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You’re a small business owner, and you want access to all of the great software that your larger competitors use but at a rate that suits your pocket. 10 years ago this might have been difficult right? Nowadays thanks to Cloud Computing – this is a reality. This article will take you through all of the Cloud Software Service benefits for small businesses, to allow you to utilise Cloud to its maximum potential.

Now, let’s start with the basics – what is Cloud Software Services – or SaaS?

Software as a service (SaaS) is all around you every time you go online, it’s Zimbra, DropBox, Twitter and Skype – any service you provision online either for free, or paid is software as a service via the Cloud. It’s an on-demand software delivery model in which software and the associated data (think emails/ files) are centrally hosted on the Cloud, allowing you to access them from anywhere. SaaS has now become a very popular delivery models for many businesses such as Accounting, CRM, HR, and content management systems.

The Benefits Cloud Software Services for small businesses:

1) Cost – Almost all small companies need to watch their costs closely, Cloud computing allows small business to access great online services for a margin of the cost of traditional software. For example: Microsoft Outlook 2010 costs around R809.00 for the boxed version, however, Zimbra, which offers multiple productivity tools via the Cloud can be provisioned for as low as just R49 p/m. In addition to this, many Cloud computing solutions are pay-as-you-go and don’t require a lot of money up-front – plus, they are predictable payments (so no scary bills jumping out of the darkness!)

2) Enterprise Class Functionality – We’ve touched on this above, but today, small companies can truly enjoy world class software for a fraction of what it would have previously cost.  Large companies have the cash to fund custom functionality, small companies don’t – however, in the cloud, they can leverage development, upgrades and maintenance across the Cloud for their own business.

3) Legacy Issues – A common issue large corporates  face when moving into the Cloud is how their legacy applications and systems will cope. Luckily, smaller businesses are nimble enough to be able to move into the Cloud simply, and have less complex legacy apps to contend with. Some Cloud hosting (like us) can host legacy apps anyway – which allows multiple offices to connect to a centralised secure service so that reports can be generated live and in real time. Win win both ways for small businesses.

4) Less IT Hours – Small businesses typically can’t afford to shell out copious amounts of hard earned cash on IT support – with SaaS, all software updates are done by the service provider, meaning IT support can be spent on adding strategic value instead of slaving away on menial tasks.

5) SecuritySaaS usually affords small businesses far better security than they could provide themselves. Plus since your documents and data are stored in the Cloud, there are far less chances of them going missing, being deleted or copied, which is also great for compliance needs!

6) Scaleability – Since your software is all Cloud based – you can grow your business and staff force as quickly as you like, and only pay a small fee per employee. Having a quiet period? Scale back down, no costly capital expenditure whatsoever to worry about.

7) Availability – Cloud makes it possible for your companies emails, calendars, documents and apps to be available worldwide, which makes employees far more productive and allows for your small business to become truly Global and tap into the benefits of outsourcing and decentralised workplaces.

So we’ve summed up in 7 points why the Cloud is great for small businesses, if you’re interested in chatting to us about Cloud Computing for your business, check out or site or drop us a call. We offer the following great SaaS products: Hosted Exchange, Zimbra Collaboration Suite, and online back-up.

 


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Stuart gives us a run through of his XTERRA Czech journey. For more on Stu follow him on Twitter or keep your eye on the TeamRSAWEB Facebook page.

A late departure date meant a bit of a pressurised start to Xterra Czech. I arrived in Prague on Thursday morning, in good spirits and ready to go, however after heading off to the ‘over-sized baggage’ claim area, I discovered my bike had not yet arrived, it turned out that it had no been put on the flight due to human error –  very stressed, I drove out to Prachatice, about 150km away from Prague, the venue of Xterra Czech.

Eventually my bike arrived, better late than never, on Friday afternoon a few hours before rac eday. I quickly put the bike together and found my rear derailleur hanger was bent – nightmare! I replaced it and went out to test ride the route, a tough 36km loop with 1150m vertical and lots of ‘hike a bike’ sections ensued, but I felt ready.

Race day finally arrived, a late start of 13:00 gave us sufficient time to prepare. I did my usual spin and 15min swim… But it seemed my body wasn’t ready to play. The start of the race was mad, with over 300 athletes sprinting for a buoy, only 150m out. I was caught in a fist fight and kick contest with some Europeans, after this my mind was a mess and I decided to just relax and just finish. I exited the water way back, even behind guys I usually destroy in the water. On to the next part of the race – the bike.

