Daily Archives: May 10, 2018

HubSpot Launches Service Hub to Transform the Way Businesses Delight ...

Growth was once solely the domain of sales and marketing – no longer. HubSpot’s new customer service product is designed to turn every customer interaction into a growth opportunity.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts, May 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — HubSpot, a leading CRM, marketing, sales and customer service platform, announced today the general availability of Service Hub, the latest product line in the company’s growth platform. Announced at INBOUND 2017, Service Hub is an all-in-one customer service system that changes the way growing businesses approach and deliver customer support. Powered by HubSpot’s free CRM, Service Hub provides companies with a complete record of a customer’s journey, meaning faster resolution times and happier customers, turning these positive interactions into marketing gold – positive word-of-mouth.

“Over the past decade, the acquisition funnel has been considered the most effective model for growth. But as people have become more skeptical of sales and marketing, the funnel has become less effective,” said JD Sherman, president and COO of HubSpot. “Your biggest untapped growth opportunity today is in fact your existing customers. With Service Hub, we’re giving businesses the tools they need to tap into that opportunity. Support products on the market today treat customers as a cost center, focusing on cost reduction. We’re building a system for companies that view service as a growth opportunity.”

When combined with Marketing Hub and Sales Hub, Service Hub integrates customer data with lead and deal data in a way that similar products on the market don’t. This gives marketing, service, and sales teams access to a complete record of a customer’s interactions with the company, allowing them to collaborate together to resolve customer issues better and faster.

The individual products that make up Service Hub are designed with the impatient, convenience-focused customer in mind. Customers can get fast help via their preferred channel, and service teams are armed with the technology needed to efficiently manage it all:

  1. Conversations – A universal inbox that unites messages across chat, email, and other channels to help team collaborate and enable customers to engage with companies however they want.
  2. Tickets – A CRM object to track, record, and organize customer needs.
  3. Automation – Platform-level automation that uses workflows to route Tickets and create a help desk.
  4. Knowledge Base – A tool that helps you create simple well-structured help articles from templates that automatically index on Google search and a reporting dashboard.
  5. Customer Feedback – A tool featuring guided survey creation, feedback collection, and audience insights analytics.
  6. Reporting – A new service dashboard featuring reports on how your team is handling tickets, how customers are sharing feedback, and the efficacy of your Knowledge Base.

“Some clients say that they don’t have the budget for more customer service, but that mindset needs to change. When you add value for customers, you simultaneously grow your own business,” said Steven Loepfe, founder and managing partner of Storylead, a beta user of Service Hub and HubSpot Gold Tier Partner. “As an agency, the majority of our revenue comes from returning customers and their referrals. Service Hub is exactly what we’ve been looking for. Our clients already use HubSpot, so this will be a natural step for them. It’s a huge opportunity, for us and for them.”

To learn more about Service Hub, please visit https://www.hubspot.com/products/service.

About HubSpot
HubSpot (NYSE: HUBS) is a leading CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service platform. Since 2006, HubSpot has been on a mission to make the world more inbound. Today, over 41,500 total customers in more than 90 countries use HubSpot’s award-winning software, services, and support to transform the way they attract, engage, and delight customers. Comprised of Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and a powerful free CRM, HubSpot gives companies the tools they need to manage the customer experience from awareness to advocacy.

HubSpot has been named a top place to work by Glassdoor, Fortune, The Boston Globe, and The Boston Business Journal. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, MA with offices in Dublin, Ireland (EMEA HQ); Singapore (APAC HQ); Sydney, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Berlin, Germany; and Portsmouth, NH.

Learn more at www.hubspot.com.

Logo – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/561869/HubSpot_Logo.jpg

YPO Announces the 2018 Global Innovation Award Winners

Honoring Global Leaders Initiating Innovative, Transformative and Inspirational Breakthroughs

DALLAS, May 10, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — YPO, the premier chief executive leadership organization in the world, announced the winners of the Global Innovation Awards as a part of its third annual YPO Innovation Week. The Global Innovation Awards honors those YPO members who have initiated breakthrough innovations that inspire positive transformation.

