Hitachi to buy South African IT company

first_imgHeadquartered in Johannesburg, Shoden has also established subsidiaries in the UK and in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania as part of its continued expansion in sub-Saharan Africa. “The strength of Hitachi Data Systems solutions has been an integral part of this journey.” 6 October 2011 Shoden designs, provisions, deploys and supports products and technologies that simplify and optimise data centre environments to many enterprise customers in the region, including major banks, telecommunication companies and retail companies. Hitachi Data Systems said it intends to continue this relationship with TSS and is committed to building on the company’s adoption of the BEE framework should the competition authorities approve the proposed acquisition. Continuing growth across Africa “Together, as a united company, we are committed to continuing the outstanding support given to all of our customers and to continue to grow across Africa.” As such, Hitachi Data Systems Europe, Middle East and Africa general manager Niels Svenningsen pointed out that the proposed acquisition was a natural step in the relationship between the two companies. US-based Hitachi Data Systems is to acquire South Africa’s Shoden Data Systems, a leading provider of data centre technology solutions across sub-Saharan Africa, for an undisclosed sum, as part of its growth strategy on the continent. Shoden has been a dedicated supporter of black economic empowerment (BEE), in particular through its relationship with Tactical Software Systems (TSS), an IT company that provides business solutions for commercial and public enterprises in South Africa. The addition of Shoden will enable Hitachi Data Systems to better serve its growing customer base throughout the region by continuing to help customers reduce costs, carry out business innovation initiatives, improve service levels and deploy new applications and technologies more quickly and efficiently. “Shoden has achieved great success and leadership in South Africa, creating a strong customer base and building a skilled and motivated team,” Svenningsen said in a statement this week. “We share the same values and commitment to excellence and innovation. Hitachi Data Systems, a subsidiary of Japan’s Hitachi, has enjoyed a successful 11-year partnership with Shoden, and Shoden’s growth over that period has enabled it to capture a significant share of the rapidly growing South African enterprise data storage market. “We are very excited about the prospect of joining the Hitachi Data Systems family,” said Shoden Data Systems MD Marc Trevenen. “We are proud of the proven expertise, reputation and local knowledge that we have developed over the past 11 years. Committed to black empowerment The acquisition is subject to approval from the South African Competition Commission and other relevant competition authorities in the African countries in which Hitachi Data Systems and Shoden conduct operations. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Khoi San centre will keep heritage alive

first_imgA hundred kilometres from the closest big town, a San community and the makers of a documentary on their disappearing language are hoping to build a cultural centre.On land the community has set aside, the team behind award-winning documentary Lost Tongue intend to build a multimedia and skills centre for the community. Even here, in what can be described as the point between somewhere and nowhere, they hope to build a place of memory, an emblematic cultural space to rechart a region’s fortunes and save a culture from extinction.Davison Mudzingwa, the Lost Tongue director, explains the vision. “With the community we want to build a multimedia skills centre, a central place where the community can come together and use film, photography and sound to tell their own stories.”It is to be a safe space to remember, celebrate and protect the N!uu language, a space where the community can create, curate, save and share their culture with the world. Construction will begin as soon the community and the filmmakers can find funding.Producer Francis Hweshe says they have reached out to funders already. But, in tough times, it has been difficult to convince companies and funders to part with cash. “For us, this is the next and important step. We tell people that if they are worried by what we lose when a language dies, then this is the first step. Let’s try to save what we can together.”The community as partnersFor some communities, cultures die because young people are drawn to the cities. In finding their space they lose their sense