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The Changing Face Of Business Communications

Is your business able to communicate in a world that is instant?

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Call them ‘Gen Y’ or Millennials, the new generation of workers think differently about communications, and businesses need to respond accordingly. In fact, business owners need to ask themselves whether their business operates in a world where communication is instant, and if the answer is no, they need to seriously look at how they can make it instant.

As much as social media makes people more social on the surface, human beings are becoming less social. The younger generation, as both employees and customers, is changing the way businesses communicate internally and to their target audiences.

Mobility and flexibility go hand-in-hand

The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017 found that 64 percent of millennials polled are able to work from locations other than their employer’s primary site, compared to 43 percent in 2016. It is a strong indication of how rapidly technology is facilitating mobile working and how employers are becoming increasingly comfortable with flexible, work-from-anywhere arrangements.

Related: 7 Tips For Purposeful Communication To Better Lead Your Teams

Millennials consider their cellphones the centre of their world, which means that tools and applications, both from a personal and professional perspective, need to sit on a central device. If they don’t, employees will figure out a way around a company’s systems to meet their communication and productivity needs.

Businesses need to accept the millennial employee’s philosophy of being mobile. Such a mindset change is difficult and even if a business is geared towards mobility, it is potentially not trusting its workforce to work remotely. The survey found that levels of trust increase as flexible working becomes more embedded in an organisation. 

Bring-your-own-applications is happening and as such, employees, by the very nature of what they are using, will have scattered communications. Scattered communications, ineffective meetings and fragmented workflows are causing productivity to drop as staff switch between multiple applications, tasks and devices.

It is becoming increasingly important to bring these different applications back into a central place. Being able to have every single application that a business would ordinarily have outside its corporate network, now being pushed into one central application through unified communications (UC) is crucial for effective collaboration. In addition, being able to offer these applications within the corporate network will enable a company to attract and retain millennial talent. 

Text rather than talk

Millennials favour texting to phone calls, both as an employee and as a customer. With UC, presence status enables staff to know exactly what someone’s current online status is and having instant messaging (IM) means staff don’t have to escalate to a voice call as quickly as they would have in the past, which is ideal for Generation Y employees.

It is not only internally that companies have to review their communication and collaboration tools.

Businesses are having much less face-to-face communication with customers as most communication is now being conducted online. 

Related: Speed Up Production Using Communication Structures

Business owners can make a small change, such as adding an instant chat functionality to their website, to put customers, especially millennial customers in touch with a consultant without them having to make a phone call.  

A value proposition

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Businesses are often hesitant to embrace new technology due to the potential disruption it can cause through the need for training and buy-in from staff.

To overcome this enterprises are encouraged to isolate a section of their business and trial a proof of concept to experience the value and possibilities unified communications can bring to that specific department or business unit. Once the value is derived the obstacles in deploying new technology often fade into insignificance in comparison to the value attainable from the new technology. 

The reality is that communication is changing and the momentum of change is only going to increase. Business owners need to recognise these changes as an opportunity to reinvent their business with a focus on their employees as well as their customers. 

Companies today can’t operate in a world that isn’t instant. If they are not instant they will be slow to respond to customers and slow to work effectively internally. 

Related: Farah Fortune Of African Star Communications On Choosing The Right Clients

The goal of any business is for customers to be able to access it and through unified communications, customers, no matter which generation they’re from, can access a business in the way they want to.

Kyle Woolf is the CEO of Saicom Voice Services. His primary responsibility is to drive future growth for the Saicom Voice Services business and to position the company as a market leader in the Voice and ISP sectors within the sub-Saharan Africa telecommunications markets. Kyle studied a Bachelor of Accountancy at Wits University and went on to Investec where he spent almost six years with post articles experience in structured finance, providing debt and equity solutions to corporates around South Africa.

Entrepreneur Today

The Start-up Hatchery And Greater Tygerberg Partnership Launch Innovative Pitch Competition For Bellville Solutions

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018.

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The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) and start-up incubator The Startup Hatchery are launching a pitching competition to surface innovative ideas that, when implemented, could lead to the improvement of Bellville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs. The winning idea will receive a package of business incubation, mentorship, business development support, marketing and branding collateral, legal and intellectual property advice and other prizes, including R5 000 cash.

Launching on 14 May 2018, Innovate Bellville 2.0 is open to new businesses that have been operating for six months or less, who are developing new innovative ideas that could improve public transport, create jobs, create inclusive public spaces, address homelessness, improve health and wellbeing, manage waste, facilitate mobility, attract and retain investment and regenerate the Bellville urban centre.

Related: 3 Actionable Insights To Make Your Investment Pitch Perfect

Innovate Bellville 2.0 forms part of the GTP’s living lab approach to the regeneration of the Bellville CBD, says Warren Hewitt, CEO of the GTP: “We want Bellville to be a test-bed for new ideas that can help us to build a vibrant, prosperous, inclusive city region. Innovate Bellville 2.0 falls directly into that approach. We’re looking forward to seeing the ideas that emerge, and seeing the winning idea implemented in a part of our city that stands on the edge of an exciting future.”

“Innovation starts anywhere,” says Tania Cunningham, Chief Digital and Marketing Officer for The Startup Hatchery, “but we were very excited at the prospect of focusing on finding innovative ideas that could bring about real change to a defined geographical area. Innovate Bellville 2.0 will offer the winning business a solid start in life, with a chance to see their idea become a reality in Bellville.”

