Cisco teams up with Microsoft and Samsung to improve hybrid meeting experiences

Cisco teams up with Microsoft and Samsung to improve hybrid meeting experiences




Cisco teams up with Microsoft and Samsung to improve hybrid meeting experiences

Cisco announced a new partnership with Microsoft and Samsung aiming to enhance collaboration capabilities for hybrid meetings. The companies are introducing integrated video conferencing solutions pairing Cisco’s Room series hardware with Microsoft Teams Rooms software and Samsung’s displays to provide an more inclusive experience for both remote participants as well as those physically present.

With hybrid work becoming the norm, nearly all meetings now include at least one remote attendee yet most conference rooms lack even basic video conferencing capabilities. Cisco is hoping this collaboration with tech giants Microsoft and Samsung will allow it to deploy robust, secure and easy to manage solutions at scale.

Specifically, the new offerings combine Cisco’s RoomOS software, Samsung’s 105″ 5K displays or u766664K Smart Signage, and Microsoft’s Front Row content layout in Teams Rooms. Together, the solutions aim to deliver seamless video and audio with AI-enhanced capabilities while ensuring all participants have a clear view of presentations and live video regardless of location.

“In today’s era of hybrid work, it is essential that workspaces are reimagined to enable great collaboration,” said Jeetu Patel, EVP and GM of Security & Collaboration at Cisco. “This means outfitting conference rooms with intelligent video systems designed to bring immersive collaboration experiences to all participants, regardless of their location.”

Microsoft and Samsung echoed the collaborative spirit with Microsoft VP Ilya Bukshteyn explaining that “enhanced collaboration experiences that meet the needs of today’s hybrid workforce” are a priority while Samsung’s Hoon Chung said the new displays let “users the feeling they are sitting in the same room as their colleagues.”

The integrated offerings promise immersive views, AI-powered features, simplified deployment and management, increased scalability for enterprises, and seamless interoperability between platforms. Solutions are generally available starting today with specific Cisco 21:9 display support coming in March 2024.

Cisco has been attempting to revitalise stagnant growth recently amidst a shift towards software and subscriptions amongst enterprise tech companies. The new partnerships lean into hybrid work trends dominating post-pandemic planning to deliver premium meeting room experiences that combine software from Microsoft, displays from Samsung and legacy hardware from Cisco itself. While it remains to be seen if the strategy will succeed in reaccelerating revenue growth, the collaboration at least demonstrates Cisco’s willingness to embrace partnerships with new-age tech giants like Microsoft to keep pace with current digital transformation trends.

 

Read next: Preventing security red flags: What to consider when deploying a hybrid workforce

The post Cisco teams up with Microsoft and Samsung to improve hybrid meeting experiences appeared first on Ventureburn.

IBM courts SME market with new LinuxONE 4 Express

IBM courts SME market with new LinuxONE 4 Express




IBM courts SME market with new LinuxONE 4 Express

IBM unveiled a new pre-configured model of its LinuxONE enterprise computing system tailoured for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – the LinuxONE 4 Express.

According to IBM, the rack-mounted system brings enterprise-class security, resilience and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to smaller organisations seeking to craft an integrated hybrid cloud technology strategy. The company’s 2022 Data Security Report found 83% of surveyed firms sped adoption of cloud solutions during the pandemic, often leaving disjointed setups obstructing newer technologies.

“Startups and SMEs are at the heart of enabling employment-rich economic growth for South Africa. Nevertheless, they are not immune to macro challenges throttling the economy. As a result, they are turning to digitisation to be agile, efficient and innovative in order to thrive,” said Ria Pinto, General Manager and Technology Leader, IBM South Africa.

Built with IBM’s Telum processor, LinuxONE 4 Express has availability exceeding “eight nines,” as per the company – suiting workloads requiring resilient infrastructures to meet regulations. Its stack also enables on-chip AI inferencing, facilitating analysing sensitive data where it resides.

The release cited use cases around digital assets and medical imaging, as the system’s confidential computing features aid handling sensitive data. IBM stated consolidating workloads onto the LinuxONE 4 Express instead of running them on compared x86 servers can lower total cost of ownership by over 52% in five years.

IBM and partners offer solutions tailored for the platform spanning cloud, security and AI, as shoring up sustainability and cybersecurity grow imperative across sectors like banking, per the company.

Read Next: Navigating AI and Ecosystem Partnerships in South Africa

The post IBM courts SME market with new LinuxONE 4 Express appeared first on Ventureburn.

