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Economic, Political Factors Impact CEE External Storage Market

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The last quarter of 2014 was the weakest quarter of the year for the external storage market in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), with a 4.7% year-on-year value decline and only 15.9% capacity growth.

Market performance for the entire year was almost flat (-0.3%), with total value just below the 1 billion dollar threshold.

Overall capacity in the region jumped 23.9% from the previous year, almost reaching 1 Exabyte.

Spending in the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment increased 15.2% year on year, which helped prevent a more significant decline of the total market.

These results were revealed in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker published recently by International Data Corporation (IDC).

Factors shaping market trends could be viewed as reflecting two distinct groups: macroeconomic and political versus technological.

While the first has mainly short to medium-term effects, the effects of the second are more long-term, related to the ongoing transition to 3rd-Platform technologies.

The poor performance on Russia and Ukraine markets in the second half of 2014 was responsible for the overall CEE market decline.

Demand was strongly affected by international sanctions, plummeting oil prices, and currency devaluation, and the market will take a further hit from the imposed restrictions on big international vendors such as HP, EMC, IBM, and HDS from dealing with official partners in Russia and large government and corporate clients.

As a result, the importance of Chinese manufacturers (Huawei, Inspur) and local server and storage companies, which are unaffected by the sanctions is on the rise.

The remaining CEE countries, particularly EU member states such as Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Slovakia, exhibit the long-term IT trends but are free of the socio-political inhibitors.

The additional support of EU funds allocated for 2014-2020 period and planned egovernment programs, resulted in a successful year in terms of storage spending.

Although SMBs buy significant numbers of primary and backup storage systems, these are typically entry-level products.

On the other hand, large organizations and service providers tend to invest in midrange solutions, flash-optimized storage, and software-defined storage (SDS) solutions, while the government buys high-end storage systems, which contributes strongly to the positive development of the market in these countries.

While currently subdued by the political and economic situation in CIS countries, the technology and market trends valid for the global enterprise hardware markets – i.e., a shift to lower-priced storage systems and the rise of flash, cloud, SDS, convergence, and hardware commoditization – can be observed in many CEE markets.

The adoption of flash-optimized storage in datacenters started making an impact in the region in 2014. In the last quarter, even the more niche all-flash arrays recorded skyrocketing value growth and captured 4% of the total external storage market value.

The demand for flash solutions gave an additional boost to the recovering midrange segment and confirmed the decline of the high-end says “We forecast that flash-optimized arrays, both all-flash and hybrid flash, will account for 40% of the external storage market by the end of 2015, spurred by increasing competition and database online transaction processing, Big Data, virtual desktop infrastructure, and high-performance computing projects,” said Marina Kostova, storage systems analyst with IDC CEMA.

Cloud adoption in the region was mainly driven by public cloud spending among cost-conscious SMBs and private cloud deployments in larger enterprises that are concerned about security, governance, and data protection requirements. “Thanks to the proliferation of cloud and flash in the CEE region, the commoditization of hardware and SDS solutions will be the next datacenter strategy consideration for both vendors and end users,” added Kostova.

IDC’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Disk Storage Systems Quarterly Tracker delivers timely intelligence and a comprehensive database detailing changes and trends in the storage market.

The tracker enables users to view data by volume, value, terabytes, country, year, quarter, vendor, product brand, model name, product category, topology, installation, protocol, OS, redundancy, storage class, and price band.

IDC leads the innovation discussion through events, research, and consulting. For nearly five decades it has been giving IT and business professionals data and insight for making strategic and practical decisions.


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AfriLabs, Korea-Africa Foundation in Strategic Partnership to Boost African Innovation

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African hubs network AfriLabs has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea-Africa Foundation for a strategic partnership aimed at driving innovation and economic growth across the continent.

AfriLabs is a network organisation that is committed to driving innovation and entrepreneurship on the continent by bringing together technology hubs, startups, investors, and other key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Having recently announced the admission of 16 new hubs, AfriLabs now has a network of 478 hubs across 260 cities in 53 African nations.

The Korea-Africa Foundation, meanwhile, aims to serve as a platform for collaboration between the private and public sectors, and to strengthen exchange and cooperation with African countries.

The collaboration between the two aims to bridge the gap between Korean and African startups by leveraging each other’s expertise and resources. This will be achieved through the exchange of insights on youth development, the launch of joint research initiatives, and the fostering of a dynamic ecosystem that cultivates talent and entrepreneurial spirit in both regions.

