Cisco To Cut 5% of Workforce

New York – United States technology giant Cisco said on Wednesday that it would be forced to cut around 4 000 jobs. The company, which has a huge global presence, said the cuts need to be made because of the slower than expected economic recovery and disappointing conditions in emerging markets.

Chief executive John Chambers (featured in image) reportedly told analysts that while the market in the US is getting better, this is offset by the situation in the emerging markets. He said the company has to respond quickly to rebalance its staff to match growth.

He did however add that some of the retrenched workers will be rehired in other posts.

“I have learned in this industry you lead with your mind, not with your heart,” Chambers was quoted as saying.

Wednesday’s announcement makes this year the 3rd consecutive year that the company has downsized.

Image Source: Wikimedia COmmons

Posted by: Natalie Simon   August 15, 2013 

Johannesburg – Nigeria is fast catching up to South Africa as the most attractive investment destination in Africa, according to a report by Rand Merchant Bank’s “Where to Invest In Africa” guide. According to report South Africa remains number one on the continent, but is 33rd in the overall world rankings and ranked second last, before Russia, among the Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) nations.

Nigeria climbed up from third place in Africa, overtaking Egypt and ranks at number 38 globally. The west African state has climbed 35 places in the past decade on global rankings.

According to the report Nigeria could possibly replace South Africa as top of the investment list in Africa within the next 5 years if the South African economy continues to stagnate. Nigeria’s growth rate forecast stands at 6% to 7% a year for the next 5 years, while South Africa’s is a measly 2% to 3%. Nigeria is also helped by its 162.5 million population, which is triple that of South Africa’s.

This comes after South Africa fell one place from 52nd to 53rd out of 148 on the WEF global competitiveness list, as Mauritius jumped ahead by one.

Labour discord, a failing education system and poor healthcare were all cited for South Africa’s lower ranking.

Source: Posted by: Staff Reporter    Posted date:  September 10, 2013 

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons, Lagos Island

South African newspapers are not dying

JOHANNESBURG – According to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ fourth annual South African Entertainment and Media Outlook report, these industry are estimated to grow by 10.9% over the next five years, which means it’ll generate R175bn in 2017.


“The South African market bucks the trend seen in other nations; its revenues are increasing even while the market evolves to digitised formats,” the report explains. “In contrast, newspapers in the UK and the US are struggling to devise sustainable long-term business models.”


The survey paints a newspaper industry that is “buoyant and diverse”, it forecasts that advertising revenue with grow by 6.2% from R7.5bn to R10.1bn. In contrast, online advertising is expected to grow by 27% a year, which is only worth R506m – only 5% of newspaper revenue.


Digital circulation revenues are expected to grow from R13mil to R215mil by 2017, but contrary to other countries with the same broadband, South Africans still prefer print over digital news content. Readership remains constant with 31% of the adult population read a daily newspaper.


Vicky Myburgh, PwC’s entertainment and media industries leader for South Africa, told the Business Times, that while most of the growth would be from digital technology, the traditional non-digital media would still dominate the industry over the next five years.


Myburgh continues, that in South Africa books were struggling, as they were “largely unaffordable”. Yet magazines and newspapers will continue to grow, because of price and diversity in languages.

Source: – Posted by: Kyle Stevenson   Posted date:  September 25, 2013  

The full report here

photo Courtesy:


Mikro Stationery closes its doors

Deon Terblanche of Mikro Stationery has reported that the cc has become insolvent. Their Telkom land line is now out of service. Should any business need assistance with legalities, please contact Philip Smit on 011 6466120.  


“Kodak remains fully committed to South Africa as one of our important emerging markets. We needed to find a strong partner who can support our vision for accelerated growth in a rapidly transforming industry while offering enhanced service levels to take the brand forward and reach even further heights in Southern Africa. I believe ACT provide a perfect fit because they share our commitment to serving customers and are prepared to continue investing in the growth of the business with us.” Says Alfred Otieno, Business Manager for Personalized Imaging for Middle East and Africa.

ACT will be responsible for the distribution, business development, and marketing of consumables for retail printing and the servicing of Kodak retail digital printing systems. Currently there are over 100 Kodak Express stores and over 700 Kodak digital printer outlets serving consumers countrywide.

