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Sunnet Systems’ ICT Hub to Develop IT Skilled Manpower – Paul



Olagunju Paul, managing director of Sunnet System

Olagunju Paul is the managing director of Sunnet Systems – a Pan African ICT firm is known for deploying technology solutions and services that enable growth and development.
The company also supports growth strategies through her top-notch solutions and services. Recently, the company won Customer Focused Technology Delivery Company Award and Paul spoke to chike onwuegbuchi on issues around Sunnet Systems’ efforts to revolutionize IT industry.

Issues Around Assessing Foreign Exchange
Yes, it is a challenge, at the same time, it presents some opportunities. As an organization, we believe that every problem has at least one solution. To us, what this challenge has thrown up is that as an IT company we should be thinking inwards.
That has also helped us to filter the possibilities and otherwise. We look at the whole spectrum of ICT landscape: where are we as a country? What can we do?
What should we be doing? What services do we need from outside? So, what we have done is to ensure, internally we align our resources to some of these challenges, providing in-country solutions.
We believe that, for so long, certain skills in the industry are largely dependent on expatriates. We felt one of the good things this crisis has brought is: there is no forex to continue on that path. So, do we have capable Nigerians, who require, maybe additional trainings, to deliver such services? The answer is Yes.
Therefore, we went ahead to set up an ICT Hub in Ilorin to serve as a base to develop Nigerian IT professionals to be utilized both locally and exportable skills.
There are so many smart Nigerians out there, but a lot of concentrations are in Lagos. But, step out of Lagos you see armies of young people who are waiting to be tapped, domesticated and empowered to begin to take advantage of the technology space. So, it has opened our eyes.

Why Ilorin?
It is a layback town; very quiet and cost of living is relatively cheap. There are about five universities, colleges of education, ensuring a whole army of young people. We want to harvest and empower them.
So, some of them we engage in providing these services that we were paying dollars to achieve. We are able to export these skills, bringing in dollars into the country. So, certain things that would ordinarily require dollars, we are using the naira; helping us to have a better margin.
Thus, certain jobs out there that we would have lack the boldness to go for, won’t happen anymore. By that, Nigeria will be able to play and tap into some of those services; take up contracts from UK, US, Europe, done here and delivered out there.
So, the dollar crisis is a blessing in disguise, if we are able to convert them to opportunities. It has actually helped us to think. People say you should think out of the box, but there are no boxes any more. Now, you have to think vertically, horizontally in other to take advantages of these opportunities.

Identification as A Customer Focused Company
As an organization, and from the beginning, we believe that Sunnet Systems exist because our customers exist. We treat our customers as people who put food on our table; they are the reason why we will exist.
Thus, we cannot afford to disappoint them. Our customers will only be happy, if they will run their businesses with their eyes closed. That implies, we can take the pressure off their shoulders to focus on their core competencies.
If you look at our mission statement we have “Passion for Excellence”. We derive our satisfaction from the customer’s satisfaction. We are deeply committed to customer satisfaction; the customer in this case could be the client, shareholders, or even internally, whether our customers as staff, we render services in excellent manner.
It is something that we have been able to practice over time. I am not really surprised that our customers feel that we deserve this award. 
I want to thank Nigeria CommunicationsWeek’s publishers for putting up such a beautiful programme in place. The essence of an award is not just about the reward, but it serves as an incentive for you to strive harder in service delivery. It also gives up-comers to have something to look up to; and as well encouraging compliance to standards, ensuring that organizations step up their games to be globally compliant in terms of quality of service, innovative initiatives that can change the landscape of our country.
To us as an organization, even though we are extremely a quiet organization in terms of visibilities, we have a very large footprint in the industry particularly with the major industries- public, financial, oil and gas, telecoms, and energy. It is an encouragement to us to know that some people somewhere appreciate the good work Sunnet Systems is putting into the industry, particularly our professional dedication and commitment, as well as quality of service.
We will take this as our first step and make sure we embark on aggressive improvement in all our services. Come next year, more of our good works will be out there for exhibition for people to appreciate and others to learn from. So, we really want to appreciate Communication Week Media for the recognition given to us. We will not rest on our oars as this serves as an impetus for us to strive harder; that is our commitment.