Entrants are required to submit their ideas in a 30-second WhatsApp video to 082 936 7544 before 24 May 2018. Twenty semi-finalists will be selected from the WhatsApp pitches, who will each receive training and a pitch deck. From that group, a group of eight finalists will then be selected and invited to pitch their ideas to judges during a pitch event on 7 June.

For more information, contact pitchtank@thestartuphatchery.co.za

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Entrepreneur Today

Silulo Business Incubation Is Changing The Future Of Entrepreneurs

Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs.

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Silulo Business Incubation

Launched in April 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation is a unique incubation aimed at empowering and assisting upcoming entrepreneurs to grow not only their businesses but also their confidence in the business space. The Incubation offers office space, boardrooms, training and conference rooms as well as eighteen shared office space for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town.

Founder and Director, Mr Luvuyo Rani says: “We have always had a vision for this type of centre – a one-stop-shop where all entrepreneurial needs are catered for but our problem was always funding. With hard-work and dedication, we were able to make our vision a reality, which is exactly what we want to teach and instil for our entrepreneurs.”

The incubation will also offer networking sessions for aspiring entrepreneurs twice a month for two hours. This idea is to offer business insights as well as networking opportunities for entrepreneurs in and around Cape Town. Entrepreneurs will have the option to become members of the SBI Network where they are able to attend networking sessions of their choice. All networking sessions will cover different topics and training manuals will be offered after each session.

Related: Silulo Ulutho Technologies: Luvuyo Rani

Rani continues:

“The main challenge when it comes to this type of business is infrastructure and funding. Silulo is a pioneer and it can go anywhere, there are no boundaries in business. This is a flagship store. We want to replicate this in every province. Silulo’s success lies in partnerships and our business has a passion for empowering.”

Rani, a former teacher, together with his brother Lonwabo Rani started selling computers from the boot of a car more than ten years ago. Silulo Technologies now has 42 branches in three provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal and 22 franchise stores, some of which are owned by former Silulo employees.

Director and Co-founder, Lonwabo Rani says: “My brother always tells us to think about the bigger picture. It was that bigger picture that kept us going. Back in 2006, what you see today is exactly how it was when we envisioned it.”

About Silulo:

In 2017 Silulo reached a total of 35 000 students trained since inception. It trained 65 students through MIC SETA in both the Eastern and Western Cape.

Related: 10 Young Entrepreneurs Under 30 Share Their Start-Up Secrets

Rani and his two directors remodelled the business in 2017 by offering a walk in cellphone repair service (including the service of leading brands such as Apple, Samsung and Huawei) at one of the Silulo branches in Khayelitsha.

Rani, who was part of the Team South Africa to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland in 2018, has received numerous accolades for his social impact business.

He was also awarded a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2016 among his many accolades.

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Entrepreneur Today

DJ Sbu Opens Academy To Develop Hustlers

DJ Sbu also known as Sbusiso Leope has partnered with the 3Sixty Financial Services Group (360 FSG) to positively impact thousands of young lives and families in South Africa with his own school, a learning academy. Aptly titled The Hustlers Academy.

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DJ Sbu also known as Sbusiso Leope has partnered with the 3Sixty Financial Services Group (360 FSG) to positively impact thousands of young lives and families in South Africa with his own school, a learning academy. Aptly titled The Hustlers Academy. Leope intends to develop the minds and the ability of thousands of young hustlers in the country and change lives.

The Hustlers Academy is an independent privately funded economic empowerment project spearheaded by Leope to address the overwhelming lack of jobs and incumbent graduates into the system on an annual basis. The 360 FSG is a well-established financial services company with a disruptive strategy that offers clients more benefits for their rand. The partnership represents a meeting of the minds and the hearts for the development of opportunities for young South Africans.

“We will train and educate young hustlers to either be entrepreneurs or corporate hustlers. Our training programme and academy curriculum will produce the best sales force this country has seen and develop the minds of Hustlers to understand how the world works and how to stand out. In partnership with 360 FSG we will develop entrepreneurs who start businesses and employ teams of hustlers within an 18-month period. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will take in Hustlers for training nationally in multiple provinces providing a practical and theoretical intervention in the lives of those who are skilled and restless.” Said Leope.

Group CEO and Chairman of 360 FSG, Mr. Khandani Msibi is confident that ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will play a game-changing role in developing and changing the way corporates are structured in providing a ceiling for employees as far as earnings are concerned.

Related: 3 Start-up Funding Tips To Help Launch Your Company

“Our approach to empowerment is based on sustainability for the Hustlers who make it through the academy. We will develop people mentally as well as financially and make a serious change in their socio economic position. DJ Sbu has the potential to influence a generation and he shows this on a daily basis with his determination to succeed. We are matching his determination and passion for economic empowerment with our backing of the ‘The Hustlers Academy’project. We look forward to changing thousands of lives with a long term impact.” Said Mr. Msibi

‘The Hustlers Academy’ is active and running a pilot group of Hustlers through its programme in Johannesburg. The academy welcomes registrations on its webapp www.hustlersacademy.co.za. Starting from 1st June 2018 The Hustlers Academy will be taking in 50 – 100 hustlers per month.

Leope goes on to say. “In 2013 we started an educational company called Leadership 2020 which was designed to develop Africa’s richest asset – its people. I’m excited that we are able to realise our vision before the year 2020 with the launch of this initiative. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ will grow to add multiple courses, mentorship, and accreditations and even lead people to formal education if they so wish. This academy will make a tangible socio – economic difference in young South African lives. ‘The Hustlers Academy’ has no registration fees and requires no learning fees. It requires you, your time, your commitment and there’s #NOVILAPHING  – Lazy people will not make it.”

Registrations are online at: www.hustlersacademy.co.za

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