As part of efforts to support Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria, the MTN Revv Masterclass held a question and answer session, tagged Y’ello Clinic to offer informed business advisory to participants.
The virtual session featured 11 panelists and was moderated by the Executive Director, Retail Banking, First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Olu Akanmu.
While fielding questions on financing a business, the Chief Financial Officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadri explained the importance of SMEs to identify its industry, customers, the problem to be solved and how to solve them. He listed equity and loans as part of ways to fund a business that is hinged on a profitable idea.
Speaking on technology as a tool for business success, the Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said, “The question is no longer whether we should promote adoption of technology tools and solutions. The question is can we afford not to do so? Whatsoever sector that you are in, the need to use technology to drive your business cannot be overemphasised.”
Furthermore, she informed that MTN is continuously exploring opportunities to build capacity in the SME segment. “We have developed specific propositions for SMEs that address their needs. We also provide ICT services that are adjacent to our core services. We have vertical specific propositions that are targeted to education, health, agriculture, and we do these solutions to support their client engagement, create digital access for their staff, and also to improve their operations. We have a PABX solution hosted in the cloud. You don’t need to invest in an independent PABX solution”, she said.
With hands-on experience in retail penetration and brand visibility, the Chief Sales and Distribution Officer, MTN Nigeria, AdeKunle Adebiyi highlighted other ways of adding value to a business including offering complimentary services.
“Your mien can determine whether you can be patronized. You must look clean and dress well, not expensive clothing but good dressing. Repeat purchase will come with your attitude and the quality of your service or products,’’ he said.
The Chief Customer Relations Officer, MTN Nigeria, Ugonwa Nwoye also revealed that paying attention to the feedback from customers can improve the brand identity and maintain customer satisfaction. In the same vein, Olubayo Adekanmbi, the Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria, remarked that social media followers provide pointers to SMEs as to how a business is perceived by the public, especially the target audience. According to him, SMEs can introduce loyalty cards with promised discounts on future patronage to retain customers.
In juxtaposing technical and behavioral competencies, the Chief Human Resources Officer, MTN Nigeria, Esther Akinnukawe said that the quality of staff lies in behavioral competencies which are personal attributes. In addition to relying on good recommendations to hire employees, the SMEs were urged to conduct background checks on candidates and their guarantors.
Other panelists emphasized the need for SMEs to manage stakeholders like the government and the community and obey the rules governing the area of operation.
Following the completion of nine high-impact masterclass sessions, The Revv Programme has trained over 10,000 Small business owners. On November 26, 200 SMEs will join MTN’s first accelerator programme, Y’ello 200 where they will enjoy exclusive access to a broad range of technology and productivity tools and expert advisory for six months.
Organisations Need Assessment to Move into New Digital Reality- Phillips Consulting
Phillips Consulting Limited has encouraged organisations seeking to move into this new digital-first reality environment to first require an assessment to provide one simple, yet crucial perspective – provide bearings in a digital age.
Speaking on the topic ‘Gauging Digital Readiness through Digital Assessment’, Jason Ikegwu, associate partner, Digital and Technology Consulting of PCL, said, “It is, therefore, essential to assess the optimisation potential in determining its digital readiness and maturity.”
According to him, the two most important aspects of a digital readiness assessment are the evaluation of behavioural and cognitive competencies. An employee needs to have the ability and the will to learn and excel in the age of digital transformation.
“Not only do employees need to be resilient to transforming technologies, but they also need to possess mental agility, openness to learning and manage change, a collaborative and inclusive outlook, and an innovation-focused approach to truly imbibe the digital way,” he stated.
Digitally mature organisations look beyond just investing in quality digital tools. They relentlessly focus on deriving new business value from digitization, through continual optimisation of operations.
To achieve this, Ikegwu said, “They do not just implement edge solutions. Instead, they use Digital Assessments to integrate digitization into core operations and, in the process, reshape the entire organisation. It helps them to maximise productivity, performance, and ultimately generate industry-leading results.”
Consequently, he further stated that after completing a digital assessment and successfully implementing a digital transformation strategy to become digitally mature, organisations can now say goodbye to busy work and welcome real productivity. Employees thrive in a digitally enhanced work environment, quality training, practical on boarding processes, and user-friendly tools to bring the best out of teams.”
Speaking on the need for organisations to be competitive, innovative in the new digital market place, Ikegwu said, “To remain competitive, agile, innovative and responsive, organisations need to be part of the digital revolution. It is reshaping the world right before our eyes in no small measure”.
The associate partner, who said digital technology is changing how we work, further stated that almost overnight, entire populations are told to stay at home, and a fully digitized environment became a necessity for businesses to continue operation.
Our Collaboration with TD Africa on Tech Experience Centre Will Build Wealth in Nigeria – Cisco
The establishment of the Tech Experience Centre, an unprecedented technology project set for launch in Lagos, will deliver excellent social, commercial and economic opportunities that will potentially create wealth for Nigeria.
The foregoing represents the thoughts of General Manager, West Africa, Cisco, Olakunle Oloruntimehin.
Equally important, Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT and networking, is one of the global tech giants that will be represented in the centre, a development which Oloruntimehin remains confident will generate innumerable positive outcomes for the Nigerian economy. The Tech Experience Centre is set for launch on Thursday, October 1, 2020, the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.