I paced the bike, a conservative start, but the pace was yet again mad. I found myself sucking for air in around 25th spot – were they going too hard? Did they know something I didn’t know? I settled into a rhythm and started to tick off positions in the final 10k of the bike. I entered T2 in around 12th spot and my legs were ok, but not great! The run was another straight up, straight down route which made it difficult to make up positions.

I finished a broken man… In 8th place. Pretty disappointed, but this is professional racing at the toughest level. Was it the stress of the week or just a bad day… Who knows?

Congrats to Stu – a top 10 result in such crazy conditions is admirable! Stay tuned for more on Stuart’s European adventures!


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Great news! Starting from the 24th of August, we will be upgrading all of our customers ADSL lines from 1Mbps to 2Mbps and from the 1st October all our 384k customers will be upgraded to 1Mbps. This upgrade process may take up to 6 weeks, but we’ll keep you updated on this via Twitter and Email.

If you have an ADSL account with RSAWEB, you can move your ADSL line to us from Telkom and save a bundle of hard cash each month! From next month, RSAWEB will be offering new uncapped DSL services for home users that compliment the increased lines speeds with even further reductions in our uncapped and capped consumer ADSL products. You can also save by purchasing a slightly bigger package than you need to prevent more expensive top-ups happening. Stay tuned for more! 

 


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We’ve updated our Dedicated Server packages with brand new specs, hardware and pricing.

We now have the lowest cost bandwidth cost in SA – from just R3 per GB! What’s more

We have 3 packages to choose from that should suit most budgets: MX1, MX2 and Dedicated R1- plus custom package solutions for those who need more!

 

Our new packages include the following features:

  1. Latest Generation of CPU’s for more processing power!
  2. Enterprise Class Servers with effective cooling and higher reliability.
  3. Hardware RAID as standard across all packages.
  4. Unlimited free traffic between servers.
  5. Manage your server directly with full root access.

 

 


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Since already winning two of the Knysna Big 5 was not enough for Stuart Marais  –  he has now won the XTERRA race too – and we couldn’t be more happy for our newest member of TeamRSAWEB. Read all about his blistering win below. Follow TeamRSAWEB for more updates!

This was by no means an easy win for Marais – as it meant going up against former multiple SA mountain biking champion and 2010 XTERRA Knysna winner Kevin Evans “Today’s race was really hard,” says Marais.  “I had to build a lead on Kevin Evans and Nico Pfitzenmaier, which meant that I had to go out really hard on the first 3km run.  Kevin caught me quickly on the mountain bike leg, it felt like I was standing still.  I tried to stick with him, but in under a minute he was gone.  I waited for Nico Pfitzenmaier and Tyronne White who were in 3rd and 4th place and cycled with them pretty much into transition.   I heard that Kevin had 2 ½ minutes lead on me, so I put my head down and just tried to find my rhythm.   XTERRA Knysna is perfect for those athletes that want to compete for the first time.  I just loved it,” says Marais who crossed the finish line in an impressive time of 01hour39minutes32seconds.   Kevin Evans came in second, while Nico Pfitzenmaier finished third.

Check out this highlights video of the day via Still Water Sports 

Keep up to date with TeamRSAWEB by Liking the Facebook page. 


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We’re really proud to announce that the awesome Stuart Marais is now part of Team RSAWEB!

Stuart has been an dual / triathlete since the tender age of 8 years old – and since then has carved a highly successful career in the Sport. Stuart came second in the Total Sports Trialthlon, and ranked in the top in 20 in The ABSA Cape Epic.  Stuart is now one of South Africa’s best and most highly respected Multi Sport Athletes with a very bright future ahead of him.  In this interview, we catch up with him and chat to him about his past in the sport – and his BIG year ahead.

Like TeamRSAWEB on Facebook , or Follow Stuart on Twitter to keep up to date.

 

How did you start your career in this Sport? 

SM: I have always been involved in multi sport – for the last few years I focused on mountain biking  (Marais – burst onto the mountain biking scene with a top 20 placing in the 2010 ABSA Cape Epic) In January I decided to give the Multi Sport Challenge a try. (Stuart came 2nd overall – an amazing win for a first attempt!) For more about Stuart – check out his website.

RSAWEB: Do you come from a really active / sporty family

SM: Yes, my whole family are involved in sports – running and biking – I grew up on a farm in the Eastern Cape– and was always very sporty from a young age – from running with my dogs to climbing mountains.

RSAWEB: What do you do when you’re not competing? What is your ‘day job’

SM: I am now doing full time Xterra training and preparation – when I am not doing that I enjoy relaxing with my beautiful wife.

