CIO SA tech roundup: SABC launches streaming service SABC+, Ukheshe and Coinvest join forces to facilitate payments to students in need, EY announces alliance with Alteryx to help accelerate digital transformation through analytics automation, and more


SABC launches streaming service SABC+

The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has launched SABC+, its long-awaited over-the-top (OTT) platform.

The SABC+ streaming app will offer the best of what the SABC has to offer, including 19 radio stations, three free-to-air television channels (SABC 1, SABC 2, and SABC 3), the SABC Sports Channel, and the SABC’s 24-hour news channel. Furthermore, the app will include a variety of local and international content, extending the corporation’s mission of informing, educating, and entertaining citizens everywhere, at any time.

“SABC+ signals a new digital era for the SABC and a key accomplishment in addressing universal access for all citizens,” says Madoda Mxakwe, group chief executive (GCEO) of the SABC. “ SABC+ app also presents a growth path to enhancing our value offering to clients and customers to build a strong foundation for future financial sustainability of the SABC.”

Ukheshe and Coinvest join forces to facilitate payments to students in need

Ukheshe and Coinvest have joined forces to provide individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds with the financial assistance they need to pursue a degree.

Over 690,000 students have received funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) in 2022 alone. With thousands of monthly payments to be disbursed, NSFAS required a quick, secure, and dependable solution, and a collaboration between Ukheshe and Coinvest provides just that.

The payment solution, powered by leading fintech enablement partner Ukheshe, leverages Ukheshe’s powerful Eclipse API to provide a ready-to-use payment technology services framework. An existing collaboration between Ukheshe and Coinvest provided a full-service mobile money management platform that used several Eclipse services such as digital wallets, identity management (usernames and passwords), know your customer (KYC), physical cards, virtual cards, and value-added service (VAS) delivered via a progressive web app (PWA).

After Coinvest was awarded the tender by the NSFAS, Ukheshe built a unique PWA channel allowing students to receive their monthly disbursements on a NSFAS card.

“This solution will alleviate challenges experienced through the current allowance payment method as well as appropriately catering for the ever-increasing number of beneficiaries and large amounts of funds to be disbursed. Given the large socio-economic disparities that exist in South Africa, this project underscores the power that pioneering payment solutions can have in democratising access to financial services for people who need them most,” explains Anton Coertzen, CCO at Ukheshe.

“We are fortunate to be able to utilise the same Ukheshe technology across all our business units, giving us quite a competitive edge when it comes to revenue collections, payments and transactions, and value-added services. Some of our national projects that already use Ukheshe solutions include several SETAs, the St John’s Apostolic Faith Mission Church, the taxi Industry, Coinvest Mobile (mobile virtual network operator(MVNO)/mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) with MTN) and Coinvest TV (C-Mobile and C-TV), First for Students, and many more,” says Dr Artie MaCkelve, group CEO of Coinvest.

“Initially, we were unsure that one provider would be able to deliver all the solutions we needed for our diverse portfolio. However, Ukheshe’s competent team and their willingness to go the extra mile in support of anything that Coinvest throws at them has been a game changer. Such willingness to build together is not common in this industry.”

EY announces alliance with Alteryx to help accelerate digital transformation

Alteryx, a leader in analytics automation, and Ernst & Young US (EY) have announced an alliance to help organisations unlock the power of data through automation and digital transformation.

The EY-Alteryx alliance will assist clients across multiple industries in optimising data-driven processes by generating valuable insights to deliver faster, better business outcomes and achieve operational efficiency. The alliance combines Alteryx's highly intuitive and simple-to-learn data analytics automation platform with EY’s digital transformation capabilities in strategy and transactions, consulting, and tax.

The Alteryx platform combines three key pillars of automation and digital transformation – data, processes, and people – to enable data democratisation, business process automation, and people upskilling. Users are then better able to unlock the value of advanced analytics by using its user-friendly platform, analysing a wide range of data from multiple sources, and delivering business insights to answer business questions more efficiently.

“This collaboration combines advanced technology and consulting capabilities for data exploration and analysis across key functional areas including tax, finance, human resources, supply chain, internal audit and IT. Activating and accelerating rapid digital transformation is paramount in helping organisations efficiently navigate today’s evolving business landscape,” says Brian May, EY Americas alliance and managed services leader.

According to Barb Huelskamp, Alteryx SVP of channel sales, “By aligning the EY organisation’s rich heritage of experience with the Alteryx analytics automation platform, we provide incremental value for key customer segments across the office of finance, human resources, supply chain and more. Our shared objective helps organisations optimise analytics to help drive large-scale business transformations,” she says.

Microsoft Digital Defence report – password attacks are on the rise

The number of password attacks has risen to an estimated 921 per second. According to the most recent Microsoft Digital Defense Report, this represents a 74 percent increase in one year.

Big technology companies like Microsoft would like to see the end of passwords, and they’ve been making changes to prepare for an online future that is less reliant on the vulnerable security step.

Microsoft users can already gain secure access to Windows, Xbox, and Microsoft 365 without entering a password using apps like Microsoft Authenticator and technologies such as fingerprint or facial recognition. However, many people still rely on passwords and do not use the two-factor authentication that is now considered essential.

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