In addition to recognizing the top innovators from among more than 25,000 YPO members across 130 countries, the Global Innovation Awards also honor Africa’s top innovator and the top young adult innovator, who is a child of YPO member (ages 17-29).

“Each year, YPO has this amazing opportunity to honor and highlight these distinguished innovators who are making an indelible mark around the world. The Global Innovation Awards highlight those who are leading the way in creating forward-thinking companies and significant opportunities now and for future generations,” said Keith Alper, Chair of YPO Innovation Week.

During May, the 2018 YPO Innovation Week will connect influential entrepreneurs, innovators and thought leaders to exchange ideas about inspiration, breakthroughs and transformation through more than 50 signature events, live two-way interactive video casts and livestream events around the world. YPO announced the top African innovator at Africa Ignite in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Global Innovation Award winner in New York City.

2018 Global Innovation Award Winners

Global Innovation Award – Harjit Gill, X-Halo
Harjit Gill is the CEO of X-Halo, the world’s first device to detect the early onset of respiratory diseases before any signs of symptoms. Connected to a smartphone, the device is the only one to give early warnings of disease and track lung health by measuring breath temperature.

Through the device, once signs are detected, patients can implement lifestyle changes and medication options to manage any potential issues at an affordable cost at home.

Global Innovation Award – Africa Top Innovator – Yariv Cohen, Ignite Power
Yariv Cohen is the CEO of Ignite Power, a Pan-African developer and financier of safe clean energy solutions. Of these solutions is a solar system for rural homes that integrates with mobile money for a pay-as-you-use energy and leasing model costing as little as USD4 per month.

Ignite Power has connected nearly 500,000 people to safe solar power and projects to reach 10 million by 2021.

Global Innovation Award – YPO Next Generation – Leslie Lim, Cicil
Leslie Lim is the Co-Founder of Cicil, a Google launchpad accelerator startup focused on providing financial access to the underserved Indonesian university student segment. Cicil provides micro loans to students, helping them in a number of ways including financing laptops and tablets, sports equipment and more.

“Congratulations to the 2018 Global Innovation Award honorees as they highlight the innovation and breadth of talent of the global YPO network,” said Scott Mordell, CEO of YPO. “These innovators are accelerating what’s next and leading the way for the future.”

The top finalists for the YPO Global Innovation Awards include:

Jerry Callahan, Founder and CEO of Heatworks
Jerry Callahan is the inventor of Ohmic Array Technology, which combines an array of graphite electrodes with a digital control mechanism, providing a pure and effective method of heating water using water as the heating element instead of metallic heating elements.

Nicolas Durand, CEO and Founder of Abionic
Nicolas Durand is the CEO and Founder of Abionic, which has developed the abioSCOPE, the world’s most rapid diagnostic platform based on a drop of blood to improve medical diagnosis at point-of-care.

George Kurtz, President, CEO and Co-Founder of CrowdStrike
George Kurtz is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of CrowdStrike, a cybersecurity technology company highly recognized for its cloud-driven approach to stopping breaches. CrowdStrike’s technology — the Falcon platform — has established a new standard in helping organizations stop breaches, extending beyond malware to prevent advanced targeted attacks regardless of their origin or technique.

Sunil Lalvani, Managing Director of Binatone Lifestyle Ltd.
Sunil Lalvani founded Project Maji to tackle the global water challenge by designing and developing solar-powered water kiosks across rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa to provide safe drinking water. Currently, Project Maji provides 15,000 people with clean water across 11 locations with the goal of expanding to one million people by 2025.