RSAWEB What do you think gives you your competitive edge?

SM: I’d say I’m just really very competitive by nature – others probably have more talent than me, but I really have a will to win and succeed.

RSAWEB: What do you think about joining team RSAWEB?

SM: Very excited about RSAWEB – I really believe in surrounding yourself with people who are passionate about sport – and to surround yourself with brands that represent you best. I think it’s great to be involved with such passionate people and sponsors.

RSAWEB: What big races do you have coming up?

SM:  I have a busy few months ahead – this weekend I am off for the Total Sports Xterra Knysna  then after that I am in full time preparation for Europe – Xterra Czechoslovakia, Xterra Germany and then back to SA for the Otter Trail Run later this year. It’s a busy time!

RSAWEB: What athletes in the same field as you do you respect most?

SM: I really have a lot of respect for Dan Hugo and Conrad Stoltz in terms of PR and interest they generate for the sport and for their competitive nature.

 

Thanks to Stuart for the interview, and all the best for Knysna this weekend!


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We’re thrilled to announce that Renay Groustra , from Team RSAWEB has come in 1st at the National XCO Cup Series! Renay gave us a first hand account of his blistering win at World’s View in Pietermartizburg!

 

After a 7 year absence from the National series, Worlds View once again played host to some of the top mountain bikers in South Africa in what would be the final race out of 4 in the National SA XCO Cup Series.

The track, very a-typical of Worlds View, didn’t feature a lot of climbing or technical difficulty, but rather made up for it with very twisty and undulating single track through the forest, with high speed sections of jeep track in between.

The fact that some of our best riders were in Canada competing in the World Cup on the same day didn’t mean that the field was weak, with big names such as Oliver Munnik, Brandon Stewart, Arno du Toit, Sean Craig Silver and new boy on the block Jason Meaton – it just goes to show the great state that SA mountain biking is in!

As expected the start was fast, and immediately Arno du Toit showed me that he was going to be my strongest opposition for the day.  I set a hard pace on the front to stretch the field, and on such a flat track the gaps were never big. Arno and I switched the lead a few times throughout the race to help with the pacing. We both had our digs at each other to try and get a gap, but neither of us were giving an inch. I could tell that this was going to be a cat and mouse game!

It was halfway through our 4th lap of 6 that I put in a huge effort, and looking over my shoulder I was half expecting to see him there still. He wasn’t, and had given me a few meters at that moment I applied more and more pressure and managed to open up a gap of a few seconds, which is all you need on a track like this, and barring a mistake I could possibly hold on for the win!

I kept my head down, and focused on not over doing  it on the corners for the next few laps and managed to avoid any mistakes. By the end I had managed to stretch the lead to about 1 minute and took my first victory of the season!

This win was special to me as it also tied up my overall victory in the SA XCO Cup Series, a title that has eluded me since winning it in 2007 and 2008 as an U23 rider.

This was my first Elite title and it felt great!

Thanks to RSAWEB for their support through the season and enabling me to achieve, and to Rocky Mountain for the fantastic piece of machinery that carried me across the finish line in 1st place!

 

Now the focus is all towards SA Champs happening in Nelspruit in a month’s time on one of my favourite courses. Watch this space!

Thanks to Renay for the write up and congrats on a huge win! Follow Renay and TeamRSAWEB for more updates.

Check out the SA National Cup Series results/ leader-board here!


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Thanks to the awesome Carl Pasio for his write up on Xterra Italy below! For more from Carl – check out his blog here! 

I had entered and planned Xterra Sardinia months ago and it was to be my first race in Europe, as it kicked off the European Xterra series. Sardinia is an island situated off the South West coast of Italy.  I had planned to meet friend and fellow athlete Stuart Marais on the island. Although training had not been going 100% according to plan over the past 5 weeks, I decided to see how my body would respond to some intense racing. I had raced the race back in 2010 and knew exactly what to expect. With 25 pro men on the start line and a world class field, the pace was bound to be fast and explosive.

 

I exited the first transition in 4th place and after just two kilometers on the bike, I suffered a mechanical blow. My rear derailleur had managed to bend upwards and jam the chain. In the time it took me to free my chain and fix the rear derailleur, six athletes had passed me and I was suddenly in 11th position.

From here on in the race, I could just not recover and found myself fighting the bike for the remaining 30km. I entered transition 2 with a group of four and knew the race was over for me.

 

The swim went really well for me, I swam within my comfort zone and never felt under pressure throughout the two 750m swim laps. The crystal clear and mirror like water made for a quick swim and I managed to exit the water in the 4th position, just over a minute behind the three leaders.

