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Cokodeal Targets SMEs to Reduce Cost of Marketing, Staffing

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It is imperative to understand the role technology has forced on us all, as we transition from an analogue system of trade to digital, forcing out old methods and creating new ones we have to adapt with.

It was published in the media recently; “Online shopping booms, states and businesses lose revenues”. This is as a result of a progressive shift in the way trade is carried out.

The electronic trade has got us familiar with new terms like e-shop, e-store, storefront and marketplace.

These are terms that represent a virtual setup of ones store on the internet that can be open for trade 24hour with ease of access through mobile phones, apps and desktop using the internet.

In recent times we have seen development that e-companies like Dealdey has brought to the online industry by driving huge volumes of customers to sellers through a discount pricing system, which helps the seller to reach interested individuals with their product offering, saving cost of marketing for small businesses.

Also getting familiar with terms like affiliate, that is more common to sites like Konga and Jumia, they host thousands of small scale businesses that sell hundreds of goods through their platform, which helps to drive sales for the business owners.

In the recent black Friday hosted by the platforms, sales generated by these platforms for business owner were in volumes that wouldn’t have been possible by the brick and mortar physical shops.

Furthermore, marketplace like cokodeal.com that helps manufacturers and exporters’ drive their growth to intra Africa trade, this saves huge advertising cost,  by creating market linkage to new emerging markets for manufacturers and local producers in Nigeria.

Cokodeal.com has successfully helped manufacturers link with interested buyers out of the shores of Nigeria, making such businesses capable of more international trade.

As explained by Mr Yusuf Auta, an economist with the Kaduna state Ministry of Budget and planning, states that in spite of the risk associated with online shopping, government could still tap from its huge revenue potentials.

For instance cokodeal.com partnerships with SMEs, exporters and government agencies in helping them to promote locally sourced goods to a global market has huge potential of driving revenues from other countries and boosting the economy of the nation.

In the turn of the table, business owners need not see online trading as a hindrance to their growth instead see it as a means to save marketing, advertising and staffing costs. As their business can now be accessed globally when registered on these platforms for free.

To highlight some of the cost these means of trading saves such businesses; the technical requirement and cost to setup a website, the search engine optimisation that enables easy search of product through the internet, and the ease of communication between buyers and sellers securely has been covered.

All that is required of the business is to register for free and abide by the agreement policy of the platform, upload business and product details and then sales begin to roll in.

This can be achieved in minutes and the opportunities for SME businesses are unending.

It is obvious that innovation and creativity of the online space is taking over and the world is becoming a global village, therefore SME’s must see online market place as the next big space to tap into instead of seeing it as a threat.

If businesses do not take advantage of the huge benefits now, they may be left behind.

 

Nigeria CommunicationsWeek believes that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. So since 2007, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and how they affect lives.

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E-Business

ESET, Airtel Unveil New Security app for Smartphone Users

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ESET, a security solution company on Thursday launched a new mobile security app specially designed for Airtel Nigeria subscribers.

 

Olufemi Ake, country manager of ESET, said that the mobile security application would provide smartphone users with features for prevention and management of cyber risks associated to android mobile devices.

 

Ake made this known during the ESET Mobile Security Airtel Edition Launch held in Lagos.

 

He said that there was need for average smartphone users in Nigeria to install mobile security apps on their phones, “especially in this age where cyber criminals steal personal data online”.

 

The country manager added that the first telecom-focused security product was optimised for Android and also for bringing both unmatched performance coupled with proactive protection.

 

He said: “The new ESET mobile security for Airtel also welcomes the brand-new premium features such as Anti-Phishing, which protects against malicious websites attempting to acquire sensitive information – usernames, passwords, banking information or credit card details.

 

“It also features Anti-Theft, which locks a device upon detection of suspicious behaviour or when unauthorised SIM is inserted.