Sunnet Systems’ Distinguishing Factors
One of the key things to us is the understanding of our customers’ pain-points and align them with the best technology provider that can best deliver the experience required. For instance, if a customer requires an enterprise solution that can run their application 24/7 and effortlessly, we align them with the appropriate provider.
Also, for every solution we project into the market, Sunnet Systems have the highest level of trained personnel. So, we don’t just push or sell boxes, we generally work directly with the OEMs to ensure we are able to deploy, support and extend the services of these OEMs to the clients. We are strategic partners to these OEMs to deliver solutions relevant to the clients; that is why some of them have Sunnet Systems key leaders as part of their advisory team. Most times, before new products are introduced into the market, we are briefed, keeping us ahead of some of the challenges the customers are facing.

Sunnet Systems Going Forward
In the next five years, Sunnet Systems will not just be recognized for service excellence, but for innovative excellence. We are looking at various challenges faced by Nigerians and working towards technological solutions to them.
For example, we are working assiduously in the areas of health, financial inclusion, crisis management (like the case of herdsmen); we believe that technology that can help us solve some of these challenges.
We are positioning ourselves as innovative solution providers and for the entire West Africa. Every investment we are making now is geared towards that. Even the resource centre in Ilorin, we are working with some universities, tapping into their resources while addressing some of the local challenges.    

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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Sanitise Economy, Curb Debtors Via Technology, Ekeh, Zinox Boss



Leo Stan Ekeh, serial digital entrepreneur and chairman, Zinox Group

Leo Stan Ekeh, Africa’s leading technology entrepreneur, has charged the Federal Government to leverage technology in reducing to the barest minimum the growing incidences of corporate debts and usher in an era of unprecedented boom and sanity in the Nigerian economy.


He made this assertion while delivering the Guest Lecture at the maiden edition of the 2018 Nigerian Online Merit Awards (NiOMA) held in Lagos recently.


Ekeh, chairman of the Zinox Group, who disclosed that technology will resolve much of the contemporary problems facing the Nigerian state if holistically applied, noted that the country will benefit immensely if the government turns to technology in its search for lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the economy.


According to Ekeh, the recent revelation by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) that, about 350 Nigerians account for 80 per cent of its N5.4 trillion debt portfolio and the refusal of majority of these debtors to liquidate their indebtedness is an issue that can be easily resolved through the application of technology if there exists accurate data of how these debts arose.


In his opinion, it could also be that the government at different levels are partially responsible for some these debts, especially if they were unable to meet their obligations to some of these corporates.


Ekeh acknowledged that the present debt profile should be a case study for upcoming entrepreneurs or part of the issues to be dissected by data analysts on why some of these businesses failed, noting that this may also reveal a lot of insider compromises on the part of the lenders so that sincere lessons could be learnt and better structure and systems put in place to avert a recurrence.


“Working in concert with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Attorney General of the Federation and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for enforcement purposes, AMCON can leverage a simple technology application that makes it easy to access the bank balances of debtors across all the various banks in Nigeria. This will be a mandatory requirement for the extension of loans and credit facilities and will foster more responsible borrowing as the lenders can easily debit the accounts of borrowers upon due date to recover sums extended.


“This will not only reduce the growing profile and negative trend of corporate debts, with its attendant detrimental effect on the economy but will also expose many Nigerians who are publicly hailed as billionaires but who are only living large off depositors’ money, while frustrating further lending to start ups,” he stated.


Disclosing the many ways he has relied on technology to ramp up efficiency in his various businesses and simplify complex processes, Ekeh revealed that by next week, he would be trying out a new Enterprise application that will simplify transaction with bankers, irrespective of the numbers.


“This application will give us control over all of our bank accounts instead of relying on bank staff to implement our instruction at their convenience.”


He also disclosed that the new warehouses widely reported as recently acquired by e-commerce giant Konga were equipped with digital cameras with data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities which can easily detect fraud and random inconsistencies such as a change in the appearance of an individual or item captured on entry into the facilities. Most importantly, these cameras are cloud based.


Urging the government to commit more resources to technology in resolving the unemployment challenges and drive the nation towards rapid development, Ekeh cited the influence of technology in the political space which has reduced post-election litigations from 87% to about 33%, noting that this will further reduce to 11% or thereabouts with the adoption of electronic voting, if funded by the government.


