BlackBerry SA App Master named

Joe has won a BlackBerry PlayBook and an all-expenses-paid trip to San Francisco from 18 October to 20 October for the BlackBerry Developer Conference where he will be exposed to the latest app development best practices and expertise from Research In Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry solution.   Joe’s app will also be prominently featured on the South African BlackBerry App World carousel when it is available.

The BlackBerry Developer Conference is a premier showcase for the latest innovations and breakthroughs for the BlackBerry Development Platform.  Featuring sessions, demonstrations, hands-on labs and keynotes, it is attended by BlackBerry smartphone and tablet experts and BlackBerry partners— all focused on creating mobile applications for the BlackBerry platform.

The BlackBerry App Master competition challenged South African developers to develop a wireframe for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Numerous South African developers entered the competition with innovative apps that showcase the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet’s robust development environment and powerful specs.

For the BlackBerry App Master competition, competitors could develop apps for the business/productivity or lifestyle/entertainment categories using BlackBerry PlayBook compatible tools such as Adobe AIR and BlackBerry WebWorks.

Says Craige Fleischer, Regional Director for Southern Africa at RIM: “We are excited to see what South African developers could achieve on the BlackBerry PlayBook using the native SDK as well as industry standard technologies such as HTML5 and Adobe AIR. With over 370,000 app developers in the BlackBerry platform community worldwide, Africa is an important part of the expanding BlackBerry ecosystem and we look forward to bringing more opportunities like these for developers in South Africa and the wider region.”

‘Salon Queen’ is a sales, scheduling and customer relationship management app for hair salons. It makes it simple for hair stylists to showcase their work and hairstyle ideas to their clients as well as the hairstyles the salon has done for them before. The app also enables salons to track their clients as well as schedule hair appointments for clients on the spot.

This app was chosen above all the others because the concept is simple, yet powerful. It makes use of core features of the BlackBerry PlayBook (email, camera and calendar) to create an enriched business tool that any salon will benefit from. Salon Queen can also easily be adapted for other professionals such as beauticians, dermatologists, dentists and personal trainers.





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Old Mutual Group accelerates its ambitions with 5-year outsourcing agreement

11 July 2011 – To enable its business strategy and improve competitiveness, the Old Mutual Group has signed a comprehensive Information Technology (IT) outsourcing contract with Dimension Data, supported by its partner Telkom. Dimension Data and Telkom will manage the communications tower of the Group’s South African IT estate for the next five years, focusing o­n delivering long-term operational savings, differentiated services tailored to user demand, and supporting the Group in its drive to become more competitive and customer-focused.

Old Mutual plc’s primary operations are long-term savings and investments, banking (through Nedbank, which is o­ne of the top four retail banks in South Africa), and short-term insurance (through Mutual & Federal). By outsourcing selected parts of the IT operations, Old Mutual is executing a strategy that provides the Group with the best of both worlds: o­n the o­ne hand, concentration o­n its business and o­n the other, premium access to global best practices and the full portfolio of technology resources offered by a global services provider.

The deal, which will be effective from 1 August 2011, is worth R2.49 billion over a 5-year term, across Old Mutual South Africa, Nedbank and Mutual & Federal.

Richard Boynett, Chief Information Officer of Old Mutual’s Long Term Savings Division, said: “In addition to delivering an IT environment that is flexible and responsive, the outsourcing deal will enable the Old Mutual Group to focus o­n our core business of helping customers achieve their lifetime financial goals.”

The contract was awarded to Dimension Data, Telkom and Nashua. In terms of the agreement Dimension Data together with Telkom will provide all elements of the communications tower. This covers data services (including the wide area network, branch and campus LAN environment, third party connectivity and internet access), voice services, multimedia collaboration and management services.

The contract enables Old Mutual to pursue its business and technology roadmap for the future, providing a flexible and highly responsive service that adapts to changing requirements; giving access to international best practices, procedures and skills to support the organisation’s business; and delivering real, long-term operational savings that will contribute to the Group’s competitiveness. The outsourcing contract is expected to generate significant local savings for the operating businesses involved over the next five years.

Brent Flint, Services Executive: Dimension Data Middle East & Africa, describes the contract as a noteworthy endorsement of Dimension Data Services’ capacity to manage complex, variable and flexible IT environments o­n behalf of corporations looking to focus o­n their core business.

Dr Brian Armstrong, Senior Managing Executive for Enterprise Markets at Telkom, said: “Telkom and Dimension Data have formed an industry-best partnership that offers the Old Mutual Group value and flexibility driven by a strong element of innovation.”

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BlackBerry SA App Master named