of home and, eventually, memories of their identity and language disappear.For a budgeted R17-million, the community and Mvura Ya Afrika Productions will build a centre that uses technology to breathe life into a language spoken only in one small corner of Africa, and broadcast it to the world. They envision that all the content created by the people using the centre will be available online.Elders see this project as necessary not just to save their language, but also to save their people. Like many forgotten groups, Hweshe explains, “…the youth are on the margins. This is a community ravaged by drugs and alcohol. The future of the youth is also important to the elders. For the community this is a way to empower them as a people.”The centre will also be accessible to the group at all times. The builders are planning to host summer schools and holiday activities. But this is not the only reason the centre will be built in Andriesvale, as opposed to a bigger town.“People are not tourist attractions. We do not want to commodify the community. Outsiders who visit the centre will be there because they have an interest in the community; they will be cultural activists or academics – experts who are there to uplift the community.”Window to the worldShort films, photo essays and recordings of the community’s mother tongue will be accessible to an audience beyond the dusty streets of Andriesvale. The archive will be accessible to anyone anywhere. And the online radio station will allow the people of the village to reach out to the world.For Mudzingwa, technology is the most important tool available to help save African languages. “For rural African communities, technology makes the world accessible. It is the best way for us to preserve a culture and a way of life. It makes it possible for anyone to document and archive a culture we are at risk of losing.”Making the centre a reality matters to the producers of Lost Tongue. They do not want to be remembered as just another production that smiled, shot and then left the place as they found it. “As Africans we are passionate about preserving an African culture. It was never going to be enough to be complimented on our film without something tangible being born out of it,” Mudzingwa explains.Mudzingwa, Hweshe and the community understand the urgency. There are just a handful of N!uu speakers left; according to researchers there may as few as six – all frail and living in communities where their language, and the heritage that goes along with it, is considered unimportant.“We need to learn from these people. We need to show the value of these people who have clung to their identity despite losing so much else,” Mudzingwa explains. “Imagine if we let go of our own people, tribes and nations in the same way. This centre will help maintain this community, and allow the generations that come after to learn.” reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using materiallast_img read more

Celebrating Freedom Day – The Mark That Made a Difference

first_imgCelebrating Freedom Day – The Mark That Made a Difference Johannesburg, Wednesday 25 April 2018 – South Africa celebrates Freedom Day on the 27th April to mark the emancipation of the country and its people from apartheid. In 1994 on 27th April the first democratic election was held in South Africa, this paved the way towards a new democracy and a new constitution for the country.Remembering the mark that made a difference in 1994, Brand South Africa’s Constitutional Awareness programme, in collaboration with Freedom Park, will host intergenerational dialogues, in order to inspire constitutionalism, tolerance and constructive expression #makeyourmark.Ahead of Freedom Day on 27th April 2018, Brand South Africa will encourage youth participation in the Freedom Day programme and other days of national significance to guide in constructing an intergenerational future for the country through the lessons of the past.Brand South Africa is also driving dialogues on social media platform through its campaign – The Mark That Made a Difference #makeyourmark on the progress South Africa has made in the past 24 years.Under the theme – “Our Freedom Charter, Constitution: The Bill of Rights, the fundamental rights of every South African”The Freedom Day programme will run as follows;Freedom Park’s Intergenerational DialogueThe Intergenerational Dialogue will create an engaging and interactive platform with the Stalwarts of Freedom to share, discuss and educate the youth and students, the road the people and this country has travelled to shape the remarkably unique, detailed and inclusive constitution including