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Vodacom Partners Microsoft to Enable more Agile Businesses

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L-R: Solomon Ogufere, Commercial Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria; Soromfe Uzomah, Head, Strategic Partnerships, Microsoft 4Afrika; Nehita Fashe, Sales Director, Descasio Limited; and Wale Odeyemi , Managing Director, Vodacom Business Nigeria, at the recently concluded Breakfast meeting held to launch the partnership between Vodacom and Microsoft on the Azure Cloud Platform in Lagos.

Vodacom Business Nigeria has entered into a strategic partnership with Microsoft (through its 4Afrika initiative) and Descasio to build capacity and help improve operational efficiency among its customers using the suite of Microsoft Azure Cloud platform services.

Microsoft Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform which will enable customers to rapidly build, deploy and manage its applications, data, runtime and more in the cloud.

The platform allows users to leverage existing skills using the world’s most popular languages, tools, and frameworks in a resilient, scalable and reliable global datacenter network.

Speaking at a breakfast meeting which took place at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Victoria Island Lagos, Managing Director for Vodacom Business Nigeria, Wale Odeyemi said: “Our vision is to be a leading digital company that empowers a connected society and we have realized the benefits that strategic collaborations with key stakeholders within our ecosystem can bring to helping us realize this vision faster.

“Vodacom actively pursues a collaborative approach that leverages the combination of core competencies of its partners to increase customer value that complement our already rich products and services in addressing our customers’ needs to optimize their operations through increased flexibility, agility and resiliency.

“ In addition to our secure connectivity services, this collaboration with Microsoft and Descasio ensures our customers can move data and applications from their intelligent edges to Microsoft’s intelligent cloud, while accelerating their cloud adoption journeys.”

Odeyemi further added: “As organizations re-invent themselves in response to ongoing digital disruptions, the appetite for cloud service adoption is also increasing as businesses seek to improve agility. Microsoft Azure addresses this need by providing diverse services under one platform, thereby creating more streamlined workflows and driving business efficiency.”

Through the 4Afrika initiative, Microsoft aims to bring smart devices, connectivity and technology training to African entrepreneurs, youth, developers and graduates by focusing on three critical areas – World-class skills, Access and Innovation.

Speaking at the event, Head, Strategic Partnerships for Microsoft 4Afrika, Soromfe Uzomah said: ‘Through these partnerships, Microsoft aims to empower businesses, across different verticals, with the tools they need to succeed in a technology driven world and the platforms they require to create breakthrough innovations and accelerate Africa’s digital transformation.

To successfully achieve  this transformation journey that enables business growth on the African continent, we need to depend not just on what we do in our own capacities but on the capabilities, functions, channels, and insights we all can tap into through partnering with others.

Uzomah further adds: “We are pleased to be a part of this initiative working in collaboration with Descasio to provide Cloud services to Vodacom customers. We look forward to working with Vodacom to help their customers optimize operations, extract insights from the data they generate and improve their decision-making capabilities to maintain a competitive advantage.”

Vodacom Business Nigeria will host services enabled by these intelligent Microsoft technologies to ensure that your business gains access to the latest software and business applications with state-of-the-art security for your company’s network, systems and applications at reduced prices, from anywhere and at any time.

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Swift2pay Launches Online Payment, Commends Konga

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Swift2pay, Nigeria’s fastest bill payment service, has fully commenced business online, providing seamless services to consumers and suppliers.

 

Swift2pay is a strong and rugged platform designed to make payments easy including airtime recharge, data, Internet, utilities and fund transfers.

 

Speaking to a group of journalists at a media launch for the online commerce of the product, Mr. Chinedu Amadi, operations director of the Dukan Group revealed that Swift2pay is an easy to use payment gateway and card to ensure only your wallet feature is exposed to online transactions.

 

Swift2pay, Mr. Amadi said, is an innovation that enables Nigerians to move around with a smart wallet that has an additional feature of the ATM card. Literally, the product enlarges the coast for the cashless society.

 

Consumers can tap into the boom by registering on the web app to complete their transactions.

 

He promised that the Swift2pay App would soon be on-boarded into Google Play Store and the Apple Store to enable consumers to fund their wallet through a transfer.

 

Nigerians can truly save time – cut off the waiting game at the bank, at the electricity office where sometimes the queue stretches on to 100 meters, or even the drive around in search of recharge cards.

 

The cumulative effect is increased productivity on both the individual, corporate and national levels.

 

Swift2pay was initially launched as a payment platform embedded in the CarXie e hailing Cab App in July 2018.

 

A good number of banks and financial institutions have bought into and are doing business successfully with Swift2pay.

 

The Dukan Group is a beehive of digitally innovative apps including Vino Facility for estate management, Vino Biz for start-ups, Vino Medicals, Vino Academy, Vino Tech Solutions, etc

 

The DuKan Group Operations director seized the opportunity to acknowledge and commend the contributions of Konga to the current culture of enterprise, confidence and trust in the online market.

 

Amadi listed some of the novel inputs as including the omni-channel model adopted by Konga that will ultimately grow the online market while diminishing the traditional through the availability of lower priced smart phones; the re-introduction of the payment on delivery mode; and the imparting of knowledge, skills and competencies through massive deployment of technology, interaction of hundreds of staff from diverse backgrounds, international and local partners, and a fertile pedigree of hard work and integrity.

