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McDonald’s South Africa taps IBM to enhance social media facilitating

BY Staff Writer

Johannesburg — IBM announced that McDonald’s South Africa is using IBM social business software to embrace the convergence of social, mobile and cloud facilitating its expansion to new markets and enabling its employees to collaborate more effectively.

McDonald’s is working with IBM and its business partner, Knowledge Dimension, to transform the way its almost 200 restaurants and 8000 employees communicate and collaborate, thereby helping the company communicate and operate more effectively. McDonald’s will begin transforming into a social enterprise to help geographically dispersed employees to communicate more effectively, sharing ideas that will allow them to deliver exceptional customer service.

“With our intended aggressive expansion plans – growing the number of restaurants by approximately 25 restaurants a year – improved communications is undoubtedly a business imperative,” said Greg Solomon, managing director for McDonald’s South Africa. “Equipping our employees with a social network to improve communication is critical in helping us fulfill our brand promise to customers for quality, service, cleanliness, and value.”

McDonald’s SA is currently using IBM Connections and IBM Sametime instant messaging software to support internal communication and training requirements across their branch network.

The McDonald’s crew (staff at restaurant level) will access the platform via a first-to-market in South Africa mobile solution, supplemented by in-restaurant touch-screen docking stations. This phase is scheduled for completion in first quarter 2013.

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Samsung launches crowd-sourced designer bag

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — Samsung Electronics has partnered with New York-based designer to create the industry’s first co-created print inspired by crowd-sourced sketches and images using the Galaxy Note II. The print will appear on a limited-edition bag that will be sold in key markets around the world to raise funds for Art Start, an award-winning, nationally-recognized charity that uses the arts to nurture the creative talents of at-risk children and youth.

Leveraging the Galaxy Note II’s inherent create-and-share benefit, Wang will engage a group of special friends, stylists, photographers, and others to create "doodles" – an image, pattern, or a photo – on their Galaxy Note II device. Gathering from active idea-capturing and immediate-sharing, the celebrated New York designer will then curate these sketches into one collectively-inspired final print.

"I am most inspired from my everyday life and the people that surround me, so the idea of a co-creation with the people that I admire and respect the most is very exciting," said Wang. "This collaboration represents a new way that technology and style can come together. And, through a concerted effort, I am happy to be a part of supporting such a great charity as Art Start that embraces creativity and art in a way that can change lives."

"Wang’s passion for experimentation, his playful sensibility and his on-the-go lifestyle are the traits that we seek to empower with the Samsung Galaxy Note II," said Younghee Lee, Executive Vice President of Samsung Mobile. "Technology is becoming more deeply linked with the creative processes of fashion designers, and Samsung products are empowering users with the freedom to be creative and productive without limits. As technology and fashion converge, we will continue to create products that inspire passion through innovation."

San-Francisco born Wang launched his eponymous label with a full women’s ready-to-wear line in Spring 2007. He was the recipient of the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund in 2008, and in 2009, was recognized by his peers by winning the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year and the Swiss Textiles Award. In 2009, Wang also launched the T by Alexander Wang women’s and Footwear line, followed by the Men’s T by Alexander Wang a year later. The brand’s ready-to-wear line for men was launched in 2011 and Wang was acknowledged by GQ as Best Menswear Designer of the Year and by the CFDA for Best Accessory Designer that same year.

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Online petition asks Victoria’s Secret to find right fit for survivors

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK — A breast cancer survivor and her daughter have used the Internet to draw attention to an important issue and potentially create a new category of lingerie.

Debbie Barrett ad Allana Maidenhand-delivered more than 118,000 Change.org petition signatures to Victoria’s Secret’s New York office on Thursday, asking the lingerie giant to make a line of "survivor" mastectomy bras to help breast cancer survivors feel beautiful again.

After delivering the signatures, Allana Maiden and her mother Debbie Barrett met with Tammy Roberts Myers, VP external communications for Limited Brands, Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, to share their ideas for a “survivor bra.” Myers then invited the mother and daughter to travel to the Ohio headquarters of Limited Brands for further discussions.

“If there’s anything I could tell the 118,000 people who’ve signed my Change.org petition right now, it’s that Victoria’s Secret is taking very seriously the comments from survivors and their families and friends who want to see ‘Survivor Bras’ in their stores,” said Maiden, after leaving the meeting. “I know their heart is in the right place and they want to do the right thing. Making this bra line would be a win for Victoria’s Secret and a win for survivors — there’s no downside. I think they see that now.”

Maiden started her Change.org campaign asking Victoria’s Secret for a “survivor line” of mastectomy bras after years of watching her mom, a breast cancer survivor, struggle to find bras that were pretty, affordable, and a comfortable fit for her new shape.

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