The run was a beautiful 2 lap circuit of 5 kilometers. We crossed open river mouths on suspended bridges and ran on long stretches of soft beach sand. I was happy to finish the race considering the complications in the build up to the race.

Racing at the top level in the world is never easy and you need everything to go well in order to pull off that great result.

Fellow South African’s Stuart Marais had a magical performance and finished just outside the podium in 4th position, while Carla van Huyssteen had a bad fall on the bike leg but still managed to finish in a respectable 8th position.

My next race that I will be aiming for is Xterra France in 4 weeks time! Onwards and upwards!!

Thanks Carl – for more on Team RSAWEB – check out our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter!

 


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Renay Groustra from our Team RSAWEB Cycle team gives us some insight into his race from the 3rd round of the National XC Series at the Hayterdale Trails in Zuurburg, Eastern Cape last weekend, where the cycle elite in SA assembled to battle it out.

Over the past weekend, the top riders assembled at the Hayterdale trails for the 3rd round of the National XC series.

To be honest I was very surprised at the great condition of the track – the  organisers had been preparing for us over the last few months which was great. The track had many challenges and obstacles:  there was steep climbing, steep technical downhills with drop offs,  as well as a fast flowing singletrack through the thick bush that surrounds the area below the Zuurberg pass.

A few of the big names in SA cycling such as Philip Buys and Burry Stander were absent from the race since they were overseas, but the level was still very competitive with riders such as Luke Roberts, Oliver Munnik and Gert Heyns to contend with. Being the number 1 ranked rider at the event, I was very eager to assert that ranking at this race. It has been a couple years since I last took a national win.

The race kicked off at a fast pace, and after testing the field with a small attack, it all pretty much came together towards the end of the lap on the long piece of singletrack towards the end. The other competitors were really pushing the limits on the singletrack!

It was in the 2nd lap of 6 that 3 of us rode clear of the field (Gert Heyns, Luke Roberts(RECM) and myself) We changed leads over the next few laps until it was just Luke and myself left setting the pace up front where I was poised to make my move – on the 5th lap I attacked Luke and put some distance between us.

I pushed the pace hard on the singletrack, to solidify my lead but the next I thing I know I was standing on the side of the track trying to figure out why my rear wheel won’t turn in the frame! Both the rear wheel and the cassette seemed to have jammed up.  I couldn’t figure the problem out, and when Luke came flying past I jumped back on in hot pursuit.

The wheel seemed a lot better, but I could still feel it rubbing quite badly, and chasing a guy like Luke Roberts with a rubbing discs is mission impossible. I tried to consolidate, but lost heart towards the end and let another u23 rider squeeze past in the final straight. For me, coming anything less than  1st at this race is as good as last.

The only up side was that, despite  losing out on the Pro –Elite win, I still managed to win the overall elite category by over two minutes! It was really great to stand on top of the podium once again ahead of great riders like Oliver Munnik.

 

Thanks for the write up Renay!

To keep an eye on all things Team RSAWEB – check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


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Super DSL, Business DSL and Direct DSL  users will be pleased to hear that we’ve just rolled out a new service to MyRSAWEB which will make life far easier when it comes to accessing more data – so the next time you’re half way through your favorite video on YouTube you won’t have to worry about getting capped.

We appreciate that it’s a little annoying for you to have to call us or access MyRSAWEB each and every time you wish to top up your account. To help with this we have developed a new feature called ‘Automated top ups’– you can now use the ‘automated top up setting’ which will conveniently automatically allocate a set amount of data to your account when it becomes capped – you can choose how many times per month to allow this, and the data amount too.

So for example, say usually 5 GB’s is enough for you, but just to be safe, you can use auto top up to add an extra 1 GB twice per month, just to keep you connected. It’s that simple – you can change these settings anytime you like too.  For convenience sake – if you meet the automated top up limit (i.e – the last data top up for that month), you will receive a notification via SMS or email to let you know that there are more automated top up’s available.

 

To activate this service, go to MyRSAWEB  > Broadband > Manage Broadband > Top Up

We think this new service will be really useful, however, as always, if you have any feedback – please let us know by emailing us at [email protected] or click on the ‘Feedback’ button on the bottom of my MyRSAWEB homepage.

We should also point out that if you feel like you never have quite enough data for your browsing requirements, upgrading is simple, just go to ‘Manage / Upgrade’ Broadband, and click ‘Upgrade’ and we’ll manage the rest for you. 


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