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Cloud services key to SME survival in Nigeria – Coker


Ayotunde Coker, managing director of Rack Centre a data centre operator has urged small and medium enterprises in the country to embrace cloud service in order to whether the storm of harsh operating environment in the country.

He added that it is not just SMEs that benefit from the cloud. “All of the corporates do. The oil and gas companies have to host data in Nigeria; government should host data in Nigeria. Now, we have the facilities that are as good as anywhere else in the world.

Coker who spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek in an interview said that: “the fundamentals are there that Rack Centre has what it takes to host cloud services here. Therefore, we are telling companies that you can now meet the regulatory requirements to host your data locally. We are making sure that the right bodies are aware that we are ready to host; not just co-location, but cloud services that are available for private, public or hybrid. When you host here, performance is better; because we are home-grown, you know how to easily reach us if there were issues to be dealt with. The entry points are comparable and reliable.

“I don’t believe Nigerians should accept substandard services because such product or service was home-grown. By that we will be embedding mediocrity. But if we have something that is validated by the whole world, our job is to make people aware of that.

“Coming back to SMEs; I am aware that we have to market to that segment, and the broader SMEs too. It will happen with time. We are making good progress in that regards too, working with global brands.

“For us, we are scaling; in the next six months the upper side of the data centre will come up stream. Next year the next building will be erected.

“The other thing is that we have most of the carriers connected to Rack Centre because we are carrier-neutral. About 27 IXPs are connected to Rack Centre. Every one of the five undersea cables is connected directly to Rack Centre. That means that every country on the Atlantic Coast in Africa is directly connected to Lagos. That is why I am saying we have the basic infrastructure in place which enables us to provide hosting services for both large and small cloud services consumers.

“For instance, there is no need for any University to build a small data centre or server room somewhere. If we deliver the cloud services to them, they can become more efficient at cheaper cost. A student can afford to buy a mobile phone and the data credit; you can as well buy some cloud services to help your studies,” he said.

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Ayotunde CokerRack Centre
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