Pan-African cloud based digital service provider inq. expands into Nigeria

inq. has officially launched in Nigeria, bringing to fruition the dream of building a pan African network across African cities to reimagine a better future through digital solutions.

Headquartered in Mauritius, inq. (formerly Synergy Communications) has extended its reach via the 100 per cent acquisition of Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire with a further planned acquisition in Cameroon pending regulatory approvals. This landmark transaction grows inq.’s regional footprint as a leading enterprise solutions provider to 12 cities in 7 countries across Africa including its existing operations in Botswana, Malawi and South Africa with an additional investment in Mozambique.

Under the inq. banner the company will embark on the next phase of building a unified Pan-African cloud and digital service provider, bringing to market a very relevant suite of next generation technology solutions in the fields of Edge AI, SD-WAN/NFV and Cloud.

Currently operating in 12 African cities: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg. The inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customized to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil & gas, FMCG, mining, health, real estate, IT, public sector and logistics.

 “Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation, and inq. is perfectly positioned to deliver intelligent connectivity through seamless delivery of cloud and digital services and  technologies to our clients. We are about simpler, seamless solutions”, said Valentine Chime MD, inq. Nigeria.

www.inq.inc

[[$links]]

Temenos partners with Alibaba to power banks’ uptake of cloud services

Temenos, the banking software company, and Alibaba Cloud, the digital technology and intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, have announced that Temenos Transact, its next generation core banking product is now certified on Alibaba Cloud.

Financial institutions will be able to run Temenos’ mission-critical core banking applications on Alibaba Cloud and benefit from elastic scalability, cost and operational efficiencies.

Banks can now easily adopt Temenos’ world-leading banking software on the powerful Alibaba Cloud infrastructure.

More than 3,000 financial services institutions around the world leverage Temenos’ modern, cloud-native and API-first technology. Banks can now run Temenos’ core banking software in Alibaba Cloud and take advantage of the speed to market and agility of the cloud, enabling them to quickly reinvent their business models and their organization as a whole.

The growing demand for cloud-based and SaaS models is being accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic as banks require more resilient and agile technology propositions.

Cloud has become the established method of software deployment for smaller banks and neobanks that need to launch quickly with minimal IT infrastructure cost. However, incumbent banks increasingly require cloud-native software to future-proof their business, gain greater speed to market as well as reduce IT complexity and costs.

Temenos’ core banking software will now be available on Alibaba Cloud, and the two companies will jointly help banks go to market faster, open up new business models, and achieve industry leading cost/income ratios.

The two companies are already engaged in proof of concepts with banks and have joint customers in APAC.

Philip Barnett, Director, Strategic Growth, Temenos, said: “We are delighted to extend our leadership in the cloud and be the first to certify with Alibaba Cloud, a tech giant and a source of innovation widely recognized for its leadership in e-commerce and mobile payments. Cloud is the enabler for change; and particularly during this challenging climate – it gives financial institutions the agility and the resilience they need. Working with Alibaba Cloud we will help banks to elastically scale based on demand and remove operational complexities. Together we can help new entrants launch faster with lower costs as well as large banks break down silos and collaborate internally and externally, and provide outstanding customer experiences. Our certification on Alibaba Cloud demonstrates that our cloud-agnostic banking platform enables banks to pursue a multi-cloud strategy and have the highest levels of active-active resilience with the cloud provider of their choice.”

Lancelot Guo, President of Ecosystem and Sales Operations, Alibaba Cloud Intelligence: “We are delighted that Temenos has certified on our cloud. Temenos is the market-leading, cloud-native banking software provider accelerating the digital transformation for thousands of worldwide financial institutions. Combined with our comprehensive suite of cloud services, and a proven track record of delivering value, we together boost the capabilities of financial institutions, allowing them to accelerate their growth and innovation on the cloud.”

Temenos has been in the forefront of software innovation, consistently investing 20 per cent of its revenues in R&D and is pioneering in cloud banking for the last 10 years.

 Temenos was the first banking software provider to offer a core banking product in the cloud and the first to offer cloud-to-cloud, active-active multi-cloud resilience to eliminate downtime and dependency on a single cloud provider.

Temenos enables banks to significantly reduce their total cost of ownership through elastic cloud scalability, distributed database technology and multi-cloud resilience, all underpinned by the benefits of vendor and platform independence. Temenos accelerates banks digital transformation helping them to become more agile and innovate faster.

www.temenos.com

www.alibabacloud.com

[[$links]]

[Column] Marius Burger: What does a cloud-connected Africa look like?

With a region as large and as vast as Africa, it is difficult to imagine a fully connected continent where every individual across all demographics, and every business across all sectors can harness the power of cloud computing.

Yet as technology continues to drastically change how we conduct our lives and connect with the world around us, this notion of a cloud-connected Africa becomes far more plausible and realistic.

In fact, many of us are already utilising cloud-enabled technologies on a daily basis. From cloud-based productivity apps to collaboration services like Microsoft Teams, the cloud is seamlessly integrating into our everyday lives. A future where a healthy cloud ecosystem is supported by integrated and innovative technologies is much closer than we think.

Enabling business continuity and growth

Given the current remote working environment, the value of cloud computing for local organisations can’t be emphasised enough. Apart from its geo-agnostic nature, the cloud is the best fit for today’s business landscape because of its scalability, flexibility and consumption-based charging model.

