Exclusive Interview with MD of Oracle Nigeria

Bayo Sanni, Managing Director of Oracle Nigeria

Accra, November 23, 017//-The Managing Director of Oracle Nigeria, Bayo Sanni explained to the Editor-In-Chief of African Eye Report, Masahudu Ankiilu Kunateh how Oracle is changing lives in Africa with bespoke IT solutions.

The interview was facilitated by the Manager, Corporate Communications  for Oracle South Africa & Sub Saharan Africa.

Read the Q and A below

Q: How do Oracle’s solutions or applications drive digital economy in Nigeria and Africa?

A: Countries must accelerate their digital growth to remain competitive in this global village. The latest Digital Evolution Index, developed by The Fletcher School at Tufts University in Massachusetts, puts Nigeria in the Break Out Countries bucket which means we have a relatively low score for digital evolution but we have the potential to become a strong digital economy.

Oracle offers a comprehensive and fully integrated stack of applications and platform services that allows governments and organizations to modernize their processes, to foster innovation and agility and transform their business practices for operational excellence.

Q: Do these solutions or applications change lives? Are there examples to show?

A: One that readily comes to mind is how by leveraging Oracle solution, the federal government has been able to check the problem of Ghost Workers and has been able to save billions of Naira making the money available to government to provide better services to citizens.

Take another example, an organization uses Oracle applications and associated Oracle technologies to manage collection, processing, marketing and distribution of agriculture and food products thereby achieving greater operational, supply chain and business efficiencies.

Q: How being the relationship between Oracle and other players in the ICT sector in Nigeria and Africa?

A: The relationship has been cordial. We work with other OEMs and players in the ICT sector to help drive digital innovation in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.

Q: In the face of energy crisis in Nigeria, what is Oracle doing to help the government address it?

A: This is not just a Nigerian problem. Around the world, utilities are under pressure due to citizens’ demand for energy. What the government needs to do is to invest in initiatives like Smart Grid and Smart Metering that add intelligence to the existing infrastructure.

Oracle offers utility experts, mission-critical software applications, a rock-solid operational software suite, and world-leading middleware and technology that can help address these challenges.

Q: What is Oracle doing differently to stand above the competition in the Nigerian and African ICT space?

A: Oracle has a team of local experts that are trained to look at global solutions and adapt it to our current realities. We believe that one size does not fit all. We also have dedicated local partners who have differentiated themselves in the market after going through one of our 120+ product and solution specialization. This way they can provide relevant solutions ready to this market.

This also helps us to create jobs and contribute in our own little way in developing the needed skills and expertise that is sometimes lacking in this part of the world.

Q: In your candid view, how do you see the ICT industry or sector in Nigeria or Africa? Is there a future for local tech firms?

A: There is a huge potential to do more in this space. However, looking at where we are today, we have practically leaped frog from where we used to be. Now we have local tech firms that develop world class application. We have locally developed apps like Truppr, a social tool that connects people to other people that are interested in making exercise a lifestyle. Also, there is Paystack a payment solution that helps Nigerian businesses accept payments from anyone, anywhere in the world.

It can only get better!

Q: Are you collaborating with fintech firms to develop financial products or services in Nigeria or Africa?

A: We work with a lot of Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in the financial services industry. Our ISV strategy is to help our partners architect, deploy and scale their commercial applications. This is done through solution development within a vibrant and dynamic ecosystem. This is coupled that with a scalable go-to-market strategy to ensure that they not only build world class applications but also get to market quickly, at scale.

Q: What is Oracle doing in Ghana?

A: Ghana is a strategic country to Oracle. Oracle has a regional office in Accra to further the company’s clouds portfolio expansion across the country as well as provide sales and consultancy service across the sub region.

Q: What are your advices to African governments relating to technology?

A: It is very simple. Without technology, there won’t be any sustainable development. Technology will give us a competitive edge. We need to start investing heavily in technology.

Q: What is your vision for the ICT industry in the next five years?

A: I believe that as technology becomes more pervasive, we will continue to see the need for quick adoption of new technologies amongst various industries. This adoption will drive disruption, innovation and fierce competition amongst many.

Collaboration, new partnerships amongst global and local vendors will boom, in the hope that the services and offerings made available in Nigeria, and beyond, allow for Africa to become a window to the world. Providing services unique to the challenges we face as a continent.

Nigeria’s government has a vision to be one of the largest economies of the world by 2020. To deliver this vision, it is important to ensure that there is a unified approach to driving digital adoption across the country, using innovative, accessible and modern tools to build a formidable digital economy in Africa.

Emerging technologies such as IoT will create the next industrial revolution, it will play a key role in how government agencies utilize data for better outcomes and significantly cut cost.

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