Google Nigeria offers business opportunity to dynamic Nigerian IT companies
Google Apps for Business, is Google’s suite of messaging (email, calendar, instant messaging, groups), collaboration (Google docs, sites, video for business) and security solutions (spam-filtering, virus protection, archiving, encryption) that brings simple and powerful communication tools to organizations of any size – all hosted by Google to streamline setup, minimize maintenance, and reduce IT costs. The solution will be customized for the business’ domain (e.g email@example.com).
It provides proven cost savings as Google’s web-based messaging and collaboration apps require no hardware or software and need minimal administration, creating tremendous time and cost savings for businesses. End users can use the familiar Microsoft Outlook interface for email, contacts and calendar as they transition to Gmail and Google Calendar. A leading research firm found that Google Apps is as little as 1/3 the total cost of competing solutions.
The solution also provides 50 times more storage than the industry average with each employee getting 25 GB for email storage, so they can keep important messages and find them instantly with built-in Google search. Gmail is designed so employees can spend less time managing their inboxes, and more time being productive. Time-saving features like message threading, message labels, fast message search and powerful spam filtering help employees work efficiently with high volumes of email. Google also guarantees that Google Apps will be available at least 99.9% of the time, so your employees are more productive and so you can worry less about system downtime. With synchronous replication, your data and activity in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Sites is simultaneously preserved in multiple secure data centers. If one data center is unable to serve your requests, the system is designed to instantly fall back to another data center that can serve your account with no interruption in service.
Google Nigeria is providing IT companies and technology entrepreneurs with the opportunity to become one of its authorized resellers to sell, customize and provide technical support services for Google Apps for Business. The opportunity will enable young IT entrepreneurs create new revenue streams for their businesses and become advocates of cloud computing in Nigeria.
According to Google’s Business Development Manager for English Speaking West Africa, Mrs. Lola Masha, “Google is looking to partner with upwardly mobile IT companies and entrepreneurs with a passion for technology and a strong interest in evangelizing IT solutions to Nigerian businesses. Cloud computing solutions make collaboration and information sharing easy, helping people connect more effectively and work more efficiently. This is a unique opportunity for forward looking businesses to be a part of the new enterprise paradigm of real-time business collaboration and information sharing in the clouds.”
Google has worked with a number of IT companies in Nigeria that have helped companies make the transition to Google Apps for Business. One of such companies is Descasio Limited, a Nigerian cloud solutions provider. According to the firm’s founders, Dele Nedd and Femi Olugbesan, “Google Apps has been instrumental in growing Descasio’s business. The channel support given to its partners is solid. The Google Apps platform is mature and the Google Apps marketplace creates a wealth of opportunities to up-sell vertical cloud based solutions to our growing customer base. We have deployed Google apps to a range of companies in Nigeria and Ghana in the public and private sector ranging from manufacturing, auto-sales and maritime companies to financial institutions. West Africa and Africa as a whole is poised for explosive growth in the IT services sector. With up to four submarine cables active in Nigeria by the end of the year, there hasn’t been a better time for companies in this region to tackle the infrastructure challenges they grapple with by leveraging cloud technologies.”
Another company, Upperlink Limited has also worked with Google as an authorised apps reseller with favorable reviews. According to the company’s General Manager in charge of Production, Mr. Festus Ugwu, “current trends already show that cloud computing is the wave of the future and as more and more businesses realize this, young Nigerian IT firms can brace themselves for more developments within the cloud computing space. Google Apps makes it possible for us to get anywhere, anytime with access to all the information we need to run our business at a cheaper cost. Our clients are drawn from all fields such as education, production and architecture among others. It is very easy to deploy with its vastly improved service via plug-and-play integration with Google’s suite of productivity apps.”
Currently, over 3 million businesses have ‘gone Google’ globally and an estimated 3,000 new businesses sign-up for the service daily. In addition, Nigerian companies serious about competing favorably in the 21st century marketplace are increasingly embracing Google Apps, empowering their employees with collaboration tools to improve their level of productivity.
Mr. Babatunde Fajemirokun, GM Technology Transformation at AIICO Insurance Plc., a leading insurance company in Nigeria that recently went Google said “the impact of Google apps on email, collaboration and calendaring at AIICO has been transforming to say the least. Information dissemination has improved between customers, employees, agents and partners. Productivity on projects has been revolutionary with Documents, Sites and Google Talk. Team members work seamlessly between sites/ branches and with partners across zones sharing plans, project updates et al. It has also reduced spam to nearly 99% and indirectly bandwidth usage and support requirements. Collaboration suites are critical tools for business. A business is about strategy, operating, financing and investing. While investment in technology is a key requirement, I do not believe you should break the bank to provide it for operations. Google Apps for Business provides collaboration suites using SaaS, IaaS with impressive security in Postini, allowing a technology department to focus on value creating projects (discretionary spend). It basically frees your mind from the headache of onsite solutions.”
Nigerian IT entrepreneurs/businesses interested in partnering with Google are advised to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating their interest. Preference would be given to young emerging companies with a global outlook, a strong culture of professionalism, deep knowledge of on-premise messaging technology and a familiarity with Google products. You can also find more information at www.google.com/a.