Nigerian Banks urged to undergo digital transformation

Nigerian Banks urged to undergo digital transformation

Nigerian banks have been urged by Cisco and Signal Alliance to undergo digital transformation.

Nigerian banks were recently met with Signal Alliance and Cisco. In the meeting the two companies showcased just how the banks can improve their operations and security to be  more efficient without spending above their budget.

Speaking at the Signal Alliance-Cisco business engagement session, Adegbola Adesina, Signal Alliance Director of Service Delivery said, “more companies continue to embrace mobility, cloud, analytics, and increase in custom built application on low bandwidth, consuming applications to digitize their businesses. These have made IT teams to struggle in their bid to keep up with the ever-increasing complexity of the network, sophistication of security attacks and growing end user’s expectations”.

This according to Adesina has led many organizations to spend huge sums of money acquiring new devices all in the name of upgrade which may not be necessary.

The Signal Alliance Digital Transformation event was well attended by leading banks in Nigeria. The bankers were shown by experts how their organizations can make do with what they already have, cut down on their IT spend and grow their services in a more secure environment to gain competitive advantage through process digitization.

The three presentations were made by industry experts. Yinka Adeosun of Signal Alliance spoke on Digital Network Transformation, Tomi Amao of Cisco demonstrated the new Cisco Security Integrated Architecture, while Kaecy Udumukwu presentation was on Digital Business Transformation.

During the presentations, participants were made to know that Cisco had realized that traditional networks simply could not scale to meet the increasing demands of the digital business. For this reason, a new network was needed for the digital business. A new network for the digital era. A network designed from the ground up to be flexible, programmable and open; while leveraging on and protecting existing investment.

 

Staff Writer

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NCC warns Nigerian telecoms over illegal spectrum usage

NCC warns Nigerian telecoms over illegal spectrum usage

NCC threatens telecoms companies who fail to comply with their frequency regulations.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has given telecoms companies who are illegally using a certain frequency spectrum 14 days to stop or risk facing sanctions.

The Commission highlighted that the use of any spectrum by telecoms companies who do not have the necessary licenses is criminal offence and could lead to heavy fines and decision makers could face imprisonment.

Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the NCC, particularly warned the all unauthorized users of 5.470-5.725 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum band to desist from doing so in order not to incur the wrath of the Commission.

“The Nigerian Communications Commission hereby informs the general public that the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.470 – 5.725 GHz frequency range is a licensed band in Nigeria,” Dambatta said.

Danbatta reiterated that the transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the band without a frequency license obtained from the NCC is illegal and shall not be tolerated.

He warned all concerned operators and companies or any person(s) using the band to note that it was a criminal offence pursuant to the section 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003 to operate on any frequency not duly assigned by the Commission. He added that “The Commission shall without further resources and upon expiration of the stipulated deadline commence appropriate enforcement action including but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used in the illegal transmission”.

Staff Writer

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Healthcare companies to improve care plan delivery to patients

Healthcare companies to improve care plan delivery to patients

Med-e-Mass partners with Datos Health to empower patient to take direct responsibility for their cost of care.

Med-e-Mass, a developer of management applications for the healthcare industry, has partnered with Datos Health, developer of a Patient-Generated Health Data (PGHD) management solution, to link care plan incentives to a patient’s remote health progress, thereby empowering the patient to take direct responsibility for their cost of care.

The approach of integrating insurers within the monitoring process alongside a patient and their doctor is anticipated to significantly improve patient engagement while delivering enhanced care at a lower cost.

Datos’ proprietary technology aims to help health care organisations, care teams and patients better manage PGHD on a large scale at a fraction of current costs, eliminating the need for costly call centres. Cutting-edge data validation and automated care processes ensure that only reliable and relevant PGHD emitted by any wearable medical monitoring device is seamlessly incorporated into the clinical workflow, enhancing decision support with no additional effort. The platform also increases patient engagement and automatically optimises care plans with the use of a personalised messenger bot.