Cyber Risks Threaten Businesses – But Detection and Response Can Help

Cyber Risks Threaten Businesses – But Detection and Response Can Help




Cyber Risks Threaten Businesses – But Detection and Response Can Help

Cyber risks top the latest Allianz Risk Barometer, with data breaches, attacks on critical infrastructure, and ransomware being the most pressing concerns for businesses. However, these risks are just the tip of the iceberg according to Gerhard Swart, CTO at cybersecurity firm Performanta. He argues that the interconnected nature of digital environments means that cyber risks can easily spiral out of control and lead to issues like accidental data loss, infrastructure failure, and employee misconduct.

“It’s enough to make one’s head spin,” says Swart. “Traditional businesses have a lot of risks to track. If we’re honest, most don’t and hope they don’t get into too much trouble. The problem with digital and cyber risks is that they tend to be present everywhere in a business and by their nature can escalate very quickly. For example, if a Point-of-Sale platform or payment service goes down, it could stop transactions at several branches. But that’s a lot of extra elements to track and most businesses don’t know where to start or what to prioritise.”

The common thread underlying these cyber threats? A lack of visibility into complex digital systems. Without comprehensive monitoring and detection capabilities, the “cracks and crevices” of IT ecosystems allow threats to remain hidden. Performanta likens this to cockroaches lurking out of sight, poised to wreak havoc.

Swart advocates starting with improved cybersecurity visibility and detection to shore up defences. Leveraging extended detection and response (XDR) platforms is key. These tools combine endpoint, network, cloud and other data sources to reveal suspicious behaviours and patterns at machine speed. Importantly, XDR automates containment and remediation steps after threats are discovered.

The upshot? Enhanced cybersecurity visibility lays the groundwork for managing wider digital risks too. Understanding data flows and employee actions is useful not just for halting malicious attacks, but for improving governance, compliance and general system oversight.

So while cyber threats may seem overwhelming, prioritising visibility and detection capabilities can help businesses gain control. As digital permeates every aspect of operations, integrated security becomes paramount. An ounce of XDR prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to today’s cyber risk landscape.

Read next: New KnowBe4 report reveals spike in public sector cyber attacks

The post Cyber Risks Threaten Businesses – But Detection and Response Can Help appeared first on Ventureburn.

Huawei highlights importance of energy storage for powering Africa’s growth

Huawei highlights importance of energy storage for powering Africa’s growth




Huawei highlights importance of energy storage for powering Africa’s growth

During Solar Power Africa recently, Huawei emphasised the pivotal role energy storage will play in supporting economic development across Africa. In a sub-forum, Huawei discussed how residential solar and effective storage solutions can help South Africa address its electricity needs and reduce strain on the national grid.

“We could achieve carbon neutrality in South Africa even faster than our estimation,” said Zhao Tianqi, VP of Huawei South Africa Digital Power. “So maybe South Africa can be a champion in this field.” However, he stressed that realising this potential requires the right solar equipment and technology.

Zhao also noted three key drivers to accelerate the solar industry’s growth – carbon neutrality, energy sovereignty, and commercial value. Huawei’s new Fusionsolar Luna 2.0 system includes a PV optimiser for 15% more usable solar energy, as well as the ability to mix old and new batteries to extend lifespan.

“Safety really matters,” Zhao emphasized. “It’s a matter of family, property, money, and life.” The Luna 2.0 mitigates fire and electrical risks through emergency voltage shutdown, cell monitoring, built-in fire kits, and avoiding failure-prone components. Huawei offers a 10-year replacement guarantee on all parts.

Huawei provides diverse storage solutions for commercial and industrial users too, including modular blocks scalable up to hundreds of megawatts. The unique Smart String tech enables independent battery control for optimised safety, lifespan and maintenance.

Experienced firefighter De Wet Englebrecht highlighted the fire risks posed by improper solar and battery installations, which firefighter crews are seeing more of. Huawei’s integrated suppressant helps contain battery blazes.

Executive Director Kadri Nassiep also pointed to grid stability concerns, as instant battery charging after outages can destabilise networks. Huawei aims to collaborate with utilities on more gradual, grid-friendly charging profiles.

“We believe that you have to have one accountable person or company at the end of the day,” said solar provider Aces Africa’s CEO Charl Gous, emphasising the need for quality, integrated systems with clear accountability. Huawei delivers extensively tested solutions with unified support.

