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Role of Technology in an Uncertain Economy

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As instability continues to ripple through the global economy, it’s clear that no one is immune to the effects of tighter credit and slower consumer and business spending.
But while it’s impossible to predict how long the current uncertainty will last or what the final impact will be on jobs and growth, I am optimistic about long-term economic prospects, here and around the world. The trends that have made the last decade so dynamic for businesses in every corner of the globe haven’t changed. Technology continues to improve. Productivity continues to rise. New business opportunities continue to emerge.
At the same time, there’s no doubt that this is a time when thoughtful business leaders must carefully assess how to best utilize their resources to weather the uncertainty that lies ahead. I believe information technology can play an important role in helping companies respond to this difficult and rapidly changing economic environment.
In the near term, for many organizations the emphasis will be on cutting costs and reducing risk. Today, there are a number of technologies that are helping companies lower expenses and improve effectiveness and efficiency.
One example is virtualization. A technology that makes it possible to run more than one operating system on a single computer, virtualization reduces costs and lowers energy consumption by enabling organizations to use more of the computing power that they already own. Another example is unified communications technologies that bring voice communications, e-mail, and instant messaging together to allow organizations to replace traditional phone systems with integrated software solutions that reduce hardware and maintenance costs.
Cutting back on travel is an obvious way that companies can save money. Today, video conferencing and new collaboration tools are making virtual meetings much more like face-to-face interaction and enabling people to share and collaborate more effectively. In addition, companies are finding that reducing computer energy usage is one of the most effective ways to lower costs without hampering organizational capabilities.
We’re using many of these approaches at Microsoft. For example, our internal IT department moved 25 percent of its servers into a virtualized environment during 2007. The resulting savings top $10 million and today, it takes just four people to manage the group’s 3,500 servers. By implementing a unified messaging system we’re saving $5 million each year through reduced hardware and maintenance costs.
Of course Microsoft isn’t the only company that is delivering software that can help companies reduce expense. For example, implementation of our unified communications technology has resulted in significant strategic cost reductions at banks such as First City Monument Bank (FCMB) and Intercontinental Bank. The travel requirements for employees in various locations in the country have reduced due to the availability of enterprise IP based video and voice conferencing. This has also reduced telephone costs in addition to increasing staff productivity.
Cutting costs is an important way to respond to the challenges of the current economic climate. But I believe it’s possible to see some of these challenges as opportunities. Many of the technologies mentioned above are enabling forward-looking companies to build information systems that are not only more cost-effective but that also enable people to understand and respond to changing business conditions with greater insight and speed than ever before.
This focus on people is critical. Ultimately, economic growth depends on innovation. Innovation is built on the ability of people to transform new ideas into products that deliver new value to customers.
The danger is that as the global economy slows, companies will shift so much of their focus to controlling expenses that they will lose sight of the critical importance of investment in innovation. The fact is that in any economy, innovation is the foundation for creating opportunity and success. Companies that continue to pursue innovation position themselves to better weather difficult economic times. And they create the conditions for more rapid growth when the economic climate improves.
Today, there’s no doubt that we’ve entered a period where companies and individuals are facing a new set of economic challenges. But at the same time, we’re in the midst of a period when key technology trends—more powerful devices, new ways of connecting to each other and to information, new ways of interacting with computers—are converging in ways that will revolutionize the role that computing plays in our lives at home and at work. Companies that take advantage of these trends to transform their businesses and deliver new innovations to their customers will have an important competitive advantage, today and in the years ahead.

Onyeje is Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria


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Facebook to Open Office in Lagos

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As part of its continued commitment and on-going investment in Africa, Facebook announced it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria – its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Commenting, Ime Archibong, Facebook’s Head of New Product Experimentation said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

“Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region”, commented Kojo Boakye, Facebook’s Director of Public Policy, Africa. “Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria. Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”


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Victor Osimhen Set Make His Debut For Napoli As Lampard Up Against Familiar Foes

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Football fans will enjoy another great weekend of football action as the new football season in Europe continues this weekend on DStv and GOtv.

The pick of Premier League matches this weekend is the meeting of Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday 20 September, which will air live at 4:30pm on SS Premier League.

The Reds completed a league ‘double’ over the Blues last season, with the teams’ most recent meeting a 5-3 win for the Merseyside club in July.

Liverpool supporters have been concerned at their club’s relative lack of action in the transfer market (certainly compared to Chelsea, who have recruited heavily and brought in world-class talent such as Moroccan attacking midfielder Hakim Ziyech, for example), but manager Jurgen Klopp insists he prefers working with a smaller group of players.

Lille’s Victor Osimhen in action during a UEFA Champions League soccer group stage match between Valencia CF and OSC Lille at Mestalla stadium on 05 November 2019. EPA/Kai Foersterling

Elsewhere, Manchester United will open their campaign with a clash at home to Crystal Palace in the early-evening kick-off on Saturday 19 September, on SS Premier League at 5:30pm.

It will be the first chance for new Red Devils signing Donny van de Beek to have a taste of competitive English football.

Also on Saturday, Everton will face West Bromwich Albion at 12:20pm while Leeds United will face Fulham at 3pm with the day closing off with Arsenal vs West Ham United at 8pm, all on SS Premier League.