Christina Lomasney, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Modumetal, Inc.
Christina Lomasney is the President, CEO and Co-Founder of Modumetal, which manufactures a new class of nanolayered metals that are stronger, lighter and more durable than conventional metals and alloys. While derived from the same basic raw materials as conventional metals, Modumetal’s nanolaminated alloys can be used almost anywhere metals and alloys are used today while providing significant performance improvements over conventional metals

Bob White, President and CEO of Entellus Medical, Inc
Bob White is the President and CEO of Entellus Medical, Inc, which has created the XprESS ENT Dilation System. The system, which has treated more than 200,000 to date, is used for the minimally invasive treatment of adult and pediatric patients with chronic and recurrent sinusitis. Patients treated with the system have experienced faster recovery, less bleeding, less use of prescription pain medication and fewer post-procedure debridements.

Lee Zheng, Owner of Smart Technologies and Investment Ltd. and Founder and CEO of PIN Genie
Lee Zheng is the owner of Smart Technologies and Investment and Founder and CEO of PIN Genie. PIN Genie is an innovation of PIN technology. This highly secure, peek-proof patented technology can be applied to devices that require the use of PIN, making it impossible for others to spy a PIN and providing more security and convenience for users.

About YPO Innovation Week

YPO Innovation Week is a series of more than 50 events conducted in over 30 countries throughout the world from 7-11 May 2018, featuring dynamic global innovators who will come together to share best-in-class business strategies as well as timely and relevant insights that are fueling innovation and shaping the future of global business over the next decade.

Through signature Innovation Week events, live two-way interactive video casts and livestream events, business leaders will learn how to keep pace with innovation trends on a global scale, innovate and disrupt industry practices, nurture and develop value-creating ideas across organizations and positively impact communities, industries and the world.

About YPO

The premier leadership organization of chief executives in the world.

YPO is the global platform for chief executives to engage, learn and grow. YPO members harness the knowledge, influence and trust of the world’s most influential and innovative business leaders to inspire business, personal, family and community impact.

Today, YPO empowers more than 25,000 members in more than 130 countries, diversified among industries and types of businesses. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ 16 million people and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues.

Leadership. Learning. Lifelong. For more information, visit YPO.org.

Linda Fisk
Office: +1 972 629 7305 (United States)
Mobile: +1 972 207 4298

Panel of experts on VAT calls for submissions

The Independent Panel of Experts, set up to review the current list of zero-rated Value Added Tax (VAT) items, has invited all interested stakeholders to make written submissions for their consideration.

Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene on 25 April 2018, published the terms of reference for the panel of experts which will consider the most effective way to mitigate the impact of the increase in the VAT rate on poor and low-income households.

The panel is mandated to take public submissions, convene hearings, and engage with different stakeholders from civil society organisations, organised labour and business, and all other interested parties.

As part of carrying out its mandate, written submissions and any other queries can be submitted via e-mail to vatsubmissions@treasury.gov.za by close of business on 24 May 2018.

South Africa’s VAT system includes 19 basic food items that are zero-rated. These are:

dried beans


maize meal


brown bread



vegetable oil

mealie rice

pilchards in tins

edible legumes and pulses of leguminous plants



dried mealies

dairy powder blend


cultured milk

milk powder

brown wheaten meal

The R1.67 trillion Budget tabled by former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba in the National Assembly in February raised VAT by a percentage point to 15%.

VAT had previously been pegged at 14% since 1993.

Source: South African Government News Agency

President Cyril Ramaphosa urges Cooperative Governance and ...

President Ramaphosa urges COGTA to decisively dismantle apartheid spatial planning

President Cyril Ramaphosa has today, 10 May 2018, visited the departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) to interact with top management and the staff. This visit was in fulfillment of the President’s commitment in the State of the Nation Address to visit government departments and key state institutions as part of ensuring alignment in the work of government as well as promoting good governance and professionalism in the public sector.

The President was accompanied by the Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma and met with the department’s top management led by Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Deputy Ministers Mr Obed Bapela and Mr Andries Nel.

President Ramaphosa said his visit to COGTA was very significant as the department is the epicentre for the work of government focusing on addressing many service delivery challenges facing communities across the country.

We were here to listen to the top management on what challenges the department is facing and how we can work together to address those challenges to ensure that government functions efficiently. COGTA is an engine of government as it is the glue between the people and government. This department is involved in the real work of government which is specifically the delivery of basic services to our communities and ensuring a good relationship between government and institutions of traditional leadership, President Ramaphosa said.

