[Kenya] CloudHop inks deal with Nasdaq Governance Solutions to provide clients with solution that enhances corporate governance

Cloud solutions provider in Kenya, CloudHop, has partnered with Nasdaq Governance Solutions, a business of Nasdaq Inc. to provide its clients in Eastern Africa with access to Nasdaq Boardvantage®, a board portal and collaboration software solution.

Nasdaq Boardvantage allows boards and leadership teams to work together more efficiently, productively, and strategically.

For the corporate secretary, general counsel and meeting administrators, the platform offers an exceptionally flexible, secure and user-friendly interface to help increase productivity during and in between meetings.

For board directors and senior executives, the solution helps manage critical tasks inside and outside the boardroom with biometric ID sign-on, intuitive notification, and collaboration tools.

Nasdaq built the platform with industry-standard encryption and multi-factor authentication to protect a user’s most sensitive information.

“We pride ourselves in helping our customers put smart to work with the best of breed applications. We are therefore delighted to be partnering with Nasdaq on this groundbreaking solution that will without doubt transform how corporates manage their corporate governance function,” said Mr Keval Shah, Co-CEO, Cloudhop.

“We are encouraged by the demand across East Africa for our board portal and collaboration technology and are pleased to partner with CloudHop to engage with governance professionals in the region who are seeking new ways to enhance their corporate governance practices,” said Mr Mike Bartels, President, Nasdaq Governance Solutions.

Nasdaq Boardvantage is recognized as a 2019 American Business Awards Bronze Stevie Winner for Sales & Customer Service; 2018 American Business Awards Gold Stevie Award Winner for Best New Product of the Year, Bronze Stevie Award Winner for Software Customer Service Department of the Year, and Bronze Stevie Award Winner for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year; 2018 RiskTech 100 Category Winner for Operational Risk & GRC; and 2018 6th Annual Best in Biz Awards International Winner.

www.cloudhop.it

www.nasdaq.com

Companies worldwide struggle to manage and protect multi-cloud compute infrastructures, survey

A vast majority of enterprises worldwide have adopted multi-cloud strategies to keep pace with the need for digital transformation and IT efficiency, but they face significant challenges in managing the complexities and added requirements of these new application and data delivery infrastructures, according to a global survey conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, in partnership with A10 Networks.

The new study, entitled “Mapping The Multi-Cloud Enterprise,” finds that improved security, including centralized security and performance management, multi-cloud visibility of threats and attacks, and security automation, is the number one IT challenge facing companies in these new compute environments.

“Multi-cloud is the de facto new standard for today’s software- and data-driven enterprise,” said Dave Murray, head of thought leadership and research for the BPI Network. “However, our study makes clear that IT and business leaders are struggling with how to reassert the same levels of management, security, visibility and control that existed in past IT models. Particularly in security, our respondents are currently assessing and mapping the platforms, solutions and policies they will need to realize the benefits and reduce the risks associated of their multi-cloud environments.” 

“The BPI Network survey underscores a critical desire and requirement for companies to reevaluate their security platforms and architectures in light of multi-cloud proliferation,” said Gunter Reiss, vice president of worldwide marketing at A10 Networks. “The rise of 5G-enabled edge clouds is expected to be another driver for multi-cloud adoption. A10 Networks believes enterprises must begin to deploy robust Polynimbus security and application delivery models that advance centralized visibility and management and deliver greater security automation across clouds, networks, applications and data.”

The study finds that some 40 percent of companies have or will reassess their current relationships with security and load balancer suppliers in light of multi-cloud, with most others still undecided about whether a change in vendors is needed.

www.bpinetwork.org

Huawei Cloud launches Elastic Cloud Server services across Africa

Huawei Cloud has released Kunpeng ECS (Elastic Cloud Server) cloud services and Partner Program 2.0. The Kunpeng-powered cloud services will be made available to African customers by the end of December 2019 and aim to offer 15% faster multi-core computing power and a 30% higher performance/price ratio than the industry average.

