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Why Internet of Things Is Not Just A Tech Project




The Internet of Things is here to stay as a range of connected devices become mainstream in our work and business lives, says Keith Fenner, Vice-President Sage Enterprise Africa & Middle East.

Writing on the subject, Fenner quoted forecasts from Gartner, which show, this year will end with around 8.4 billion connected things in use worldwide, a number that will grow to around 20.4 billion by 2020.

“Yet the concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) remains misunderstood”, Fenner opined.

He went ahead to emphasis that the technology industry is on a drive to connect everything from electric toothbrushes to heavy factory machinery to the Internet.

Fenner writes “Many senior executives are thinking about it as a new technology or platform rather than what it really is – a way to completely change businesses and its processes.

“Taking full advantage of the IoT takes some radical thinking and a willingness to break from business as usual. As MIT researcher, George Westerman, puts it: “Successful digital transformation is like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly…many senior execs aren’t thinking about butterflies. They’re just thinking about faster caterpillars.”

“Many IoT projects fall short of the mark in helping companies to drastically improve their business processes. As was the case with mobile – success in the Internet of Things will come from understanding how it will reshape consumer and employee behaviour and how it can be used to transform businesses’ operations and operating models

More Than Just A Tech Project
“The hard part is not transforming processes through technology, but transforming the organisation and its culture. The future will belong to the organisations who are better at embedding the technology in business processes to drive radical improvements, and who do this not just once, but over and over again.

“The IoT isn’t a simple technology project – ‘implementing the Internet of Things’ isn’t a viable or interesting goal in itself.  The IoT is a value creation tool, a way to transform the customer experience and reinvent business processes for the digital age. To make the most of its potential, the business’s senior leadership should drive the IoT strategy and consider how it can enable new business models, underpin innovation and bring massive improvements to efficiency and productivity.

“The greatest digital opportunities across Africa reside in customer experience, business operations and business modelling. Business leaders should look at how connected sensors and devices, and the reams of data they produce, can be put to use to lift competitiveness by reinventing business processes.

“The IoT is a complex interconnected network of related parts that sense context, transfer data, process information and initiate action. Data streams originating from all sorts of sensors built into a wide variety of “things” (e.g., machines, cars, mobile and immobile goods, clothes, or even human beings) enable companies to create all sorts of innovative processes, services and products”.

The Real Magic Comes From Using Machine Learning To Put That Data To Work

He continues, “Smart algorithms and AI can be applied to data collected at scale to find patterns, trends and indicators the human eye might miss. A few of the possibilities include: 

“Using predictive maintenance for technical infrastructure in cities, factories, plants and others to improve reliability of machinery while reducing maintenance costs”.

He added that leveraging traffic data from many different sources including smart city data from traffic lights, streets, or other vehicles to optimise the management of corporate and government vehicle fleets. “In fact, Uber already uses smart data to match drivers to passengers and find the smartest routes for its riders.

“Creating innovative consumer offerings, such as Amazon-style dash buttons to supply customers automatically and predictively with goods and services.

“Providing medical care services, for example using wearables and even (in future) ingestible sensors, to monitor elderly people living alone at home.

 Changing The Way Industries Work
“Looking to the future, the IoT promises to change the way industries work as much as the invention of the assembly line, just-in-time manufacturing or the creation of the Internet itself.

“Picture a world where a customer places an order for a running shoe on an e-commerce site, uploading video footage of the manner in which he walks and a scan of his foot.

“From there, a tailored running shoe is manufactured at a nearby facility using a 3D printer – with components shipped from other facilities as needed – and delivered to the customer’s home in the evening. From sales to logistics to manufacturing, a network of sensors works towards getting a personalised product in the customer’s hands with as little friction and as much speed as possible.

“In the background, big data analytics and advanced artificial intelligence will be used to make sense of the flood of data from the IoT. This could be all about some business gains, such as reducing stock held in warehouses to free up working capital or vastly reducing the costs of managing complex machinery.

“It will also enable various ‘as a service’ business models, where everything from car insurance to shoes can be customised to customer needs. The leaders in digital transformation will master the ability to build, deliver and repeat innovations based on the IoT better than their competitors. But to get it right, they will need business leaders who understand the role the IoT can play from a business outcome perspective”, he concludes.

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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Konga Appoints Ijogun Chairman



Olusiji Ijogun

Konga, Nigeria’s leading e-commerce giant, has announced the appointment of frontline corporate guru, Olusiji Ijogun as Chairman.


The appointment takes effect from April 1st, 2018.


Konga has dominated the news recently after its recent acquisition by the Zinox Group, Nigeria’s foremost technology conglomerate, in a move that several industry watchers believe will position the company on a stronger footing and raise the profile of e-commerce in Nigeria.


A seasoned and widely experienced technocrat, Ijogun boasts over three decades of top-notch performance in finance and management which he has brought to bear on the fortunes of a number of thriving businesses across various sectors.