With companies like Huawei spurring solar innovation, storage technology can help unlock Africa’s renewable potential and power sustainable growth. The Fusionsolar Luna 2.0 launches in South Africa this March.

Read next: Sungrow brings innovative power optimiser tech to SA

The post Huawei highlights importance of energy storage for powering Africa’s growth appeared first on Ventureburn.

Bitcoin’s mainstream momentum: ETF approval opens floodgates

Bitcoin’s mainstream momentum: ETF approval opens floodgates




Bitcoin’s mainstream momentum: ETF approval opens floodgates

Bitcoin’s recent surge beyond $42,000 ignited discussions about the cryptocurrency’s potential in 2024. But, one recent development stands out as an even greater pivotal moment – the approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January, said Sean Sanders, founder and chief executive of Altify, a cryptocurrency asset management firm.

In January 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission greenlit the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF after years of rejecting similar proposals. The ProShares fund attracted over $1 billion in assets under management in just its first two days. Competing issuers such as Valkyrie and VanEck also quickly won approval for Bitcoin ETFs thereafter.

The crypto industry seems to have weathered its most recent storm and is now poised for further growth. With traditional investors showing renewed interest as the sector purges itself of problematic leaders, the ETF regulatory milestone is now poised to reshape the landscape for Bitcoin, opening new avenues for investors and institutions alike.

The approval of Bitcoin ETFs represents a significant step towards democratising access to the cryptocurrency. It does so by opening the door to a broader investor base, allowing individuals and institutions to invest in Bitcoin through traditional stockbroking accounts. This move is especially important for institutional investors, such as hedge funds and pension funds, that were previously restricted from entering the crypto space. The approval of Bitcoin ETFs provides a more secure and accessible entry point for a wider range of investors, potentially unlocking billions of dollars in new capital for the crypto market.

The introduction of a Bitcoin ETF is particularly noteworthy, as it eliminates the reliance on derivative markets. Unlike derivatives, a spot ETF directly holds the underlying asset, reducing costs and offering a more authentic exposure to Bitcoin’s market movements. This development marks a crucial step towards mainstream acceptance and could significantly boost investor confidence in the cryptocurrency market.

Boosting Market Liquidity and Stability

The introduction of Bitcoin ETFs is expected to enhance market liquidity and stability. The ETF structure allows for the creation of a diversified and regulated investment product tied to Bitcoin’s performance. This, in turn, could mitigate some of the price volatility associated with direct cryptocurrency investments. As institutional investors and a broader retail audience participate through ETFs, the market may experience a more balanced and sustainable growth trajectory.

The Macroeconomic Factor of Lowering Interest Rates

One of the critical macroeconomic factors influencing the crypto market in 2024 will be the anticipated decrease in interest rates by the United States’ Federal Reserve. Historically, high interest rates have created headwinds for risk assets, including cryptocurrencies. As rates are expected to trend downward over the next 18 months, the broader economy and investment landscape may experience a positive shift. Lower interest rates generally favour assets with future payoffs, such as cryptocurrencies, as the present value of their potential gains increases. This macroeconomic tailwind could contribute to sustained growth in the crypto market.

The Next Bitcoin Halving Event

Bitcoin’s unique protocol includes a mechanism known as the halving event, occurring approximately every four years (or every 210 000 blocks), where the rewards for miners are halved. This results in a reduced rate of new Bitcoin entering circulation. Historical data suggests that previous halving events have been bullish for Bitcoin, attracting media attention and igniting interest among investors. The logic is straightforward – with a decrease in the supply of new Bitcoin and stable or increasing demand, prices are likely to rise. As the next halving event approaches, it could serve as a catalyst for renewed enthusiasm and drive further price appreciation.

Overall, the outlook for Bitcoin in 2024 appears promising, with a confluence of macroeconomic, protocol-driven, and regulatory factors poised to drive continued growth. As interest rates decline, the next halving event approaches, and Bitcoin ETFs gain traction, the crypto market may find itself on the brink of a renaissance. While risks always accompany the crypto space, the evolving landscape presents compelling opportunities for those willing to navigate the digital frontier.

READ NEXT: Bitcoin skyrockets amid institutional frenzy

The post Bitcoin’s mainstream momentum: ETF approval opens floodgates appeared first on Ventureburn.

Moya Money relaunches as financial app for freelancers and businesses

Moya Money relaunches as financial app for freelancers and businesses




Moya Money relaunches as financial app for freelancers and businesses

Financial technology startup Moya Money has relaunched with a new website and updated product offering aimed at freelancers and small businesses.

