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SMEs urged to leverage tech to reduce COVID-19 impact

By Benjamin Alade
29 July 2020   |   3:47 am
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)have been urged to leverage technology tools to reduce the impact of COVID-19on their businesses.

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs)have been urged to leverage technology tools to reduce the impact of COVID-19on their businesses.

The need to embrace such tools was discussed at the unveiling of Konet, a wholly indigenous business collaboration tool that will help SMEs adapt to the new world of work instigated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Konet, which is owned by 21st Century, is Nigeria’s first owned collaboration tool, and a technology suite that empowers individuals, SMEs, start-ups and businesses to become more productive online.
Its features include but not limited to voice, video, live chat, file sharing with brand customisation.

The web virtual conferencing market size is currently worth about $12.58billion and estimated to reach $19.02 billion by 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6 percent.

Speaking during a virtual news conference to unveil the service, the founder and Chief Executive Officer, 21st Century Technologies Limited, WaleAjisebutu, said the platform is carefully designed to cater for the needs of SMEs and businesses, as they face the new normal occasioned by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking on what the company intends to achieve with the service, Ajisebutu said: “Our plan is to build an ecosystem to enable collaboration; most secure collaboration environment in businesses, add efficiencies to workflows and allow organizations make decisions quickly with customers, vendors and partners.”

He emphasized that Konet is a very secured platform with enterprise-grade security features and compliance standards to prevent data loss.

“Our ISO certifications make our top of the line globally; however, we’ve ensured that our services remain easily deployed and used by businesses. This will help Nigeria as a country to rebuild the damaged economy being caused by COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.

Konet Team Lead, Ibukun Femi-Ajala, said the service is targeted at corporates, transportation, retail, hospitality, educational institutions, governments, and individuals.

“With Konet’s seamless connectivity, brainstorming sessions with your teammates will be more productive. Konet is more than just a collaboration tool and will become a technology marketplace.We have decided to launch first and then introduce other key features and products in batches. Unquestionably, you will see some features of Konet another existing product which have been successful,” he said.

While Konet’s biggest challenge could be the conversion ratio from other collaboration platforms, Ibukun believes the effectiveness and features of the platform will distinguish it among its peers.

In his words: “Online collaboration has become our new norm with the recent happenings of COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The minds of our target market is re-oriented to the possibility of how effective ‘Work from Home’ can help reduce the running cost and mental wellness of members for most organizations, hence the need for collaboration tools to enhance productivity amongst team members.

“We’re not relenting, because we see Konet as more than just a collaboration tool. More modules will be introduced to further improve the ways in which organisations do business.”

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