Advancements in smart phones, tablets and connectivity, combined with the consumer’s desire for speed, experiences and personalization make today a pivotal time for the photographic printing industry. Kodak is providing seamless ways for people to access their images and create great products immediately in-store.


Christian Zanin, brand ambassador for Kodak in South Africa said “Through this latest range of advancements, Kodak will create a new category that will enable our partners to go beyond their traditional photo product offering to capitalize on the growing personalized and connected imaging market”.


Please email ACT on  or call on Tel: +27 11 885 4653 should you have any queries.


About ACT:

Advanced Channel Technologies (Pty) Ltd (ACT) is a focused supplier of high quality IT consumables and technology accessories.

ACT is committed to the delivery of world-class products and services to a national network of Premier Business Partners and resellers who address the entire potential market for IT consumables and accessories in southern Africa.

The company operates as a fully-authorized supplier of a comprehensive range of high quality products that are manufactured by the world’s premier brand name vendors.


ACT is a company in the MB Technologies Group,one of southern Africa’s leading IT distribution group. ACT has 9 branches across southern Africa

Media Enquiries


Advanced Channel Technologies

Christian Zanin

Kodak Brand ambassador

Tel: +27 (0)11 885 4629


The Protection of Personal Information Act will soon come into effect, and companies have to carefully consider how they handle, distribute and use their customers’ information. Fortunately, there are tools that can make this much easier.


One tool that every business should investigate is document management – in all its forms. Document management is a set of rules and standards surrounding the methods of storing and managing all information (in document form) across the organisation. It’s becoming critical – not only because of the risks that are part and parcel of handling sensitive information, but also because of the sheer volume of data that we are accumulating. We need to be able to respond to information faster and more efficiently if we are to compete in today’s rapidly paced marketplace – which means that we need to access, search and share data quickly. Unfortunately not every organisation can implement a complex, effective enterprise-level document management system – but there are ways and means of taking control.


Take faxes, for example. The days of feeding a piece of paper through a noisy dial-up machine, where after it is received and filed along with a stack of other pieces of paper, are long gone. Today’s faxes have an inherent point-to-point audit trail, along with date and time stamps, which means that you are able to track all documents as it travels through the organisation.


Fax servers can be configured to log and archive copies of all in- and outbound faxes. By integrating multifunctional peripheral devices (MFPs) with a fax server, all messaging can be logged – which optimises security. It’s a digital, fast and safe electronic document repository that can be categorised and equipped with retention rules and regulations – including the facilitation and management of access to those documents. It’s an excellent archiving solution that most companies can use – big or small.


The “traditional” fax system comes with a good deal of risk.  Let’s just say the old paper-based fax sits in the corner of the room and Joe Soap is printing something off the same machine. He might see a confidential document containing banking details and read or even circulate it. That’s a significant breach, subject to a fine, without anyone being able to pinpoint the source internally. With the digital system, there is an electronic archive repository and an audit trial, which means that the company can determine exactly who opened each document that was received, as well as whether it was deleted or forwarded.


Fax can be a significant tool to ensure that customer information stays secure. Speak to a service provider about how information travels through your organisation and work with a fax system that will allow you to set up the correct rules for security and retention. 


By Craig Freer, Head of Enterprise Products, Vox Telecom

Cluttered tills are a sign of inefficiency, lack of productivity and impacts retailer profits, says Ian Steyn of Innervation – and integrating all those services into the point of sale is the solution!


“Customers expect more and more value-added services from retailers,” he says. “But adding a new terminal or hardware peripheral device for each service creates challenges. If you have a credit card terminal, and maybe a second one from another bank, and need to add yet another to support gift cards and loyalty, the till environment can get unacceptably cluttered.”


Wasted cashier time and longer queues are just the start of the challenges, says Steyn. “Having multiple standalone terminals at your till puts you at much greater risk of mistakes and fraud. For example, when your card payment terminal isn’t integrated with your point of sale software, it means every payment transaction has to be manually performed on a card payment terminal and then captured on the point of sale as well. That invariably leads to mistakes and typically manifests itself in end of day reconciliation exceptions.”


