” and “race-baiting.”

 

Blackman was having none of it. “Btw, to those accusing me of being anti-white or stating I must hate white people to create such a story as Noughts and Crosses, I’m not even going to dignify your absurd nonsense with a response,” she tweeted. “Go take a seat waaaay over there in the cold, dark and bitter haters’ corner.”

 

Noughts + Crosses was shot in South Africa with mostly local crew, including award-winning cinematographers Jamie Ramsay and Giulio Biccari, Emmy-nominated casting director Christa Schamberger, costume designer Dihantus Engelbrecht, hair and makeup designer Nadine Prigge, and production designer Shane Bunce.

 

The African links don’t stop there either – Screen International 2018 Star of Tomorrow Koby Adom, born in the Ivory Coast and raised in Ghana, is one of the two directors, while the soundtrack includes Ghana’s Kiki Gyan and Ebo Taylor; Mali’s Salif Keita; and South African artists Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mlindo The Vocalist, and Umlilo.

As Stormzy put it on Twitter, “This is 100% groundbreaking… I haven’t seen nothing like it on British telly ever.”

Watch the trailer:
https://youtu.be/t0B0YUUuzQQ

 

Watch Noughts + Crosses on Showmax:
https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/x8iovqoe-noughts-crosses

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The third episode of the Showmax Original Somizi & Mohale: The Union is now streaming, as we look back at the road to the celebrity wedding of the decade.

Episode 3 trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDPCOe3_dZg

 

In Episode 3, it’s exactly seven days until their big day and Somizi and Mohale are in full planning mode as they wrap up the final meetings leading up to their special day. From the decor to the food and their outfits, everything seems to be going according to plan… except for one tiny hiccup.

Flying in the flowers

 

When it comes to working with Somizi and Mohale, you either go big or you go home. Renowned wedding planner Zavion Kotze, in collaboration with Liquid Image Consulting, confirmed in the episode that the flowers for the wedding are imported from all around the world.

 

“We’re flying everything in from Holland, Columbia, Kenya, Thailand,” says Kotze. “So everything is going to be international because we are not going to mess around with your wedding.”

 

And it’s not just one or two types of flowers that are getting flown in, either, of course. The wedding planners mentioned premium blooms including O’hara roses, hydrangeas and dendrobium orchids, so we’re expecting a stunning variety of gorgeous, colourful buds and blossoms on the big day.

 

“It’s ridiculous,” Somizi says afterwards to Mohale, about the amount they’re spending on flowers. “People on Twitter will say we could have bought a house for the homeless or we could have taken a child to school.”

 

Smoking sushi

 

The meal of the day will be prepared by award-winning chef Andrew Draper. One of the many samples Andrew presented to the couple in this episode was a dramatic platter of sushi that came with a jaw-dropping smoke effect.

 

“The beauty of it is that it tastes amazing as well,” says Somizi. “Because sometimes foods can be like slay queens: they look nice but they’re not nice when you taste them…”

 

Shopping for red-bottom heels

 

As the day draws nearer, and with everything falling into place, Somizi and Mohale do a last-minute spot of shoe shopping for their white wedding outfits. The couple makes their way to 2A in Hyde Park – the only boutique authorised to sell Louboutin shoes in South Africa.

 

While shopping, Somizi buys not one but two pairs of red-bottoms for his daughter Bahumi, who is set to walk her father down the aisle because his mother is not feeling well. “I want her to walk me down the aisle,” says Somizi. “Which is kind of weird. I’m thinking: these trolls, they’re gonna say, ‘This is how it’s supposed to be naturally: walking your daughter down the aisle to marry a man her age. Trolls…’”

 

Mohale, on the other hand, will be walked down the aisle by his father.

 

And there’s no priest?

While all the boxes have been ticked, Somizi and Mohale come across one awkward stumbling block. During their visit to the Nungu Diamonds offices, Somizi confirms that they still do not have a priest who will bless their wedding. “We took the idea of a priest for granted,” says Somizi. “At first somebody promised us that they’d be the priest but then they realised that the wedding is no longer on a Saturday but on a Thursday, so they can’t make it… We don’t have a priest.”

By the end of the episode, the plan to get one was still pending, but, apart from that, all roads lead to the celebrity white wedding of the year.

 

Here comes the pride!

 

Somizi & Mohale: The Union took the crown as the show with the most views ever on its first day on Showmax, bigger than any Hollywood blockbuster show. The fourth and final episode, celebrating their white wedding, premieres next Monday, 16 March 2020.

