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Useful Advice on How to Succeed with Mobile Solutions



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Mobile solutions have a huge potential to drastically increase the efficiency of field workers and save big money for companies in a range of industries.

However, the implementation of mobile solutions is filled with pitfalls.

Industry veteran Mikael Nilebacke, managing director of Erisma Technologies, gives his best advice on how to succeed.

 Mobile solutions, i.e. software for PDAs and smartphones, have an enormous potential to improve efficiency and save big money for companies that today rely on time-consuming paper-based solutions.

Industries such as fire safety, security, electrical, telecom, data, energy, power, construction, logistics, and heating/ventilation/cooling, have much to gain by adapting modern mobile business solutions for their work forces.

However, the transition from paper-based/manual/traditional solutions to advanced mobile solutions is filled with pitfalls.

Many things can go wrong that can leave you with an inadequate, or in worst case, non-functioning solution.

Mobile business solution expert Nilebacke of Erisma Technologies with more than 15 years of industry experience, shares his top ten advice on how to succeed with the implementation of mobile solutions:

1. Conduct a Needs Analysis
Why do you need a mobile system? Do you want to be more effective? Do the clients demand more access to information?

The answers will help you identify the specific functions you require in your mobile solutions.

Prioritize functions that are really useful. Decide who will use the system and how much the system may cost. If you skip this step, there is a risk that the supplier’s sale team gains control over the process and create mneeds that do not really exist.

2. Engage and Involve Your Employees in the Process
Try to engage and involve your staff in the process of implementing a mobile system as early as possible.

Lead your employees through the entire procurement process and utilize the competence, experience and knowledge they possess.

Engaging the staff from an early stage will make them motivated to implement the system/solution and showcase the benefits of a mobile solution.

3. Carefully Choose a System and a Supplier
Usually, the important choice will be between a standard system and a customized system.

I strongly recommend using standardized systems. The development of mobile technology is evolving very rapidly, which makes the standardized system more future-proof and flexible than the customize system.

Choose a supplier that is of “the right size”: not small enough for you to risk ending up with a system that will disappear or cease to be updated, and not too big for the supplier to lose interest in you when you are no longer a key customer.

4. Contact all the References that you can find
When contacting a reference that your supplier has given you – always try to read between the lines. Learn from how they use the system and think about ways your organization can benefit from this knowledge.

Try to find your own references, at least three of them, and do not settle for just one. This will minimize the risk of spending time and money on the wrong system.

5. Keep the Option to Cancel the Order
Not all suppliers have sufficient knowledge and experience to deliver and implement their systems correctly.

Try to negotiate an evaluation period with the option to cancel the order should you discover that the system is not right for you and your organization.

You must be prepared to let go of the system if it does not deliver and solve the problems and/or fulfill the list of demands you created during your earlier needs analysis.

6. Listen to the Supplier
Once a supplier is chosen – stick to your choice. Let them know what you want to achieve and be all ears to any good advice and feedback that the supplier can give you.

Do not try to control the supplier too much – if you are unsure of the plan, ask them to explain.

7. One step at a time
Avoid trying to do everything at once. Running several projects simultaneously will increase the complexity and can lead to devastating consequences.

Instead, create a plan with a chain of smaller activities that you can each finish before starting the next one.

8. Do not cut back on the wrong things
Do not try to cut back on consultation or education – and be generous when setting a deadline.

Be prepared to adjust the deadline along the way if you feel that your needs and demands have changed – this is normal.

Always try to assign the most suitable person to a specific task. It could be you, an employee, or one of the supplier’s consultants.

The question is not whether you are able to do something yourself – but rather if you should.

9. Realize that a mobile system won’t solve all your problems
A mobile system will in most cases help you to gain more control over your organization and save you heaps of time and money.

But remember – a mobile system is not the solution to all of your problems.

Have a reasonable level of ambition and expectation, and accept that you will have to work with other problems.

