Head of Operations at Netcom Africa Limited, Micheal Kenjie Nukui, talks about Nigeria’s increasingly data-centric market and how Netcom is proactively meeting subscribers needs. He shares in Lagos with IT EDGE NEWS, Anthony Nwosu.
As Nigerian telecommunication industry tilts towards data, what is Netcom doing to embrace this challenge?
Netcom from the very beginning saw that all service will point towards data and has built a network 100% IP-based from the beginning. This enables Netcom to be ready for all its current products and future services we offer to our subscribers. As the Nigerian market is evolving towards data, Netcom is well positioned to meet any challenge that might come up as a result of either data surge or backup. We have in place many infrastructures that can cater for the need of Nigerian firms and individuals. Infrastructures such as top-notch data centres and sub-sea cabling facilities to ensure that data gets to Nigerians easily and also at a very affordable price.
How reliable is Netcom broadband?
Very reliable. Our network is designed with multiple resiliency using different sub-sea cable systems that extend to our redundant, ring-based domestic infrastructure. In most cases, depending on the client’s requirement, even the last mile delivery is designed with resiliency options.
Broadband drives the economy. What are your various broadband services?
We have various service offerings that are designed with only one thing in mind – increase the productivity of our clients. We have services ranging from dedicated internet access from 1Mbps up to multiple gigabits per second throughput rate. We also offer domestic and international MPLS services. There are also value-added offerings such as cloud-based services, enterprise-grade wi-fi and even IP telephony solutions that fit organizations of all sizes and industry. We have come to understand that our clients are evolving and as a responsive and responsible organization, we have designed some products and solutions that meet their various needs. We also offer them value added services, they are glad that Netcom is their partner.
Who are your target market and what is the level of acceptability of your product?
Netcom is primarily focusing on enterprise, telcos, and corporate market segments. Having identified our target market, our services are designed with the highest availability and performance in mind, thus making it suitable for the enterprise and even telco subscribers.
What can you say about the Nigerian IT space?
The Nigerian IT space in the last decade had gone through multiple waves of changes, each change is in multiple magnitudes than that of the previous one. This is one of the few countries I know that embraced and rolled-out 3G straight from dial-ups, skipping the intermediate technologies such as 2G and similar. Also, IT professionals in Nigeria are gaining momentum, proof of this are the IT hubs in Yaba and organizations like Andela which harness the promising IT skills of local IT professionals.
Tell us about your data centre and hosting facilities in Nigeria?
Netcom built its data center in 2004 and from the beginning was built to comply with international standards. The Netcom data centre is equipped with FM200 fire suppression system, redundant environment control system, triple redundancy and autonomous power supplies. We gather almost 30,000 information per minute in our data center and is manned 24×7. We also have provisioned a redundant data center that we can activate in case of any untoward incident in our Lagos data center takes place.
What is the unique thing about Netcom cloud services?
One unique thing about Netcom’s cloud is that it is more service-centric than technology-centric. We prioritize first what services we will offer our enterprise subscribers to help them be more productive and then choose a technology, mostly non-vendor centric, to support these identified services.
There’s increasing attention on cybersecurity, how can businesses and individuals get better secured using Netcom solutions?
Netcom is ISO/IEC 2700 fully compliant and security is an inherent part of our product and how we deliver our services. On top of this, we provide various security solutions such as on-premise and cloud-based firewalls, unified threat management and other similar enterprise and carrier grade security services.
What do we expect from Netcom this second half of 2017?
We continuously invest in making our products better and creating new services for our subscribers. This 2017, Netcom, in parallel, in expanding our coverage, is focusing on delivering more value added services such as intelligent building solutions, IT infrastructure management and more cloud-based solutions like cloud-based telephony and collaboration systems.
Tell us about Netconnect and SIP Trunking services that you offer?
NetConnect is an IP-telephony system that Netcom developed from ground-up for the enterprise market. Initially, it was offered as an on – premise service and is now ready as a cloud-based service, with more features. Best of all, no upfront CAPEX required from our subscribers to start enjoying this service. On the other hand, our SIP Trunking facility offers domestic and international voice services and we partner with only Tier-1 international SIP carriers to ensure the best quality and optimal routes. This enables our enterprise subscribers to leverage on their existing IP network for their telephony needs, thus increasing productivity while reducing their communications spending.
What are your challenges doing business in a highly competitive country like Nigeria?
Surprisingly, the competition is not our primary challenge here in Nigeria. Netcom’s main challenge in delivering services remains unreliable public power supply, though things have improved in the last few years. Our kind of business is power based and our reliance on electricity is 24/7. We can’t afford to stay a day without electricity to power our various facilities. With the rising cost of energy in the country, such as diesel pump price and lack of steady electricity, this is a major challenge we face.
“Netcom is well positioned to meet any challenge that might come up as a result of either data surge or backup. We have in place many infrastructures that can cater for the need of Nigerian firms and individuals.”
“We have come to understand that our clients are evolving and as a responsive and responsible organization, we have designed some products and solutions that meet their various needs. We also offer them value added services, they are glad that Netcom is their partner.”
“We continuously invest in making our products better and creating new services for our subscribers.”