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How iSON Fosters Outsourcing Culture in Africa



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Enterprises in Africa are constantly looking at digitization strategies to drive operational excellence, improve customer satisfaction and expand operations to play a greater part in the global economy.

To achieve this, most of these companies have embraced outsourcing of some of their services. Consequently, in the last few years, outsourcing has become a common trend in information technology and other industries across Africa.

The emerging Africa outsourcing stories filled with endless opportunities cannot be told without iSON BPO as a flag bearer in the journey to birth Africa’s dreams.

Today, iSON Group has pioneered the reverse trend in current BPO services by taking “Knowledge to Work”, rather than the economically draining norm of taking work to known knowledge bases, as obtains in other climes. By marrying the best practices of India’s BPO industry with the available resource pool in Africa, iSON Group is charting a whole new pathway in developing Africa’s business ecosystem.

As a truly multi-cultural organisation, iSON’s unique approach to service delivery in IT and BPO combines building and managing call and data centre infrastructure, as well as global manpower outsourcing and call centre operations.

It helps clients with experience-centric solutions that empower them in enhancing business efficiencies, streamlining operations and reducing cost. It offers enterprise customers systems integration, managed services, BPO and strategic outsourcing solutions using end-to-end Information Technology (IT) services to numerous clients around the globe.

iSON caters to several industry verticals such as Telecoms, BFSI, Utilities, Government, Oil and Gas with a growing portfolio in several niches such as Property & Real Estates. An integral part of iSON’s growth is its work ideology; on-shoring as opposed to the more popular but less advantageous offshoring practice.

On-shoring as practiced by iSON, is employing and upskilling local capacity to handle the work which is available within the specific country of operation.

iSON Group’s strong presence in Africa dots the landscapes of big economies like Nigeria, South Africa, Morocco and Kenya.

For iSON, Information Technology is a platform to bring in the latest technology to clients in Africa through its “Partner Enablement” Program.

The big blue chip IT companies like AVAYA, Oracle, Huawei, Cisco, IBM, Dell are benefitting through iSON Technologies skillsets in 25 countries in the region. iSON as a system integrator has enabled these companies to offer their world- class products to clients in the region.  

Some of its marquee clients on the IT side are: MTN, Etisalat, Airtel, GT Bank, AXA Mansard, Kenya Tourism Board, Ministry of Kenya, Crown Beverages, Uganda, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, Tanzania & Botswana.

Ramesh Awtaney, the founder and chairman of iSON Group, is executing his own vision of ‘Digital Africa’ inspired by the Indian government’s digital drive. With over 28 years of experience in global technology, market development and business process outsourcing (BPO), he is working on moving Africa up the value chain towards Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO), which is more cerebral and offers a better price.

According to Ramesh, “Unlike most BPO and Tech services companies which take work and jobs to IP, ISON has pioneered reversing the trend by taking IP to the work without compromising on world-class quality.

As part of our core strategy, we have invested in developing local systems and empowering local talent to foster a better future for the African continent. We do not outsource local work outside of Africa”, he said.

Ramesh further stated that Third Party Outsourcing Industry is getting established in Africa and iSON has emerged as Market Leader. The region has started catching the attention of the leading outsourcing countries like USA and Europe.

“We have been able to get some assignments from some of the largest US companies which are being executed from African countries.  iSON as an On-shoring partner in Africa, for Africa is not only dominating the market but redefining business processes and how they are offered and also improving the market, defining its niche, while offering the best of superior services to the end- customers.”

As such, 99.5% of the iSON workforce comprises nationals in all African footprints, affording the twin benefits of long term employment generation and capacity development. This unique work practice not only accounts for iSON Group’s phenomenal growth since inception in 2011, to become a pace-setter in IT and ITes services but also an evolving driver  of employment generation across Africa and beyond.

Ramesh believes that Africa can replicate India’s growth story in IT/ITeS in just 10 years.

According to him, “We saw this opportunity early and have been investing in new centres across Sub-Saharan Africa over the past seven years, which have helped catalyse the ecosystems for growth in these countries”.

In less than 8 years of operation, Ramesh’s led iSON Group has rapidly grown to become Africa’s leading IT and ITeS organization. The company which is present in 25 African countries, operating with over 10,000 employees all over the continent.

The company has been on an expansion spree and has invested over 20 million dollars in Africa in the last seven years and plans to invest an additional 20 million dollars to set up four new centres across Africa which will create additional 4,000 jobs.

On the future outsourcing business in Africa, Ramesh said he is optimistic of its growth. “It is not a business trend, it is more of something that is fast becoming a staple in ensuring that organizations conduct their business in the best way possible. More of our clients have come to the realization that outsourcing is really the best way to go in terms of building capacity in their business,” he said.

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Global IT Spending to Hit $3.8tn in 2019 – Report



Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.8 trillion in 2019, an increase of 3.2% from the expected spending of $3.7 trillion in 2018.

This is according to the latest forecast by market analyst firm Gartner, which says enterprise software spending is forecast to experience the highest growth in IT spending with an 8.3% increase in 2019.

“While currency volatility and the potential for trade wars are still playing a part in the outlook for IT spending, it is the shift from ownership to service that is sending ripples through every segment of the forecast,” says John-David Lovelock, research vice-president at Gartner.

“What this signals, for example, is more enterprise use of cloud services; instead of buying their own servers, they are turning to the cloud. As organisations continue their digital transformation efforts, shifting to ‘pay for use’ will continue. This sets enterprises up to deal with the sustained and rapid change that underscores digital business.”

Gartner says software-as-a-service is driving growth in almost all software segments, particularly customer relationship management (CRM), due to increased focus on providing better customer experiences.