Speaking at the Huawei Cloud, AI Forum, Rui Houwei, President of Huawei Cloud Africa, noted the significance of recent technological breakthroughs. “The computing industry has gone through the mainframe computer, minicomputer, and x86 server stages and will move to the multi-architecture computing stage,” he said.

“The computing power previously available only in the x86 architecture, is now available in different architectures, allowing for the use of appropriate computing power for each specific application. “

“This January, Huawei launched Kunpeng 920, the industry’s highest-performing 7nm server processor in the Kunpeng architecture. The Huawei Cloud ECS is powered by the Kunpeng servers and supports multi-architecture computing. ”

Rui also expressed optimism at Kunpeng’s capabilities for the local market, “Huawei can innovate across the entire stack ranging from chips and servers to cloud platforms. In-depth collaboration between chips, hardware, and software enable Kunpeng cloud services to deliver unparalleled performance. We are deeply committed to providing diversified cloud services and solutions, to help public institutions and private companies take intelligence and mobility to even greater heights. ”

At the forum, Huawei also outlined its Partner Program 2.0 initiative, which offers crucial support for partners, about online and onsite training, market expansion, marketing activities, and technical understanding.

In Africa alone, Huawei Cloud has already established partnerships with over 65 partners spanning diverse industries, including telecom, finance, manufacturing, education, retail, and logistics, as well as the public sector. “Such wide-ranging collaboration is likely to result in unique, and broadly-shared benefits across the ecosystem,” said Rui.

According to an IDC report, South Africa’s spending in public cloud services will reach R11.5 billion in 2022, a three-fold increase from 2017. This expansion is projected to create 112,000 jobs. By 2020, cloud services will account for 67% of enterprises’ total spending in IT infrastructure and software.

More than 85% of enterprises are expected to use the hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud architecture.

Huawei has been operating in Africa for over 20 years and has developed an in-depth understanding of the requirements, opportunities, and challenges faced by African customers. Its local teams are fully equipped to provide premium services for customers spanning 54 different African countries.

Huawei Cloud services were officially launched in South Africa this February, making it the first cloud service provider to utilize local data centres in that country. Over the past eight months, Huawei Cloud has experienced rapid growth in Nigeria, Kenya, and Zambia.

intl.huaweicloud.com

[Kenya] KETRACTO digitizes procurement processes with SAP Ariba Cloud

In a bid to improve its operations and in compliance with presidential directive and government requirements, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company Limited, KETRACO, has digitized its procurement processes via an e-procurement platform powered by SAP Ariba Cloud. 

This second phase of an end-to-end automation of tendering, supplier management and contracts process will see tenders and quotations submitted and processed online for efficiency, accountability and transparency. This process is 100% Paperless.

Open and secret tenders, Request for Proposals (RFP) and Request for Quotations (RFQ) will be advertised through the government portals, KETRACO websites and in newspapers. All interested Bidders/ Suppliers will be required to submit their documentation online. The tenders will then be received, evaluated and awarded online.

In the first phase of the implementation that went live in April this year, the company automated ‘procure to pay’ operations by on boarding suppliers to the SAP Ariba network to start transacting electronically. Purchase Requests, Local Purchase Orders, invoices and payment of goods/ services were processed online in the ‘procure to pay’ operation.

Speaking during the go live event, KETRACO’s Managing Director FCPA Fernandes Barasa noted that over 260 suppliers have registered on the Ariba network and continue to transact with KETRACO in a paperless environment for Purchase order and invoice submission and processing and are ready to move the entire tendering process.

‘’Supplier registration and qualification has now been made available online. The youth and the special groups will be submitting their registration applications online and will be on boarded immediately. ‘’ He noted.

This automation has been made possible by SAP Ariba, a leading global provider of collaborative business commerce solutions which allows suppliers to easily extend their back-end systems and processes to benefit from electronic transactions.