our Bill of Rights, that we now enjoy.Date: Thursday, 26 April 2018Time:  10:00am until 14:00pmVenue:  Freedom Park, The Sanctuary venue in the Park Film Screening of Long Walk to Freedom An outdoor film screening of Long Walk to Freedom, which will be free to the public. The remarkable life of South African revolutionary, late former president and world icon Nelson Mandela takes center stage. From humble beginnings as a herd boy in a rural village to became involved in the anti-apartheid movement and co-founded the African National Congress Youth LeagueDate: Friday, 27 April 2018Time:  12h00pm gates openVenue:  Freedom Park, The Sanctuary venue in the Park#Singabantu Fundraising Fashion show#Singabantu – We are human is an Afro phobia awareness short film shot in the remains of a Rosettenville house burnt to the ground during service delivery protests that turned into a nationwide wave of Afro phobic attacks. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Plural plus award-winning web-film calls for unity, love and tolerance. The web-film was produced by a Play Your Part Ambassador, Sophie Kanza, from the Sophie Kanza Foundation, in collaboration with youth from various African countries, living in South Africa. The web-film is aligned to and has the support of Brand South Africa’s #INSPIREDBYMYCONSTITUTION campaign.Date: Saturday, 28 April 2018Time:  18:30pm for 19:00pmVenue:  Asanka Resturant Cnr and, Rivonia Rd & Mutual Rd, Sandton, 2128Speaking on the objectives of the programme, Brand South Africa’s Stakeholder Relations Manager for Government, Ms Toni Gumede said; “we trust the Freedom Day programme will highlight the fruits of Freedom and popularise the Constitution as well as inspire active citizenship, intergenerational conversations and urge the youth and all citizens to #makeyourmark”.Join and follow the conversations on The Mark That Made a Difference #makeyourmark BrandSouthAfrica and @Brand_SAlast_img read more

Mmmmm…Buckeye state BBQ

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Mike Ryan, OCJ Field ReporterFew meals rival the tastes, aromas, and visual pleasures offered by good barbecue.Famed American writer and food aficionado Jim Harrison once said that the sensory experience provided by authentic barbecue makes him “rethink food as a sacrament and those who man the barbecue pit as priests of a holy substance.”The barbecue establishments featured here are a testament to Harrison’s observation. These purveyors of smoked meat from across the state each have their own distinct personality and style, which is reflected in the mouth-watering barbecue that they serve up in their unique restaurants. Velvet Smoke BBQ, CincinnatiTodd Wernicke is Velvet Smoke BBQ’s Executive Pitmaster, serving up high quality meats such as Duroc pork and Angus Beef to hungry restaurant patrons throughout the Cincinnati region. The folks at Velvet Smoke got their start in the barbecue business as competition cooks and judges on the Kansas City Barbecue Society circuit.Todd Wernicke, Velvet Smoke BBQ“Through the years of honing our craft on the competitive circuit, we have developed techniques and flavors that have proven to be winners at the judges’ tables and on our customers’ tables as well,” Wernicke said. “We feel that our time on the competitive circuit makes our BBQ unique by bringing that knowledge and the flavor profiles associated with it to our customers. All of our pitmasters are Grand Champion winners, which not many BBQ joints can say.”At Velvet Smoke, they use only the highest quality ingredients and make all of their sides, rubs, and sauces in house from scratch. The restaurant’s specialty is their delectable burnt ends.“Our specialty is burnt ends, which is my personal favorite as well. We have customers who will come in and inquire about them and ask, ‘Why would I want something that is burnt?’ They aren’t actually burnt, but are cubes from the fattier point end of the brisket that we leave on the smoker a little longer to get more of what we call ‘bark’ in the BBQ world. Bark is the crust that forms on the outside of the meat from the combination of rub and smoke,” Wernicke said. “Combine the extra moisture from the fat and the bark from the extra time in the pit — it’s heavenly. I’ve never heard a complaint. Once someone tries them, they are hooked for life.”Experts at their craft, the award-winning pitmasters at Velvet Smoke Barbecue serve up the smoky, sultry tastes of summer.