 

“The security app also has the Remote Lock feature, allowing a device owner to lock his or her phone remotely, thereby preventing unauthorised access to all stored information, including photos and emails.

 

“It also has the SMS and Call Filter feature, which enables smartphone owners to solely receive the calls and messages that they want and also empower them to define the sender and the time to receive SMS or calls with time-based call management.”

 

Ake noted that the ESET Mobile Security product already exists globally on Google Play Store with over ten million downloads.

He explained that the app also offered precise detection of known and unknown mobile threats with complement of advanced features such as Anti-Theft, Security Audit, App Lock, SMS and Call Filter and Password Protection, amongst others.

 

Dinesh Balsingh, chief commercial officer, Airtel Nigeria, said that the partnership with ESET affirms their strong commitment to protecting customers from cyber criminals.

 

He said that by introducing such apps to subscribers, they would be protected from cyber criminals hacking into their personal data.

 

Balsingh said that Airtel subscribers who wish to benefit from the new security app could subscribe via Google Play store at subsidized and flexible cost of N150 monthly.

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MainOne Takes Blame for Google Glitch

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Main One Cable has took responsibility for a glitch that temporarily caused some Google global traffic to be misrouted through China, saying it accidentally caused the problem during a network upgrade.

The issue surfaced on Monday afternoon as Internet monitoring firms ThousandEyes and BGPmon said some traffic to Alphabet’s Google had been routed through China and Russia, raising concerns that the communications had been intentionally hijacked.

Main One said in an e-mail that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the Internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, said the West African firm.

Google has said little about the matter. It acknowledged the problem on Monday in a post on its Web site that said it was investigating the glitch and said it believed the problem originated outside the company. It did not say how many users were affected or identify specific customers.

Google representatives could not be reached on Tuesday to comment on Main One’s statement.

Even though MainOne said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the Internet.

The US China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Washington-based group that advises the US Congress on security issues, plans to look into the issue, said commissioner Michael Wessel.

“We will work to gain more facts about what has happened recently and look at what legal tools or legislation or law enforcement activities can help address this problem,” Wessel said.

Glitches in border gateway protocol filters have caused multiple outages to date, including cases where traffic from US Internet and financial services firms was routed through Russia, China and Belarus.

Yuval Shavitt, a network security researcher at Tel Aviv University, said it was possible Monday’s issue was not an accident.

“You can always claim that this is some kind of configuration error,” said Shavitt, who last month co-authored a paper alleging the Chinese government had conducted a series of Internet hijacks.

Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again.

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Nigerian Study Wins WhatsApp Misinformation Award Grant

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WhatsApp has announced the recipients of its $1 million research grants to academics from around the world for the purpose of studying misinformation and its impact on society. Fake news, calls for violence, election-related propaganda and other topics come under the different proposals for which the grants were given.

 

The goal of the research award is to facilitate high quality, external research on a wide range of topics by academics and experts who are in the countries where WhatsApp is frequently used and where there is limited research on the topic.

 

Tagged ‘WhatsApp Misinformation and Social Science Research Awards’, approximately 600 proposals were submitted and reviewed with the awardees representing the highest quality projects across several relevant research areas.  WhatsApp awarded 20 grants up to $50,000 each to researchers in several countries including Nigeria, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

 

Among the winning projects is the research topic; ‘The use and abuse of WhatsApp in an African election: Nigeria 2019’, an international collaboration put together by Jonathan Fisher (University of Birmingham), Idayat Hassan (Centre for Democracy and Development, Abuja), Jamie Hitchen (AREA Consulting) as well as Nic Cheeseman (University of Birmingham).

 

The study employs multi-method social science research instruments including in-country interviews, focus groups and surveys to explore how WhatsApp is used by political candidates, and their campaigns and supporters to tailor messages to key audiences during elections.

 

The research will focus on two gubernatorial elections in the upcoming 2019 Nigerian polls – those of Kano (northern Nigeria) and Oyo (southern Nigeria).

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