 

African Time promo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNqjh-o6wq8

 

Watch the hit show exclusively on Showmax here: https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/p3zlk82n-somizi-mohale-the-union.

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Top data deals for streaming DStv Now

Posted by radio On March - 5 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

If you’re a DStv subscriber, you probably know all about DStv Now, the online version of DStv. Once you’re signed up, all the same channels you have via your decoder at home are available to stream on your phone via the DStv Now app. Now all you need is a great deal to get you the data.

 

Here is a brilliant deal from MTN to keep you online for less.

Get a 5GB streaming bundle for DStv Now for R159 from MTN

This MTN deal is for prepaid, top-up and contract customers.

R159 for 5GB of streaming anything you like on DStv Now; which is up to 20 hours of watching! Tip: Toggle the Quality Settings in the DStv Now app, so that you use as little data as possible.

Dial *142# and follow the prompts to buy MTN streaming data bundles.

Vodacom has a 1GB video bundle for R50 for streaming on DStv Now

Purchase your DStv Now video streaming bundles from Vodacom by dialling *135# or through the My Vodacom app.

Buy the Telkom 1GB video streaming bundle for R40

Dial *180# and make your selection.

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The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival is back for a third year! Fans of the festival will be excited to know that it will now be a two-day event, taking place from 31 July to 1 August, 2020.

Pre-registration for the Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival is officially open and will be closing on 18 March, 2020. Fans of the festival can now pre-register to be eligible for discounted Early Bird tickets which will be available for purchase from 25 March, 2020. Early Bird tickets are limited and will only be available for those who pre-register via the website. However, festival fans are notified that due to high demand for Early Bird tickets, not everyone who pre-registers will be guaranteed a ticket.

With its signature feast of delicious culinary exploits, lavishly vibrant fashion, amazing music and wholesome entertainment, the festival attracts thousands for revellers from Eswatini and beyond.

 

The Standard Bank Luju Food & Lifestyle Festival continues to celebrate its theme, “A Return to the African Future”, which magnifies Africa’s rich history which is a timeless inspiration for creative transformation.

 

Captured in our strong fashion focus, our theme revisits vibrant trend eras, bringing back inspiration that influences current and future styles. We celebrate the root of creativity, diversity and culture in all its afro-futuristic boldness.

Luju fashionistas will be excited to know that within this theme, the focus for 2020 is“Hairvolution.”  Our hair goes to great lengths to tell a story. It is not only an extension of who we are, but an expression of our power to influence, to challenge and to change. With this crown, we command attention and  vocalize cultural beliefs. We effectively oppose conformist standards of beauty and ignite a movement . This year let your HAIRDO the talking. Tussle up those 60s beehives, tease your TWAs, and fleek those inches. Stir the honeypot and spice things up!

 

The Luju Fashion Café’s specially curated programme, will feature an exhibition lounge with a photobooth, handmade fashion and design traders, as well as a hair activism workshop. The theme will also stimulate some insightful and inspiring fashion dialogues and fashion shows with a regional focus to complement our full culinary and entertainment line-up.

Fans are urged to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment as they are expected to sell out in advance.

 

With the festival taking place over two days guests can also experience the best in luxury camping on-site with Rush Glamping packages also to be available. This is a state of the art camping experience that includes en-suite hot showers and toilets, providing a home away from home.

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Driving success in turbulent times

Posted by radio On March - 5 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

The market growth is stagnant, the landscape is volatile, and the future is as uncertain as it gets. And that’s not just in South Africa. Volatility and uncertainty have become the gold standard for measuring business sentiment and market outlook. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t opportunity and potential for the organisation to succeed, rather that it needs to adapt its outlook and reinforce its agility.

 

The problem is that everything is unpredictable. Even the experts are battling to find predictability within politics and economy and the Rand has become the most volatile, highly tradeable currency in the world. Events like Eskom, the February financial results, the South African Reserve Bank, Moodys and the ANC National General Council meeting are packed with risk and limited visibility into what conditions they will trigger within the country. The government is under pressure to reduce business risk and create space for organisations to thrive. But while that happens, what can business do now to ensure a sustainable tomorrow?

 

IT services and cloud computing are at the centre of the storm. Africa is finally receiving direct investment by hyperscale providers as multiple global providers settle down in the country and more continue to come in.  The South African Reserve Bank has given its green light for banks and there has been guidance released by SITA for the public sector. Things are happening, change is afoot.