The Datos platform is currently transforming the digital capabilities of leading healthcare organisations in the U.S. and Israel. This partnership activates Datos’ first large-scale implementation in South Africa involving the care of patients with chronic conditions.
“We are delighted to partner with Med-e-Mass. Their forward-thinking approach to involve insurers, patients and physicians under one health management platform will greatly improve the management of chronic conditions and reduce associated costs,” said Uri Bettesh, CEO & Founder, Datos Health.

“Our partnership with Datos will enable us to provide a new approach to personalise care plans for better patient management,” said Gideon Brits, Managing Director, Med-e-Mass. “Using Datos’ automated PGHD platform, we will expand our capability to manage a complete health profile on a large scale.”

Staff Writer

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Ex-Google engineer builds $1.5 billion startup in 21 months

Ex-Google engineer builds $1.5 billion startup in 21 months

Colin Huang

Colin Huang belongs to a rarefied cohort of Chinese entrepreneurs who launched their careers in Silicon Valley and then returned home to start successful tech companies. Huang, an ex-Google engineer who worked on early search algorithms for e-commerce, is already on his fourth and most ambitious startup.

Pinduoduo, or PDD, is a kind of Facebook-Groupon mashup that Huang believes could revolutionize e-commerce. PDD just raised more than $100 million, according to people familiar with the matter, valuing the company at more than 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) less than two years after its founding. Huang, featured in the latest episode of the Decrypted podcast (subscribe here), is one reason China has created as many $1 billion startups this year as the U.S.

SoundCloud: Son of Chinese Factory Workers Built This $1.5 Billion Startup by Bloomberg

The idea behind PDD is simple enough. Typically shoppers know what they want before they get online. A person goes to, say, Amazon or Alibaba, plugs in a keyword and then picks out what they want after sorting through a few options or reviews. Huang’s idea is to give shoppers an experience more like spending a day at the mall with friends. You share ideas about what you like, get feedback from people you trust, maybe gossip a bit. Then, if you make purchases together, you get a discount.

It’s a twist on so-called social commerce, an idea that has been tried with little success in the U.S. For a time both Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. put buy buttons on the ads featured in a person’s newsfeed. The latter even offered a kind of currency called Facebook Credits. The tests were discontinued because most users don’t want to be solicited while hanging out with friends online.

Companies like PDD that start as shopping sites with a social component sometimes work better. Huang has wisely embedded his app in China’s ubiquitous messaging service WeChat, used for everything from social networking to mobile payments. To further entice users, he drew on his previous experience with a successful gaming apps and made sure PDD was fun to use. “A few companies have tried this before, but no one has really been able to do it,” says Huang, who sports a buzz cut and has an unrestrained laugh. “We felt we had a competitive advantage.”

So far, he looks to be right. Demand has exploded, prompting PDD to move into airy Shanghai offices where Huang expects to double his headcount to 1,000. PDD is now the largest private e-commerce company in China by sales volume and is closing in on Vipshop Holdings Ltd., the third-largest e-commerce player behind Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com Inc.

PDD’s rapid growth has led to some cases of botched deliveries and damaged merchandise, prompting complaints from unhappy customers. The bulk-buying business model has flopped elsewhere too, most famously with Groupon Inc. But Huang has had no trouble finding backers, raising his first round of venture money in 2015 and closing the latest in February. Zhen Zhang, whose Banyan Capital led the first round, was attracted by the simplicity of Huang’s concept. “He is taking advantage of people’s willingness to save money and tell their friends,” he says.

A Google Apprenticeship
Huang, 37, grew up in Hangzhou, now home to e-commerce pioneer Alibaba. His father, who never finished middle school, worked in a local factory along with his mother.

Colin was identified early as a bright child, and, at 12, got into the prestigious Hangzhou Foreign Language School. He found himself among the children of the local elite. He held his own among the brightest at his new school too, and the experience changed his life. “The middle school opened up my world,” he says.

Colin Huang’s blog on his high school and college experiences

Huang went on to study at Zhejiang University and then got a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin. One lesson he learned was the economics of internships. He says he earned about 6,000 yuan ($900) a month working at Microsoft Corp. in Beijing; he then did an internship at headquarters in the U.S. and made about $6,000 a month.

