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Take another look at BPO – Investment mission to the USA

first_imgAccording to one of the delegates, Mr. Brian Whittaker, CEO of Business Trust, “South Africa’s strengths in the BPO sector play to the US’s needs. South Africa offers a high quality, value-based destination for offshoring business processes, in a stable investment environment supported by world class infrastructure.”Another delegate, Mr. Mfanu Mfeyela, the CEO of BPeSA (Business Process enabling South Africa – previously SACCCOM) agrees “Our message to investors is that South Africa provides value for money. So we benchmark our delivery and quality against Europe, not against cost base locations.” He notes that “The US accounts for more than 60% of globally offshored business, and as such it’s very important to South Africa as we position ourselves as a preferred offshore location.”The BPO delegation is promoting South Africa as an investment destination by emphasising three key messages:South Africa offers superior quality combined with high savings potential: Setting up a 1 000 seat centre would provide a saving of over 55% compared to a US operation. As an indication of quality, 95% of first time calls are resolved in South Africa. In contrast, the figure from India is 66%.South Africa has a vibrant industry serving local and offshore customers. Currently approximately 70 service providers serve local and offshore customers – a service that’s supported by excellent business ethics and cultural affinity with the US.Public sector commitment to developing BPO, which includes a five year development programme to enable stakeholders in the public and private sectors to work together to grow South Africa as a preferred BPO location. Initiatives in the programme include incentives and strategic marketing.Says Keryn House, CEO of ContactinGauteng, the Gauteng regional industry representative organisation, “The growth that we are witnessing in the BPO sector is very encouraging and is a real indication that we have the local capacity and capability to accommodate large outsource contracts by international companies located in the US.”In addition to promoting the BPO sector, the public-private sector mission will visit New York, Chicago and Detroit to promote investment in the ICT, biotechnology, automotive and financial services sectors.Iqbal Sharma, Chief Director, International Trade at DTI, who is accompanying the delegation, says that these five sectors were chosen “because that’s where we think the quickest bites will be.”Says Margaret Dingalo, Stakeholder Relations Director at the International Marketing Council of South Africa (which has partnered with the DTI to host this Mission) “The global BPO sector looks set to grow by 50% a year over the next 5 years. Our US investment drive showcases the boundless possibilities available to investors in South Africa. We believe that such initiatives will help achieve South Africa’s 6% growth target, as well as enhance our tourism, trade and investment prospects ahead of 2010.”Itinerary and additional informationThe South African delegation will be in the USA from 17-23 March during which time it will visit New York, Detroit and Chicago.A seminar entitled ‘Outsourcing to South Africa’ is taking place on 19 March in New York. Speakers include the Minister of Trade and Industry Mr. Mandisi Mpahlwa – Keynote address; Dr. Raymond Ngcobo, Chief Director at DTI – South Africa’s BPO value proposition; Mr. Mfanu Mfeyela, CEO of BPeSA – Achieving excellence through quality assurance in the BPO industry and Mr. John Joseph, Executive Product Manager at Telkom – South Africa’s Telecommunications Environment. Three case studies will also be presented – Dimension Data (by Director, Mr. Martin Dove); Direct Channel (by CEO, Mr. Suleman Shaik) and Business Connexion (by Director, Mr. Sydney Ramutla).Some BPO delegates are going to the Gartner Outsourcing Summit in Dallas, Texas from 20 to 21 March, where they’ll have the opportunity to network with global outsourcing players.The BPO sector in South Africa is well established across a number of vertical industries, yet is rapidly expanding to accommodate increasing interest in outsourcing. Most BPO hubs are located in the urban centres of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. The City of Johannesburg in the province of Gauteng has the highest number of call centres at more than 360 employing some 35000 call centre agents in outsourced and captive (in-house) call centres in ICT, financial services, banking, tourism, hospitality and business-to-business. Over the past two years the industry has shown significant growth, with some call centres having doubled capacity through the creation of some 2000 new jobs. Back office administration, document processing, and logistics management centres have also increased, with the emergence of several new entrants in the market.Government has earmarked R1bn in investment incentives over the next five years to lure international business services to South Africa. The plan, which was launched by Trade and Industry Minister, Mr. Mandisi Mpahlwa in Pretoria yesterday, is expected to translate into 100 000 new jobs by 2009 and attract about $175m in foreign direct investment.Organisations that are part of the delegation include: Accenture, BizWorks, Business Connexion, Business Process enabling South Africa (previously SACCCOM), Business Trust, Calling the Cape, City of Johannesburg, ContactInGauteng, Deloitte, Dialogue, Digital IQ, Dimension Data, Direct Channel Holdings, Direct Marketing Association of South Africa, Emmanuels, Fastcomm, IBM, I-Fundi Customer Solutions, INFORCOMM, IT-Consortium, Kelly, KZNonSource, Matlejoane Staffing Services, NAPS, Paladin Consulting, People Solutions, Phillips Consulting, Quest Flexible Staffing Solutions, SA Call Centre Solutions, SPM Direct, State Information Technology Agency, Telkom and Total Relationship Management.EndsIssued by: Meropa CommunicationsOn behalf of the Department of Trade and Industry and the International Marketing Council of South AfricaEnquiriesFor more information about the mission, or to schedule interviews, please contact:Claire Taylor or Pamela Dlamini: Meropa CommunicationsTelephone: 011 772 1000, Email: Claire Taylor or Pamela Dlaminilast_img read more

