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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.
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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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Rack Centre Wins Data Cloud Award Excellence for a Second Year Running

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Rack Centre, Africa’s premium Tier III certified colocation data centre services provider has been announced as the winner for a second year running at the 2019 Datacloud Awards in Monaco.  It won the Excellence in Regional Data Centre Middle East and Africa.

In selecting Rack Centre for the award, the august panel of judges took into account the company’s outstanding ecosystem of robust and direct connectivity with over 35 carriers and five undersea cables, its ability to scale its operations through its modular nature and its low proven Power Utilisation Effectiveness despite a challenging climatic and infrastructural environment.

The judges also considered Rack Centre’s service delivery, its outstanding customer satisfaction, achievement of 100% uptime since inception, and its CloudonGroundTM that offers a locally hosted and world class cloud ecosystem to Nigeria and Sub Saharan Africa. Held in Monaco recently, the Datacloud Global Award, organised by BroadGroup, Publisher of the UK based Data Economy recognises teams, products, innovations, initiatives and projects in the global IT industry.

Phillip Low, Chairman of Broadgroup, said the awards helps to define a new era in the IT infrastructure market and acknowledges the inspirational people, innovation and excellence in the data centre, cloud and edge eco-system, and reflect the tremendous success and achievements in diversity, innovation and excellence.

The winners were selected by judges comprised of independent panels of leading professionals from the industry who looked particularly for companies and individuals with evidences of success in performance, innovation in delivering services and high levels of industry’s excellence.

Dr Ayotunde Coker, Managing Director of Rack Centre reacting to the company’s winning the coveted award for the second year’s running commented ” we are truly honoured, delighted and humbled at the award, and thank the judges for recognising Rack Centre for excellence in Middle East and Africa.  A great recognition indeed from highly respected global leaders in the industry, and the leading global industry event in Monaco”.

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Nigeria @ Outskirts of Mobile IoT, AI Services

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Chris Uwaje, Africa chair for IEEE World Internet of Things (WIoT)
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The deployment of mobile Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence services in Nigeria has been described as sluggish compared to giant strides by some African countries.

 

According to the AI Maturity Report in South Africa, commissioned by Microsoft and conducted by Ernst & Young, ‘AI pilots and experimentation are now prolific across South African companies, with businesses showing a willingness to embrace AI and experiment using new technology.

 

In fact, 46% of South African companies say they are already actively piloting AI within their organisations.

 

The study is based on surveys, interviews and case studies from 112 companies across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

 

Reacting to why AI and mobile IoT services are not visible in Nigeria as well not focus of operators, Oladipo Raji, president/CEO, InfraFocus Technologies, told Nigeria CommunicationsWeek that the biggest problems operators face in the launch of services on the new applications is connectivity and power issues.

 

“Imagine what happens in a house that is driven by IoT application when network fails or there is power outage how would people inside the house come out in the case of emergence. Why don’t we have electric trains in Nigeria? It is not rocket science only that there is no solid IT infrastructure on where the solution will ride as well power challenge.

 

“Most companies don’t have the financial capacity to build their own connectivity infrastructure for these services that is why you see them cluster around urban areas where such infrastructure is available,” he said.

 

Raji cited example of his company’s subsidiary, SmartFocus which spent three years to build infrastructure for its mobile IoT service ‘SmartHome’.

 

He explained that SmartHome solution allows subscribers to control their devices at home with a smartphone from anywhere in the world.

 

“The connectivity infrastructure we have built for this solution can’t take care of the whole of Lagos if they are to subscribe to it. Ideally, government should provide this type of infrastructure or enabling environment for operators to build capacity, but the case is different in Nigeria,” he noted.

 

He also decried none regulation of data service provision in the country which according to him has resulted to the death of many internet service providers.

 

“Data is free for all. This should not be so, NCC tried to correct it with data floor policy which didn’t work. The idea of four GSM operators selling mobile data to their subscriber and as well sale to corporate offices will not move the sector forward,” he said.

 

Engr. Samuel Adeleke, managing director, Steineng Ltd berated mobile operators for not doing enough to develop data segment of their services.

 

“What will drive the next economy is data, but operators are frustrating the impending data revolution through capping of data service to subscribers. They don’t allow subscribers unlimited data service, it is a case of a very wide good road and they are given tricycle to ride on it.

 

“They need to increase capacity reduce access rate and increase access, this will make subscribers addicted to the service and use more. Profitability is economy of scale,” he explained.

 

 

 

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Huawei Hosts 150 Partners @ Launch of Wi-Fi 6

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Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited recently hosted over 150 of partners at the global launch of its Wi-Fi 6 in Nigeria to discuss network solutions for business development.

 

The global annual IP club event brought together Information Communications Technology (ICT) industry experts across public and private sectors to discuss network solutions for business development.

 

Mr Matamela Mashau, IP chief technology officer, Huawei Southern Africa, at the event with the theme `Rethink IP 2019’ in Abuja, said the company’s investment in research and development (R&D) was core strength to its continuous innovation and competitive advantage.

 

“Huawei Technologies invests over 10 per cent of sales revenue in R&D over the last 10 years. “ Also the Huawei’s global resources are channeled to local operations to better serve its customers,” he said.

 

The Wi-Fi 6, which is the latest and fastest in terms of speed and digital transformation, was launched.

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