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Issue Date: November 2006

News in brief

1 November 2006

Datatec spending again
Logicalis, Datatec's IT and networking systems integration company, has made yet another acquisition, its eighth in the last 18 months. The latest company to join the group is USA-based Computech Resources, an IBM Premier Business Partner in the Midwestern USA, which is also investing over $1m in establishing offices in Chile and Peru, thus bolstering its South American operations to six offices in six countries. Furthermore, Datatec has announced its intention to list on London's AIM market, a move which has been expected for some considerable time.
Dialogue Group lists
Dialogue Group, the first South African outsourced call centre operation to list on the JSE made its successful debut on AltX early in September. It is the first new ICT company to list for some considerable time and is an encouragement to an industry that will see at least 10 ICT suspensions/de-listings from the JSE this year. Dialogue has recently won the call centre business for MTN and also includes Absa, Barclays Bank and BAT in its portfolio.
EOH strengthens Oracle focus
EOH, a JSE-listed IT company has acquired local Siebel house, Implement IT, effective 1st October 2006. The deal now enables EOH's Oracle division, Navigor, to offer a full set of Oracle solutions and is also in line with Oracle's international application strategy.
Navigor is an Oracle partner and has been awarded the Implementation Partner of the Year award for five consecutive years and the addition of Implement IT's CRM skill set will only further strengthen its position in the market. Implement IT will form part of the Navigor stable and will be branded Navigor CRM.
Idion bought
Idion has been bought by IS Holdings, a USA private equity fund, for $62,5m and thus will be de-listed from the JSE later this year. The vast majority of Idion's revenue is generated in the USA and thus a deal of this nature was always expected. The deal included an offer for the shares of Idion at a premium of over 100% of the then ruling price and also in excess of the price offered by Canadian DataMirror group a few years ago.
MicroStrategy opens direct SA office
MicroStrategy, a global leader in business intelligence (BI) technology and listed on Nasdaq, has strengthened its local presence by opening an office in South Africa, based in Johannesburg. The local operation is headed-up by country manager, Sean Wainer. MicroStrategy has been operating locally for some time and already has a strong user base that includes companies such as Foschini, International SOS and Netcare 911, Nampak, Pick n Pay and Spoornet.
Motorola gets a new country manager
Motorola SA has appointed Judi Nwokedi as its new country manager. Prior to joining Motorola in mid 2005, Judi was MD of Public Broadcasting Services at the SABC and was nominated in 2004 as one of SA's top 10 women in media.
MultiChoice gets BE
MultiChoice, which also owns MWeb, has entered into a BEE transaction with Phuthuma Nathi Investments (PNI) for 15% of the company, in a deal valued at R2,25bn. The intention of PNI is to sell-off the 45 million shares to black investors at R50 a share although the shares will not be traded for five years.
Nimbus opens local office
Nimbus, a UK-based organisation, has established a local office in South Africa. Nimbus develops and implements a process mapping and performance management solution called control-ES, which enables strategic initiatives to be adopted throughout an organisation consistently, from the CEO to the call centre operator, from finance to logistics. Using control-ES companies can measure and gain visibility of end-to-end processes throughout the organisation, define each individual's role, responsibility and accountability, and actively promote collaboration between departments, functions and individuals. Nimbus already has a base of clients in SA that includes Busi Connexion and Cell C.
Nortel Networks appoints country manager
Canadian-based Nortel Networks has appointed Magda Engelbrecht as their new SA country manager. Magda has over 20 years of experience within the IT industry and prior to joining Nortel was arivia.kom's managing executive for its outsourcing division. Magda was also country manager for Mercury Interactive prior to its direct presence withdrawal from the SA market. Globally, Mercury was recently acquired by HP and its local distributorship is currently with EOH.
Pinnacle Africa expands
Pinnacle Africa, the joint initiative of Pinnacle Micro and Workgroup has opened new branches in Angola, Mozambique and Zambia to complement the initial ones opened in Botswana and Namibia. Pinnacle Africa is headed by GM, James Tavendale.
Saab Grintek acquires Thales
Saab Grintek, the company formed following the take-over of Grintek by Saab, has acquired the communications division of Thales Advanced Engineering and will be integrated within Grintek's communications division that focuses on tactical military radio products and systems.
Sahara does the BE boogie
Indian computer multinational Sahara Holdings has sold 27% of the equity in its SA business to an empowerment consortium that comprises of Mvelaphanda Holdings, Afripalm and the Sahara Employees Trust Fund. The deal is valued at R173m. The 2,8% allocated to the Trust Fund, is to be administrated by four trustees, of which one is nominated by the board of Sahara and the others being employees.
Government win for Minolta SA
In its biggest tender win to date, Bidvest Group company, Minolta South Africa, has been awarded a three-year contract to supply national government with mid to high volume black and white and colour multifunctional devices.
Minolta South Africa MD Alan Griffith says Minolta South Africa was awarded 8 out of 12 items that were put out to tender by the Department of National Treasury. "We expect to supply the various national and provincial government departments with about 3000 to 4000 devices a year," he says.
Minolta South Africa will supply government with all its mid to high volume black and white multifunctional devices including the bizhub 250, bizhub 350, bizhub 500, bizhub 600 and bizhub 750. In addition, it will supply a colour multifunctional device, the bizhub C250, and two high volume production devices, the bizhub PRO 920 and bizhub PRO 1050.
IBM Buys ISS for $1,3 billion
IBM is poised to become the largest player in the fragmented but hotly tipped security services market, after agreeing a $1,3bn cash takeover bid for one of the largest specialist players, Internet Security Systems (ISS). ISS, which has 1300 employees and some 11 000 clients worldwide, is best known for its security software products, such as intrusion protection system Proventia and intrusion detection system RealSecure.
ISS also offers professional services such as penetration testing and security assessment consulting, and a threat analysis service called X-Force, which provides clients with intelligence on imminent attacks and potential viruses. The third prong of its offering is managed services, where it runs elements of its clients' security infrastructure, usually under multi-year contracts. ISS claims to be the largest manager of Cisco and Checkpoint firewalls in the world.
Datamonitor, CBR's parent company, estimates that the market for IT security and privacy services was worth $10,6 bn in 2005 and will grow 8% this year. Within that figure, managed security services spending is expected to expand on a near 27% growth curve through 2008, and will reach $2bn this year.
Source: CBR

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