As we experience protests in some part of the country, which are reportedly caused by lack of service delivery, this department is very key in addressing those issues and ensuring that municipalities deliver adequate and quality services to our people, President Ramaphosa added.

The President has pledged his support to the department as it undertakes its work to address the challenges faced by local government. This includes the department’s skills development programme, which develops professional capacity in the form of town planners, civil engineers, architects and others to capacitate local government.

The President urged COGTA to lead the charge around integrated urban development to decisively dismantle the legacy of apartheid spatial planning. The President has further welcomed COGTA’s commitment to mobilise all stakeholders including traditional leaders, other government departments and civil society around initiatives for an agrarian revolution – a critical imperative to reduce urban migration and accelerate rural development.

Source: Government of South Africa

Consultation on IRP review set in motion

Government has begun the consultation process with regards to the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Energy Minister Jeff Radebe said on Thursday.

We have embarked on the consultation process of the IRP which will also indicate the energy mix that we need for the next few years, said Minister Radebe.

Addressing a media breakfast session at the department’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) office in Tshwane, Minister Radebe said the Department of Energy (DoE) is steadily working towards concluding the review of the IRP by no later than mid-August this year.

In December 2017, Cabinet announced the approval of the reviewed plan that determines the country’s long term electricity demand.

In terms of timeline I intend to go to Cabinet by mid-August 2018 which means that the technical report which is virtually ready will start the process within government but also a public process that will include consultation with Nedlac [National Economic Development and Labour Council], said the Minister.

Oil refinery

Minister Radebe also said that South Africa intends to build a new oil refinery as part of ensuring the country’s energy supply.

It’s our intention as well to ensure that we build a refinery. We cannot just sit by and observe processes going on in the world, and we need to do something as well for our own energy security of supply, said the Minister.

The DoE is intent on developing a new oil refinery implementation framework that will assist the country to start looking at having its own oil refinery.

In the DoE Budget Vote speech in 2017, government said that South Africa is ready for a new refinery investment.

US sanctions

The United States recently announced its decision to reinstate sanctions on Iran that would have an impact on crude oil supply.

Deputy Director General at the department, Tseliso Maqubela, said South Africa currently has no crude oil imports from the Middle Eastern country.

Currently there are no crude oil imports that come from Iran. In as far as the immediate impact of the sanctions being imposed by the US, the impact is only going to be felt on price off crude oil. There are indications that it will go up. But in as far as supply of crude oil to South Africa, there’s no immediate impact, said Maqubela.

Petroleum products

The DDG further added that the country is not meeting the demand for petroleum products and is currently importing more than a quarter of its petroleum products.

It’s about the growth of demand which outstrips what the refineries can supply in South Africa. The economy has grown and so has demand for petroleum products, said Maqubela.

South Africa has no crude oil reserves of its own and about 60% of its crude oil requirements are met by imports from the Middle East and Africa. Crude oil is refined at South Africa’s four crude oil refineries.

The country imports crude oil from three countries mainly Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Angola.

We’ve reached a stage in South Africa where we import more than a quarter of our petroleum products requirement, hence the need to look into the refinery framework.

He further added that geopolitical developments in the Middle East will cost consumers at the pumps going into the future.

Developments particularly in the middle East are not going to bring good news for our petroleum products prices, he said.

Thursday’s media engagement session was held at a time when the department marks Energy Month. The month is observed every year in May where the DoE makes citizens aware of issues relating to energy efficiency.

Source: South African Government News Agency

Two bodies of unknown men found

Two bodies of unknown men were found near Mankosi forest in Ngqeleni at about 15h00.

The bodies were seen by a passerby who alerted the community in that area. When police arrived at the scene it was discovered that both deceased have multiple stab wounds and with their hands tied.