Founded in March 2021 by Thulani Masebenza and Sabica Pardesi, both 25 at the time, Moya Money brings a modern sensibility to financial software. As former freelancers themselves, the South Africa- and UK-based co-founders designed Moya Money specifically to serve the needs of independent workers.

The startup has already gained recognition in the fintech sphere. Shortly after launching, Moya Money secured its first angel investor and was selected for the Tenity global fintech incubator program in Spain, making it the first South African startup admitted.

2023 was a breakthrough year for Moya Money, with accolades both in Africa and abroad:

What makes Moya Money unique is its focus on enabling freelancer independence while facilitating collaboration between workers and businesses. The app aims to streamline invoicing and payouts, allowing users to better track income and make informed financial decisions.

“We wanted to solve a problem we had experienced ourselves,” said COO Sabica Pardesi. “Our ambition is to impact a million people by leading and influencing our community.”

Moya Money’s updated website and product relaunch demonstrate a commitment to user-centered design. The app reflects co-founders’ love of modern aesthetics while emphasising simplicity.

As Moya Money continues its mission to transform financial management for freelancers and businesses, it invites interested users to join the waitlist for its upcoming app release.

Read next: Africa’s fintech boom: 13x growth by 2030

The post Moya Money relaunches as financial app for freelancers and businesses appeared first on Ventureburn.

How big businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud telephony

How big businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud telephony




How big businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud telephony

Cloud-based telephone systems offer immense opportunities for enterprises to upgrade their communication infrastructure. However, to realise the complete value these systems provide, companies must embrace specific strategies. Here are three ways big businesses can get the most out of their telephony service.

Transition Fully to the Cloud

While some large corporations still utilise traditional, on-premise telephony equipment, migrating completely to the cloud is essential for flexibility and scalability. Cloud platforms enable employees to access high-quality voice and video calling from any device and location. They also allow companies to easily adjust capacity based on evolving business needs. The cloud shifts the burden of maintenance, redundancy planning and administrative tasks to the vendor.

Leverage Data and Analytics

Modern cloud telephony services capture invaluable real-time metrics on call volume, response rates, duration and trends. Sophisticated reporting and monitoring tools turn these data points into actionable insights that can inform critical business decisions across departments. Companies must take time to deeply understand what analytics their provider offers and how they can apply findings to enhance operations and strategy.

Adopt New Features

Unlike legacy systems, cloud-based platforms frequently introduce upgraded features, enhanced applications and expansive integrations. Organisations should maintain open communication with their telephony vendor to stay informed of the latest releases. They can then explore functionalities that may further streamline processes, boost productivity and improve customer experience.

The virtualisation of enterprise phone systems is already driving significant advantages. However, taking these proactive steps will allow IT leaders to truly capitalise on the promise of cloud telephony.

Read next: Cloud security myths that could be holding your small business back

The post How big businesses can unlock the full potential of cloud telephony appeared first on Ventureburn.

Durban lecturer changes the syllabus with entrepreneur focused school

Durban lecturer changes the syllabus with entrepreneur focused school




Durban lecturer changes the syllabus with entrepreneur focused school

Janice Chetty, a Umhlanga based business owner is determined to invest in entrepreneurs of the future with her new school Future-preneurs.

The program is designed to teach business sckiils to children aged 10 to 14.  Launched in Durban earlier in the month of February, the course teaches business skills necessary to start up a business or turn an idea into cash.

This is a passion project for Chetty who exemplifies entrepreneurship in her own life.

She started her first business, tutoring accounting at the age of 22, with the aim of raising funds for a car.

She now holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education. She’s the founder of Mirriam’s Mission, a non-profit company focussing on youth education and she also serves as the CEO of the training and recruitment firm Dynamic Outlook.

Chetty has ensured that her latest school offering is aligned with the CAPS/IEB syllabus, which features entrepreneurship as a topic in EMS/Accounting.

Future-preneurs program

The Future-preneurs program incorporates a variety of topics such as business planning, data collection and analysis, program marketing, innovation, creativity, setting up a company, intellectual property, brainstorming, budgeting, negotiation, product life cycle and so much more.

“We are passionate about entrepreneurship and believe it is a skill that needs to be learnt from a young age,” she said.

“Not only do we focus on entrepreneurship we have a more holistic approach in ensuring our Future-preneurs are well rounded. We focus on mindset, mental health awareness, effective communication, self-esteem, and physical health,” she adds.