It believes cloud software will grow at more than 22% this year compared with 6% growth for all other forms of software.

While core applications such as enterprise resource planning, CRM and supply chain continue to get the lion share of dollars, security and privacy are of particular interest right now, says Gartner.

It points out that 88% of recently surveyed global CIOs have deployed, or plan to deploy cyber security software and other technology in the next 12 months.

In 2018, the market analyst firm says, data centre systems are expected to grow 6%, buoyed by a strong server market that saw spending growth of more than 10% over the last year, and in 2018 will come in at 5.7% growth.

However, by 2019, servers will shift back to a declining market and drop 1% to 3% every year for the next five years, Garner notes, adding that this, in turn, will impact overall data centre systems spending as growth slows to 1.6% in 2019.

The firm points out that IT services will be a key driver for IT spending in 2019 as the market is forecast to reach $1 trillion in 2019, an increase of 4.7% from 2018.

It says an expected global slowdown in economic prosperity, paired with internal pressures to cut spending, is driving organisations to optimise enterprise external spend for business services such as consulting.

In a recent Gartner study, 46% of organisations indicated IT services and supplier consolidation were in their top three most-effective cost-optimisation approaches.

Worldwide spending for devices (PCs, tablets and mobile phones) is forecast to grow 2.4% in 2019, reaching $706 billion, up from $689 billion in 2018.

Gartner says demand for PCs in the corporate sector has been strong, driven by Windows 10 PC hardware upgrades that should continue until 2020. However, the PC market may see some impact from the Intel CPU shortage. While this shortage will have some short-term impacts, Gartner does not expect any lasting impact on overall PC demand.

The current expectation is that the shortage will continue into 2019, but Intel will prioritise the high-end CPU as well as the CPUs for business PCs, says Gartner, adding that in the meantime, AMD will pick up the part of the market where Intel cannot supply CPUs.

“PCs, laptops and tablets have reached a new equilibrium state. These markets currently have stable demand from consumers and enterprises. Vendors have only subtle technology differentiation, which is pushing them to offer PC-as-a-service in order to lock clients into multiyear recurring revenue streams and offer new bundles of service options,” says Lovelock.

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MDXI Achieves Microsoft Gold Data Centre Competency, SAP Recertification



MDXI, data centre provider, has attained the Gold Data Centre certification from Microsoft, thus strengthening its position as one of the leading Cloud Services providers in Africa demonstrating “best-in-class” capability to meet Microsoft’s customers’ needs.

The Gold Data Centre is the highest partnership level with Microsoft in Data Centre Competencies and is the pinnacle for Cloud Productivity in Microsoft’s Partner Network program.

Attaining Gold Partner status is an important step for MDXI in its drive towards supporting local companies face issues on digital transformation, particularly in relation to their data centre and computing platform strategies.

To obtain the certification, MDXI has demonstrated the highest commitment to the integration of the latest Microsoft products, with proven expertise to help costumers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft platforms.

“The Gold Competency provides MDXI with a competitive advantage that helps us offer our customers the most relevant Microsoft solutions in the market. With this competency, MDXI is accredited as a partner to transform data centres into more flexible, scalable, and cost effective solutions using Microsoft Azure Cloud and hybrid solutions.

This will enable us deliver greater value to our customers with best-in-class staff that have been subject to rigorous exams, proven implementation and satisfaction references auditable,” says Gbenga Adegbiji, General Manager, MDXI.

The new milestone proves MDXI’s commitment to enabling digital transformation for its customers through constant improvement in delivering only the best services with competency levels including Silver Cloud Platform; Silver Data Centre; Silver Small and Midmarket Cloud Solutions; and Silver Application Development competencies.

In a similar vein, German business software maker, SAP, has given MDXI a clean bill of health with its recertification as a provider of infrastructure services for its cloud solutions.

This recertification endorses the ability of the company to deliver high-quality cloud and infrastructure operations services for customers running SAP solutions and confirms MDXI can continue to host and manage SAP applications using the company’s enterprise cloud platforms.

As a SAP-certified provider of hosting services, MDXI offers cost-effective yet reliable delivery models for mission-critical applications for customers of SAP.

SAP customers that rely on MainOne’s data centre for hosting services are empowered to focus on the business value of their solutions and benefit from reduced operational expenses that a commercial data centre provides.

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Oracle Academy Steps Up ICT Training in Nigeria



The Oracle Academy announced a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education of Nigeria (FMoE) to create new computing education pathways for local students.

According to a statement, through the agreement, FMoE plans to integrate Oracle Academy computer science curriculum and resources across 10,000 academic institutions across the country, reaching over 1.5 million students within the region.

Over the next three years, Oracle Academy will also facilitate the training of 4,000 educators at the secondary and higher education levels to teach computer science.

Permanent secretary, FMoE, Arch, Sonny S.T Echono, said, “As we are all aware, ICT has become the driver of competitiveness in the world today. It has redefined efficiency and productivity, and changed the dynamics of the world of work. Oracle Academy is well-known globally for the advancement of computer science education. There is therefore, no doubt that our partnership with Oracle will bring great improvements to the education sector and Nigeria as a whole.”

Adebayo Sanni, Managing Director, Oracle Nigeria, added, “As technological innovation increasingly drives our global economy, computer science skills become even more critical.

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education in Nigeria through Oracle Academy, and advancing our collective educational mission to support students and teachers in computer science and drive diversity in technology.”

In its statement, Oracle Academy added that it will facilitate a ‘Train-the-Trainer’ course to prepare teachers and faculty members as instructors for the following courses: Database Foundations; Database Design and Programming with SQL; Programming with PL/SQL; Java Foundations; Java Fundamentals, and Java Programming

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