As he prepared to graduate in 2004, Huang faced a choice: He could join Microsoft, the absurdly profitable owner of the Windows and Office monopolies, or he could opt for Google, then an unproven search engine that hadn’t gone public yet. To the bafflement of many peers, he went with Google. “I chose Google for the uncertainty,” he says.

The search engine company did pretty well, of course. After a rocky IPO, profits rose and the stock soared. Though Huang was a minor shareholder, his net worth surged to several million dollars. He was also present at the creation of modern search, when Google was figuring out how to answer user queries online—and advertisers were learning how to market alongside those search results.

Huang moved back to China in 2006 when Google was trying to establish itself against local rival Baidu Inc. amidst heavy online censorship. Before long, Huang tired of flying to Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters, where he had to pitch even minor matters to founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The end came after he traveled to get them to sign off in person about changing the color or size of the Chinese characters shown in search results. It was time to move on. Huang resigned, leaving a slug of unvested options behind.

He started his first company in 2007, an e-commerce site called Ouku.com that sold consumer electronics and mobile phones. Revenues surged, but he realized Ouku.com was just one of thousands of similar sites and sold it in 2010. He had more success with his next ventures. The first, called Leqi, helps companies market their services on websites like Alibaba’s Taobao or JD.com. The second is a gaming company that offers role playing games over WeChat. Both took off and Huang found himself “financially free.”

Gaming Meets E-Commerce
Then he got sick. He caught an ear infection and struggled to sleep. He stopped going to the office, eventually deciding to retire in 2013 when he was just 33. “Once I stayed at home for several months, I got lazy,” he says. “So I stayed at home for a whole year and spent a lot of time thinking about what I should do.” He considered moving to the U.S. and opening a hedge fund.

Huang came up with the idea for PDD in part by watching China’s two top internet companies—e-commerce giant Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd., the dominant games company and owner of WeChat. Both are big, fast-growing and successful, but neither could penetrate the other’s business. “These two companies don’t really understand each other,” Huang says. “They don’t really understand how the other makes money.”

Huang and his team did. They had experience in both e-commerce and games, and were convinced there was an enormous opportunity in bringing the two worlds together. Huang raised $8 million from a group of investors led by Banyan in May 2015 and launched the app a few months later.

Most people use the PDD app within WeChat. You open up the messaging service on your phone, then click on PDD. The home screen has tabs for categories like food, clothes and bedding. Once you choose a category, you get a vertical list of products you can scroll through, say lychee or apples in fruits.

The app has the feel of a game, with colorful photos and hidden bargains. Deals change every day and, as you scroll through a category, the discounted price is shown below the image. You click on an image of mangos at 34.8 yuan for eight and find the price is 39.9 yuan if you buy alone. To get the discount, you have to find a friend to join in the purchase. Because you’re already on WeChat, you can instantly pitch others.

The motivation can be compelling. Recently, a track suit in red, white or black was on sale at 48 yuan for a single purchase. You can click a button and pay 29.8 yuan if you say a friend will join. That sends shoppers off in search of friends willing to participate. If you can’t find another buyer, you get a refund. Ren Shuying, a Beijing accountant, is a dedicated user. “I check it out every day and chat about products with friends,” Ren says. “I’ve bought all sorts of products—things to eat or wear.”

With usage increasing, PDD raised about $100 million in 2016, giving the company the resources to attract more merchants and customers. The total amount of goods sold on the platform, or gross merchandise value, went from 100 million yuan a month in early 2016 to 4 billion yuan a month now, Huang says. That puts PDD just behind Vipshop, a flash sale website that trades on the New York Stock Exchange with a market value of more than $8 billion. “We think we will pass them in the next 12 to 18 months,” Huang says, his PR handler shifting nervously nearby.

Huang sees PDD as a way to create a richer retail experience for both shoppers and merchants. Customers learn from friends about products or services they love. Producers have the opportunity to customize for small groups of buyers online and innovate in ways that were impossible before. Merchants can also cut out retailers and get more direct feedback from customers.