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On Facebook, What You Give is What You Get

first_imgRelated Posts Your Face Here, 2008 (courtesy of DavidFordArt.com)Karma app suggests Whisky Stones (™) as one of the gifts I could send to David on his Leap Day birthday. To do this, all I have to do is click through and select the gift and David as the recipient. Karma sends a text, email or Facebook message to him so that he will get it and open the (virtual) gift immediately. Then I have to ask David where he wants the (real) gift shipped. Instantaneous delivery! Karma achieved, momentarily! The Karma app is a good idea, don’t get me wrong. I am not dissing it. Apps like this make f-commerce a.k.a. the mallification of Facebook seem like real possibility moving forward. But there is one caveat: The act of gift-giving through this means provides a temporary fix, not long-lasting satisfaction. The Karma app creators understand. “We found ourselves relegated to a Facebook post or making a note to buy them a card at CVS and then we’d forget,” Linden said in an interview. “We’d feel really terrible about that.”What this app also does is contribute to the strange cultural phenomenon of over-friending, which has essentially cluttered news feeds and caused bizarre overlap amongst Facebook users’ normally neatly segmented lives. It’s like the Seinfeld “Independent George/Worlds Collide” episode. It’s yet another reason Facebook birthdays are so weird. Not even Facebook lists can help truly manage the menagerie of friends one has. At the end of the day, sometimes defriending is the best option.So what of the Karma app for iPhone? Yes, I implore you to try it, see how it feels. Tell me a story about it in the comments section. Like Facebook, it’s pretty good at identifying users you interact with often and are thus deemed important to you. Of course, it cannot read into the intricacies of human relationships. That’s something you’ll have to do offline. Images courtesy of DavidFordArt.com and Shutterstock. Tags:#e-commerce#Facebook#web Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos alicia eler It’s your best friend from 5th grade’s birthday, and you almost missed it because you were stalking your 7th grade best friend on Facebook. The time is now 9pm, in your time zone. In a moment of freedom, you return to Facebook.com and notice the tiny birthday notifications in the upper-righthand corner. Is it too late to wish your 5th grade best friend a happy Facebook birthday? You race over to his page and try to say something witty. “Happy birthday bro-dude!” you write, crouched over your keyboard. You were on Facebook this morning but were way too busy trying to just catch up on the newsfeed-filtered news of the day and forgot to pay attention to birthdays. And now, you just feel sad.In our information-overload culture that lives as excited, exclamation-point riddled posts on Facebook and dies as wish-I-hadn’t-said-that status updates that you later delete when, hopefully, no one is watching (but who knows who is watching, really), it is easy to miss the moments that actually matter, truly mean something. So now to the point of my story: There’s an app for that, and it attempts to address some of the “too-many-friends” syndrome that some Facebook users know quite well.Launched yesterday, Karma for iPhone app connects with your Facebook account and attempts to identify and highlight your most meaningful connections and their important moments. These milestones/moments include birthdays, new jobs, important events (moving day, birthday, art shows on my Karma app screen), other celebrations (engagements) and “tough days” (a friend’s dog died, a cat died, a fellow journalist died). The app implies that important events call for spontaneous gifts.“We wanted to be able to connect to friends in those moments,” Lee Linden tells Co.Design. “So this is an in-the-moment gift service.” To that point, he adds: “We grew tired of missing important moments like a baby or a graduation,”For people who mix various communities on Facebook, this means that there’s an impulsive moment available anytime, anywhere, to buy gifts for your Facebook friends. There is a nice variety of potential gifts to give, including Vosges chocolate, whisky stones, a Morse code necklace or handmade gourmet candies. If you don’t like the gift, you can exchange it for something else in the Karma app store.Gift-Giving As A Quick FixToday, the beloved Leap Day, happens to be my Facebook friend David Ford‘s birthday. David is a Kansas City-based artist who I had the pleasure of meeting a few years ago. I explored the inner workings of his mind through a studio visit. (I also reviewed one of his shows for the magazine Art Papers.) In his work, David discusses his love/hate kinda relationship with this country, evidenced through the passionate, at times fervent brush strokes that slide across his paintings. His work juxtaposes classic American symbols with faux luxury moments to paint a provocative, oft-times paradoxical view of the American cultural landscape. Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

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Melbourne revealing its smart ambitions

first_imgRelated Posts Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities David Curry Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#LED#Melbourne#smart city#Smat Cities How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic …center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Melbourne leaders revealed plans to become a smart city, in preparation for a population boom over the next 35 years and climate change-related issues affecting the Australia city.The city will use initiatives adopted by other smart cities and host a public forum, called Melbourne Conversations, where representatives from cities like San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Amsterdam can give advice and share experiences, according to IoT Hub AU.See Also: Are smart citizens getting lost in the rush to build smart cities?“Melbourne’s population is expected to double over the next 35 years, and we expect to be bigger than Sydney by 2053,” said chief technology officer and smart city manager, Michelle Fitzgerald. “Over that period of time, global temperatures will continue to rise, which will have implications for infrastructure and liveability. Our mandate for the City of Melbourne is to start with the perspective of our users or customers of the city — our residents, rate-payers, students, workers, visitors, business owners — by saying, ‘what can smart cities do to improve the livability, prosperity and sustainability for our city for them?’”The Internet of Things (IoT) is at the heart of Melbourne’s smart city plans, with Fitzgerald convinced that the implementation of smart and connected services will benefit the city. The garbage service in Melbourne is already using an IoT system, to alert drivers when the truck is 70 percent full.Melbourne joins a growing cohort of smart citiesMelbourne is also one of the few cities to adopt an LED street light project, aimed at lowering the amount of electricity needed and making streets brighter at night. The street lights have sensors embedded, which gives the city a better idea of where more light is needed and at what times.Driverless cars, wearables, artificial intelligence, and big data are also being considered by the city. Fitzgerald said she wants to see startups work with universities and large corporations, to implement the smart city ambitions.Melbourne is just the latest in a growing list of cities adopting IoT and other smart technologies, coming in a few months after London, Barcelona, Paris, and Stockholm.last_img read more

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