The Premier League matches for the weekend will continue on Sunday 20 September with Southampton vs Tottenham Hotspur at 12pm, Newcastle United vs Brighton & Hove Albion at 2pm and Leicester City vs Burnley at 7pm, all live on SS Premier League. On Monday 21 September, Aston Vila vs Sheffield United will air at 6pm and Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester City at 8:15pm both live on SS Premier League.

This weekend’s La Liga sees the return to action for champions Real Madrid, who open the defence of their title with a match away to Real Sociedad at Sam Sebastian on the evening of Sunday 20 September showing live on SS La Liga, SS GOtv La Liga and SS GOtv Football at 8:00pm.

La Liga is packed this weekend with other exciting matches airing live on SS La Liga and SS GOtv La Liga. Getafe vs Osasuna will air at 8pm on Friday 18 September, while Villarreal v Eibar at 3pm and Celta Vigo vs Valencia at 8pm will both air on Saturday 19 September.

On Sunday 29 September, Huesca will clash with Cadiz at 3pm and Granada will face Deportivo Alaves at 5:30pm. GOtv will crown the weekend matches with Real Betis vs Real Valladolid at 8pm on Monday 21 September

Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma (left) and Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

The headline match from Italy’s topflight this weekend sees champions Juventus open the defence of their title with a match at home to Sampdoria in the late kick-off on Sunday 20 September at 7:45pm on SS Football, SS Variety 3 and SS GOtv Select 1.

All eyes will be on new manager, Andrea Pirlo, who replaced Maurizio Sarri at the head of the Bianconeri in the off season.

Another key game this weekend will give Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen the chance to make his competitive debut for Napoli when they face Parma on Sunday afternoon, having joined the club for a huge fee from Lille a few weeks back. This will air at 11:30am live on SS Football, SS Variety 3, SS GOtv Select 1 and SS GOtv Football.

SuperSport remains the only platform to get English commentary from the legendary La Liga.

Don’t miss the 2020-21 football season on SuperSport on DStv and GOtv. Visit www.dstvafrica.com and www.gotvafrica.com to subscribe or upgrade and join in on the excitement. While you’re on the move, you can stream matches on DStv Now.

 


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Facebook to Open New Office in Lagos, Nigeria

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Facebook has announced that it will be opening an office in Lagos, Nigeria as part of its continued commitment and ongoing investment in Africa. This will be its second office on the African continent.

Aimed at supporting the entire Sub-Saharan Africa region, the office is expected to become operational in H2 2021 and will be the first on the continent to house a team of expert engineers building for the future of Africa and beyond.

Facebook’s office will be home to various teams servicing the continent from across the business, including Sales, Partnerships, Policy, Communications as well as Engineers.

Ime Archibong, head of new product Experimentation, Facebook, Commenting of the development said: “The opening of our new office in Lagos, Nigeria presents new and exciting opportunities in digital innovations to be developed from the continent and taken to the rest of the world.

“All across Africa we’re seeing immense talent in the tech ecosystem, and I’m proud that with the upcoming opening of our new office, we’ll be building products for the future of Africa, and the rest of the world, with Africans at the helm. We look forward to contributing further to the African tech ecosystem.”

The investment of the new Facebook office follows the 2018 opening of NG_Hub, its first flagship community hub space in Africa in partnership with CcHub, and the 2019 opening of a Small Business Group (SBG) Operations Centre in Lagos, in partnership with Teleperformance.

Providing outsourced support to all English-speaking advertisers across Sub-Saharan Africa, the SBG office supports Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) through its Advocacy, Community & Education (ACE) programme, as well as its Marketing Expert sales programmes – all aimed at enabling SMBs to accelerate the growth and development of their businesses.

Kojo Boakye, director of Public Policy, Facebook Africa, said “Our new office in Nigeria presents an important milestone which further reinforces our ongoing commitment to the region.

“Our mission in Africa is no different to elsewhere in the world – to build community and bring the world closer together, and I’m excited about the possibilities that this will create, not just in Nigeria, but across Africa.”

Since the opening of its first office in 2015, Facebook has made a number of investments across the continent, aimed at supporting and growing the tech ecosystem, expanding and providing reliable connectivity infrastructures and helping businesses to grow locally, regionally and globally.

This includes the recent rollout of its SMB Grants programme in Nigeria and South Africa, aimed at supporting over 900 businesses by providing a combination of cash and ad credits to help small businesses as they rebuild from COVID.

The development of 2Africa, the world’s largest subsea cable project that will deliver much needed internet capacity and reliability across large parts of Africa, as well as its ongoing training programmes across the continent which support various communities including students, SMBs, digital creatives, female entrepreneurs, start-up’s and developers.

Nunu Ntshingila, regional director, Facebook Africa,said: “We’re delighted to be announcing our new office in Nigeria.

“Five years on from opening our first office on the continent in Johannesburg, South Africa, we’re continuing to invest in and support local talent, as well as the various communities that use our platforms.

“The office in Lagos will also be key in helping to expand how we service our clients across the continent.”

 

 


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