Blue Moon, one of China’s biggest producers of laundry detergent, said sales have surged on PDD since it began working with the app in September. They now total 10 percent of the company’s online revenue, about the same as on JD.com. Xu Hongyuan, a Blue Moon manager, forecasts that will rise to about 15 percent by the end of the year with more promotions, though still short of the 60 percent on Tmall.

It’s not clear whether Huang can realize his vision without fixing customer service; PDD generated more complaints last year on the website of China E-Commerce Research Center than Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall combined, even though those sites are far larger. “They put too much attention on growth,’’ said Cao Lei, director of the Hangzhou-based center. “They grew too fast and their management and service mechanism lagged behind.’’On a sunny morning this month, Huang took two visitors on a tour of his offices in Shanghai to show what the company is doing to address customer complaints. There are rows of desks where 200 of his 700 employees work on quality control. Mail is stacked high and enormous sacks are stuffed with returned shoes, clothes and electronics. If a customer gripes about poor quality or counterfeit goods, PDD will collect evidence and take up the issue with sellers. “The rules we’re applying to merchants on the platform is very strict,” he says. Recently, PDD has taken steps against merchants who sell fake goods — and been hit with fierce pushback. “They even sent some people to our office in the middle of the night to threaten our employees,” he says. “They also chase our employees back to their homes and threaten their wives and kids.” PDD now has guards at the front of its offices.PDD also fines merchants for fumbling deliveries. A spokeswoman for PDD said all the fines go into coupons customers can use to shop on the site.

PDD’s backers remain loyal. Duan Yongping, the billionaire founder of smartphone makers Oppo and Vivo, got to know Huang just as he started working at Google in California and the two have remained close. Duan said he backed PDD and other Huang ventures because he understands the importance of customers. “Most entrepreneurs focus on growth, profits and expansion and forget about the users,'” Duan says. “He is doing an excellent job.”

Betty Wang, a director at Advantech Capital, was convinced there was an opportunity to invest in fresh produce websites and checked out more than 20 startups before focusing on PDD. Then she tried using PDD as a consumer, alerting her friends on WeChat that she wanted to buy a box of green kiwis. Five people joined her group and they all got a discount. “Using WeChat was a very smart method of reaching people,” she says.

Huang is aiming high, but he’s unlikely to spend the rest of his life on PDD. He says he has two role models: Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of Singapore, and Benjamin Franklin. He admires Lee for leading a poor city-state into the modern age. As for Franklin, Huang marvels at how many different things he accomplished in his life. “He retired from business at the age of 40. He became a scientist and a politician,” Huang says, as the sun sets over Shanghai. “That is a genuine life.”

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Google parent Alphabet revs up revenue, profit

Google parent Alphabet revs up revenue, profit

Google

Google parent Alphabet on Thursday reported strong gains in quarterly results, beating most market forecast despite rising costs for its “moonshot” efforts.

Alphabet reported a 29 percent jump in quarterly profit to $5.4 billion, while revenue jumped 22 percent compared with a year ago to $24.75 billion.

“Our excellent results represent a terrific start to 2017,” chief financial officer Ruth Porat said.

“We clearly continue to benefit from our ongoing investments in product innovation and have great momentum in our new businesses across Alphabet.”

The Google segment delivered the overwhelming majority of revenues for the company — or $24.5 billion.

The so-called “other bets,” which include smart home devices, self-driving cars and life sciences, took in $244 million in revenue but delivered an operating loss of $855 million, Alphabet said.

The stronger-than-expected results helped lift Alphabet shares more than four percent in after-hours trade on Wall Street.

The results did not appear to show a major impact of an ad boycott of Google’s YouTube earlier this year after revelations that programmed ads were placed alongside videos showing hateful content.

Porat told a conference call that “YouTube revenues continued to grow at a significant rate driven primarily by video advertising.”

Overall ad revenues for Google rose 19 percent to $21.4 billion in the quarter.

Google has promised new efforts to match advertisers with appropriate content, using artificial intelligence, in response to complaints.

Sundar Pichai, chief of Google, cited “fantastic momentum” for a variety of products including its Google Assistant, the smart home device that competes with Amazon’s Alexa-powered speakers.

