Log in Register

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

What is a CRM

What is a CRM

A CRM is a Customer Relations Manager business solution.  It offers our customers a centralised and integrated database of all opportunities, leads and interactions between a business and their clients and prospective clients.

To explain it with a well-known example:  when you phone a cellular provider with an issue, they often record the call and log your call in your system.  You probably have experienced an incident where you call again and the operator responds with "Yes, I can see you phoned on xxxxx with a similar query".  That's a CRM- a business solution to record all interactions with a client.

There are smaller Open Source solutions available as well as integrated solutions as part of an ERP solution.  Contact Us for an assessment and proposal for your business needs.

What is an ERP?

What is an ERP?

An ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) is an ICT Business Solution which centralize and integrates all your business information into one application.  Instead of having a separate application for managing your finances (like a spreadsheet), and a separate repository for your HR information (like word processor documents and spreadsheet for leave calculations), all these can be integrated and centralised into one relational database with management dashboards to give you one view of all of your business' information.  Its therefore an enterprise-wide information system that facilitates the flow of information and coordinates all resources and activities within the business organization.

ERP started in the days when manufacturing companies wanted to integrate their bill of materials, payroll, financial information and customer information into one integrated database in order to manage their materials and ordering just-in-time.  Since then, ERP solutions have evolved in not only an application for manufacturing businesses, but for any business, regardless of the size.  Obviously, the size of the business will determine whether one would need something like SAP or Oracle, or a smaller solution like Sage, Pastel, and even an Open Source solution.

  • ERP is an enterprise-wide information system that facilitates the flow of information and coordinates all resources and activities within the business organization.
  • Of all the software an organization can deploy, ERP has potentially the most direct impact on reducing costs.
  • ERP solutions are effective for reducing costs through improving efficiencies and decision-making.
  • Competitive advantages arise to firms that can contain costs so that increased revenues translate into higher profits.
  • Effective solutions open to door to vast business process improvements as indicated by better customer service, smoother functioning business, decision support, eliminating IT barriers to growth, and the coordination of various business activities.

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal that will suit your business needs.

Reference:

  • Fourth Generation Software, 2011.  Whitepaper: <em>What Is ERP and Why Do I Need It?

 

What is Cobit?

What is Cobit?

Cobit is a Framework, developed by ISACA and is a framework for the governance and management of enterprise IT.

As mentioned earlier, COBIT 5 incorporates the latest development in enterprise governance and management processes, and provides globally accepted principles, practices, and tools to help increase the delivery of value from ICT investments.

COBIT 5 integrates all major frameworks, standards and resources, (e.g. KING III, Val IT, Risk IT, ITIL® andother related standards from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The benefits of using Cobit5 is:

  • it helps all organisations, irrespective of the size of the organisation, to maintain high-quality information to support business decisions
  • helps in achieving strategic goals through the effective use of ICT resources
  • helps organisations to achieve operational excellence through reliable, efficient application of technology
  • helps monitor and manage ICT-related risks
  • helps to optimise the cost of IT services and technology
  • helps organisations to comply with relevant laws, regulations, contractual agreements and policies

We are certified Cobit5 implementators. Contact Us for a proposal that will address your needs.

 

 

What is a DMS?

What is a DMS?

I have a small business but need central document access.  What is the most cost effective solution? 

Determining the size of your business and amount of documents to be shared, we offer different solutions which range from small stand-alone Server solutions with shared directories (folders) and a granular user rights and authorisation of documents.  With other words, you can determine which users have access to which documents.  Sharing documents doesn't mean all users have access to all documents.  However, without user sign-on and authentication, less user access right options are available.  For example, many smaller businesses share their documents from all the desktops on the network (LAN).  This is not the best solution as documents are not centralised and access is determined by local user accounts and not from a central server authentication.

For a bigger organisation, a rack server solution will be proposed with the same advantages of granular user rights and user authorisation of documents.  

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal which will suit your business needs.

How do I register a domain name for my business?

How do I register a domain name for my business?

To register a domain name for your business, you need to contact a hosting provider which will register your business domain name (if available). You have the option to choose from different high level domains (i.e. .com, .co.za, .biz, .info etc.).

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal which will suit your business needs.

I need a personal email address. How do I go about it?

