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COVID-19 pandemic has created a truly unprecedented situation which affects us all

By Andrew Craig, Director at Universe Direct.

Johannesburg, 12 May 2020

As the situation continues to evolve, we take a moment to thank our leaders, doctors, nurses, researchers and service people who are on the forefront of this battle, while understanding that most of us in self-isolation do not have it easy either. It definitely is not business as usual.

Businesses in nearly every consumer category have ground to a halt, facing an uncertain future that could look a lot different than anyone expected. Consumer behaviour patterns, influenced by weeks of social isolation, shopping online, working from home, or not working at all, are going to drastically change.

The virus has forced consumers to digitally adapt. And these behaviours will not disappear once the quarantine is over. Consumer appetite for services on demand, such as entertainment channels, shopping opportunities and new ways of connecting, will continue post crisis.

Contactless solutions may increasingly replace what used to be high-touch activities, with many companies or educational institutions continuing to utilise the work/learn from home strategy. Online conferencing, meetings and online schooling having been rolled out, utilised and tested during this lockdown period.

To be able to operate effectively, it's imperative to digitally transform our places of work and education. The companies able to fast-track their digital transformation will be ones ahead of the game.

Universe Direct is well placed to meet the demands of this new “digitally transformed economy”. While the ability to work remotely is a benefit many employees value, many companies lack the technological infrastructure to offer that capability. Universe Direct has the product range and technical knowhow to build company technology infrastructure and ensure your company benefits from this digital transformation and can operate in this new era.

In the past years, there has also been a vast improvement in South Africa’s high-speed broadband connectivity, with an almost 80% 4G coverage. This, together with the lower price of data, an average of 30% less since April 2020, makes the digital space a lot more affordable for South Africans. In turn, this will assist more consumers previously unable to afford the data usage cost look at buying their own PCs and laptops.

South Africa is set to become a nation of multiple device owners (not just cellphone owners) and Universe Direct is ready to service this market.

I have been at the helm of Universe Direct since 1997 and not since Y2K have I seen such a surge in demand for computers. We are in business and ready to roll.