May 19, 2020

Siemens: digitalisation is a key economic driver in Africa

PRASA Gauteng Nerve Centre
Sabine Dall’Omo CEO Siemens
Internet of Things Africa Summit 2016
Internet of Things Africa Summit Siemens
Polycarp Kazaresam
2 min
Siemens: digitalisation is a key economic driver in Africa

Digitalisation is considered to be a key economic driver, and one that will allow countries around the world to grow GDP, create employment and reduce spending, South Africa Siemens CEO, Sabine Dall’Omo announced yesterday.

Speaking at the inaugural Internet of Things Africa Summit in Sandton, Dall’Omo added that more can be done by both business and government across Africa to grasp opportunities and take advantage of such technologies.

“The Internet of Things (IoT) is easy to identify when you think of business to consumer. We have moved from record stores to live streaming or from taxis to ride sharing. Disruption can, and does, have a positive impact on critical sectors in business markets, yet more must be done to embrace this new era, this 4th industrial revolution,” says Dall’Omo.

The Internet of Things Africa Summit is a 2 day professional summit focused of encouraging African business people to harness IoT opportunities.

The business of digitalisation at Siemens will see market growth of 7-9 percent by mid-2020, Dall’Omo claimed. She added that businesses will use intelligence to manage physical engineering systems like turbines, trains and energy grids.

According to Siemens, this growth is being driven by a number of megatrends. These include: the growing and aging world population, global warming and weather extremities, globalisation, investment abroad, and greater urbanisation.

“We have made a number of strategic investments into South Africa’s digitalised economy,” said Dall’Omo.

Siemens believes that its technology (pre-paid metering connected to a smart digital grid) can alleviate both the cost burden of copper cable theft of between 5 and 7 billion rand and the municipal debt owed to Eskom, which reaches into the billions. Siemens technology is currently being used at PRASA's Gauteng Nerve Centre to enable greater efficiencies in rail operations.

Dall’Omo commented: “In order for South Africa to compete on the world stage, the IoT and digital transformation must be part of today’s business conversation. There are also a number of downstream benefits in the digitised economy. The world is moving away from trading in goods and services and towards data trade”.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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