GEI and Jasco provide efficient battery management for African Businesses
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Global Energy Innovations (GEI) has signed an agreement with Jasco to deliver battery testing, monitoring, and conditioning equipment and software to sub-Saharan Africa.
The Master Distributor Partnership includes the EC Series Handheld Electrochemical Battery Analyser as well as a cloud-based, Continuous Monitoring (CM) programme, which will enable businesses to manage their batteries more efficiently, using a more proactive approach.
Efficient battery management will prove to be key to keeping a stable power supply in the coming years; with organisations like ESKOM implementing load shedding on a regular basis, this partnership is certainly timely.
GEI is a Silicon Valley tech company notable for producing precision battery monitoring, testing, and conditioning and restoration equipment, in addition to supporting software. Its products are used worldwide by a variety of companies including telecoms operators, power generators and any operation that requires state of the art battery technology.
Kurt Salloux, CEO of GEI said: “Precision battery testing is becoming an essential component of technology infrastructure. In the past, battery maintenance and replacement have typically been reactive processes that only take place once a failure has occurred. This can compromise the integrity of power management solutions. GEI offers a more proactive approach, by determining when batteries are deteriorating, why they are deteriorating and make recommendations.”
Jasco is mainly based in South Africa but does have other operations in sub-Saharan Africa; it delivers end-to-end solutions across the entire ICT value chain, including solution design, business consulting, and installation, amongst other products and services.
Pete da Silva, CEO of Jasco said: “This partnership with GEI will allow us to extend our value offering to include proactive battery monitoring with all our solutions. Our companies are aligned with regards to both focusing on innovative solutions and feature extensive experience in product and solution integration.
He added: “The solutions from GEI fit perfectly with our current offering, enabling our customers to manage their batteries as an asset and mitigate the risk of failure. Jasco will initially focus on taking these solutions to market in the data centre space as well as utilities and telecoms, since these are the markets within sub-Sahara Africa that have a critical requirement for continuous uptime.”
This partnership represents a fantastic opportunity for Africans to utilise the latest Silicon Valley technology to manage their batteries. Given the issues that many African national grids have to deal with on a daily basis (not to mention the consequences for families and business) it is clear that efficient battery management is not just a boon but is a necessary requirement.
READ: Integrating renewables through battery energy storage in the APRIL edition of ABR.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”