Adding a new terminal for each service also means training and retraining staff. “That’s a huge expense on its own – and it probably won’t be enough. If you’re incentivising your staff by how quickly they can move people through the till, but checking loyalty points on the terminal takes a few extra seconds per customer, they have a very good reason to forget about the loyalty programme.”


Finally, there are all the attendant problems of managing multlple pieces of hardware and associated consumables. “Three terminals might mean three different network connections and three different printers, which take three different kinds of paper. This can be a real issue, and a major waste of resources.”


Integrating services onto the point of sale means retailers only need to deal with one POS system, one printer and one network connection, he says. “It also means you get 100% accuracy, transactions are faster to process and it’s easier to train cashiers. Services such as coupons and loyalty, which require reference to the actual items purchased, can only be optimally implemented when integrated to the point of sale. This supports the Implementation of common business processes across all value added services, with the associated savings and productivity.”


“Retailers are best at doing retail,” he says. “Managing multiple bits of IT is not their core business, especially in smaller retailers, and it shouldn’t have to be. Rolling up multiple services into your point of sale system makes life much easier.”


About Innervation  

Innervation Value Added Services assists retailers to achieve enhanced customer service, increased revenue and sustainable competitive advantage via strategic engagement and by enabling a wide range of services across all customer touch points. Innervation utilises an agile switching and reconciliation platform to seamlessly integrate to customer touch points (POS, mobile, web, call centre, self -service kiosks and social media) and also to retail enterprise financial and CRM systems. The company’s core product offerings include the Destiny electronic payments switch and the Destiny Stored Value suite of products, including gift card, loyalty, vouchers and coupons. Commodity services such as prepaid airtime and bill payment are supported via interfaces to the Value Added Service Providers preferred by the merchant.



The launch of the innovative online cellular store Mondo offers the swiftest, safest and most hassle-free opportunity for buying of data, SIM-only contracts and handset deals in South Africa.

Set to replace standing in long queues and completing endless reams of paperwork, on Mondo the customer has access to the latest mobile phones, data contracts, upgrades and SIM-only contracts without the hassle of visiting a store but still with the benefit of talking to a consultant offering personalized service and advice. No banking details or other private information is entered online and the sale ends with free delivery to the customer’s home or place of work.

Mondo launched on 8 April 2013 with its hero product, the SIM-only contract offering customers’ massive savings in monthly cellular telephone bills. Revolutionizing cellular contract options Mondo’s,  SIM-only contracts simply mean the margin traditionally allocated to fund the mandatory handset in a conventional mobile phone contract is used to fund call costs instead, thereby saving the customer money each month.

SIM-only contracts have far-reaching consequences for a country like SA in which over 59 million people are reported to be mobile phone users. The SIM-only contract means families and friends are able to pass on handsets in which SIM-only contracts are used.

The Mondo online store is open during the week between 9am and 6pm, any afterhours shopping will result in a Mondo consultant phoning the customer the next day to offer any support and to complete the sale. Mondo is connected by Vodacom.

Visit or on your phone to learn more about SIM-only contracts and other deals.


Key features of informational labelling

Pyrotec PackMedia, the leading provider of innovative on-pack solutions, recently conducted research to identify what was most important to their clients within the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries.


Timothy Beattie, General Manager of Pyrotec PackMedia, said: “It was important for us to ascertain what was most important to our informational client base, in order for us to ensure that we met their requirements with our offerings and were adding value to their brands.”

PackMedia’sleaflet-label, Fix-a-Form®, was found to bethe preferred option by pharmaceutical and agrochemical manufacturers as it is able to contain extensive information within the confines of an adhesive label. Fix-a-Form® allows for variable manufacturer on-pack data to be included – ensuring complete traceability – and is able to be applied with standard labelling equipment.

The key factors that were important to pharmaceutical and agrochemical manufacturers when selecting a suitable on-pack label, were as follows:

Space: It is important to ensure that there is sufficient space to convey all of the information required by law on a product’s packaging, specifically pertaining to the composition, potential side-effects, contraindications, directions for use etc. A leaflet-label is a good way of including all of the essential information in a small area of space.


User-friendly: Labels that were able to be applied using standard labelling machinery, such as Fix-a-Form®, were preferred by manufacturers as no additional application equipment needed to be purchased. Labels are also able to be resealed for repeated reference.