Pedro Guerreiro, Managing Director for SAP Central Africa adds, “Two years ago Kenya’s leading electricity transmission company implemented SAP’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System and shortly after, won Gold at the SAP Quality Awards. Today, we are thrilled to yet again be a part of Ketraco’s continued digital transformation journey with the adoption of our Ariba e-procurement software solutions.  By streamlining business operations and connecting to Ariba’s +4.2 million companies, Ketraco has established a solid foundation for tomorrow’s Intelligent Enterprise, pointing to a bright and innovative future for the organisation, its staff and customers.”

www.ketraco.co.ke

www.sap.com

DR Congo government partners with New Cloud Technologies to boost cloud infrastructure

The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Russian company New Cloud Technologies has entered into a partnership.

The agreement was signed with the backing of the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation represented by Minister Konstantin Noskov and deputy minister Mikhail Mamonov.

Under the agreement licenses are to be made available for the productivity suite MyOffice support is to be provided to develop state and corporate cloud infrastructure in the territory of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and support is to be provided for education initiatives.

MyOffice is a Russian productivity software suite for communication and shared editing of documents on any technology platform which also offers full control over data by the business and government organizations using it.

The MyOffice ecosystem comprises:

  • cross-platform text editing, spreadsheet and presentation, email, calendar and contacts applications
  • a cloud-based data storage solution that allows the sharing of documents by multiple users
  • mobile applications allowing users to use the solution on their smartphones
  • a special free version for use in schools and pre-schools.

MyOffice offers secure data processing within state and corporate clouds. MyOffice technologies easily integrate with third party software on any devices and can be used to automate business processes within companies of any size. Users can access the solution from desktops and laptops as well as smartphones and tablet PCs. All the popular operating systems are supported.

Special MyOffice Education versions are available for educational institutions. These versions include an additional module that teachers can set up in accordance with the topic of a specific class. This version is offered free of charge to schools and pre-schools. Higher education institutions can buy all the products of the company with large discounts of up to 93% the business price of MyOffice.

“The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the first governments in Africa to begin a digital transformation of the government agencies and to start buying new hardware and software for them. We’re also making every effort to develop our education system. We’re interested in using the secure Russian MyOffice software package for shared access to documents. It offers very good protection against unauthorized access to data as well as flexible integration capabilities,” said Vidiye Tshipanda Tshimanga, Strategy Advisor to the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country with great potential. The bulk of its population is made up of active young people aged 13 to 25 who need to get a good education and are willing to put in serious effort to further develop their country. Experts estimate that by 2025 there are going to be over 200 million computers and over 300 million smartphones in Africa. This means that the foundations of a safe digital infrastructure need to be laid down today and digital sovereignty of the country and its business needs to be developed now, efforts also need to be directed at educating the population in computer literacy. My Office allows these processes to begin now,” said Dmitry Komissarov, New Cloud Technologies CEO.

“Africa is one of the most promising destinations for the export of Russian technologies. Our ministry is making every effort to create conditions conducive to the development of Russian business in Africa and we support private business initiatives. Our cooperation with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a clear confirmation of that. We hope that users like the quality of Russian IT solutions,” said Konstantin Noskov, Minister of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the fastest growing countries in Africa. The country’s GDP has seen sustained growth over the past 10 years, reaching USD 47.23 billion in 2018 when it was up 5.82% on 2017. In the past 30 years the population of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has doubled, reaching 92 million people. Meanwhile 65.5% of the population are younger than 24 and the median age in the country is just 18.

www.ncloudtech.com

[South Africa] Euphoria Telecom launches cloud based telephone management system to boost business efficiency

Euphoria Telecom has launched the latest version of its market leading cloud-based business Telephone Management System (TMS).

The new TMS version 3 is packed with easy-to-use features and is capable of significantly improving business efficiency whilst delivering powerful reporting and workforce management capabilities.

Designed specifically for the South African market and using international best practice development methodologies, the Euphoria TMS is at the cutting edge of new technology.

Euphoria Telecom CEO John Woollam says the system empowers businesses to control, manage, automate, personalise and analyse every aspect of a company’s phone system from one central point. “You simply log-in to the TMS, from anywhere, make any change you require and it’s done. It’s as simple as that. “

“The new TMS is the result of nine years of building, learning and developing – and the end product is incredible. All the basics that our customers love are still available, but they are now even easier to use. And there is a host of additional features that are accessible through an upgraded web interface which is faster and better than ever before,” he explains.