10. Plan for the future
Invest in a solution that can be developed along with the development of your company.

The world is changing and we cannot predict what the future holds – you might need to change some things within your company, and mobile solutions technologies are developing fast.

This makes it crucial to choose the right system for your company.

A good advice is to avoid customized systems as much and as long as possible.

Mikael Nilebacke is Managing Director and co-founder of Erisma Technologies, a leading mobile business solutions company based in Scandinavia. 

The core business of Erisma is Mobigo, a mobile solution for mobile field service management, time tracking, log books, check lists and inspections etc. that makes reporting and other tasks more efficient.

Nilebacke has more than 15 years of experience in the field of mobile solutions.

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Ndukwe Reveals Secret of MTN’s Dominance Of Nigeria’s Telecoms Space



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Dr Ernest Ndukwe, Erstwhile Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has been speaking on why foremost telecommunications services provider, MTN, has continued to dominate the Nigerian telecom space like a colossus.

Ndukwe, speaking on Tuesday as a guest at the Virtual Digital Africa VIP Leadership Series powered by Digital Africa, organisers of the annual Digital Africa Conference & Exhibitions, noted that three factors – strong financial position, good management and discipline in terms of managing resources, separate MTN from the rest of the pack.

“I think it is important to say that MTN is a particularly disciplined company right from its roots; it has always been a well-run organization. It has not had the board squabbles of its competitions. Since the first board of MTN (Nigeria), some of the board members just retired last year (2019). Meanwhile, their competitions have had various owners, various quarrels, and various issues,” he said.

Ndukwe, who is the Chairman of MTN Nigeria Board, said that nobody can be blamed for this position as the way organisations manage their affairs translates to the kind of position they occupy in the business environment.

“One thing that people don’t know also is that for the first five years of existence of MTN in Nigeria, it did not pay dividends to its shareholders. They recognized the importance of scale and were pumping in all the earnings, all the profits into building networks. They started building their own microwave links; they started building their own fibre optic links all across the country because it’s a matter of planning.

“Let it be said that technology changes, the best company today might not be the best company tomorrow. A few years ago, Facebook was not on the reckoning but today, is a much bigger company. People might not make it in terms of telecommunications service delivery because in certain countries, there is actually a certain number after which the market gets saturated. There are opportunities in the technology space; all that is needed is for operators to discover them and leverage.

“When Zoom started, no person knew it was going to scale to the level it has now reached; thanks to Coronavirus. People should continue to look for opportunities and niche markets and go there because that’s where they can scale. There are many companies that are doing very well in the financial technology space in the country too.”

Dr. Ndukwe also talked about NITEL, 5G, the Stock Market, companies he admires in Nigeria and the concept of a single African Telecoms network.

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Danbatta Inaugurates Evaluation Committee for 2020 Research Proposals



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Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, executive vice chairman and chief executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has inaugurated a 15-member Evaluation Committee for the assessment of the 2020 Telecommunications based research from Academics in the Nigerian tertiary institutions.

The Committee, chaired by Prof. Mu’azu Bashir, a professor of Computer and Control Engineering and Head of Computer Engineering Department at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria was inaugurated at the Commission’s Head Office in Abuja on Wednesday, September 24, 2020.

Speaking during the inauguration, Danbatta said that the initiative speaks to the Commission’s commitment towards encouraging the development of indigenous innovative solutions that impact not only the Telecom industry/ICT sector positively but also the nation as a whole.

“We want to continuously support research projects that can lead to the development of new products and services in the industry as the key enabler of the nation’s digital economy.

“We are all aware of the appreciable contributions of the Nigerian Telecommunication sector to the growth of our GDP (Gross Domestic Product) over the years, which peaked at 14.53 per cent in second quarter of 2020,” he said.

Danbatta, stated that the Commission understands that funding Research and Development (R&D) is fundamental to ensuring that the needs of consumers are properly anticipated and met while enabling sustainable economic growth, adding that the Digital Economy-based Research Innovations project underlines the importance of funding R&D.

According to the EVC, for the year 2020, the request for proposals was tailored to providing innovations and solving challenges in five emerging areas of technology.