Pichai said the device is one element in a strategy focusing on artificial intelligence, or machine learning.

“Advances in machine learning are helping us make many Google products better,” he said.

– A patient approach –

Company co-founder and chief executive Larry Page said in a letter to shareholders Thursday he is pleased with the direction under the new corporate structure, which separates Google from its “moonshot” operations.

“With the change to Alphabet, oversight has been easier because of increased visibility,” he wrote.

“We have streamlined efforts where it made sense and in other areas we have seen places to double down. I also think we have learned a lot about how to set up new companies with a structure for success.”

Page added that “we are taking a patient approach to investing our capital, especially significant uses. We’re not going to invest if we don’t see great opportunities and we feel like our track record for picking some important efforts long before others is pretty good.”

He said the company is benefitting from efforts on artificial intelligence developed by the Google Brain and DeepMind operations.

“We were early in machine learning and are already seeing significant dividends coming out,” he said.

“Many of the Alphabet companies are already using this technology and are planning to use it even more.”

He said he and co-founder Sergey Brin “are having a good time looking for new opportunities and managing and scaling our existing efforts.”

Under its new structure, Alphabet is seeking to expand beyond its role as a search engine that provides advertising linked to queries.

Last year, Google took on rivals Apple, Samsung and Amazon in a new push into hardware, launching premium-priced, in-house designed Pixel smartphones and a slew of other devices showcasing artificial intelligence (AI) prowess.

The group also is selling its Google Assistant which aims to compete with Amazon’s Alexa-powered devices as a hub for the smart home, and has been working to become the platform for some connected cars.

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Samsung, Apple keep top spots in smartphone market

Samsung, Apple keep top spots in smartphone market

Samsung announced Monday that a voice-powered digital assistant named “Bixby” will debut with a flagship Galaxy S8 smartphone set to be unveiled by the South Korean consumer electronics giant. Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Samsung and Apple maintained their leadership in the smartphone market in early 2017 while Chinese-based Huawei’s strong growth cemented its number three position, a market tracker said Thursday.

Research firm IDC said overall smartphone shipments grew 4.3 percent in the first quarter, slightly better than its prior forecast, to 347 million units.

“The first quarter smartphone results further prove that the smartphone industry is not dead and that growth still exists,” said IDC analyst Ryan Reith.

“There is no question that 2016 was a pivotal year for the industry as growth dipped to low single digits for the first time. However, we believe the industry will show some rebound in 2017, and the strong first quarter results certainly support this argument.”

Reith said the 2017 market will feel the impact of the new Samsung Galaxy S8 flagship handset, and a widely expected announcement from Apple for its new iPhone later this year.

According to the survey, Samsung led the market in the first quarter with a 22.8 percent share to 14.9 percent for Apple, with little growth for the top two vendors.

But Huawei’s sales jumped 21.7 percent to give it a 9.8 percent share, and fellow Chinese makers Oppo and Vivo, the number four and five vendors, respectively, also boosted their sales.

IDC said the bulk of smartphone growth is likely to come from low-cost handset makers.

“Although we have seen an abundance of premium redesigned flagships that just entered the market, moving forward, we still expect most of the growth to come from more affordable models in a variety of markets,” said IDC’s Anthony Scarsella.

“Despite all the popularity and media hype around premium devices, we continue to witness a shift in many companies’ portfolios geared towards affordable devices with premium-type styling compared to flagship models.”

He added that makers “have started to implement a single premium design language that ultimately blurs the lines between the high-end and the low-end, allowing the average consumer to jump on the brand without a hefty upfront investment.”

The report is based on preliminary quarterly estimates, with Apple due to report sales figures next week.

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NMB bank launches online interactive support centre

NMB bank launches online interactive support centre

NMB bank now has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp for feedback purposes.

NMB Bank has launched an interactive support centre, while also launching itself onto social media, providing customers with several means of interacting with the bank and obtaining information and assistance online.

The bank now has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WhatsApp for feedback purposes. Existing and potential customers can now contact the bank using any of these means or through an online support portal, Mr Lionel Chinyamutangira, NMB’s chief banking officer, said.

