Microsoft SA and partners – Intervate and 2enable, launch online portal to empower students

Microsoft South Africa, together with Intervate and 2enable, have created a portal for young South Africans called Mahala.ms. Through this portal young people can activate licenses for the Microsoft Office 365 suite and OneDrive cloud-based storage services free of charge.

26th May 2017 – Press Release

The main objective is to enable learners from grade R to 12 to become more productive and better prepared for the next phase of their academic careers or the workplace, by gaining free access to Office 365’s services, including Microsoft Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint.

In addition, students receive one terabyte (1000 GB) worth of free OneDrive online storage to save their documents, class notes, assignments, research, podcasts and vodcasts. An IDC study* that scanned 16.4 million job postings found that high-growth/high-wage jobs want employees with a range of skills that include a good working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications.

Peter Reid, Executive Head of Intervate notes that for some time Microsoft’s Student Advantage programme has been in place, giving students free access to the Office tools. “But in many schools the problem has been limited capacity to activate the licenses and provision the services.”

Through the Mahala.ms portal, students and parents are able to self-provision their licenses and install the software on up to five devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Students can organise their school and personal data in one secure location, and are able to create and share content as well as collaborate on documents in real-time. Moreover, they can access useful educational resources.

Says Lionel Moyal, Office Business Group Lead at Microsoft South Africa “There are around 12 million learners and students in SA, but only a fraction of them have access to digital tools. As such, there is an immense opportunity to change the fortunes of millions of young people through the Mahala.ms portal, enabling many more students to master the use of technology and acquire 21st century learning skillsets such as collaborating within groups and delivering captivating presentations.”

Reid concludes that education is of “fundamental, structural importance to the future of our nation. Wherever we can, we should find ways to make our education system more robust, so students can have better access to technology and to opportunities.”

 

The Mahala.ms site was built using Microsoft .net and Java Script, and is hosted on Microsoft Azure.

The screens below show more of the site – but you can also go to www.mahala.ms to see more


Contact us to find out how we can help you with your corporate website needs.

Accessing SAP via a Chatbot

 

 

 

 

 

The Business Problem

As an innovation project, Intervate, a T-Systems company identified two business problems that could be solved by a chatbot.  Intervate identified two such problems, one was the sales team getting invoices out of SAP Financials and the second was Room Booking whilst on the move.  Two relatively common challenges that would, when solved, solve two legitimate business problems and prove the case for chatbots in business.

The Solutions

SAP Access – With the user already authenticated into Skype for Business or in the web interface, Pipa understands the permissions of every user, and helps staff requesting documents from deep within the SAP environment. Staff no longer have to wade through complex back-end systems; instead, they can retrieve documents with just a simple chat conversation. Conservatively, we estimate that this saves Account Managers 7-8 hours per month – time that used to be spent searching for documents. In a team of 25 account managers, this adds up to a significant annual saving of over 1500 man hours

Meeting Room Booking – across the various T-Systems and Intervate regions, meeting room systems tended to differ and weren’t always integrated with one another. With Pipa, these systems are consolidated into one helpful, chat-based interface. Based on a short conversation to understand your requirements, she’ll find appropriate rooms. Staff can even invite colleagues & customers to meetings using Pipa, and sessions will be automatically synced to one’s Outlook calendar. If a previously-unavailable room becomes available, she’ll send you a message to let you know.

The integration with the Bot Framework can be via Skype for Business, Slack, Facebook and any number of solutions.

Read More and Download the: Pipa Brochure

 

 

Intervate helps TFG (The Foschini Group) foster greater collaboration and information-sharing with new Intranet

The Business Problem

TFG needed to evolve their Intranet from being an essentially static document hosting service, to a more dynamic environment that made fi nding information easier, encouraged collaboration between teams, and facilitated internal communication and innovation. With over 6,000 head offi ce, administrative and fi eld management staff required to access the Intranet, the user-base is large and the various needs of users is highly complex. It became clear that helping users fi nd updated and correct information has a direct impact on the company’s ability to provide excellent customer experiences. Being a fashion-leading, contemporary brand, it is important that every aspect of TFG’s services promotes that strong focus on fashion and design.

