Can you let the world know what this event is all about?
We are basically here to let the world know that MainOne as a Nigerian firm has come to stay and we have initiated a partnership agreement with Microsoft in order to offer a reliable cloud solution in Nigeria. We are here to offer cloud solution to the Nigerian market via our data centre MDX-I in Nigeria. We are offering this solution via Microsoft platform and we are happy to say that we are the first in this part of world to have this partnership. We are delighted to have a global technology leader in Nigeria as a partner. We are proud of this collaboration. This is world class and first of its kind in West Africa.
How will this partnership benefit the average Nigerian firm?
Many firms will benefit from this solution in various ways. This solution will make most firms to focus on their core businesses and leaving the whole challenge of technology to us thus making them more competitive. They will not need to border about server rooms, storage facility and other technology issues. This will invariably reduce their capital and operational expenditures. The issue of integration is also very important. With this solution, there will be seamless integration by deploying the Microsoft cloud operational system. Here in Microsoft, we will deploy what is called Cloud OS Vision. This we will be providing consisting of platforms for infrastructures, data and businesses. We will be deploying this solution. All that the Nigerian firm will do is just subscribe to this service. You will see the cost of infrastructure has been removed; also the risk in having data in your premises have been removed and that of building and buying big data warehousing facility will be removed as well.
SMEs are the bedrock of any economy, are you looking at this section?
You know the digital world is different from the world of previous years. I would not say that it is not affordable to SMEs but I will say that it depends on how much computing resources a business requires. So it depends on the level of computing an SME requires. Some small businesses are technology intensive and these set of businesses can key into this. System integrators and resellers can also key into this solution. It is dependent on the services they provide. Our solution is geared towards the firms that do additional computing technology and resources than what they can probably run on their own in-house laptops. Instead of building their Data Centres, shared servers and other resources they can come over to us.
What the challenges are in cloud computing and data centres in Nigeria using MainOne as an example?
The challenges are also opportunity for us. We have the premier data centre and commercial data centre today in Nigeria and we are Tier III. In West Africa today we have to ensure uninterrupted power supply. This is one thing we have mastered and in addition, we have to master technical skills, cooling, network and security of course. While growing the market, our usage and sophistication in using ICT is still very low though Nigeria is a bigger market. Working with customers and educating them on how best to leverage on ICT to deliver seamless services is another thing that we are battling on. We are also delighted to be doing this.
How often do you subject yourself to data centre audit?
We just gone through a series of audits this year and for your information, we just concluded another audit this month. Our data centre is in tandem with global best practise. I think that is why Microsoft which is a global firm will be working with us.
Are you investing in other African countries outside of Nigeria?
We are in Ghana already and we are a significant player in Ghana though not a data centre but we have our footprints in Ghana and we are also delivering services in other African countries. But we will be having our data centre soon in Ghana.
Build and they will come
Here’s a quick take on the Nigerian/West African market. Businesses will be upswing. Voice, Data and Video consumption will rise. Most companies perforce, will plug into ICT. The pressure to grow business, up profit and cut cost will get higher. Businesses will go for services that connectivity and total solutions companies; the likes of MainOne will offer. Market for cloud services, connectivity pipes and broadband will expand not shrink. If solutions provider will build and wait; just wait: the market will come for them. What are the signs that the customers will come? See the footprints in the explosive growth of all the sub-sectors. There is evidently high penetration of internet though with low broadband. What will not explode when broadband comes? One of the highest mobile payment adoption rates and online merchant this last decade has happened not in the United States or in any European country, it has happened here: in Nigeria. The pressure for data warehousing is bound to