“The portal, which can be accessed by visiting http://onlinesupport.nmbz.co.zw, enables customers to chat with a bank representative in real time or leave their enquiry. They can track progress on query resolution on the portal,” said Mr Chinyamutangira.

“One can choose to be a once off user by simply logging in a query or be a regular user by signing up, which then gives one the added functionality of tracking status on query resolution,” he said.

When the query has been resolved customers can rate how satisfied they were with the bank’s response.

The support centre also provides answers to a range of frequently asked questions, which enables clients to obtain help quickly.

“This portal allows customers sitting anywhere in the world to log in an enquiry with the bank and track progress on its resolution. It allows them to rate our service in query resolution, thus enabling us to service our clients better,” Mr Chinyamutangira said.
He emphasised the importance the bank attaches to feedback from clients, as it enables the bank to continuously improve its service and ensure it meets their expectations.

“We believe we have a lot to learn from our clients by capturing their feedback on service experience. We, therefore, encourage all our stakeholders to get social with us through WhatsApp, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook,” he said.

As part of its launch of its social media pages, the bank is offering an opportunity to win a prize to those who tag 10 friends to like or follow the NMB Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn pages. If all 10 friends like the NMB social pages, then the person who tagged them is entered in a draw.

Prizes to be won include HIFA 2017 tickets for two, NMB t-shirts, caps, tote bags and pens. There are 20 prizes to be won each day. The competition runs from 26 April to 26 May 2017.

Staff Writer

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The Demanding Marketing Profession – How It Can Led To Build-Up Of Stress

The core of a successful business depends on efficient marketing. The marketing process includes public relations, advertising, promotions and sales. In this process, your brand gets introduced and promoted to potential consumers.

Even if your product or services are the best in your niche, no potential consumer will know that it exists without marketing. Sales can crash and your company can get shut down, if marketing is ignored.

Marketing professionals feel burnt-out because their stress level increases due to excessive workload. More than half of the UK marketers report that they currently involved in weekly overtime of minimum 5 hours.

 

Demanding career as marketer

Today, marketers need to not only look for a market, but also develop the demand for their products and services across the globe, as well as take up their personal responsibilities such as parenting. This has stressed them completely.

Marketing industry seems to lag behind in determining flexible working hours into a reality. Companies ignore the fact that their employees have to undergo unnecessary stress, while they juggle with a demanding career along with other commitments.

Therefore, several marketers make use of marijuana to help them with stress. In the US, the use of medical marijuana is totally legal across a number of states. Many experts also agree that it can help in stress management for marketers.

Some of the stressed marketers pursue marketing because of their passion rather than a hefty salary and career progression. They feel good to perform something they love and give them job flexibility. However, their employers and industry needs to nurture their passion by not ignoring their need for extra staff.

 

Leadership team suffer

High anxiety level is caused because they have to focus on different rapidly moving elements ranging from brand awareness and content creation to promotion and customer satisfaction.

To get relieved from stress and anxiety level, here are some tips on stress management for marketers.

 

Proving your value  

Marketers are probably the ones who struggle the most in companies, in many instances they do not get proper cooperation from production and operation teams. It is very stressful and frustrating in such environment.

Luckily, technologies allow the automation of marketing process. Every marketing initiative can be monitored and measured. They can confidently make sure that any specific campaign exceeded expectations.

 

Struggling multiple marketing tasks –

Small company marketers find it difficult to handle the amount and variety of workload. Marketing needs include social marketing, email program, lead generation, copywriting, design, and more, which are handled by a single professional or a small team.

Incorporating all these tasks in a single marketing automation system, helps them get more fluidity in every project. It also saves substantial time.

Both the above stressors can be handled with appropriate technology solutions.

 

Overconfidence

There are some marketers, who believe they possess great marketing skills, but in reality, they don’t. This kind of overconfidence can create high stress levels. Inability to deliver due to overconfidence and ignorance can lead to stress build up. They also struggle to get promotions.

Stress, if unattended can lead to many other health disorders and some can be life threatening as well. Thus, one must not allow it to overtake their lives and maintain a healthy lifestyle and work/life balance.