 

For many companies looking to leverage this opportunity, rapid time to market and an aggressive channel will become standard practice. The mantra ‘adapt or die’ will dominate business behaviour as organisations look to cloud innovation and investment to revisit their foundations and strategies. It’s not a bad place to start, either. The Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) market has seen 31.2x five-year compound annual growth rates (CAGR), showing steady growth across all markets, particularly on-premise software with a 4.8% CAGR.

 

Hybrid cloud services and infrastructure are areas that have become essential value opportunity for service providers. The technologies that currently impact on business productivity and cloud relevance are tactical, inconsistent and siloed while investment into multiple environments escalates complexity and risk. Data governance is under increased scrutiny and a lack of coordination is dampening innovation. This is further affected by the skills imbalance that’s having an impact across company and industry.

 

Service providers that can tackle these pain points with relevance and cost-benefit are well-positioned to ride some of the turbulence that lies ahead. If they can show tangible benefits to digital transformation and how organisations can use this as a springboard into the future, then they’re looking at the opportunity, not a calamity. According to the IDC South Africa CIO survey 2019, organisations have seen the biggest benefits to their digital transformation in productivity, revenue generation from existing products, process cycle times, revenue generation from new products and cost efficiencies. The data is proof – digital delivers.

 

Innovation does have measurable outcomes.  Cloud can reshape ICT infrastructure management, business processes, deployment and optimisation, security and industrial processes. Datacentres need to revise their approach to be more focused on optimisation and upgrading existing systems. And partnerships have become critical success factors in the realm of commoditised ICT.

 

The ecosystem of partnerships has become a dominant trend in the market. Partnerships, collaborative engagements, ecosystems – these are the ways in which companies can expand their growth into new markets and deliver to their clients. By 2022 it’s expected that 78% of enterprises will partner with technology service vendors that are capable of orchestrating technology innovations into business use cases that can drive transformation at scale.

 

From partnerships to innovative implementations to optimisation and stabilisation, organisations can find opportunity within the complexities of the market today.  It just takes a shift in focus, attention to what the market really wants, the ability to build partnerships for sustainable growth, and a clear vision as to how cloud and digital can support growth for customer and market.

 

[Issued by:IDC]

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Somhale wedding takes viewing crown

Posted by radio On February - 28 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

More than half of the catalogue of TV shows and movies on Showmax, whether measured in hours or number of episodes, is now local content. This deliberate shift to local started more than a year ago with shows like The River and The Queen, and more recently with Lockdown and Kwa Mam’Mkhize. And now the latest Showmax Original, Somizi and Mohale: The Union, is breaking viewing records.

Why does this matter? Local content drives views. The Somhale wedding just broke the all-time record for the number of views on its first day on Showmax, ahead of both the Showmax Original The Girl From St Agnes and the most popular international series ever screened on Showmax.

 

Local content doesn’t just get views, it also brings in new subscribers. Showmax tracks first-views statistics – what’s the first show people watch after signing up for Showmax – under the assumption that this show influenced the decision to subscribe. Currently, six out of the top 10 most popular shows as ranked by first views on Showmax are local.

 

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) is rapidly growing in popularity. Showmax now has almost half-a-billion play events (somebody watches a show, movie or live sporting event) annually, streaming around 200 petabytes (one petabyte = 1 billion megabytes) of data per year.

 

Viewing patterns are changing, with mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) becoming the dominant way to watch. Looking at viewing hours, mobile devices make up around 45% of the total, with lean-back (smart TV, media player, etc…) making up around 35%, and web viewing accounting for the remaining 20%. Interestingly, Android completely dominates mobile viewing, making up around 80% of the total, versus just 20% for iOS.

 

Speaking about the importance of local content, Niclas Ekdahl, CEO of the Connected Video division of MultiChoice said:

 

“We expected Somhale to do well but the response was even bigger than we’d hoped, and it goes to show how our shift to local content is paying dividends. In fact, the views of local content are up more than 40% in less than a year.

 

“The key to supplying local content is realising it’s a marathon. Bringing on new shows and new episodes day in, day out, week in, week out is what our customers are looking for. And thanks to the decades of local content commissioning and production expertise sitting in this company, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing.”