“Good barbecue comes from the proper amount of smoke and seasonings and knowing the proper tenderness to achieve. Every piece of meat is different; a true pitmaster knows exactly when that particular cut of meat is done and is at optimum tenderness to be served to our standards,” Wernicke said. “Barbecue is a food which I associate with gathering friends and family together: a lazy summer day, the sweet smell of smoke wafting through the air, and good times. It just doesn’t get any better than that. Meat, fire, friends, and a cold beverage — that spells summer to me.”Velvet Smoke BBQ opened its first restaurant in 2012 and now has three locations in the Greater Cincinnati area. Menus and further information can be found at The Port Lounge and Smokehouse, ThornvilleVisitors to The Port walk into a smokehouse and bar that has the feel of a Southern honky tonk, complete with an open-air atmosphere filled with unique decor and the smell of wood smoke, outdoor seating, and live bands on the water who perform regularly throughout the summer months.Mark Bernhard, The Port Lounge and SmokehouseOwner and pitmaster Mark Bernhard’s smokehouse, which is open seasonally from the last weekend in April through mid-September, is an offshoot of his year-round bar, The Port Lounge, the first licensed liquor establishment in Perry County after Prohibition. Located on popular vacation destination Buckeye Lake, The Port is accessible by car and also has docks available for hungry lake goers to tie up their boats and come ashore for a cold drink and some hot smoked meats.“Our signature beef brisket and ribs are the number one sellers. We are conveniently located only 2 miles off of I-70; the highway often brings people from hundreds of miles away to our restaurant for our barbecue. A lot of people from Texas say the brisket reminds them of home and that our brisket is comparable to anything they’ve had in Texas BBQ country. All of our meats are dry rubbed and our six signature homemade barbecue sauces are served on the side. For side dishes, our homemade Mac and Cheese is a hot commodity. We sell it by the wheelbarrow load; our grilled asparagus is also a big hit,” Bernhard said.Along with the live music on holidays, weekend nights, and Sunday afternoons, The Port often has special events and BBQ meal deals.“In honor of my father, ‘Big’ Chris Bernhard, founder of The Port Lounge, we offer the popular ‘Big Chris’ Feast for Two, which consists of 1.5 pounds of smoked meats of the customer’s choice, three sides, and beer bread, which is baked daily on-site. The last Sunday of each month at 2 p.m., we have a Lobsterfest where guests are served clams, mussels, and a whole fresh Maine lobster that never touches land, going from boat to truck to table overnight,” Bernhard said.Bernhard enjoys manning his smoker and the friendly atmosphere at his business.“We don’t use any gas in our pit like many barbecue restaurants do; the amount of wood that a lot of people use for a burn doesn’t even get my smoker started. The fire in the smoker never dies during the summer months and I am smoking fresh meats five to six days a week. I have a great staff, the food is great, and I enjoy serving it to the customers. I like cooking for people and feeding people and seeing that pleased smile on their faces when they bite into our authentic barbecue,” he said.They can be reached at 740-246-5000 and are also on Facebook @PortSmokehouse. Hickory Pit BBQ, Delphos and WapakonetaSmall business owner Bryan Hutchison’s entrepreneurial spirit and love ofBryan Hutchison, Hickory Pit BBQbarbecue inspired him to get into the barbecue business. Hutchison raises feed crops on his farm on the Allen/Auglaize county line and owns several enterprises throughout the region. Out of his two gas station/convenience stores in Delphos and Wapakoneta, Hutchison sells his signature product, Hickory Pit BBQ.“We offer Certified Angus beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and baby back ribs. I make a sweet house sauce with a lot of brown sugar. The pulled pork is by far the customer favorite, but I prefer the beef brisket,” Hutchison said. “It gives me great joy bringing an excellent product to my customers’ table that I would eat myself.”In 2008, when Hutchison purchased his convenience stores, he knew he wanted to offer his customers more than the standard pizza and roller dog fare typical of gas station marts.“I wanted to do something food-oriented at the gas station and I knew I wanted it to be a destination, rather than a run-of-the-mill convenience store,” Hutchison said. “Barbecue is something that I always enjoyed eating, but back in ‘08, I had to drive an hour plus to find good barbecue. So I figured, why not set up a BBQ joint?”Over the past decade, Hutchison has worked hard to establish Hickory Pit BBQ’s reputation for excellent food and customer service. People come from near and far to pick up Hutchison’s signature meats.