His sterling career has seen him hold several top positions including Senior Group Manager, Unilever Audit, Divisional Managing Director, UAC Foods, Group Finance Director, UAC of Nigeria Plc and Commercial Director, Lever Egypt. He was appointed to the Board of Honeywell Group where he positioned the Group in the foods sector of the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) segment.


Mr. Ijogun holds a B.Sc (Hons.) degree from the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Lagos. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Cost and Management Accountants UK and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria. He currently serves as the Chairman of Ackmen Nigeria Limited and CEO of Innodel Consulting


His wealth of experience across several brands and sectors is expected to come in handy in positioning Konga on a path of sound corporate governance and a greater share of the e-commerce market in Nigeria and beyond.

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JAMB Warns as Fraudster Urges UTME Candidates to Pay for Scores ‘Upgrades’



As the writing of the 2018 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination came to an end on Friday, fraudsters have invaded the Internet, asking candidates to call some numbers through which they could “upgrade” their results.


In a post shared on social media on Sunday, one Mr. Magaji who calls himself JAMB Upgrade Director, urged candidates to call his alleged telephone number 09038747733 for payment instructions for the “upgrade” of their results.


He goes ahead to provide names of candidates and their alleged scores which were supposedly upgraded from low marks to high ones.


The impostor writes in bad grammar unexpected of any official of an examination body whatsoever:


“Attention, attention, attention. This is to inform those who score below 180 in JAMB, the exam board has officially release the upgrading system for those who did not do well.


“Scores has already been upgraded. Congratulations to these following names for your result has been upgraded, please contact upgrading board on 09038747733 Mr. Magaji or WhatsApp me.


“Note: you have to see your previous result before payment.”


The fraud then proceeds to provide what he calls candidates’ names, their previous scores and the ‘upgraded’ ones.


He writes, “You can check your name out — Desmond Samuel 111-280; Chukwu Glory 174-320; Loveth Jude 144-290; Adams Godstime 123-322; William Samson 136-290; Akpan Johnson 156-312; Roland Felicia 170-285; Emeka Queen 171-384; Vivian Hudson 163-299; Mary God’swill 152-321; Doris Gabriel 122-291; Adams Chuka 132-242.


He then calls on UTME candidates who wish to upgrade their results, saying, “If you wish to upgrade your JAMB score, please contact JAMB Upgrading Director (09038747733). Thank you.”


When contacted, JAMB spokesperson, Dr. Fabian Benjamin, warned that the information is false in its entirety.


Benjamin said, “Obviously, this fraud is so ignorant and she or he definitely misunderstood the 2016 incident in which the parameters used for the examination were wrong and therefore had to be corrected.


“In the process of transforming the grades of candidates for the 2016 exams, the examiners used the wrong parameters.


“What we call ‘transformation’ is actually a measurement instrument. So, when we discovered the problem, we did the right transformation but people took it out of proportion to interpret it as addition or subtraction of marks. We only did the right thing.


“It was never an upgrade, as this fraud and others in his category deemed it to be.


“Even in the 2016 incident, the candidates affected were not up to 60,000 out of the 1.5 million that wrote the exams.”


Benjamin warned that no one should listen to the lie, saying that the examination body is busy reviewing the CCTVs in each of this year’s exam centres to ascertain how much candidates and supervisors complied with rules and regulations.


“The CCTVs will reveal any infractions that the supervisors might not have noticed.


“Once we are satisfied with the review, the results will be released without any delay.”


He said the results of over 1.2 million candidates are currently being collated, and that as such, no one can possibly claim to be in charge of any upgrade whatsoever.


He said, “There could be nothing called results upgrade because in JAMB, no one fails or passes. It is a selection exam, which is dependent on general performance.


“Though you may not score enough to get you admitted into a tertiary institution, no one fails.”


He disclosed that the cut-off point for the 2018 exam would likely be 180 or 190.


He also said the results would be released late Monday evening or early Tuesday morning.

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FG to Use ICT to Curb Unemployment



Dr. Isa Pantami, Director General of NITDA

Federal government has said it is aware of difficulties in securing white-collar jobs by youths in the country and this has compelled it to look inward to build technology entrepreneurs.


This was revealed by Dr. Isa Pantami, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency ([NITDA), during the ninth edition of Startup Friday event for Akwa Ibom youths in Uyo, the state capital.


According to him, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become inevitable. The future of the country’s youths depends on ICT.


The Director General said the Startup Friday programme was created to encourage every Nigerian to look inward in tackling

Nigeria’s economic problems, stressing that, “ICT is the global driver of all aspects of the economy”.


“We are aware of the harsh condition in securing white-collar jobs in the country. So, it has become apparent for the government to focus more in building technology entrepreneurs. A developed indigenous ICT eco-system would help the country to diversify its economy from oil.


“Data is the new oil. With the two local content-related Presidential Orders, we need to focus on locally-produced innovations for our local markets. NITDA intends to encourage and support ICT entrepreneurship and promote it as an attractive career option for the teeming youths”, he said.


He said the startup was brought to Akwa Ibom to encourage the youths to eke a living through ICT, adding that plans had reached advance stage to establish a Digital Job Centre in the state.




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