 

Some of the most popular local content on Showmax (alphabetical order):

 

:: Black Tax

:: Binnelanders

:: Getroud Met Rugby

:: Lockdown

:: Kwa Mam’Mkhize

:: The Queen

:: The Real Housewives of Johannesburg

:: The River

:: Somizi and Mohale: The Union

:: Suidooster

:: Trackers

 

Somizi and Mohale: The Union started this Monday with an episode celebrating their traditional wedding, which merged their respective Zulu and Sotho cultures in a flamboyant celebration full of romance, gorgeous decor, dazzling chandelier cakes, G.H. Mumm champagne and multiple costume changes… A new episode drops every Monday, from the road to their wedding, to their individual bachelor parties, and then their white wedding as the finale on 16 March 2020. Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BFTO4v_AaQ.

 

Watch the first episode exclusively on Showmax here: https://www.showmax.com/eng/tvseries/p3zlk82n-somizi-mohale-the-union. For more information, visit https://stories.showmax.com/originals/somizi-and-mohale-the-union/.

 

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Oh, it’s digital. Again.

Posted by radio On February - 28 - 2020 ADD COMMENTS

Digital transformation is not leaving anyone behind. It’s the hero in its own disruptive movie, ensuring the safety of everyone in distress by taking them to places that nobody is entirely sure they understand. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is the product of digital’s commitment to change, as is the introduction of emergent technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML). Financial institutions are changing their rules of customer engagement and industry verticals after the business silos are following suit. Digital is imperative and it’s one that communication service providers have recognised as one train it needs to ride.

“The telecoms industry is shifting its focus and looking for ways to maintain and grow its subscriber base and part of this is causing them to undertake the journey from operator to digital services provider (DSP),” explains Senior Research and Consulting Manager at International Data Corporation, Sabelo Dlamini. “They want to develop new revenue streams and optimise performance by investing in efficient and automated processes.”

 

Digital opens new spaces within which the operators can build new foundations for the business. It’s where the AI and business intelligence and analytics platforms reside, providing operators with deeper intelligence into customer behaviour and requirements for improved solution development and performance. It allows for greater agility in developing solutions and services and the ability to pivot alongside ever-changing market demand.

 

“One of the primary reasons why operators are moving towards the DSP model now, more so than in the past, is because of shrinking traditional revenues,” says Dlamini. “The market is also being threatened by the over-the-top (OTT) service providers as their competitive pricing and offerings are threatening the survival of the traditional operator. They need to get out from under digital’s cloud and leverage it to their own advantage if they want to survive in the current market.”

 

Disruption is another factor in the changing mindset and strategy of the operator. The industry is being disrupted by fresh new talent and innovative ideas that have sprung out of digital. It’s a whole new world and those that don’t transform and adapt are those that will be tied to the tracks, watching the oncoming train with dispassionate disbelief.

 

“Disruption by new digital-native service providers in the industry is driving the operators to transform themselves into digital service providers,” says Dlamini. “An informed customer base is far more demanding now than in the past – they want better customer experiences at a cheaper price point, and they want it now.”

 

The process isn’t smooth sailing. Disruption and digital and the need to transform notwithstanding, the operators have a lot of legacy technology to deal with. They must find a way of moving away from the rigid processes that they’re used to so that they can develop a more agile and flexible approach to service delivery. This is what the digital-native OTTs are used to, this is their foundation, which puts them at a competitive advantage.

 

“Operators need to change their culture and their approaches,” says Dlamini. “As the picture changes, telcos are no longer the only service providers and the ecosystem has become incredibly diverse. This is an opportunity for the telco that’s paying attention to its customer base but also competition as established OTTs and digital competitors win the war for the customer’s attention.”

 

Many of the telcos in South Africa are aware of the areas in which they need to transform. This awareness is visible in their push for spectrum allocation and their focus on leveraging 5G solutions and technologies. Whether these intentions succeed and whether they successfully transition to the DSP remains to be seen.

 

“The operators need to break down internal silos such as mobile and fixed within the organisation and transform into more customer-centric digital providers, or digital service providers,” concludes Dlamini. “This requires drastic change within the operator itself in order to drive the speed of the train, to ensure that they achieve a successful outcome to the journey.”

 

Are the tracks built? Not really, no. Many operators are still trying to figure out how to smash down internal walls and leverage digital while juggling shrinking margins and disappearing customers. With speed, disruptive thinking and a focus on the value of digital, this may yet be the moment that telcos look back on with fondness. But whether or not they’re there to look back remains to be seen.

 

 

[Article by: IDC]

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