Top things we learned Thursday at 49ers HQ

first_imgSANTA CLARA — When Christian McCaffrey made his NFL debut two years ago against the 49ers, the former Stanford star wasn’t viewed in the same light as today.“In our first year, it felt like he was a scat back and change-of-pace (guy). We felt he’d get his touches but didn’t think he’d hurt us,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He is a more complete back, a very powerful runner where he can break tackles. He’s the full package.“He’s obviously had a heck of a meal plan and a …last_img read more

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Investigating Africa’s perceptions of South Africa

first_imgBrand South Africa’s research manager, Petrus de Kock, understands the perceptions investors from China, India and Brazil have of South Africa. But when it comes to opinions from neighbouring African countries, such information is not as concrete.Brand South Africa research manager, Petrus de Kock, believes it is important to know what the rest of Africa thinks of us as it can impact on our economy and global competitiveness. (Image: Shamin Chibba)With this in mind, coupled with the idea that perception plays a major role in the country’s economy and its global competitiveness, De Kock is visiting three African countries to find out what they think of South Africa.De Kock and a team of researchers landed in Kenya on Sunday 20 July, kick-starting the first leg of their tour of the continent. They will visit Nigeria at the end of August and Ghana in November. Brand South Africa is running the project in partnership with the Africa Institute of South Africa.Researchers are looking to learn how the rest of the continent views South Africa. The research is based on the Anholt-GfK Nation Brand Hexagon, which includes criteria such as governance, immigration and investment, tourism, people, culture and exports.In each country, focus groups will take place with leaders from business, media and academia to find out the extent of South Africa’s interactions with them. “We want the policymakers and thinkers to give their input,” De Kock said.The researchers will also look at challenges other countries face when doing business with South Africans; the types of associations the countries have with South Africa and their recommendations on how to improve relations on multiple levels – with government, civil society, trade and security bodies.Africa unfamiliar with South AfricaFor Brand South Africa’s 2014 International Investor Perception survey, 860 investors from 18 countries – which include the US, UK, Japan, Germany and France – were questioned about their perceptions of South Africa.The survey also aimed to find out what drove investment decisions, identify barriers to investment, and determine which industry sectors investors associated with South Africa.According to the survey, Nigeria and Kenya showed the lowest levels of familiarity with South Africa, a concern for De Kock.When Brand South Africa hosted a research reference group in 2013 to discuss the kind of reputation the country had amongst its neighbours, it was agreed that a full analysis of South Africa’s interactions with fellow African nations needed to be drawn up. It was at this meeting De Kock noted the need for research into the countries unfamiliar with South Africa.At Brand South Africa’s International Perceptions seminar held in April this year, De Kock said managing a country’s reputation was essential to increasing its global economic competitiveness and attracting foreign investment. Reputation, he added, was shaped by the political, civil society and business relationships it has with other countries.Opportunities and challenges to South Africa’s reputation would be identified based on the findings from the various African engagements.The trips would also give indication of just how much South Africa has achieved in its 20 years of democracy, he added. “We are a relatively young country on the continent. This trip will help us understand what we have achieved in business and government in that time.”last_img read more

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Powered By: Web Services

first_imgEnterprise Information Portals are deployed across organizations as tools for centralizing corporate information.  A portal is an application framework that functions as a hub for accessing both structured and unstructured data, holding together content and information drawn from very many sources both inside and outside the enterprise. Each information source used in a portal is ‘component-ized’ and shrunk into a tiny UI called a portlet that occupies only a small amount of the total screen real estate.  Portlets are then mixed and matched together building-block-style to create high-relevancy dashboard-like portal applications. What sorts of information can a portlet expose?  Almost anything.  Corporate Policies and company directories.  Data Warehousing, Collaboration, Knowledge Management, and  Business Intelligence tools.  Any kind of information or IT system can be molded into a portlet and then later merged into the composite portal application.Portals are powerful.  They are time-savers because information is consolidated into a central location.  Portals reduce the screen clutter of multiple applications running side-by-side.  They also offer convenience by letting users log into the composite Portal application just once, and then via single sign-on, gain access to all component portlet applications.In many ways, the mix-and-match construction of Portal applications parallels the mix-and-match philosophy used in constucting mashup applications.  Because of that, it may not be that surprising to find that Web Services is the technology that is fueling both of these approaches to building applications today.Given a Web Service data source, designing and creating a new portlet is easy.  Portlets are often built by mapping data retrieved from a Web Service call into an HTML results-page presentation.  The UI for a portlet tends to be simple and easy to build, and the combination of HTML with Web Services provides a clean and natural separation of data from presentation.Once built, standards allow portlets can be easily migrated to different environments.  For example, portlets that have been created using standards like those of Web Services and JSR-168 (or JSR-286) can be ported to most Portal vendor products.Because content and documents have relevance within every domain, it is only natural that portlet integrations with Enterprise Content (ECM) and Document Management systems are frequent ingredients of successful Portals.  Portlets can provide very personalized windows into enterprise content.Almost any kind of ECM and DM functionality can be exposed in portlets.  That includes support for the life cycle of content and document creation and capabilities like authoring, approval, version control and scheduled publishing.Formtek offers the Web Services module as part of the Formtek | Orion SDK.  Formtek Web Services can act as the data source when building a portlet with almost any kind of ECM requirement.last_img read more

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