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Social Intranet is getting a lot smaller – Bitrix24 CEO

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, No Comments

The purchase of Yammer by Microsoft for $1.2 billion took many by surprise. Both the acquisition itself (what is social intranet anyway?) and how much Microsoft paid for the company were breathlessly discussed by analysts and tech pundits with no definitive conclusion.

Yet, according to Dmitry Valyanov, CEO of Bitrix24, the media is missing the biggest trend that’s happening with social enterprise. Bitrix24 is a social intranet company that has signed up more than 10,000 small businesses over the last three months despite still being in beta which launched in May of this year.

“I think we are seeing a repeat of the 70′s when most believed that only big businesses would ever need computers,” says Valyanov. “Of course, we know how that ended. Our own data shows that the average intranet network size in Bitrix24 is 4.9 people, which means small businesses have already embraced the new technology, yet all the other social intranet vendors keep creating solutions that are really usable only in companies with hundreds or thousands employees, and priced accordingly.”

Part of Bitrix24′s appeal is that any company with 12 employees or fewer gets a free CRM, project manager and file sharing, in addition to a rich social layer consisting with an activity stream, collaboration tools and instant messaging.

“Cost issue aside, having one account for Zoho CRM, another for Base Camp project manager and third for Dropbox file sharing is too cumbersome. Small business owners really seem to appreciate the fact that they get everything in a single package, ” Valyanov adds.

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Google Play celebrates 25 Billion downloads with $0.25 sale

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, No Comments

A lot has been said about Android’s meteoric rise in the last couple of years. It did take a while to take off, but once it did, it spread like wildfire. Google first hit 1 billion app downloads on the Google Play Store (or Android Market as it was once known) about two years ago. Since then, the rise in app downloads have been exponential.

Google Play celebrated 25 billion downloads a couple of days ago, and to commemorate is having a huge sale where many, many apps are now available for $0.25. You can find many of them under top apps, but also search through the regular apps and you are bound to find some real gems, including World of Goo, which is most likely my favourite mobile game. They also include:

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Startup Knight Competition: Win software dev worth R100 000!

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, 3 Comments

Introducing the Startup Knight competition, an event created especially for software based tech startups that are preparing to start a viable business.

Byte Orbit, the company behind and host of the event and, pride themselves on being the first software development company in South Africa to offer such a great opportunity in the form of an event to young and innovative tech entrepreneurs.

Amit Ramdath, CEO of Byte Orbit announced, “We would like to extend a challenge to other established technology based companies to identify and incubate innovative entrepreneurs in South Africa”.

Companies such as Microsoft, Nokia, Bandwidth Barn and 8ta have come on board with significant sponsorship for the winning startup.

The Prizes:

Microsoft will be providing software packages for the winning startup to run their business for 3 years as well as $60 000 worth of Azure Services. Bandwidth Barn will be providing office space for the duration of 6 months and Nokia has come on board as a product sponsor. In addition 8ta will be providing a 3G data modem loaded with their 60Gig + 60Gig offering.

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SEACOM supports ICT innovation hub KINU

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, No Comments

Pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM has made a generous commitment to provide KINU – a Tanzanian non-profit ICT innovation hub – with 30mb of free Internet capacity for a one year period. This will assist with improving the speed and quality of KINU’s Internet connectivity, which will in turn improve the efficiency of the start-up ICT enterprises they develop.

‘SEACOM has decided to support KINU and potentially other ICT innovation hubs throughout Southern and East Africa with Internet access because of its strong commitment to stimulating innovation, enterprise development and job creation within Africa’s ICT sector,’ says Anna Kahama-Rupia, managing director of SEACOM Tanzania.

She adds that the skills, relationships, applications and new businesses developed within these ICT innovation hubs will go a long way in improving Africa’s ICT efficiencies and addressing the challenge of creating new jobs for its growing youth population.

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Facebook unveils (real) gift-giving service

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, No Comments

Now Facebook users can send their friends actual gifts, rather than virtual ones, with the social networks recently unveiled Facebook Gifts that will add an entirely new revenue stream for the company.

The new service, revealed Thursday that lets users select, pay for and post gifts to their friends within Facebook will begin a slow roll-out in the U.S.

Facebook has launched the service with a large selection of products, partnering with about 100 retailers who handle the shipping that include clothing, food, stuffed animals, Starbucks vouchers and more. The monetary transactions are handled by Facebook’s payment platform where users can opt to pay immediately or at a later stage.

Once the gift has been purchased, the receiver is notified through their mobile phone or desktop that something special is on its way. Once the gift has been signed for, the sender then receives a notification that it has been received. Depending on what it is, the gift can even be exchanged for another size or colour.

Source: All Things D

Online retailer Zando gains significant investor

Published by on Sep 28th, 2012, 1 Comment

Zando, South Africa’s largest fashion e-commerce retailer that launched in January has announced that J.P. Morgan Asset Management has invested in the company that lets customers order fashion items, from South African and international brands, online. J.P. Morgan  will take a stake in Zando through its German holding company.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Portfolio Manager Robert Cousin, who worked on the deal from New York, confirmed the transaction, saying, “We are excited to partner with Zando as the company continues to grow its e-commerce presence in South Africa.”

L to R: Zando Co-Founders Manuel Koser & Peter Allerstorfer

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Final Countdown to the Digital Edge Live Show National Assembly 2012

Published by on Sep 27th, 2012, No Comments

The final countdown to this year’s premier digital marketing event has begun. All speakers, sponsors, and panel discussion topics have been confirmed and in just one week, these top local and international speakers will be taking to the floor at the Cape Town City Hall for the Digital Edge Live Show – National Assembly on October 4th.

We’re all aware that digital marketing is in constant flux. The breakneck pace of innovation alone is causing such dynamic change in this industry that sifting the core trends from the noise in order to ascertain which forces will shape the digital landscape, is no easy feat. The 2012 sitting of the National Assembly has called together a working committee to aid in this sifting process.

Top digital innovators from a range of the country’s digital marketing elite will deliberate and state their case with thought-provoking discussions:

Our first panel question: “Are digital agencies ‘blinding clients with science’?” will be deliberated by cabinet members Matthew Buckland, Nikki Cockcroft, Ivan Moroke, Arthur Charles Van Wyk, and Andy Gilder, who will deliver an array of practical solutions.

Our second panel will seek to determine whether “South African digital work really is world class” – a question that will be tackled by industry stalwarts Graham Warsop, Rob Stokes, Pete Case, and Jason Xenopoulos.

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Download original YouTube videos with Google Takeout

Published by on Sep 27th, 2012, No Comments

Users can now download all their original, and personally uploaded, videos posted on YouTube with Google’s data portability initiative called Takeout.

The news was announced on the Google Data Liberation blog and stated that:

“Previously, you’ve been able to download individual transcoded videos from your YouTube Video Manager.  But starting today, you also have a more efficient way to download your videos from YouTube. With Google Takeout, you can download all of the original videos that you have uploaded in a few simple clicks.  No transcoding or transformation — you’ll get exactly the same videos that you first uploaded.  Your videos in.  Your videos out.”

Google Takeout allows users to download a copy of their data stored within Google products. In addition users will find that all their data is in portable and open formats‚ making it easy to import to other services. These services include Buzz, Drive, Picasa, Voice and Google+ Contacts and Circles.

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