“At The Point gas station in Delphos where Hickory Pit BBQ is made and sold, we open at 5 a.m., and by 7 a.m. the place is full of local farmers and laborers. The Point/Hickory Pit BBQ is a gathering place to meet up, get coffee, breakfast sandwiches, and a sack lunch of BBQ for the day’s work. At lunch, a lot of local guys come in on their breaks, especially during harvest time,” he said. “This is one of the benefits of being on the outskirts of Delphos. The store in Wapakoneta is just off I-75, and as a testament to the quality of our barbecue, we get a lot of travelers who stop by once a year on their way to or from someplace to gas up and specifically to purchase our smoked meats.”More about Hickory Pit BBQ can be found at read more

This Is How I Work

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now This is my riff on Lifehacker’s This Is How I Work Series.Location: Westerville, OhioCurrent computer: Macbook Pro 15 w/Retina Display (backup computer MacBook Air 11)Current mobile device(s): Samsung Note 3 and iPhone 5sWhat apps/software/tools can’t you live without?For my money, Evernote is the indispensable app. I use Evernote for taking notes, for clipping articles, and for scanning every document that enters my life. I just bought the Evernote ScanSnap scanner from Evernote’s new marketplace.I love 37 Signals, and I use Highrise for my customer relationship manager and Basecamp for projects. Highrise is an untraditional customer relationship manager or sales force automation. It’s pretty simple, and it isn’t for managing a pipeline, but it works for me. Basecamp is perfect! I love sharing projects with my team and my clients.I like Dropbox, but I pay for Box is a professional grade version of online storage. I sync a number of files across my computers, and I share a number of folders with my team and my clients.I just switched from to Airmail. It’s a super-slick email application with a killer user interface. and Gmail just don’t play nicely together anymore, so I had to find something that let’s me replicate the Mail Act-On functionality, particularly archiving email to certain tags with a keystroke.I also use 1Password as a password manager (on everything but the Note 3). I am really trying hard to use complex passwords and two-factor authentication wherever I can.What’s your workspace like?I have a Geekdesk with two 27-inch Apple Thunderbolt displays. I like to stand when I work on the telephone, and I like to sit down to write. My office is my library, and I am surrounded by floor to ceiling bookshelves (I am never more comfortable than when I am surrounded by books and coffee).What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?Capture everything you need to do in a trusted system (Thank you, David Allen). Hire a personal assistant (Thank you, Michael Hyatt). Outsource the work for which you are not the primary value creator (Inspired by Gerhard Gschwandtner).For my money, getting up before 5:00 AM and working until 7:00 AM on creative, psychic-RAM-draining tasks is the ultimate key to productivity.What everyday thing are you better than everyone else?I don’t know that I am better than anyone else at any everyday thing. But I can read for hours and hours.What’s your favorite to-do list manager?I love Omnifocus, but since I switched to an Android phone, I had to find something else (or at least I thought I did). I am currently using 2Do. It’s not as powerful, clean, or flexible as Omnifocus, but it’s the best-in-class if you need to manage tasks across platforms. Airmail’s newest update allows you to share emails striaght to 2Do, which helps tremendously.What do you listen to while you work?Nothing. At 4:30 AM, I am surrounded by and enveloped in my thoughts.What are you currently reading?Tilt: Shifting Your Strategy from Products to Customers (the most important book of 2013) by Niraj Dawar and The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization.What’s your sleep routine like?In bed and asleep at 10:00 PM (I normally fall asleep in seconds), up at 4:30 AM (except on weekends, then usually up by 5:45 AM).Fill in the blank: I’d love to see ___________ answer these same questions?He’s not quite as tech-nerdy as I am, but he’s running a close second: Charlie Green (who I am hoping will write his own response and name someone else).What’s the best advice you’re ever received?It’s a tough question. Let’s start with “Shut up. It isn’t about you.” Then maybe, “Stop worrying about politics and just make enough money to outrun the bastards.”last_img read more