“At AfriLabs, we are dedicated to unlocking Africa’s full potential and generating wealth through strategic alliances. This partnership with the Korea-Africa Foundation unlocks a treasure trove of opportunities for startups, granting them access to a global network, invaluable resources, and unparalleled industry knowledge.

“Together, we will empower the next generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs, paving the way for sustainable development and a thriving economy,” said Anna Ekeledo, executive director of AfriLabs.


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$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

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Federal government may reintroduce the controversial telecom tax and other fiscal measures to fulfill one of the conditions for The World Bank’s fresh $750 million loan to Nigeria.

$750m World Bank Loan:  FG May Reintroduce Telcoms, Gambling Taxes

Experts have however strongly opposed new taxes, calling them harmful to the sector’s survival and the larger economy.

But The World Bank in programme appraisal document, dated May 17, 2024, on the loan disbursement to Nigeria, said that $750 million loan to Nigeria will support the federal government’s policy reforms.

A copy of the plan’s document posted on the World Bank website indicated that the government might reintroduce the excises on telecom services, and EMT levy on electronic money transfers through the Nigerian Banking System among other taxes.

Recall that on June 13, Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, announced the approval of two financial support packages by the World Bank valued at $2.25 billion.

The loan consists of $1.5 billion for Nigeria’s reforms for economic stabilisation to enable transformation (RESET) development policy financing program (DPF) and $750 million for Nigeria’s accelerating resource mobilisation reforms (ARMOR) program-for-results (PforR).

In the programme appraisal document, the World Bank said the ARMOR programme contains revenue policy measures such as raising pro-health taxes on tobacco, and alcohol.

The Bretton Woods institution also said the programme contains the introduction of taxes on online betting and gambling, as well as new excise on telecommunication services.

Experts have however warned that these taxes would have severe consequences for investment and the operational viability of telecom companies.

According to them, higher taxes would hinder digitalization efforts, which are crucial for economic growth.

The proposed tax measures, according to the industry, are not only damaging to the telecom sector but also to the broader economy.

 

 


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EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Flutterwave, unicorn payments technology company have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to establish and a state-of-the-art Cybercrime Research Centre.

EFCC, Flutterwave to Establish Cybercrime Centre for Security of Transactions

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, policy development, as well as youth empowerment.

The fintech company with fortunes worth over $1bn headquartered in San Francisco with footprints in Nigeria and other African countries said the centre would also provide a “sustainable lifeline to youths across the country”.

To this effect, the Silicon Valley-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the anti-graft agency in Abuja.

Ola Olukoyede, chairman, EFCC; Olugbenga Agboola, founder, Flutterwave; Christopher Gray, director of Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI); and other senior officials from both the EFCC and the FBI witnessed the signing of the MoU

Specifically, the MoU was signed by Mohammadu Hammajoda, secretary, EFCC and Agboolaof Flutterwave.

Olukoyede said, “This partnership marks a significant leap forward in our efforts to combat financial crimes and ensure a secure financial landscape for Nigerians. The Cybercrime Research Centre will significantly enhance our capabilities to prevent, detect, and prosecute financial crimes.”

On his part, Agboola said, “This initiative underscores our commitment to creating a fraud-free financial ecosystem and leading the charge in safeguarding transactions across Africa.

“We applaud the EFCC’s relentless efforts to combat internet fraud and other illicit activities in the financial sector.”

The Cybercrime Research Centre, to be established at the new EFCC Academy in Abuja, would serve as a hub for advanced research, training, and capacity building in the fight against financial crimes.

Areas of focus of the centre include advanced fraud detection and prevention, collaborative research and policy development, youth empowerment and capacity building, technological advancement and resource enablement, among other key areas.

“Advanced Fraud Detection and Prevention: Developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to detect and prevent financial fraud. The centre will offer comprehensive training for law enforcement and industry professionals to combat modern financial crimes effectively.

“Collaborative Research and Policy Development: Engaging in joint research initiatives and policy formulation to enhance the understanding and regulation of financial crime. The centre will provide a platform for the exchange of ideas and best practices between the public and private sectors.

“Youth Empowerment and Capacity Building: Providing high-end training and research opportunities for 500 youths, equipping them with the skills needed to navigate and excel in the digital economy.

“Technological Advancement and Resource Enablement: Creating a repository of advanced tools, technologies, and resources to support financial crime investigations, including protocols for addressing emerging threats such as cryptocurrency-related crimes,” the statement concluded.

Birthed in 2016 by Agboola, fondly referred to as GB, Flutterwave, with its corporate headquarters in San Francisco and operational head office in Lagos State, grew within a short time, penetrating the African market with customisable payments applications through its unique Application Programming Interface.

 

 


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