“Technology does not lie; it is either you are right or wrong. With technology, you can do unimaginable things. You don’t even need to go through the four walls of a University to acquire quality education,” Ekeh enthused.


The Zinox Chairman who spoke on the theme – Leveraging the Internet Revolution to leapfrog Nigeria’s development – affirmed that Information Technology will disrupt the Nigerian economy positively by the year 2023, creating immense opportunities and new wealth for many Nigerians.


Noting that this will happen irrespective of the status of leadership at the helm of affairs in the country, Ekeh urged attendees at the event to prepare for the coming disruption.


While appreciating the organizers and Publisher of News Express, Mr. Isaac Umunna, Ekeh who received the ICT Icon of the Year award at the event also seized the opportunity to recognize the media for the long years of support in spreading the ICT gospel, even as he declared his intention to stand down from participation at many of such future events in order to allow the younger generation and his son, Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, founder of Yudala to take the stage as he believes they have better global education and exposure to lead the nation to the digital promised land.


Among dignitaries in attendance at the event was former Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe who chaired the event; Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan; Publisher of the Guardian Newspapers, Mrs. Maiden Ibru; former Vice-Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University and Chairman, Editorial Board of the Guardian, Prof. Wale Omole and Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Eze Anaba, among others.


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Mobile Operators Commit to Common Approach to IOT Security



The GSMA has announced that global mobile operators have committed to adopt and implement the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines.

The guidelines outline best practice and recommendations for the Internet of Things (IoT) security for the entire IoT ecosystem and set out a comprehensive security assessment scheme to help ensure IoT services are protected against IoT security risks. There will reach 3.1 billion IoT connections by 2025, according to GSM A Intelligence.

“For the IoT to flourish, the industry needs an aligned and consistent approach to IoT security. Our guidelines encourage the industry to adopt a robust set of best practices that will help create a more secure IoT market with trusted, reliable services that can scale as the market grows.

“The mobile industry has a long history of providing secure services in licensed spectrum and by implementing these guidelines, we can help ensure the long-term sustainability and growth of the market,” commented Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA.

The GSMA IoT Security Guidelines are targeted at IoT service providers, device manufacturers, developers and mobile operators and provide best practice for the secure end-to-end design, development, and deployment of IoT solutions across industries and services.

They address typical cybersecurity and data privacy issues associated with IoT services and outline a step-by-step process to securely launch solutions to market.

They are supported by an IoT Security Assessment scheme that provides a checklist to support the secure launch of IoT solutions into the market and keep them secure throughout their lifecycles thereby creating a sustainable IoT ecosystem that is designed for end-to-end security.

Both the GSMA IoT Security Guidelines and IoT Security Assessment also cover the fast-growing Low Power Wide Area or Mobile IoT technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT.


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BoICT Explains Why Glo Won Most Innovative Award



Organisers of the Beacon of ICT Awards, Communications Week Media, have said that Globacom won the Most Innovative Player Award at the 2018 edition of the awards because it pioneering most of the innovations in the nation’s telecoms industry.

Giving the explanation while presenting the awards to Globacom,  Ken Nwogbo, Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Officer of Communications Week Media, reiterated  Globacom’s consistent role as the pioneer in Nigeria’s telecom space in the area of innovation and service quality.

According to him, “Glo has remained consistent in pioneering most of the innovations we have in the telecoms industry today, both in voice and in data services.

Glo Café, Borrow me Data, Campus Booster, E-top Up and Easy Share are among the recent products which have offered unparalleled experience for telecom subscribers on the Glo network. Many of the respondents who took part in the poll said this was why they voted for Glo as the Most Innovative Mobile Player”.

Nwogbo further explained that winners in the various categories were decided by readers of Communications Week in an online survey conducted by the magazine from November last year to March 15, 2018.

The Beacon of ICT Awards was instituted to reward the vision and efforts of individuals and companies that have contributed to the growth of the ICT industry in a particular year.

The main objectives of the awards are to evaluate and recognize standards of excellence in the country’s quest for growth and development in the use of ICT and to ensure that ICT professionals are provided a basis for recognizing and validating outstanding contributions.


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