‘‘Nigeria can expect Cisco to leverage this centre as part of our ongoing efforts in this region and globally to accelerate an inclusive future for all. Cisco people, technology and related resources delivered at this centre can be expected to ensure the interventions that will predictably deliver social, commercial and economic outcomes for Nigeria and the West Africa region. Our focus on partnerships and collaboration will include the space for SMME support, building a community that can be leveraged to improve the wealth of Nigeria,’’ he said.
In addition, Oloruntimehin has expressed delight with the presence of Cisco among other globally renowned tech brands in the centre. Specifically, he referenced the multiplier effect the Tech Experience Centre will have in encouraging local IT participation and the chance to have Nigeria’s voice heard in the global technology race.
‘‘Cisco is particularly pleased to be collaborating with other stakeholders in the Tech Experience Centre project. The Tech Experience Centre provides the ideal platform for collaboration amongst global technology players in a melting pot of sorts. The outcome of this should provide for local IT and technology industry participation and the incentives required to leverage the visible talent and opportunity potential in Nigeria. Innovation is global and the centre provides the interventions for Nigeria’s contribution.
‘‘Also, the democratization of technology outcomes should rank high as one of the impacts that this centre will deliver and by extension the provision of access to the evolving global technology landscape. My belief remains that access to education and the Internet, including the inherent opportunities for knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation are the two most important equalizers in life.’’
Further, the Cisco executive has urged visitors to the Tech Experience Centre to look forward to enriching innovations and partnerships; even as he lauded TD Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa’s foremost technology, lifestyle and solutions distributor for spearheading the ambitious project.
‘‘At the centre, we expect our partners, customers and participation from our social responsibility collaboration e.g. Cisco Network academy. We expect to use the centre as a part of the showcase for our technology solutions, while we remain deliberate about building a relevant community of SMME that can compete at the global stage. Our traditional and emerging partners would also be welcome to the centre to collaborate with Cisco and other stakeholders in key areas like Devnet/DevOps, software engineering etc.
‘‘We focus on partnerships and collaboration. We are a company that has a proven track record off the back of a successful global partner program over the years. This approach is consistent in the way we continue to partner with TD Africa, to provide market development and penetration where required in the region for Cisco technology.
TD Africa is showing palpable intent with the launch of this Tech Experience Centre and I will encourage them to stay bold and continue to push the boundaries for technology in the region,’’ he concluded.
The Tech Experience Centre is widely expected to bridge the gap to cutting-edge technology for millions of Nigerians. The centre, the first of its kind in Africa, located within the prestigious Yudala Heights on Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island will be flagged off by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, who is expected in Lagos for the official commissioning by 5pm.
The Tech Centre is widely expected to boost Nigeria’s relevance in the global technology race and shore up the country’s march to technology independence.
For the first time, Nigeria will play host to the latest global technologies including those not normally available in Africa, offering all classes of visitors a first-hand experience of new gadgets, solutions and infrastructure that would have previously required a visit abroad, thereby saving corporate organizations, government establishments and individuals money or scarce foreign exchange expended on these trips.
FPG Technologies Becomes Reseller of Accuras
- to offer Delphix DataOps Platform
FPG Technologies & Solutions Limited (a member of FlexiP Group), your go-to partner for practical digital transformation (DX) consulting services and technologies became a reseller of Accuras which is a UAE based technology company specialised in building software solutions that large enterprises have to depend upon day to day, hour to hour.
Being the only distributor and implementer of Delphix products in Turkey, Middle East and Africa; Accuras now extends its solutions and services delivery capability to Nigeria and West Africa with this new partnership with FPG Technologies.
The two technology leaders will combine their expertise to deliver the transformational DataOps, Data Management, Data Protection and Data Governance capabilities to large enterprises, including Finance and telecommunications companies in Nigeria and West Africa region.
Every company is a DATA COMPANY or is in the process of becoming one and Delphix gives data stakeholder teams self-service access to personal, production-quality, data environments that enable them to accelerate innovation and significantly reduce data compliance risks. This solution improves the speed of access to test and analytical data. This allows businesses to off-load production systems for analytical purposes and accelerates the software development lifecycle.
Delphix accelerates innovation by rapidly delivering secure enterprise data anywhere and ensures that non-production data is as secure and compliant as production data. Over 40% of the worlds Fortune 100 companies use Delphix to drive innovation and digital success.
According to Rex Mafiana, CEO of FPG Technologies: “This partnership further shows our commitment and strengthens our portfolio in our bid to help our customers in their digital transformation journey, from a company that may be maximizing their Data to one that surely does. Your organization’s ability to virtualize it’s data securely is a measure of your digital transformation maturity as it enables you to unleash innovation and truly weaponize your Data for efficiency and the bottom-line”.
Accuras’ CEO Ercan Eray says: “We have been passionate about the transformational change delivered by Delphix solution since signing as a reseller in 2016. In 2018 we have extended our partnership as a distributor to Middle East and Africa region. We have brought the DataOps and Data Protection message to Turkey, Middle East and Africa.
“Today we are extremely excited that we will bring transformational data capabilities to our clients in Nigeria and West Africa by partnering with FPG technologies. We are very impressed by the success that FPG Technologies achieved in the region so far and we are totally sure that we have the right alignment with FPG Technologies to combine our expertise together in order to do what we do best.”
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