Source: South African Police Service

Minister Rob Davies launches Industrial Policy Action Plan, 14 May

Minister Davies to brief media on the 10th Iteration of the Industrial Policy Action Plan in Cape Town

Members of the media are invited to the launch of the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) 2018/20 – 2020/21 by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies:

Details of the Media Briefing are as follows:

Date: Monday, 14 May 2018

Time: 13:00-14:00

Venue: Imbizo Media Centre, Parliament, Cape Town

NB: There will be a video link to GCIS to Tshedimosetso House, 1035 Frances Baard Street (corner Festival Street), Hatfield, Pretoria.

IPAP 2018/19 is the tenth iteration of a rolling annual action plan aligned to successive three year cycles of government planning. It includes, a Legacy Review which provides a high-level summary of the achievements of industrial policy over nine years.

This iteration puts emphasis on stronger interventions to support transformation led by the flagship Black Industrialists Scheme inclusive of a bouquet of new and creative incentive measures set out in the incentive Section. It also outlines a stronger emphasis on a stronger export effort focusing on existing lead and dynamic national export champions and new, especially black owned entrants. IPAP 2018 also includes new, significant interventions to gear up and respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by the Digital Industrial Revolution.

Source: Government of South Africa

Longtime Jihadist Leads Group that Claimed Niger Attack

Not much is known about the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, the group that claimed responsibility for killing four U.S. and four Nigerien soldiers in western Niger last October.

However, the group’s leader, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, is a well-known figure in regional jihadist circles.

Al-Sahrawi “is a longtime veteran of the West African subregion with deep networks in Mali,” according to Jacob Zenn, fellow of African and Eurasian Affairs for the Jamestown Foundation in Washington and a consultant on countering violent extremism. “He is able to manage groups of multiple ethnicities that engage in both terrorist attacks and criminal activity.”

Al-Sahrawi was once a commander for Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, where he became associated with Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the one-eyed leader of the group.

Later in 2011, al-Sahrawi was one of the extremists who came together to form the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, MUJAO, one of the jihadist groups that seized control of northern Mali for several months in 2012.

In 2015, al-Sahrawi issued a bay’a, or pledge of allegiance, to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the overall leader of the Islamic State militant network.

According to Zenn, al-Sahrawi still has connections to many of the AQIM sub-groups in Mali because of his experiences. But his loyalty is to the Islamic State.

ISGS operational capacities

On September 1, 2016, ISGS fighters attacked a gendarmerie post in Burkina Faso, just across the border from Niger, where they killed two guards. A month later, ISGS killed three policemen in an attack on a police outpost just a few kilometers from the Malian border in Burkina Faso.

Perhaps the most brazen attack by ISGS before the ambush of the U.S. soldiers at Tongo Tongo was the attempted jailbreak at a high-security prison in Niamey, Niger. The prison held suspected Boko Haram militants and other Islamists from the Sahel and Sahara regions.

Weeks after the attempted jailbreak and more than a year after the pledge of allegiance by al-Sahrawi, IS officially acknowledged the bay’a.

But even with the notoriety that came with killing the American and Nigerien soldiers in October 2017, ISGS has limited capabilities.

Zenn said the group “is able to engage small-scale confrontations with conventional militaries, as well as small-scale asymmetric kidnappings,” but the group has a limited number of fighters. “Perhaps no more than 200,” said Zenn, speaking to VOA last month.

Also, ISGS has no known operational or any other ties to its bigger and more potent Islamist group neighbor, the Islamic State West Africa Province, or the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, which is also an IS affiliate.

The Islamic State in the Greater Sahara has generally not been able to carry out attacks on hard targets the way AQIM-affiliated groups have in Burkina Faso, Mali and Ivory Coast.

But experts like Zenn believe the group poses a risk to economic targets, like French uranium production sites, and in sparsely populated rural areas.

Niger and its Sahel neighbors formed the military alliance called G5 Sahel to fight ISGS and other extremist groups in the area, while at the same time its military is also fighting Boko Haram along its border with Nigeria and Chad as part of the Lake Chad Multinational Joint Task Force.

Source: Voice of America