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Power crisis: Eaton to introduce energy storage inverters

Power crisis: Eaton to introduce energy storage inverters

As a means of aggregating and redistributing energy to where it is needed most, Eaton International Industries Nigeria Limited, has concluded plans to introduce energy storage inverters that will absorb idle energy for further distribution.

Called the X-Storage technology, the inverter is based on lutetium battery, a second generation set used in electric cars, which optimises energy from multiple sources like the grid, generating sets, or solar.

The product is particularly noveau, in view of Nigeria’s peculiar power situation in which estimated 40 per cent is lost to technical glitches. Speaking more about the product with The Guardian on Tuesday, in Lagos, the Managing Director, Eaton Electronic (S.A.) Pty. Ltd., Seydou Kane, explained that the product, is one of its power solutions for Nigeria.

He said: “Our solution is to match need with competitive products in line with international standards aimed at maintaining safety and efficiency of the system.”The X-Storage which will be ready for purchase from the shelves in September, is a hybrid battery management system that determines which source of energy to pick from and which to distribute when idle.

Kane, who is responsible for leading Eaton’s Electrical Sector team throughout Africa, and driving its ambitious growth strategy in Nigeria, insisted that despite the tough time, the power solutions company is committed to adding value to the nation’s power sector, particularly along the line of distribution.

He noted that Nigeria’s energy problem is a mix that requires a lot of solutions to fill the gaps. To this end, Eaton’s Sales Director, Africa, Malvin Naicker, clarified that the company is adopting a segmented approach to its solutions for the Nigerian market in view of scarce resources. “We picked key segments in key areas of the energy value chain that will present the best value for the people,” he added.

He told The Guardian that the new energy storage technology will provide solution for off-grid and micro-grid system, which looks to how speed up power supply to those in the rural areas. “We engage partners to bring in different models based on usage,” he added

With regard to its operations, since opening shop in Nigeria, Eaton’s Product Manager, Oluwatosin Omodayo, said the company has recorded appreciable successes in the areas of power distribution components, data centres and IT Channels, fire and safety, cooling devices and other power management related solutions.

Meanwhile, Kane disclose that Eaton is still in talks with the regulatory authorities for the energy storage inverters, while also discussing with the distribution companies on aggregation with a view to determining what capacities to deploy.

Eaton is a power management company that provides energy-efficient solutions that helps its customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably.

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Why consumers continue to experience poor Internet services, by NCC

Why consumers continue to experience poor Internet services, by NCC

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta.

• Nigeria needs 80, 000 base stations

For Nigerians to enjoy superb Internet services, the country needs at least 70,000 to 80,000 telecommunication base transceiver stations (BTS).The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, who made this known at a sitting of the House Representatives’ Ad Hoc Committee investigating the health implications of mounting telecommunications masts close to building, yesterday in Abuja, said the country currently has less than 50,000 base stations.

The implication of a fewer BTS is that apart from the country not been able to compete with other countries in terms of rolling out services such as 4G, 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), among others, subscribers will continue to groan under poor quality of service.

Nigeria currently has over 230 million connected lines with 155 million active.Presenting a document titled: ‘Universal Access: The inevitable bridge for inclusive development’, Jinmi Oluanuiga, a member of the National Broadband Council, at a USPF organised forum in Lagos in 2016, revealed that already, about 14, 222 of the industry towers are owned by IHS, while 1,300 belong to Helios Towers of Nigeria.

Oluanuiga disclosed that while IHS directly owned 4000 towers, MTN, 9,151 and Etisalat, 2,136 (are under IHS control). Airtel has 4,800, which is under American Towers’ supervision, while Globacom controls its own BTS.

Explaining further, Danbatta said: “3G, 4G going to 5G networks are going to usher this country into smart applications, the IoT or the smart world and cities we are talking about. And of course because of the additional burden on infrastructure, the present capacity of telecom infrastructure is grossly inadequate to cater for these additional platforms or services we talk about.”

On concerns about health implications to exposure to electromagnetic field, Danbatta said researches so far conducted in the area have not indicated any adverse health concerns.

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