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First Inland Bank Boosts Productivity with New Messaging Platform

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First Inland Bank has announced the adoption of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 as part of its commitment to simplifying the work process and increasing productivity.

First Inland Bank has a reputation for advancing the frontiers of technology usage in banking through its pioneer Flash-Me Cash e-payments platform.

According to Mr. Gabriel Obaji, chief information officer at the bank, who made the announcement, the new business environment and world of work demands that staff collaborate more efficiently and stay connected at all times – connected to the customers, connected to colleagues, connected to suppliers, and connected to competitive information.

He said that after a detailed and in-depth analysis of the previous Lotus Notes messaging system within the bank, the management saw the need for significant improvements in information security, regulatory compliance, service availability, organizational agility and employee productivity.

"The previous system was very slow, taking up to 5 minutes to download simple emails. The complaints from users had become unbearable. We needed to do something about it fast," said Obaji.

The bank’s network of over 4000 users was running on Lotus Notes and Domino v7.0.

Working with Dimension Data, First Inland Bank migrated its messaging network successfully to Microsoft Exchange 2007 that scales across a couple of Intel-based 64-bit server hardware.

Using the Lotus Notes Transporter Suite developed by Microsoft and built on the .NET Framework with capabilities to migrate Domino user objects, groups and mailbox items, the Dimension Data delivery team moved across over 4000 user mail boxes and Distribution Groups from Domino to Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 within a couple of weeks.

Dimension Data is one of Microsoft’s leading Gold Partners globally. Mr Jide Agbaje, head of Microsoft Division at Dimension Data Nigeria said "First Inland Bank improved its security and efficiency by using Directory services as a central point of authentication and resource management."

"We mapped FIB’s information infrastructure to its business objectives of higher levels of system availability and security. This provided a new infrastructure platform that supported advanced level applications, such as SharePoint and Exchange 2007, as well as the use or sharing of data that was not possible with the previous system," Agbaje said.

Mr. Obaji revealed that the user experience at First Inland Bank has been phenomenal. A recent company-wide survey shows almost 100% satisfaction for all users interviewed. The bank has already witnessed improved productivity through access to information, e-mail, voice mail, calendar and contacts from anywhere, at anytime.

"The switch to Microsoft Exchange 2007 was very smooth. Now everyone in our bank is happy. Total focus on the Microsoft Exchange 2007 deployment brought about the success that we are now so proud of," Obaji said

Also speaking on First Inland Bank’s recent migration from Notes to Microsoft Exchange Server, Mr. Bukunmi Omidiran, financial services business manager at Microsoft Nigeria said that therole of software has become more imperative than ever for simplifying the way people work together, find information, improve business insight, secure and manage content.

"Our primary objective at Microsoft is to maximise the business potential of our clients by providing innovative software solutions for building a people ready organisation."

"We are pleased with the successful deployment of this solution at FIB by Dimension Data and congratulate First Inland Bank for joining the global train of Exchange users.

Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 comes with a host of unified messaging features such as the ability to play voice-mail messages directly from an e-mail through an embedded version of Windows Media Player.

Users can also retrieve e-mail messages by calling into Exchange Server on a telephone and have their e-mail messages read to them by an interactive voice response (IVR) system.

Following on from the success of the Exchange 2007 deployment, First Inland Bank and Microsoft are partnering on 3 further projects – implementing Performance Point, a cutting edge performance management solution, deploying SharePoint, the world’s No.1 enterprise portal solution and upgrading Flash-me-Cash to Visual Studio team Suite, the leading development platform in the world.

Adefolu Majekodunmi, Microsoft’s Enterprise business manager, concluded, "The partnership between First Inland Bank and Microsoft has started off on a great footing. Microsoft aims to ensure further success in the future projects we undertake in conjunction with our partners at the bank."


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E-Business

Jumia Partners Reckitt Benkiser, Nokia, Others to Enable Consumers Access Quality Products

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Jumia has launched a Brand Festival campaign in partnership with top global brands such as Reckitt Benkiser, Unilever, Nokia, Intel, HP, Nexus, Hisense, Sharp, Samsung, Binatone, XIAOMI, ABSOLUT, Dettol, and Logitech.

The campaign which is scheduled to run from September 21st to 27th, will provide consumers access to top quality products directly from the manufacturers, eliminating all third parties, thereby reducing the cost of the products, which will enable consumers to save money.

Jumia Nigeria CEO, Massimiliano Spalazzi, said: “The aim of the campaign is to enable our consumers to save more money while getting the best quality products directly from the brand manufacturers. Consumers today are more conscious of the quality of the product they buy on Jumia, and at the same time want to save money while shopping.