Version 3 functionality offers multiple features such as per-extension based budgeting, mobile device applications (for both Android and IOS) that ensure full landline mobility and remote office deployment. Customers can also access browser phone applications, POPIA compliant call recording, global contact manager and extremely rich reporting tools.

Furthermore, overseeing team members is simplified with the new ‘User Manager’ feature that provides business owners with the freedom to give team leaders and managers access to specific sections of the TMS. By setting permissions for certain users, managers can easily control access to sensitive team data.

He says the real differences are the security layers. “Our TMS user interface allows full PBX control of every aspect, enabling management to restrict and secure their business phone system data and user functionality as required.”

“Reporting is a dream with Euphoria’s proactive scheduled reporting feature. One can now schedule reports to be delivered directly into your inbox hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. Version 3 also offers our customers the opportunity to design their own personalised reports,” he adds.

Woollam says customer satisfaction is the name of the game. “The customer experience can easily be managed with our SLA answer time adherence feature that provides you with a better understanding of your customer wait-to-answer times and overall experience.”

Management features include detailed drilldown functionality as well as great workforce management control in being able to create company specific pause and unpause codes, providing greater control of user productivity.

With stricter governance and data protection laws, it is important for every business to understand how long they need to keep customer data. Euphoria has made this extremely easy because business owners can now choose how long they want to keep their data, when it must be deleted and who exactly has access to that data.

Euphoria ensures that all data is safe and securely backed up, it is stored in top data centres across South Africa and Europe.

“We know that collaboration with other platforms through our integration technology is a critical component of our latest version. We have worked extremely hard to develop advanced Webhook features that make it possible for customers to integrate with other platforms that allow for API integration,” he explains.

Euphoria Telecom has always strived to give the power back to its customers. With over 4000 happy customers migrating to the new version, the company aims to improve the user experience while simultaneously enabling businesses to improve their general operational efficiency.

“We offer so much more than a just a phone system, we provide a game changing business tool that can take companies of all sizes to the next level,” he concludes.

www.euphoria.co.za

Westcon-Comstor unveils CloudCall to boost business operations

Westcon-Comstor Sub-Saharan Africa has announced the availability of CloudCall, which integrates the communication and collaboration features of Microsoft Teams with the advanced voice processing of AudioCodes.

 It has been developed in partnership with South African cloud development specialists Argantic. CloudCall removes the need to buy and maintain expensive hardware and software and protects existing investments by integrating with PBX systems.

CloudCall is suitable for companies of any size as it can easily scale according to the number and type of users in the organisation. Partners who sell the service can offer value-added features such as tailored reports with usage, session and device information.

CloudCall can also be deployed as a fully functional IP calling system. It combines the meeting functionality, video recording and conferencing features inherent in Microsoft Teams for improved collaboration in a cloud environment.

www.westconcomstor.com

OmniClouds implements Nokia’s solution to improve cloud connectivity for businesses in EMEA

Nokia has announced that its Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution has been implemented by OmniClouds, leading cloud service provider and migrator, to improve and optimize cloud connectivity for enterprise customers throughout the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The deal will be a boost for enterprises in the region, as they are currently held back by a shortage of native cloud service providers and a challenging reach to public cloud data centers.

Nokia’s Nuage Networks will build and operate its SD-WAN 2.0 network, enabling OmniClouds to connect enterprise customers over a large coverage area – touching all key public cloud data centers with dedicated infrastructure in a flexible and cost-efficient way. With this deal, OmniClouds is focused on easing its customers’ migration to hybrid or full public cloud, with support ranging from consulting to connectivity services.

Paired with Nuage Networks’ SD-WAN 2.0 solution, OmniClouds customers will have a secure and scalable way to connect with data centers, private clouds, software-as-a-solution (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-solution (IaaS) providers. This is a huge shift for the region, as in many areas enterprise customers are currently unable to connect to their cloud environments, data centers and remote locations in this way.