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Concerns as Cyber Security Vendors Implement Irrelevant Solutions

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Cyber security experts have expressed worries over the implementation of none impactful cyber security solutions to organisations which has resulted in increased loss of money and data by organisations, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.

 

Engr. Ike Nnamani, president, Demadiur Systems, publishers of Nigeria Cyber Security report hinted Nigeria CommunicationsWeek part of its company’s 2018 report which identified none impactful implementation of cyber security training and solution for the rising cases of cyber-attacks as contained in the report that is yet to be unveiled to the public.

 

“From what we saw in our last year’s report, volume of cyber crime is still in the increase in spite of awareness. More so, we witnessed cyber security solutions vendors selling solutions that are not impactful to fortifying organisations’ cyber defences, which results in the problems remaining,” he said.

 

William Makatiani, managing director, Serianu, described the situation as acquisition of overly mature or advanced tools with limited internal skills to operate these technologies/solutions.

 

“Majority of organisations in Africa are at a low Cyber security maturity stage meaning that there are a number of gaps (people, process and technology) that exist within these organisations that might hinder them from fully consuming more mature products. For instance, adoption of Artificial Intelligence tools without a proper baseline of existing data sources and structures will hinder an organisation from getting proper intelligence from a tool.

 

“Adoption of next-generation SIEMs and Threat hunting tools without proper network architecture and baselining in place will result in more false positives than true positive alerts. Adoption of latest ERP system without having a well-trained staff to manage it can result in more fraudulent activities. And adoption of Agency banking without proper Know Your Customer controls and transaction limits can result in more losses to a bank,” he said.

 

Addressing this challenge, Makatiani urges organisations to abandon the Copy-paste mentality and proactively analyze their unique challenges and design or acquire solutions that fix their unique needs.

 

“It starts with understanding our security gaps and how much visibility we have as an organisation. This will involve; practical and Focused Risk Profiling and breach scenario analysis: Understanding what risks the organisation is exposed to from a people, process and technology perspective.

 

“More so, maturity assessment that involves looking closely at the controls implemented, architecture and data sources within the organisation and determining the gaps that exist.

 

“Visibility and exposure quantification is where an organisation clearly quantifies the extent to which it has secured its assets. And training and enhancing internal capabilities – focus on training internal resources to be able to address cyber security issues.

 

“It’s only after this analysis that an organisation can make informed choices on the type of security investments they need,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sign Digital Rights Bill Now, Paradigm Initiative Tells Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari

Paradigm Initiative, an advocacy group, is currently mobilising Nigerians to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, sign the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill into law without further delay.

 

The advocacy group is running an online campaign where it is collating signatures of Nigerians that would be sent to the president, which would best explain the people’s will and desire to have the bill signed into law.

 

The group vowed that the campaign would continue next Monday, and run daily until the bill is signed by the president.

 

They called on more Nigerians to participate in the online campaign that they said was already gaining momentum.

 

Giving reasons for the need to sign the Bill into law, the Chief Executive Officer of Paradigm Initiative, Mr. Gbenga Sesan, said: “After almost three years of legislative process, the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill was transmitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on February 5 for presidential assent, and since then the president was yet to assert the bill.

 

“We are calling on the president to sign the bill into law, to protect human rights online and help energise digital innovation,” he said.

 

The Digital Rights Bill provides for the protection of human rights online, protect internet users from infringement of their fundamental freedoms and guarantee the application of human rights for digital platform users.

 

The bill seeks to guarantee human rights within the context of emerging innovative technologies, security concerns, increasing citizen participation in governance and democratic processes.

 

The Digital Rights Bill is an assemblage of conventional rights aimed at making online spaces rights-inclusive and is an attempt at balancing the friction between security and human rights in the digital age.

 

The bill also addresses the subject of hate speech in a way that ensures safeguards for both the accused and alleged victim and ensures that free speech does not suffer in the process.

 

The bill when passed into law, is expected to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from global technology companies, aside strengthen the Nigeria technology industry by ensuring there is a positive regulatory environment.

 

It provides a regulatory environment for lawful surveillance and interception thereby helping law enforcement to carry out their duty leveraging technology.

 

Technology experts also stated that the bill would strengthen users’ trust. The experts who lauded the bill and the initiative of the group, said the legislation was a step in the right direction because of the value it would bring to the digital economy and the rights of people of Nigeria.

 

Meanwhile, the Paradigm Initiative has commended the gesture by the Liberian President, George Weah, to sign into law, a Bill to decriminalise libel in Liberia through an Act to amend the Liberian Codes Revised Penal Law of 1978.

 

The advocacy group called on President Buhari to draw the spirit of true democracy from the the Liberian President.

 

The act named Kamara Abdullah Kamara (KAK) Act of Press Freedom is a major milestone within the human rights framework in Liberia. The proposed Act was earlier submitted to Liberia’s 53rd Legislature by the administration of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. President Weah, however, proposed to the 54th Legislature that the name of the Act be changed to honour the late Abdullah Kamara, the former President of the Liberian Press Union.

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