In the wake of COVID-19, we have continued to strive to operate so that consumers can continue to stay at home, use e-commerce to shop, and stay safe in this trying time. We are proud to partner with Unilever, Nokia and other top brands as part of our commitment to provide customers easy access to quality products directly from the manufacturers at best prices.

Head of Key Accounts and e-Commerce at Reckitt Benckiser Nigeria Ltd, Afam Onwordi, stated that: “We have enjoyed a good and healthy relationship with Jumia in the last couple of years.

“As our fight in RB is making access to the highest quality hygiene, wellness and nourishment a right and NOT a privilege, we would therefore always seize the opportunity of every major event like this (Brand Festival) to reward our consumers with interesting offers and deals across our wide range of products.”

Senior Business Manager at HMD Global, Emmanuel Ossai, said: “For us at HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, we are very excited to be supporting Jumia on this festival for authentic brands in Nigeria.

“We have a commitment to continuously deliver value and believe that this partnership will afford Nigerians more opportunities to enjoy the beauty of quality hardware and the secure Android experience that we offer across our range of Nokia smartphones.

“Interestingly, we have new exciting devices that will be unveiled to our Nigerian customers in the coming weeks and we cannot wait for you to have a feel of hardware magic carefully combined with software excellence. So, keep watching this space.”


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TikTok Picks Oracle to Provide ‘Secure’ Cloud Tech

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Enterprise software giant Oracle announced that it has been chosen to become TikTok’s “secure” cloud technology provider.

According to Oracle, this technical decision by TikTok was heavily influenced by Zoom’s recent success in moving a large portion of its video-conferencing capacity to the Oracle Public Cloud.

Oracle’s announcement comes after TikTok parent ByteDance last week said it will not be selling the video-sharing app’s US operations to software giant Microsoft.

This after US president Donald Trump signed an executive order on 6 August, blocking all transactions with ByteDance in an effort to address “national emergency” issues.

On 14 August, the US president issued an order that gave ByteDance 90 days to divest the US operations of TikTok.

Since then, US companies such as Microsoft and Oracle have been lining up as potential buyers for the popular short video app.

As the trade war between the US and China rages on, the US government has accelerated its efforts to purge Chinese apps and technology companies that it deems untrustworthy.

Trump and his administration raised national security issues, alleging the Chinese-owned company will share sensitive user data with the Chinese government.

“TikTok picked Oracle’s new Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure because it’s much faster, more reliable, and more secure than the first generation technology currently offered by all the other major cloud providers,” says Oracle chief technology officer Larry Ellison.

“In the 2020 Industry CloudPath survey that IDC recently released where it surveyed 935 infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) customers on their satisfaction with the top IaaS vendors including Oracle, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM and Google Cloud…Oracle IaaS received the highest satisfaction score.”

“As a part of this agreement, TikTok will run on the Oracle Cloud and Oracle will become a minority investor in TikTok Global,” says Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

“Oracle will quickly deploy, rapidly scale and operate TikTok systems in the Oracle Cloud. We are 100% confident in our ability to deliver a highly secure environment to TikTok and ensure data privacy to TikTok’s American users, and users throughout the world.

“This greatly improved security and guaranteed privacy will enable the continued rapid growth of the TikTok user community to benefit all stakeholders.”


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Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

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inq. Holdings Limited, artificial intelligence service provider, has acquired Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in Nigeria, Zambia and Cote d’Ivoire.

Inq. Acquires Vodacom’s Business in Nigeria, Others

It plans further acquisition in Cameroon subject to regulatory approvals.

Mr. Valentine Chime, managing director, inq. Holdings Limited, said the 100 per cent acquisition of the Vodacom Business Africa’s operations in the three countries was in pursuit of the company’s dream of building pan-African network that will help in creating better future through digital solutions.

Domiciled in Mauritius, inq. Holdings Limited is a subsidiary of Convergence Partners Communications Infrastructure Fund, a fund dedicated solely to communications infrastructure and related services and technologies across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Formerly known as Synergy Communications, the latest acquisition has grown inq.’s regional footprint with operations in 12 cities in seven countries across Africa. It has 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,”Chime said.

According to him, with operations in major African cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Gaborone, Lusaka, Ndola, Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Abidjan and Johannesburg, the inq. team prides itself on global best practice methodologies customised to local customs in each of the 16 cities, covering different sectors including banking, oil and gas, fast moving consumer goods, mining, health, real estate, information technologies, 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,” Chime said.

 

 


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