I need a personal email address. How do I go about it?

Many businesses, when starting-up, opt for a gmail, yahoo or microsoft email address.  These are all "free" web-based email providers.  However, you do not have the option to personalise your domain emails (the name after the @ ).

Our proposal is the registration of a domain name (yourbusiness.co.za, yourbusiness.biz, .com, .info etc.).  If your business is still small, you don't need a mail server yet as this will give you at least 25 email mailboxes to be utilised.  Having your personalised domain name email address is not only more "professional", but also shows your clients that you have a web presence.

As your business grow, your business can gradually implement a mail server which provides unlimited mailboxes and many other mail server features like forwardings, spam control, filtering etc.  Note: most domain hosting providers also do offer these services (spam filtering and forwarding) without having to opt for a mail server.

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal which will suit your business needs.

How can I manage my human resource information more efficiently?

How can I manage my human resource information more efficiently?

Smaller organisations might only need a business solution to manage their human resource information and leave allocations.  This is useful for an organisation who is satisfied with the financial and payroll applications but need to establish a centralised database for their human resources.  Open Source solutions offer excellent options in this regard. 

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal that suits your needs.

I need Internet. What is the best solution for my home or office?

I need Internet. What is the best solution for my home or office?

Depending on your bandwidth requirements, the most cost-effective solution for smaller businesses is an ADSL line.  This is basically a digital line which are supplied by Telkom or some of the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in South Africa like M-Web.  

ADSL

Another advantage is that ADSL doesn't need to be an additional line installation.  Your current telephone line can be configured to use ADSL by using a filter which Telkom will provide when migrating the line.  

The disadvantages of ADSL is that the speed is not guaranteed but is, as generally known, "best effort" because the technology is shared between clients.

When choosing an ADSL solution, you will have to decide between two options; speed and the amount of data package.  

  • Speed:  ADSL is provided in different speed configurations,, ranging between 512kbs to 10mbps.  
  • Data cap:  Data cap refers to the amount of data you will need during a month.  Our experience have shown that the default 20GB packages are more than efficient for downloading email and browsing the internet.  (in a home environment, this might not be efficient).

 

Wireless

Another option is to apply for a wireless solution (excluding 3G).  A wireless solutions is basically a device which is installed on your premises and connects wireless with the service provider's beacon (note that line of sight might be required but will be provided for my the ISP).  As with ADSL, you can choose between speed and data cap options.  The biggest advantage of WiFi internet is guaranteed speed - you don't share your line with other clients.

3G Cellular Technology

Off course, many smaller businesses opt for a cellular solution.  THis solution is similar to your mobile telephone solution, except that you opt for a data solution from one of the providers.  You will receive a sim card with a data cap and the necessary router for accessing the internet.  From our experience, this is an expensive solution as cellular data is currently still more expensive than any other technology.  The advantage is that you can use this solution out of the office.  Also note that the signal strength will determine your speed.

Diginet

A Diginet line is an older technology but is still used by bigger businesses who require more bandwidth.  It is a dedicated line which is installed and also comes in different bandwidth options.  

Fibre

The bigger businesses with a high demand of availability and speed, the best solution is a Fibre installation.  Again, different options of bandwidth are available.  A Fibre installation is also a dedicated line which means guaranteed bandwidth and speed.  No limit on data being transferred.  This is a viable solution for businesses with DRP solutions, remote office access and Mail servers, but are more costly.

Please Contact Us for a proper assessment and proposal that will suit your business needs.

I want to start implementing ICT Governance. Where do I start?

I want to start implementing ICT Governance. Where do I start?

ICT Governance Implementation is a life-cycle approach and it is recommended that ICT Governance is implemented in phases over a period.  Many private and public institutions address the implementation of ICT Governance as a once-off project which is "ticked-off".  That is not ICT Governance implementation.

A phased approach means that an organisation starts with preparing the environment (governance enabling structures and culture) by, for example, developing a governance strategy, introducing governance structures, policies, and procedures and creating an enabling environment through change management.  This first phase will also include a maturity assessment of your organisation's current business processes and operations.  All these preparation will assist in determining the road map for implementing governance. 