OmniClouds will not only provide full cloud connectivity, but will also use Nuage Networks’ SD-WAN 2.0 as an overlay to existing connectivity technologies, such as IP-MPLS, microwave, satellite or public internet, to automate operations and enhance connectivity over large geographic regions. This will give its enterprise customers a central management view of the entire network, enabling them to easily control security, user permissions and parameters, such as latency and quality of service.

OmniClouds will use Nuage Networks’ SD-WAN 2.0 gateways at each of the region’s main cloud service providers, which connect with SD-WAN CPE gateways at the enterprises’ data centers, headquarters and branch operations. This dramatically reduces customer operating costs, smooths their adoption of cloud services and enables widespread connectivity across distant locations.

Amr A Eid, Chief Executive Officer and Board Member, OmniClouds, said: “We are the trusted partner of enterprise customers in the Middle East and Africa region when they need help in migrating to the cloud. The Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution plays a critical part in smoothing their move to the cloud by simplifying the operational side and providing the security and assurance they need for such a critical part of their business.”

Roque Lozano, Vice President of IP & Optics for Middle East and Africa, Nokia, said: “OmniClouds is using Nokia Nuage Networks SD-WAN 2.0 solution as a powerful platform for offering cloud services to MEA regional businesses. It not only manages cloud connectivity, but also automates and simplifies many operations, eliminating any boundaries imposed by the underlying connectivity technology. It will play a key part in OmniClouds’ mission to further the adoption of cloud and to support the digital transformation of MEA businesses and organizations.”

www.nokia.com

www.omniclouds.com

Organizations worldwide failing to adequately protect sensitive data in the cloud, Thales study

A new global study from Thales, with research from the Ponemon Institute, has exposed an increasing disparity between the rapid growth of data stored in the cloud and an organization’s approach to cloud security.

 Although nearly half (48%) of corporate data is stored in the cloud, only a third (32%) of organizations admit they employ a security-first approach to data storage in the cloud.

Surveying over 3,000 IT and IT security practitioners in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, the research found that only one in three (31%) organizations believe that protecting data in the cloud is their own responsibility.

Increased multi-cloud cloud use, but with risks

With the proliferation of cloud-based services, businesses and other organizations are increasingly dependent on cloud providers.

 In fact, nearly half (48%) of organizations have a multi-cloud strategy, with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and IBM being the top three. The study found that, on average, organizations use three different cloud service providers and over a quarter (28%) are using four or more.

Despite storing sensitive data in the cloud, nearly half (46%) surveyed revealed that storing consumer data in the cloud makes them more of a security risk. Over half (56%) also noted that it posed a compliance risk.

 In addition, organizations believe that cloud service providers bear the most responsibility for sensitive data in the cloud (35%), ahead of shared responsibility (33%) and themselves (31%). Even though businesses are pushing the responsibility to cloud providers, only 23% say security is a factor in selecting them.

“With businesses increasingly looking to use multiple cloud platforms and providers, it’s vital they understand what data is being stored and where,” said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. “Not knowing this information makes it essentially impossible to protect the most sensitive data –ultimately leaving these organizations at risk. We’d encourage all companies to take responsibility for understanding where their data sits to ensure it’s safe and secure.”

Encryption increasing, but organizations handing over keys to cloud providers

Roughly half (51%) of businesses and other organizations still do not use encryption or tokenization to protect sensitive data in the cloud. The study uncovered regional disparities in terms of data security, with German organizations being the most advanced in their use of encryption at 66%.

Organizations are handing over the keys to their encrypted data to cloud providers. Nearly half of cloud companies (44%) provide the encryption keys when data is encrypted in the cloud, ahead of in-house teams (36%) and third parties (19%).

On top of this, 53% are controlling these encryption keys themselves, despite 78% saying it’s important their organization retains control of the keys.

Over half of businesses (54%) think cloud storage makes it more difficult to protect sensitive data, up from 49% last year. More than 70% believe that data in a cloud environment is harder to protect due to the complexity of managing privacy and data protection regulations, while an additional two-thirds (67%) cited the difficulty of applying conventional security methods in the cloud.