While being able to work from anywhere is key, this can be achieved through other, non-cloud-based technologies. However, the ability to rapidly implement and adapt in the cloud is what makes cloud-based solutions so valuable in our current business state. By driving efficiency and ensuring that employees are productive while working from home, cloud automation focuses workloads into the correct resource pools.

In turn, cloud services promote more streamlined operating systems and provide access to more markets and a wider range of service providers, helping companies reduce unnecessary costs and enable cost-effectiveness in the long run. 

Connecting data centres to customers 

As the demand for digital services continues to increase, the need for more processing power also grows, with more data centres setting up shop in our backyard. And, as more hyper-scalers position themselves in South Africa and throughout the continent, our technology industry is forced to find new solutions that will satisfy this hunger for the cloud. More sophisticated network architecture is required so that ISPs can find smarter ways to manage and orchestrate traffic between data centres and end-users.

Yet without reliable connectivity, no one can reach any cloud solutions, so there is also a responsibility on all ISPs to drive this penetration through Africa safely. Innovative products that are centred around cloud traffic are needed.

Thinking ahead

A fully connected Africa will, therefore, have intelligent networks, built on a foundation of stable and reliable facilities. In other words, the networking equivalent of a park-and-ride system with satellite navigation, ensuring traffic flow in peak hours and drivers finding the best routes to their destinations.

Reaching this desired connected state means a few critical things for our continent. Firstly, our connectivity will be on par with that of more developed countries. Secondly, it’ll enable any business to utilise the cloud and tap into the benefits cloud computing unlocks, essentially allowing companies of all sizes in all sectors to do business easier. Thirdly, cloud capabilities will be able to be deployed closer to end-users, resulting in an increased uptake of cloud-based services for consumers.  

Most importantly, however, a cloud-connected Africa could mean more job opportunities for parts of our population that previously couldn’t access work. And for a continent with high levels of poverty and unemployment, this is a massive win.

If governments, businesses and entrepreneurs embrace the opportunities that the cloud provides, Africa could distinguish itself by using the cloud to drive growth and add value. As we look to the future and strive to build a more connected continent, partnering with a forward-thinking cloud provider that can assist your business in planning for tomorrow, while taking full advantage of the latest cutting-edge technology, is crucial.

Marius Burger is the Chief Information Officer at SEACOM

[[$links]]

[Column] Patrick Ndegwa: The future of cloud computing: moving at the speed of business

is in the cloud.

And with services like cloud-based email, many companies are already using this innovative technology – whether they realise it or not. The conversation has changed from asking ‘what is cloud technology?’ to looking at how it can be harnessed to achieve business success.

Organisations need to be able to adapt at the same speed as this new technology and take advantage of the opportunities it presents. This will ensure business continuity and resilience in the long term. So what’s next for the cloud?

The future of cloud computing: opportunities for Africa

The Internet of Things  is set to become even more prominent, with companies able to automate and optimise more processes as connected ‘smart’ machines are used. Interconnected systems mean that business processes and actual equipment will be linked to ensure ease of access and optimisation. This has the power to significantly improve efficiency for businesses that can get it right.

This could include inventory systems that automatically order more stock when levels are low; smart machines that notify you before a part needs to be replaced; or logistics tracking that optimises routes and delivery based on orders and current traffic congestion. As we progress into this digital world of work, systems will become more interlinked and intertwined, providing opportunities for companies that are ready to take advantage.

Furthermore, the cloud enables remote working and service provision, regardless of where employees or organisations are located. This opens up business opportunities as distance from customers and clients is no longer a stumbling block.

African companies can offer their services to a wider market – and in turn use additional services – as a result of a digitally connected world. The same applies to workers; employees can search for jobs nationally and internationally, as opposed to simply searching for opportunities in their immediate area.

Business flexibility and scalability will be key to enabling growth while reducing unnecessary costs as a result of more streamlined operating systems and access to more markets and a wider range of service providers.

Ensuring the safety and security of the business

The importance of security in this new cloud-connected world cannot be stressed enough. As more data is moved to a cloud environment, businesses that don’t take security seriously become more susceptible to data breaches.

User rights need to be properly managed and the relevant software put into place to prevent cyberattacks and data leaks. In addition to this, each individual accessing a system affects the safety of the wider network, so employee training is vital. Accessing and managing data remotely will need to become a priority. The constant influx of data that is being collected and stored needs to be organised and used strategically. Regular backups are crucial in ensuring that information is safe and easily accessible should the original data be deemed at risk. This will ensure business continuity and reduce downtime.

Companies that stand to win will be those that partner with cloud providers that can help them put the right security measures in place.

Adapting to a cloud-driven world of business

Research indicates that by 2025, all of the world’s data is expected to increase by five times. This data is estimated to be worth around 123.2 billion USD. In addition to this, the mobile cloud services market will be worth an estimated $95 billion by 2024. This trend also applies to Africa.

As Internet usage in Africa grows, so does the amount of data created – as well as the value of that data. Accessing these huge amounts of data won’t be the biggest challenge – making sense of it will be. Companies that can collect, collate and analyse the sheer volume of data generated every day by their customers, employees and other stakeholders stand to gain a lot. If you aren’t organising your data and using it strategically, you will be left behind.

As we look to the future, the importance of partnering with a provider that can assist your business in meeting its operational needs to remain a top priority. A forward-thinking cloud partner can help your business plan for the future, while making the most of the latest innovative technology.

Patrick Ndegwa is Business Sales Lead for SEACOM East Africa