Olagunju Paul is the managing director of Sunnet Systems – a Pan African ICT firm is known for deploying technology solutions and services that enable growth and development.
The company also supports growth strategies through her top-notch solutions and services. Recently, the company won Customer Focused Technology Delivery Company Award and Paul spoke to chike onwuegbuchi on issues around Sunnet Systems’ efforts to revolutionize IT industry.
Issues Around Assessing Foreign Exchange
Yes, it is a challenge, at the same time, it presents some opportunities. As an organization, we believe that every problem has at least one solution. To us, what this challenge has thrown up is that as an IT company we should be thinking inwards.
That has also helped us to filter the possibilities and otherwise. We look at the whole spectrum of ICT landscape: where are we as a country? What can we do?
What should we be doing? What services do we need from outside? So, what we have done is to ensure, internally we align our resources to some of these challenges, providing in-country solutions.
We believe that, for so long, certain skills in the industry are largely dependent on expatriates. We felt one of the good things this crisis has brought is: there is no forex to continue on that path. So, do we have capable Nigerians, who require, maybe additional trainings, to deliver such services? The answer is Yes.
Therefore, we went ahead to set up an ICT Hub in Ilorin to serve as a base to develop Nigerian IT professionals to be utilized both locally and exportable skills.
There are so many smart Nigerians out there, but a lot of concentrations are in Lagos. But, step out of Lagos you see armies of young people who are waiting to be tapped, domesticated and empowered to begin to take advantage of the technology space. So, it has opened our eyes.
It is a layback town; very quiet and cost of living is relatively cheap. There are about five universities, colleges of education, ensuring a whole army of young people. We want to harvest and empower them.
So, some of them we engage in providing these services that we were paying dollars to achieve. We are able to export these skills, bringing in dollars into the country. So, certain things that would ordinarily require dollars, we are using the naira; helping us to have a better margin.
Thus, certain jobs out there that we would have lack the boldness to go for, won’t happen anymore. By that, Nigeria will be able to play and tap into some of those services; take up contracts from UK, US, Europe, done here and delivered out there.
So, the dollar crisis is a blessing in disguise, if we are able to convert them to opportunities. It has actually helped us to think. People say you should think out of the box, but there are no boxes any more. Now, you have to think vertically, horizontally in other to take advantages of these opportunities.
Identification as A Customer Focused Company
As an organization, and from the beginning, we believe that Sunnet Systems exist because our customers exist. We treat our customers as people who put food on our table; they are the reason why we will exist.
Thus, we cannot afford to disappoint them. Our customers will only be happy, if they will run their businesses with their eyes closed. That implies, we can take the pressure off their shoulders to focus on their core competencies.
If you look at our mission statement we have “Passion for Excellence”. We derive our satisfaction from the customer’s satisfaction. We are deeply committed to customer satisfaction; the customer in this case could be the client, shareholders, or even internally, whether our customers as staff, we render services in excellent manner.
It is something that we have been able to practice over time. I am not really surprised that our customers feel that we deserve this award.
I want to thank Nigeria CommunicationsWeek’s publishers for putting up such a beautiful programme in place. The essence of an award is not just about the reward, but it serves as an incentive for you to strive harder in service delivery. It also gives up-comers to have something to look up to; and as well encouraging compliance to standards, ensuring that organizations step up their games to be globally compliant in terms of quality of service, innovative initiatives that can change the landscape of our country.
To us as an organization, even though we are extremely a quiet organization in terms of visibilities, we have a very large footprint in the industry particularly with the major industries- public, financial, oil and gas, telecoms, and energy. It is an encouragement to us to know that some people somewhere appreciate the good work Sunnet Systems is putting into the industry, particularly our professional dedication and commitment, as well as quality of service.
We will take this as our first step and make sure we embark on aggressive improvement in all our services. Come next year, more of our good works will be out there for exhibition for people to appreciate and others to learn from. So, we really want to appreciate Communication Week Media for the recognition given to us. We will not rest on our oars as this serves as an impetus for us to strive harder; that is our commitment.
Sunnet Systems’ Distinguishing Factors
One of the key things to us is the understanding of our customers’ pain-points and align them with the best technology provider that can best deliver the experience required. For instance, if a customer requires an enterprise solution that can run their application 24/7 and effortlessly, we align them with the appropriate provider.
Also, for every solution we project into the market, Sunnet Systems have the highest level of trained personnel. So, we don’t just push or sell boxes, we generally work directly with the OEMs to ensure we are able to deploy, support and extend the services of these OEMs to the clients. We are strategic partners to these OEMs to deliver solutions relevant to the clients; that is why some of them have Sunnet Systems key leaders as part of their advisory team. Most times, before new products are introduced into the market, we are briefed, keeping us ahead of some of the challenges the customers are facing.
Sunnet Systems Going Forward
In the next five years, Sunnet Systems will not just be recognized for service excellence, but for innovative excellence. We are looking at various challenges faced by Nigerians and working towards technological solutions to them.
For example, we are working assiduously in the areas of health, financial inclusion, crisis management (like the case of herdsmen); we believe that technology that can help us solve some of these challenges.
We are positioning ourselves as innovative solution providers and for the entire West Africa. Every investment we are making now is geared towards that. Even the resource centre in Ilorin, we are working with some universities, tapping into their resources while addressing some of the local challenges.