“This study shows that businesses today are taking advantage of the opportunities that new cloud options offer, but aren’t adequately addressing data security,” said Tina Stewart, vice president of market strategy for cloud protection and licensing activity at Thales. “Having pushed the responsibility towards cloud providers, it is surprising to see that security is not a primary factor during the selection process. It doesn’t matter what model or provider you choose, the security of your business’ data in the cloud has to be your responsibility. Your organization’s reputation is on the line when a data breach occurs, so it is critical to ensure in-house teams keep a close eye on your security posture and always retain control of encryption keys.”

www.thalesgroup.com

Cloud IT infrastructure revenues decline amid a slowdown in overall spending, IDC

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, vendor revenue from sales of IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, declined 10.2% year over year in the second quarter of 2019 (2Q19), reaching $14.1 billion.

 IDC also lowered its forecast for total spending on cloud IT infrastructure in 2019 to $63.6 billion, down 4.9% from last quarter’s forecast and changing from expected growth to a year-over-year decline of 2.1%.

Vendor revenue from hardware infrastructure sales to public cloud environments in 2Q19 was down 0.9% compared to the previous quarter (1Q19) and down 15.1% year over year to $9.4 billion. This segment of the market continues to be highly impacted by demand from a handful of hyperscale service providers, whose spending on IT infrastructure tends to have visible up and down swings.

After a strong performance in 2018, IDC expects the public cloud IT infrastructure segment to cool down in 2019 with spend dropping to $42.0 billion, a 6.7% decrease from 2018. Although it will continue to account for most of the spending on cloud IT environments, its share will decrease from 69.4% in 2018 to 66.1% in 2019. In contrast, spending on private cloud IT infrastructure has showed more stable growth since IDC started tracking sales of IT infrastructure products in various deployment environments.

 In the second quarter of 2019, vendor revenues from private cloud environments increased 1.5% year over year reaching $4.6 billion. IDC expects spending in this segment to grow 8.4% year over year in 2019.

Overall, the IT infrastructure industry is at crossing point in terms of product sales to cloud vs. traditional IT environments. In 3Q18, vendor revenues from cloud IT environments climbed over the 50% mark for the first time but fell below this important tipping point since then.

 In 2Q19, cloud IT environments accounted for 48.4% of vendor revenues. For the full year 2019, spending on cloud IT infrastructure will remain just below the 50% mark at 49.0%. Longer-term, however, IDC expects that spending on cloud IT infrastructure will grow steadily and will sustainably exceed the level of spending on traditional IT infrastructure in 2020 and beyond.

Spending on the three technology segments in cloud IT environments is forecast to deliver growth for Ethernet switches while compute platforms and storage platforms are expected to decline in 2019.

Ethernet switches are expected to grow at 13.1%, while spending on storage platforms will decline at 6.8% and compute platforms will decline by 2.4%. Compute will remain the largest category of spending on cloud IT infrastructure at $33.8 billion.

Sales of IT infrastructure products into traditional (non-cloud) IT environments declined 6.6% from a year ago in Q219. For the full year 2019, worldwide spending on traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure is expected to decline by 5.8%, as the technology refresh cycle driving market growth in 2018 is winding down this year. By 2023, IDC expects that traditional non-cloud IT infrastructure will only represent 41.8% of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending (down from 52.0% in 2018). This share loss and the growing share of cloud environments in overall spending on IT infrastructure is common across all regions.

Most regions grew their cloud IT Infrastructure revenues in 2Q19. Middle East & Africa was fastest growing at 29.3% year over year, followed by Canada at 15.6% year-over-year growth. Other growing regions in 2Q19 included Central & Eastern Europe (6.5%), Japan (5.9%), and Western Europe (3.1%). Cloud IT Infrastructure revenues were down slightly year over year in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) by 7.7%, Latin America by 14.2%, China by 6.9%, and the USA by 16.3%.

www.idc.com