The Solution

Partnering with Intervate – an enterprise information management (EIM) specialist and a T-Systems Company – TFG distilled the vision of its new Intranet to be: “A place where everyone in the business can feel connected, to be as one. A central location where people communicate, collaborate and share knowledge.” The strategy – which focused on the three core EIM areas of collaboration, content management, and search – was to change the way employees in the head offi ce work together. In just nine months and with a fi xed budget, the team built a new solution to support employees in the head offi ce, regional offi ces, distribution centres and fi eld management. The solution features rich visual designs that emphasise the top company news in a rotating carousel, key performance indicators, as well as leadership messages, updates from the various retail divisions, and those simpler features like birthdays, work anniversaries, canteen menus and weather forecasts.

The screen shots below provide an insight to the design, which Intervate and TFG won a place in the Nielsen Norman Group 2015 Design Annual for.

Read More and Download the Customer Story: Customer Story – TFG InSite Intranet

City of Joburg’s VayaMoja app ready to roll out second phase to enhance reliability and usability of public bus services

Developed as part of the City of Johannesburg’s move toward a public transport system that is seamless and integrated, the first phase of the VayaMoja mobile app was released in July 2016 and the launch of its second phase is imminent. This is the result of a joint effort between Intervate, a T-Systems company, and the City of Johannesburg to provide citizen engagement technologies in the sphere of public transport. The VayaMoja app allows commuters to access information on all Rea Vaya and Metrobus routes, bus frequencies and stops, as well as fare information.

29th August 2016 – Press Release, Craig Heckrath, Head of Mobility

“We are now ready to roll out the second phase of the VayaMoja app service,” says Craig Heckrath, who heads up the Smart Citizen product team at Intervate. “We’ve partnered with a vehicle tracking company to have tracking units installed in all buses across Johannesburg. Now that we know where every bus is and what direction and speed it’s moving at, we will be able to create a reliable, predictable public transport experience for commuters. Currently users can see bus routes and stops, but they don’t have a sense for when the next bus is coming. Once this phase of the project is live, users will be able to make better decisions when navigating the complex Johannesburg transport system, as they’ll be able to track bus movements and get timing estimates directly on the app,” Heckrath explains.

Intended to empower commuters to plan a journey based on their current location and where they want to be, users will now be able to search destinations, select routes and see bus arrival times.  The Johannesburg public bus service currently has a spider web of routes across the city, with a multitude of stops which even regular users might not be aware of. “This phase of the VayaMoja app development will get us closer to enabling the commuter to navigate this web of complexity and we are excited about this phase. We’re doing our best to speed things up and by the beginning of 2017, we should have reached full functionality which will enable commuters to engage in end-to-end navigation through the VayaMoja app,” Heckrath concludes. The VayaMoja app is available free of charge from the app stores for both Android and iOS.

 

Click the Customer Story below for more information:

Intervate helps the Johannesburg Roads Agency Solve Service Delivery Issues

The Business Problem

Although responding to pothole problems, nonfunctioning traffic lights, missing manhole covers, and other road issues, is a function that falls on the shoulders of the JRA, it actively invites citizens to log issues. Until now, people have been required to log issues via a centralised City of Johannesburg call centre.

The JRA’s strategy to become more accessible and more accountable meant it needed to provide more avenues for people to report problems.

Public feedback has also indicated that, at times of high call volumes, motorists tend to regard the call centre as a sub-optimal way of processing requests.

The Solution

After considerable investigation the JRA opted to create a mobile application that would allow motorists to instantly and conveniently submit road issues to the agency – from their phones, from wherever they may be.

It was critical that this framework could tightly integrate with the JRA’s core operations – issuing tasks to repair teams and monitoring their progress in real time. In this way, the JRA benefits by increased efficiencies and more automated workflows.

