May 19, 2020

Why social analytics is important to African brands

3 min
Why social analytics is important to African brands

We have all been told that in our globalised world, African start-ups can take on the planet. We actually believe this, and are doing something about it. In short, we are blazing a trail for other African tech companies.

And we are winning because we have two assets that make (or break) any company: the tech and the human knowledge. These two requisites add value in a digital, yet intensely human, economy.

The tech advantage is simple, because it merges human intuition and knowledge with the best of Big Data.

As the world’s first crowd integrated media analytics and insights company, we are able to cut through the clutter of unstructured data to provide our clients with a clear picture of what the market’s feelings are towards their brands.

Our CEO JP Kloppers explains: “We have built a globally unique crowd-sourcing platform that is able to rapidly, efficiently, and accurately make sense of unstructured data. Through our tech we’re able to help our customers understand why people love them, and why people hate them. It’s like an always-on, real-time focus group giving you insight into what is driving consumer sentiment in your industry.”

By combining the best of tech and human capital, a unique media intelligence tool involving provides clients with a nuanced set of insights concerning client perception and market sentiment.

For any brand, be it commercial or political, understanding perception equals understanding the future, with the concomitant ability to shape such a future. To put it another way, our entrepreneurship is something which is at the heart of all entrepreneurship – understanding your market in the most adroit fashion possible.

BrandsEye, with its expansion into African and European markets, exemplifies the value of basic problem-solving – in this case the problem of knowing what a world in constant communication is saying about your brand and company. In a digital economy, solving universal problems immediately allows you to play on a national and international stage.

At the helm of BrandsEye is a chief executive who takes us to a global market: JP Kloppers.

One of JP’s chief inspirations is South Africa itself. He said: “I care deeply about this country and the people in it. It concerns me to my core that racial tensions, social inequality, and unemployment, are all at an all-time high. As I’ve wrestled through my privilege, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of my best contributions to the country at this moment in history is to build a global company that will inspire, employ, and equip thousands of people.

“Inspiration comes from many places. The internal inspiration comes from a deep conviction that I have been created with purpose, and that my best contribution to the world is to live in the fullness of that purpose.”

African Business Review’s November issue is now live.

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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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