Waste Reduction: Fix-a-Form® removes the need for excessive packaging and outer cartons, which ultimately reduces costs and provides an environmentally-conscious method of labelling goods.


Variety: As the old saying goes: ‘variety is the spice of life’. Fix-a-Form® is available in a wide range of designs and formats to suit the style of the product or information presented.


Multilingual:When distributing to other countries, user-instructions, hazard warnings and application guidelines need to be included in a number of local languages- which often leads to challenges in terms of labelling. Manufacturers struggle to include the compulsory information in the limited space provided on a traditional label, which needs to fit a small pharmaceutical bottle or box. PackMedia’s Fix-a-Form® leaflet-label occupies the area of a standard label but provides additional space to include dosage instructions, warnings and indications in multiple languages, as stipulated by legislation internationally.


“These key features are of paramount importance to the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries, as they enhance the consumer experience and increase the chances of a repeat purchase,” concludes Beattie. “Fix-a-Form® leaflet-labels make it possible to include necessary information required, without compromising on the aesthetic aspects.”


Pyrotec is a privately owned South African company that specialises in providing innovative and top quality product identification solutions. The company’s extensive service offering includes on-pack product identification solutions including self-adhesive labels systems, as well as coding and labellingequipment. With a service offering founded on a dedication to quality, operational reliability, and excellent service, the Cape Town based company has a national footprint with centres in major cities across the country. With more than 40 years’experience, Pyrotec has three brands operating under its ambit: Pyrotec PackMedia, Pyrotec PackMark and Tower which includes Toby Tower. The proudly independent company is headed-up by Managing Director, Rowan Beattie.

For more info see:


The Lion Match Company, a uniquely South African company home to a number of well-known brands, needed to clear excess stock of its Loving Touch shave gel – and it needed to do it in a hurry.


Bianca Frade, Product Manager for Loving Touch Shaving, said: “We needed to clear remaining stock from the retail shelves and we looked at numerous below-the-line promotional devices that would assist us in achieving this. We eventually opted for Pyrotec PackMedia’s ElastiTote® hang tag, which would be used to promote to shoppers a free razor with every purchase of the gel.”

Pyrotec PackMedia is the leading provider of innovative on-pack solutions to the South African market. ElastiTote® forms part of Pyrotec PackMedia’s ElastiTag® collection- a range of unique, elasticised hang tags that can be used for labelling, branding and marketing a wide variety of products from produce to cosmetics.The ElastiTote® variant allows for a promotional item to be connected to the main product; be it a sample packet, trial-sized product or for purposes of cross-promotion. In the case of the Loving Touch brand, the ElastiTote® was used to attach arazor to the bottle of shave gel as part of the promotion.

Timothy Beattie, General Manager of Pyrotec PackMedia, says: “A free item always provides incentive for customers to purchase a product, even if their preferred brand is usually another. ElastiTote® – which is considered a brand enhancement tool – provides an attention-grabbing way to incentivise a promotional campaign while increasing the aesthetic appeal of the product on offer.”

Frade was extremely happy with the outcome of the promotion: “The campaign was so successful that we had to keep stock back in order for it not to run out before we launched our new branding, as it was selling very fast. The Management team was very happy as it allowed us to get rid of stock that would have been written off.”

“This success would not have been possible without the ElastiTote®! It made the product stand-out on the shelves whilst enhancing the brand. We will definitely use it again.”


About Pyrotec
Pyrotec is a privately owned South African company that specialises in providing innovative and top quality product identification solutions. The company’s extensive service offering includes on-pack product identification solutions including self-adhesive labels systems, as well as coding and labellingequipment. With a service offering founded on a dedication to quality, operational reliability, and excellent service, the Cape Town based company has a national footprint with centres in major cities across the country. With more than 40 years’experience, Pyrotec has three brands operating under its ambit: Pyrotec PackMedia, Pyrotec PackMark and Tower which includes Toby Tower. The proudly independent company is headed-up by Managing Director, Rowan Beattie.

For more info see:

Follow us on social media: 


View our magazine archives: 


My Office News Ⓒ 2017 - Designed by A Collective