The JRA selected Intervate, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and winner of numerous Microsoft Partner Awards, to assist them on this journey. Intervate’s selection was based on its experience in developing business and community mobile apps.

The screen shots below show some of the screens from the Android version of the app.

More information can also be found at www.DigitalSmartCitizen.com

Read More and Download the Customer Story: JRA Customer Story

Intervate assists Santam to close the intermediary gap with its extranet broker portal

The Business Problem

With such a strong emphasis on the network of intermediaries, Santam required a digital solution to facilitate the interactions between intermediaries and the company.

The key requirement was for intermediaries to easily, immediately and cost-effectively manage their customers’ portfolios – preferably in a self-service manner. The main activities include:

• Managing existing customers’ portfolios – such as updating policies and customer details

• Processing claims on behalf of customers

Previously, intermediaries were required to either call into Santam’s contact centre, or submit claims via fax. Many of these interactions were simple “low value, high volume” activities that created an operational headache for Santam, increased costs, and lengthened fulfilment timelines.

In other cases, certain intermediaries were accessing the Santam mainframe directly – which was not a user-friendly solution, created unnecessary complexity, and posed vulnerability problems.

The Solution

Santam took a broad, enterprise-wide view of its IT environment. It decided to hinge its modernisation programme on three flagship projects: Upgrading the mainframe computing system (using Guidewire as the policy management platform), integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and building a new Web-based Extranet for all intermediary interactions.

It selected Intervate to develop the Extranet portal – using SharePoint 2010 to expose a number of enterprise services in an intuitive interface available to intermediaries from anywhere in the world.

At the heart of the solution lies an enterprise service bus (ESB) which pulls together 16 disparate systems, unifying and then surfacing them in a user-friendly and highly secure way via the Extranet. This form of SOA-based implementation means intermediaries are able to access a wide range of services – from booking new business, to modifying policies, to submitting and tracking claims

The screenshots below show various processes from a quote request, claim ticket and claim status.

Read More and Download the Customer StorySantam Extranet Broker Portal

 

 

 

Mediclinic reinvents Doctor communication with Microsoft SharePoint

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Problem

Mediclinic strives to provide globally benchmarked patient safety and care that lives up to its brand promise of ‘Expertise you can Trust’.

Regular and reliable communication with its extensive network of doctors and medical practitioners is therefore a vital factor to Mediclinic’s ongoing success. As such, it is critical that the organisation consistently endeavours to align its interests with the healthcare practitioners responsible for patient care.

Although Mediclinic’s traditional communication system of network marketing managers, newsletters, emails and roadshows had proven effective in the past, the organisation had a marked requirement for a dynamic and secure platform that doctors could use at any time to access general and individually tailored content authored centrally by Mediclinic.

Solution

After careful evaluation, Mediclinic made the decision that Microsoft SharePoint would be a fitting platform to facilitate secure information and document sharing with its network of doctors and healthcare services providers.

The screen shots below show the Doctors’ landing page and the profile page of the tablet sized application.

Read More and Download the Customer Story: Mediclinic Doctors Portal

 

Sanlam Sky Solutions Boosts Productivity and Collaboration with Microsoft SharePoint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Business Problem

Efficient and streamlined internal communication is important to the success of any business. Sanlam Sky Solutions had an outdated intranet which only a handful of staff were making regular use of. Many were simply unaware that this platform existed or perceived it to be too complex for practical use. Usage testing indicated that the majority of employees simply regarded the intranet as a click through location to business applications such as human resources management

The Solution

After a thorough investigation of the South African Microsoft partner environment, Sanlam Sky Solutions selected Microsoft Gold Certified Partner – Intervate, to assist them on their enterprise content management journey utilizing Microsoft SharePoint.

Intervate were then tasked with designing an internal communications platform based on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 technology. Microsoft SharePoint is an enterprise content management solution that offers users access to business enhancing functionality.

 

Read More and Download the Customer Story: Sanlam Sky Skyview

 

 

 

 

 

The video below was created as a change management tool for the launch.