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Tunbridge Wells, Kent, United Kingdom, 2008/11/25 - Open-Tec.com, an expert in compliant data management, has opened a new office in South Africa to service the Southern African and sub-Saharan marketplace.
Open-Tec, an expert in compliant data management, has opened a new office in South Africa to service the Southern African and sub-Saharan marketplace. The company, which already operates in the UK, sees Southern Africa as a prime region for companies needing to comply with business legislation through its flagship Cstore™ solution which has been described by Bloor Research as having “...major disruptive market potential”.
Heading up the South African operation, Allan Johns, Executive Director, explains: “The Southern African market is not divorced from international regulatory or compliancy requirements. In fact, recent global security and economic trends are driving even more demand for improved storage / archiving.”
Furthermore, in a recently published article written by Daniel McConnell & Bongani Homela of Deneys Reitz Attorneys, dated 30th October 2008, the Labour Court decided that an acceptance of an offer by way of SMS or e-mail results in a binding contract. “The court had regard to the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002 (the ECT Act) which states that contracts can be effectively concluded by means of "electronic communications." An "electronic communication" is a communication by means of data messages. A "data message" is data generated, sent, received or stored by electronic means. The court ruled that an SMS is a data message and it therefore falls within the definition of an electronic communication. Therefore an SMS is a valid and effective means of concluding a contract. The court was at pains to point out that the fact that a message or document is digital and not hard-copy does not detract from its legal weight.”
Johns adds: “Businesses across South Africa have experienced an explosive increase in information storage in recent years. Data volumes are increasing, including longer retention periods and there is a greater need for proving the integrity of the data through tightened security. Overall volume may potentially exceed the capacity of current storage technology. Added to this is the need to achieve and maintain compliance with current and upcoming regulations which will result in significantly increasing data storage requirements and therefore costs.”
“Cstore™ is a disruptive technology which companies can’t afford to ignore. It not only meets their regulatory and compliance duties, but also saves money, and results in efficiency gains at both an IT and operational level. It reduces risks via maximising evidential weight, for example losing in court, and it also helps to prevent fraud.”
According to Johns, small businesses, including Small Medium Micro Enterprises (SMME) and Small Office Home Office (SoHo) businesses have a similar obligation; however the cost is often prohibitive.
“Besides the corporate market, we are exploring ways with other business partners to offer this solution as a service to the smaller enterprises, thus allowing them to achieve their compliancy obligations without huge cost.”
Terry Cave, CEO of Open-Tec, comments: “International expansion is an obvious next step because storage is now a global issue. Cstore™ offers compliant archiving of email, documents, voice calls and other electronic business records and it can help companies to save up to 80% on their storage budget through various techniques, such as de-duplication or single instancing and compression. In the current economic downturn, this will be welcome news to companies across South Africa, as it has been to those in the UK.”
Relevant legislation and directives include:
• Sarbanes Oxley;
• Basel II;
• MiFID (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive);
• The BSI Code of Practice for Legal Admissibility and Evidential Weight (BSI BIP 0008);
• Data Protection Act 1998;
• Companies Act 2004;
• Freedom of Information Act 2000;
• European Convention on Human Rights and the Privacy;
• CDR (Call detail Record);
• Electronic Communications Regulations 2003;
• The Companies Act 2004;
• Freedom of Information Act 2000.