Following this start-up phase, our experience has shown that a road map is developed for introducing and implementing processes which will increase the maturity of your organisation.  It is proposed to start on a small scale as the implementation of governance processes takes time and determined effort from all the role players.  Organisations which chose a host of processes are often discouraged and found wanting after an audit cycle.  Many processes also require other processes which necessitates proper planning of the implementation road-map.  After each phase, a proper assessment is made and the road-map for the next phase are developed.  

Organisations should also note that, after successful implementation, continuous evaluation and changes are part of the governance life-cycle.  This is why the implementation of governance is not a "tick-box for compliance" exercise but an intention to do better business in the long-term.

Contact Us for an assessment and proposal which will suit your business needs.

Which ICT Governance Framework would be most appropriate?

Which ICT Governance Framework would be most appropriate?

There are different ICT Governance Frameworks and standards like ISO, ITIL, Cobit etc.  We have extensive experience in ITIL and Cobit and propose Cobit5.  The reason for our proposal is the inclusion of many of the principles and processes used by other standards in Cobit5, including KING III principles, especially used in South Africa.  Cobit5 covers your business from end-to-end (i.e. includes Risk Management, Project Management, Portfolio Management etc).  Cobit5 is also the recommended framework by the Auditor General for public institutions.

See our FAQ on Cobit or Contact Us for an assessment and proposal.

How does KING III/IV apply to Information Technology and/or to us?

How does KING III/IV apply to Information Technology and/or to us?

Business will recall that the King Commission was set up for improving business ethics in South Africa, especially listed companies on the JSE, in establishing Corporate Governance principles in line with the Companies Act no 71 of 2008.  Since the first King report, subsequent reports were developed as guidelines for businesses to improve their financial statements, business ethics and operations.  KING III is the latesst King report and dealt specifically with Information Technology (IT) due to the high cost of ICT solutions.  One of the major implications of KING III with regards to ICT is the principle that the Board are directly responsible and accountable for ICT Governance.  Many organisations in the past have left ICT governance as a project of the ICT section.  For successful ICT governance, top management needs to be actively involved.  Due to these principles, the position of a delegated Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Technology Officer (CTO) on the executive management level is more and more a necessity.

The KING III principles are (abbreviated):

  1. The role and functions of the Board
  2. Corporate citizenship: leadership, integrity and responsibility
  3. Audit Committees
  4. Risk Management
  5. Internal Audit
  6. Integrated sustainability reporting and disclosure
  7. Compliance with laws, regulations, rules and standards
  8. Managing stakeholder relationships
  9. Fundamental and affected transactions

The ICT related principles included in KING III are:

  • The responsibility of ICT lies with the Board (Principle 5.1), achieved through the implementation of an ICT Governance Framework (charter, and related policies) because it support supports effective and efficient management of IT resources.  The Board may delegate these responsibilities to implement relevant structures, processes and mechanisms to enable IT to deliver value to the business and mitigate IT risk.  An ICT Steering Committee is proposed as the vehicle to accomplish this requirement.
  • The delegation or appointment of a CIO/CTO is covered in principle 5.3.20 to act as a bridge between ICT and business.  
  • The board is required to monitor and evaluate significant IT investments and expenditure through project management principles.  
  • Governance principles are also applicable to supply chain processes in relation to ICT acquisition and disposal.  
  • IT should form an integral part of the company‚Äüs risk management processes (principle 5.5). 
  • Information assets are to be managed effectively, including the accuracy, reliability and security aspects of all information (principle 5.6).  This principle covers the loss of information (i.e. backup and disaster recovery strategies).  
  • KING III also puts a high premium on the protection of private information to protect businesses from potential reputational and financial loss in the event of breaching of private information.

We are members of the Institute of Directors of South Africa and will be able to assist our customers to assess and align with KING III.  Contact Us for an assessment and proposal which will suit your business needs.

 

References:

  1. King III report
  2. IODSA Manual
  3. Muwandi, T.  Comparisson of King II and King II and the implications of King III

Do I need an Antivirus solution for my mobile devices?

Do I need an Antivirus solution for my mobile devices?

With the advent of smart phones it is highly recommended.  If you already have an antivirus solution for your business desktops, you can easily upgrade your current solution to include mobile licenses.

We do offer Eset as the preferred solution.  Contact Us for an assessment and proposal.