In this exclusive chat with MobileWorld, the vivacious Managing Director Ephraim IT, Mrs Dele Williams says cloud computing must be embraced by all. She believes that opportunity should be given to people keen on improving on their skills. She shares on her company’s strategic alliance with Oracle. Excerpts….
What are your unique services at Ephraim IT, do you think you are fulfilling the vision of being the customers’ first choice for IT delivery in subs Sahara Africa and recognized as the provider per excellence of IT solutions?
Ephraim IT is a boutique IT Consulting firm, we enable business changes for our clients. We pride our self in our chosen areas which include, Implementation & Integration of solutions, Management Information Reporting, Support & Maintenance contracts and even bug standard fixes as client desires.
Our vision of being customers’ first choice for IT delivery in sub-Sahara Africa is still a few years away but we are progressing towards its attainment. Provider per excellence of IT solutions is here and I hope our clients can attest to this.
What are your views on cloud computing? Do you think Nigerians have come to embrace it totally, with some quarters still raising eyebrows on its firewalls?
Cloud Computing is the way the world over is going, so in order not to be left too far behind we on this side of the Atlantic must embrace cloud computing. The reality is that whether Nigerians know it or not we are very well on our way to embracing it, given the way we are glued to Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Google and such forth. The issue with us Nigerians is that we may not be aware that these technologies, which is fast becoming second nature to us, is based on some element of cloud computing or the other. No least is how the tons of data generated on most of these application Platforms are stored in the cloud.
Could you share on your strategic alliances over the years, especially with Oracle?
Our strategic alliance over the years has been to leverage on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in Partnership to deliver services to the client. We are an Oracle Gold Partner, playing in the Enterprise Resource Planning & Database Technology quadrant. Now that Cloud Computing has started to gain ground, we took the first in line approach working with Oracle to pass on this parable to Sub Sahara Africa as a whole.
How robust is your clientele list. What are your intentions on expanding outside Sub Sahara Africa?
Our clientele list is varied, privately owned and public liability companies too. Industries we have served include Oil & Gas, Manufacturing and Financial Investment in Nigeria. Information Technology consultancy can be transposed across size and /or industry and even Borders. Our willingness to enter strategic alliances enables us to deliver on large and diverse projects. Our Intention is to utilize the opportunity of the West African ICT week to spread our wings into other West Africa countries & further afield into Sub Sahara Africa.
Do you think Africa has gender inclinations when it comes to ICT/IT related businesses?
I would say yes & no…… Where a woman knows her onions, men would soon come to respect & accept her wholeheartedly, even if perhaps they had doubts in the initial stages. Worthy of note also is that, Information Technology has many aspects to it, some I dare say, lend itself better to women than men by our very nature. So there you go; sky is really the limit.
What are your challenges and your best experiences on the job so far?
In a bizarre kind of way, one of my challenges in the IT industry in Nigeria is slow but surely becoming one of my best experiences as we progress in EphraimIT. Whereas there is a lot of IT skills gap in Nigeria, in comparison to other emerging economic giants as they are referred to; the MINT countries (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria &Turkey). What I am doing is IT skills capacity building on our projects. We seek out young graduates who can and want to apply themselves to IT. Expose them to the hands – on practical experience on our projects while shadowing more experienced consultants. At the same time give the opportunity to those that are keen to build up their skill set in trainings & exams too. A few come to us green and stay on and those who leave, are certified & qualified in one aspect of ERP or the other and can gain employment elsewhere.
How has life as an entrepreneur treated you?
As with everything in my life, I thank God for HIS providence. It is not a walk in the park in a time like ours to be an entrepreneur not with all the economic issues we are confronted with day in day out. One of the great rewards however, is that, I am doing what I love to do. I am keen to contribute my small quota; seeing IT enable businesses run better and a genuine interest in IT development growth in Nigeria & Sub Sahara Africa as a whole.
The number of Nigeria Facebook users now stands at over 7 million, up from 6 million in 2009. More than 15 per cent of people online in Nigeria are currently using the platform, compared to in Asia.