With the first school opening in Umhlanga learners are in for a treat.

“We have incorporated a fun, exciting Shark Tank-like challenge for all our learners on the program, at the end of the year we will host an event, with well-known accomplished businessmen and women as judges. The winners in the different age categories will receive a cash prize of R5 000 and a trophy.”

For parents who are not sure how or where the program would fit into their child’s current schooling, the school offers a free consultation to help with career guidance.

Also read: Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap to Boost Prospects for Underprivileged Youth

The post Durban lecturer changes the syllabus with entrepreneur focused school appeared first on Ventureburn.

Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap to Boost Prospects for Underprivileged Youth

Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap to Boost Prospects for Underprivileged Youth




Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap to Boost Prospects for Underprivileged Youth

On Saturday, 3 February, the inaugural cohort of the 2023 Mido Cyber Academy celebrated their graduation alongside parents, sponsors and supporters. Launched in 2023 through a partnership between the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), KnowBe4 Africa and MiDO Technologies, the Mido Cybersecurity Academy provides an intern readiness programme targeting disadvantaged communities in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

“The FCDO aims to address the continent’s cyber skills shortage through its Africa Cyber Programme, which seeks to expand digital access, bring excluded groups into the digital economy, reduce poverty and drive inclusive economic growth in South Africa,” said Victoria White, First Secretary for Cyber Affairs at the British High Commission in South Africa.

Additional backers include Nclose, Infosec Advisory Group, Cybereason and Infosec Institute (Cengage), as well as Stellenbosch University, Rain, The David Legacy, Orange Cyberdefense, Usiko Stellenbosch and numerous individual cybersecurity experts in South Africa and abroad. KPMG provides project management support for the programme.

“By emphasising cybersecurity, critical thinking, soft skills, innovation, teamwork and personal resilience, we strive to bridge divides in digital and cyber capabilities between job seekers and entry-level positions or internships in the IT and cybersecurity field, tackling high youth unemployment and skills gaps in emerging technologies,” said Dale Simons, CEO of MiDO Technologies.

The 10-month academy blends e-learning, in-person teaching, resilience training, life skills, industry exposure and mentoring. It targets 18-24-year-olds, with cohort sizes up to 21 students, stressing real-world projects, job placements and workforce integration.

Through masterclasses and hands-on work mirroring professional challenges, students engage with senior security specialists, building networks and meeting potential employers. So far, two graduates have secured internships with Mobius Binary, with the aim of placing all 21 students.

“The challenge is not a ‘talent shortage’ but an ‘experience shortage’. We urge local and international tech teams to provide opportunities through real projects and challenges. Cybersecurity demands lifelong learning, and their journey has only just begun. It’s up to us to give them the right experiences,” said Anna Collard, SVP of Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa.

“I saw myself as someone with no passion, going from job to job. The academy has brought growth and purpose – I’ve become more confident,” said graduate Thurston Goldstein.

Read next: New KnowBe4 report reveals spike in public sector cyber attacks

The post Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap to Boost Prospects for Underprivileged Youth appeared first on Ventureburn.

Sungrow brings innovative power optimiser tech to SA

Sungrow brings innovative power optimiser tech to SA




Sungrow brings innovative power optimiser tech to SA

As Mzansi embraces the transition to clean energy, China-based Sungrow is shining a light on its power optimizer technology, designed to safeguard homes across the country.

In times of uncertainty, Sungrow offers South Africans an unprecedented sense of security. The company’s power optimizer modules can shut down in just 20 seconds during a crisis like a fire – 10 seconds faster than industry standard.

With top safety credentials including 3GWh of shipped BESS in South Africa and IP65 protection against dust and water, Sungrow ensures homes stay protected even in harsh conditions. The tech is also corrosion resistant for coastal areas and farms, meeting national standards like South Africa NRT and EU radiation requirements.

“Our mission is to empower South Africans with reliable, safe and efficient energy solutions,” said Izzat Sankari, Sungrow’s Channels Business Director for Middle East and Africa.

As families gather this month to celebrate new beginnings, Sungrow encourages households to consider adding a touch of resilience with its solar power optimisers. More than just a company, Sungrow wants to partner with South Africans to make homes safer and give families peace of mind.

 

Read next: Adenia powers up SA with Enfin solar stake

The post Sungrow brings innovative power optimiser tech to SA appeared first on Ventureburn.