Covid-19 outbreak changes how South Africans work and play_1


South Africans will never be the same again after the Covid-19 phenomenon and subsequent lockdown, with the need to work from home and the sharp focus on hygiene and social distancing changing the way people work and play.

There has been a high demand for information communication technology as companies and other organisations move their operations online to limit human contact as much as possible.

Companies specialising in information communication technology have also upped their marketing to take advantage of the Covid-19 epidemic, offering a variety of technology to enable remote operation for free.

Telkom and the Competition Commission have entered into an agreement that will result in the narrowing of the digital divide in the country by offering zero-rated access to essential online government services.

As safety and well-being issues dominate global news headlines in the wake of the spread of Covid-19, SAP, an international enterprise application software provider, has opened up free access to two of its leading applications to assist businesses grappling with the effects of the coronavirus.

Alicia Tillman, who is the global chief marketing officer at SAP Africa, said all businesses were facing unprecedented challenges as the impact on the global economy continues.

“Business travel is restricted; events are cancelled and supply chains have been weakened. It is not business as usual. SAP is uniquely positioned to leverage its technology to support businesses at a time where supply chain and business travel disruption is a concern,” she said.

The company has also made available two interactive checklist templates for managing the risks of Covid-19 available to households and businesses at no charge through its Ruum app.

According to Stefan Ritter, head of product at Ruum by SAP, whether you own a small business, run a nonprofit, are head of your household or are just looking to keep yourself healthy; these templates should help you run your day-to-day operations and provide an interactive checklist for managing the risks of Covid-19.

“The custom templates were built as a solution for teams and individuals who want to have a plan in place, but don’t necessarily have the time or resources to build one from scratch,” he said.

Managed business solutions provider Itec, in partnership with StarLeaf, is making remote working free via the StarLeaf application to help South African businesses work remotely in the face of Covid-19.

Itec’s head of product strategy, Renaldo Muregess, said it was clear that technology could help keep companies, their employees and customers connected in the face of the Covid-19.

“There’s been a huge scramble from local businesses this week for solutions to help them stay connected as concerns over the coronavirus spread. We’ve seen the use of online collaboration tools going through the roof as growing numbers of businesses send their people home to work remotely,” he said.

Telkom’s offer includes free public access to the Government Communication and Information System-managed website, the gateway to government information and services.

Telkom is also offering free access to educational institutions, including primary websites of more than six universities and further education and training institutions, as well as knowledge-enhancing sites.

siphom@citizen.co.za

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