“These include innovative clean energy technology; 5G deployment in Nigeria; Internet of Things (IoT), low power Wide Area Network (WAN) technology; advanced methods of Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) management and test mechanism as well as monitoring and localisation of drones.

“While emphasising the importance of telecommunication/ICT industry to innovative developments and transformations within the economy, Danbatta tasked members of the Committee to thoroughly evaluate all submissions in order to sieve, identify and select the best from the proposals submitted.

“Members of this Committee have been carefully selected from the Academia, related government institutions and the industry based on their pedigree.

“I have no doubt in my mind that you will carry out the assignment to the highest acceptable standards,” the EVC said.

The Committee is expected to carry out the assignment and submit its report within four (4) weeks from the day of inauguration.


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FG Awards Cash Prizes Worth N16.5m to Winners 0f Nigeria @ 60 Challenge



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The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, has awarded prizes worth N16.5million to nine Nigerians who emerged winners of the Nigeria @60 Independence Challenge.

It could be recalled that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR approved an inclusive National Independence Day Celebration programme with the theme: “Together at 60,” where it called on creative Nigerians to choose brand and come up with elements that will beautify the anniversary.

The Sub-Committee, chaired by Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), minister of Communications and Digital Economy,  launched the challenge Portal on Friday, 4th September, 2020, with the aim of providing opportunity for talented, critical thinking and creative individuals or teams to produce the event slogan, photograph, and a poem.

The Jury, made up of Directors from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), evaluated the submissions based on the relevance to the theme, originality, creativity, impact and mode of presentation.

During the evaluation, a total of 3,258 entries were received, out of which 1,931 Slogan, 638 Poetry, and 689 Photography entries were submitted.

While presenting the Awards and Prizes, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and Chairman of the 60th Independence Celebration Sub-Committee, Dr Pantami said that the competition was meant to create a platform for all Nigerians to participate in the diamond jubilee anniversary.

He said “Federal Government provided this opportunity for Nigerians to choose their brand and harness the power of creative minds to create other elements that will form the brand of the anniversary.

Dr Pantami congratulated the winners and charged those that participated to continue utilising their skills for the betterment of themselves and Nigeria at large, adding that “the nation will be proud of them”.

He said the Diamond Anniversary which is will last till September 30, 2021 is a period for Nigeria to celebrate its unity.

He also commended the jury that worked day and night to ensure fairness during the selection of nine winners from each category of the competition.

Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), while delivering the welcome address, described the process as first of its kind, where citizens are engaged virtually to plan the celebration.

Abdullahi said that COVID-19 pandemic has brought another opportunity for Nigerians to celebrate 60 years anniversary in style.

The Chairman of the Independence Competition Judging Committee, Director, IT Infrastructure Solution, NITDA, Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi said the competition was meant to tap into the creative and innovative potential of the youths.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi- Esan represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Tope Fashedemi  commended the efforts of all participants, describing every Nigerian as a winner.

The outcome of the assessment saw the emergence of the following as second runners up: Sani Ibrahim (Slogan), Samson Mayor Emeka (Photography) and Umoru Patrick Eghiegbai (Poetry); first runners up Yusuf Muhammad Ahmad (Slogan), Leke Adebule and Team (Photography), and Mustapha Dauda Gwary (Poetry). The winners of the challenge are: Nwakuba Ezinne (Slogan), Amao Daniel Oluwadarisimi (Photography) and Kalu Rejoice Chioma (Poetry).

The winners were presented with awards and cash prizes in each category, with the second runners up getting One Million Naira each, first runners up One Million and Five Hundred Thousand Naira each, and the winners, Three Million Naira each, for their creativity and innovative contribution to the Diamond Jubilee Celebration.

The Diamond/Innovation/Change Sub-Committee is made up of Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as Chairman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Mallam Adamu Adamu, Honourable Minister Education and Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan, Head of Civil Service of the Federation as members, while DG NITDA, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, was later co-opted as member.


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