MainOne has continued to push the boundaries for IT professionals in Nigeria from its inception with a 7,000km private submarine cable which changed the face of the Internet in West Africa, to the opening of a Tier 3 data centre in 2015. The leadership the company provides in changing the technology landscape is providing the fuel for digital disruption in Nigeria.
MainOne is building an arsenal of solutions to address the needs of business customers, including Internet connectivity, private line connectivity, data centre colocation services, cloud computing and managed security services and, during the past year, the company turned its focus to the small business segment as well with its SME-in-a-Box solution.
For the third year, MainOne has organised the Nerds Unite IT conference, Nigeria’s biggest customer event for networking and data centre professionals. The 2017 edition witnessed a convergence of IT professionals in Lagos, from the US, South Korea, Israel, South Africa and Kenya, to network and share ideas on the latest technology trends. The event also provided a platform for the company’s leading OEM partners such as Microsoft, Cisco and SAP to showcase their futuristic innovations and solutions.
The one-day programme delivered a wealth of content on best practices in connectivity, cloud, managed security, and small and medium Enterprise solutions and also had leading experts from MainOne and its partners, including Microsoft, Cisco, Radware, Signal Alliance, SAP, Huawei, and Samsung facilitate sessions to further enlighten the audience on these latest developments.
Delivering the keynote address on the future of content in Africa, Michuki Mwangi, regional development manager at the Internet Society (ISOC), emphasised the role of locally relevant content as the key to disruption and stimulating the demand for online services. Mwangi shared ISOC’s 80/20 vision for the Internet in Africa, stressing that by 2020, 80% of the African Internet traffic must be locally accessible, while 20% is international traffic. According to him, this will significantly increase participation of local operators, improve local content, increase value for Africa, and expedite Internet penetration on the continent.
Speaking during his presentation, principal group manager at Microsoft Roberto Di Bennedetto shared the company’s vision for a fully connected world enabled via cloud technology, describing it as a big shift from the traditional infrastructure dependent IT approach. He demonstrated Microsoft’s Hololens and Internet of Things with different examples of how such technologies could be applied in a mobile-first cloud world, in industries as varied as healthcare, technology, oil and gas, among others.
Other highlights included the executive panel session, where leading technology executives from Nigeria discussed how their companies were adopting disruptive solutions to grow their business. Speaking on disruption for customer facing businesses, vice president at Konga Adeyinka Aderombi said businesses need solutions to be optimised for mobile phones and highlighted his company’s use of Progressive Web Apps which has improved the performance of its website across devices and enables customers to access content on the Konga marketplace without incurring heavy data costs. According to him, mobile-first technologies are driven by cost effective cloud and reliable connectivity, and these have enabled Konga’s work in App development and ePayment deployment in Nigeria.
Drawn from MainOne’s customer base, Nerds Unite participants were visibly excited to try out various product demos and engage the experts from MainOne and its partner companies on how they could apply these solutions to their business.
For Aniedi Udobong, managing developer ecosystem, Sub-Sahara Africa, Google,MainOne’s Nerds Unite has remained West Africa’s flagship IT conference given its rich and stimulating content. Michuki Mwangi, regional development manager at the Internet Society (ISOC) also said he had been to a lot of IT events across the continent and observed that Nerds Unite was easily the biggest IT event he had seen, sponsored by a single company. He remarked that the Nigerian Internet ecosystem was proving stronger than most on the continent and he was impressed at MainOne’s ability to gather such momentum in only a few years of existence.